Alert Neighbor Foils Burglary Attempt

Police said the neighbor's quick response helped them make their arrests.

A woman who spotted suspicious activity on Curtis Street on Wednesday called police immediately, authorities said, which helped them catch the culprits in the act.

At about 1 p.m., the woman observed a white sedan cruising slowly up and down the street while she was taking a walk.

It appeared to her that the four males inside "seemed to be casing homes," according to information released by the on Thursday afternoon.

She called police when she got home, and was able to describe what the group was doing at a nearby home:

"One suspect approached a house and began throwing rocks at the window. Then he attempted to open the window. When that didn’t work, he again threw something at the window which shattered it."

Police arrived shortly after this, and detained four men: Anthony Thomas of Oakland; Jomonie Smith of Oakland; Tyrell James Smith, 19, of Oakland; and Ishmael Patterson, 19, of Richmond.

All four were taken to the Glenn E. Dyer Jail on suspicion of burglary and conspiracy.

As of Thursday evening, only two appeared to remain in custody, according to the Alameda County Sheriff's Department: Tyrell Smith and Ishmael Patterson.

Smith had a bail set of $100,000, and had previously been arrested in connection with carrying a loaded firearm in public. 

Patterson also had a $100,000 bail.

Both were being held at Santa Rita Jail and were scheduled for arraignment at 2 p.m. Friday. 

Police said all four had prior arrest records.


Authorities said the woman did several things to help crack the case. 

  • Calling police right away 
  • Staying on the phone while the dispatcher put her on hold (to send the officers out) 
  • Accurately describing the house and the suspects' physical description and clothing 
  • Staying calm and answering the dispatcher’s questions as they were asked 


Police said nearby neighbors held a meeting just days earlier to brainstorm ways to keep their neighborhood safe. Tips included the following:

  • Install larger house numbers, or put the numbers in a more prominent location 
  • Cut back shrubbery 
  • Compile a map and roster of house addresses and occupants

Learn more here about . The Albany Police Department can be reached at 510-525-7300.

If there's something in this article you think , or if something else is amiss, call editor Emilie Raguso at 510-459-8325 or email her at emilier@patch.com. 

Ross Stapleton-Gray November 18, 2011 at 12:21 AM
I was walking back home from a hike up Solano to the PO and observed the arrests in progress, though I crossed the street so as not to get in the middle of things. Several APD vehicles converged on the scene. As someone who almost exclusively works from home, I know there's a network of us folks around to note odd doings... good to know someone made the call when they indeed saw something odd.
Karina Tindol November 18, 2011 at 06:07 PM
The police always appreciate observant neighbors looking out for each other. Thank you residents! Also, if you want to learn who lives in your neighborhood and grow a stronger sense of community and trust, contact Karina Tindol to find out more about Neighborhood Watch, ktindol@albanyca.org


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