Crime Doesn’t Pay…No Matter How Bad You Crave Pizza

Here’s an interesting article from the San Francisco Chronicle. Crime never pays… matter how bad you crave PIZZA!!

Police arrest 9 teens in Honda-hungry East Bay ring
Peter Fimrite, Chronicle East Bay Bureau.

A gang of pizza-munching, Honda-loving car thieves who cut a swath through the East Bay was sniffed out by police after they left a sloppy trail of clues inside the stolen vehicles. The ring of nine teenagers, all from Oakland, allegedly stole at least 26 Honda Accords in Oakland and in BART stations throughout Contra Costa County and burglarized dozens more over the past two months, until alert investigators noticed a pattern.

The thieves would drive the cars around for a couple of days while munching pizza, strip the vehicles of anything valuable, and then abandon them with boxes inside and half-eaten pizza slices on the seats.

“All the pizza boxes had the name of the establishment on them, but none of them had the tag that comes with a pizza when you buy it,” said BART police Sergeant Mike Miller. “Speculation was it was probably someone working in a pizza shop.”

The hunch was right. Investigators with the BART and Oakland police departments followed the trail to its source – an Oakland pizza parlor with a 17-year-old suspected car thief working the counter.

It was a key factor in the eventual arrest of eight other suspects, all 16 and 17 years old, between September 25 and October4. They were all booked on charges of auto theft.

The pizza boxes weren’t the only clue. BART investigators and Oakland police also found a scrap of paper with a name on it inside a schoolbook left in one of the cars. Detectives tracked the name to Skyline High School in Oakland, where they noticed a stolen Honda Accord sitting in the parking lot.

A 16-year-old boy eventually hopped in the car – and into the hands of police. He had purchased a Club device to protect the car from theft.