On August 20, 2014, Rigoberto Lopez, a 22 year-old male out of Sunnyvale and two juveniles, a 16 year-old male out of Sunnyvale and a 13 year-old female out of Redwood City, entered a jewelry store attempting to sell gold jewelry and were denied. The trio was contacted outside of the store by undercover police officers and code enforcement officers and found to be in possession of a bag full of electronics, additional gold jewelry and drug paraphernalia. Further investigation revealed the property was taken from a recent home burglary in Sunnyvale. All three of the subjects are believed to be sureno gang members.
“Mountain View PD prides itself in creative and proactive approaches to reduce crime,” said Lt. Keith Plamondon who supervises the detective unit. “A collaborative effort between the city who approved the ordinance, the police department for enforcement and the stores, who maintain compliance, was key to the apprehension of these criminals.” A rise in burglaries and thefts was the impetus behind the development and approval of a new municipal code, Chapter 23 of the Mountain View City Ordinance Code, requiring second hand jewelry dealers to properly document store purchases of jewelry from private citizens.
Mountain View PD Detective Tim Minor amended the code which was approved in March of 2014. A three month grace period was put into effect and all of the second hand jewelry dealers in the city were contacted, provided with personal explanations as well as all the necessary documentation to maintain compliance with the ordinance. Enforcement of the ordinance went into effect in June of 2014.
“We were seeing criminals from outside of the area coming into Mountain View to sell their stolen property,” said Detective Minor. “This case is a great example of compliance leading to an arrest.”
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