After a combination of high-tech and good ol' fashioned gum-shoe detective work, the Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety has arrested an alleged golf-club wielding thief with a penchant for tobacco.
Ryan Michael Brown, 34, was taken into custody following at least three smash-and-grab burglaries from liquor stores and gas stations, all in mid-July.
Capt. Doug Moretto said on Friday, that in each case, the suspect used a golf club to break the window of the stores, before he made off with a stash of cigarettes and cigars, and bottles of booze.
During one of those burglaries, the suspect left a cell phone.
That phone turned out to belong to a woman, yet the video surveillance from some of the burglaries was that of a man, Moretto said. Using the cell phone's contact list, and other "investigative tools," Moretto said officers figured out who the alleged culprit was.
Within a few days, Officer Idean Momtaheni, responding to a routine disturbance call, realized that the suspect he had just arrested on outstanding warrants, was the cell phone owner and alleged cigarette thief.
When officers went to Brown's home, they found cases of cigarettes and cigars, the the remaining golf clubs to complete the set.
As of Friday, he had not been charged with burglary. Jail records show he was arrested July 25 on unrelated drug charges.
Anyone with additional information related to the case is asked to contact Sunnyvale Public Safety Detective Joel Lockwood at 408-730-7134 or to email information anonymously to SVTIP@tipnow.org.
Contact Lisa Fernandez at 408-432-4758 or firstname.lastname@example.org.