PINOLE -- An East Bay triple-murder suspect left his cell phone behind at the scene of a Pinole burglary and then called it to get it back, unaware that a police officer was on the other end, authorities said today.
Anthony Ramirez, 23, never got his phone. Instead, he is in jail, charged with killing a man in Emeryville and suspected of two other homicides in Contra Costa County, Pinole police Sgt. Matthew Messier said.
It all began at about 9:30 p.m. May 22 when a burglar broke into a home on Alice Way in Pinole. The resident interrupted the break-in, and the burglar fled out the window. But he left his cell phone behind.
As Pinole police were scouring the home for evidence, they heard a cell phone ring. Officer Uri Nieves answered it.
"Hey, did you find my phone?" said the voice on the other end.
Nieves acted as if he was "just some guy who picked it up off the street," Messier said. Nieves nailed his role. "He's a very street-savvy officer who actually grew up in a rough neighborhood in Sacramento," Messier said.
Nieves asked the caller what his name was, and he replied, "Tony." Nieves arranged to return the phone to Tony - for a price - at the Boys and Girls Club on Appian Way.
Ramirez drove to the scene in a stolen Nissan 350Z, police said. Pinole police tried to box the car in with their cruisers, but Ramirez escaped after crashing the Nissan at Appian and Garden Way, Messier said. Officers found a sawed-off .30-30 rifle in the car.
Pinole police identified Ramirez as the suspect and learned that he was wanted in Emeryville for the April 20, 2008, shooting death of Chad Clarke on the 5500 block of Beaudry Street. Pinole handed the phone over to Emeryville police.
On Wednesday, officers found Ramirez outside a home on Samuels Street in Pinole, where he had apparently been sleeping on a mattress on the front porch, Messier said. Even as officers were closing in on him, Ramirez was texting his phone to arrange a meeting to get it back, unaware that the person on the other end this time was an Emeryville police officer, Messier said.
Two other sawed-off rifles were found at the home, police said.
Besides the Emeryville killing, Ramirez was being sought in connection with the April beating death of El Cerrito city employee Bruce King, 55, in his El Sobrante home, and the September shooting death of Ryan Valdez, Ramirez's half-brother, said Jimmy Lee, a Contra Costa County sheriff's spokesman.
A second suspect in King's slaying, Raymond Gardner, 45, has been charged with murder.
Police are gratified that Ramirez was arrested without incident, Messier said, because the swastika-tattooed suspect told an acquaintance that "he was not going to be taken alive."
Click to view image: 'thumbnail'
Tags: murder suspect, calls himself, police answer, leaves phone, crime scene, dumb criminal, smitten_kitten
Location: Pinole, California, United States (load item map)
Marked as: approved
Views: 11223 | Comments: 20 | Votes: 0 | Favorites: 1 | Shared: 0 | Updates: 0 | Times used in channels: 1
|Liveleak on Facebook|