Claycordian Confronts Mail Thief Who Was Driving a Stolen Vehicle in Clayton

July 16, 2014 14:00 pm · 81 comments


A Claycordian confronted a mail thief this morning off Peacock Creek Dr. in Clayton, and it turns out the thief was also driving a stolen vehicle.

Here’s the story….

At around 7:40am my 8-year-old came downstairs and told me she thinks she sees someone stealing mail in our cul-de-sac.

I knew my neighbors were out of town for the week, so I went outside to look.

I saw a red Honda parked two doors up in front of my vacationing neighbor’s house. We were not asked by the neighbors to collect the mail, so I thought they made other arrangements & this person was collecting their mail for them.

What went through my head was, I could be that guy who said “Oh I thought you knew them”, so I decided to go up and talk with the person.

As I approached the car, I could see there was one person in the drivers seat. His window was down and he had a lap full of mail – smoking a cigarette and was flipping through a new box of checks.

All I said was, “hey – give me the mail”. He said it was his uncles house and he was collecting for him. He was about 19 or 20, anglo/Hispanic mix, un-shaved.

I asked who his uncle was and stammered through the wrong name – I called BS and told him to give me the mail. Telling me it was his uncles as he started handing the mail to me through the window, I noticed a lot of other mail and boxes under blankets in the passenger seat. One box was clearly in view as an iPhone box. I told him to give me the other mail, the cops were on their way and I wanted the iPhone box as well. He said the iPhone was his – I told him he could get it back from the cops and the mail from his uncle when they get here.

He showed me the iPhone box was empty, placed it back and I saw him grab a lock blade knife. The blade was exposed and he was fidgeting w/ it. I said….”Are you going to pull that knife on me?” He said, uh, no this is my key. Made no sense and I questioned what the hell he meant about a key. I accused him of stealing this mail and said the rest of the stuff looks stolen & that the cops should be here shortly.

He said if they are coming, he’d rather leave. He started the car and left….I really did not want to engage – confront physically with a blade in his hand & me barefoot and my children two doors down in the driveway.

I ran back and called Clayton PD. They did a sweep through Peacock Creek and came to my house. The license plate I gave him shows up to a car stolen yesterday out of Antioch. The Officer returned later and showed me a picture of the car he had, which I confirmed was the car.

I have all the neighbors mail and wish I could have gotten more from the guy. Hopefully he’s caught.

The guy was pretty brazen….parking his car at the top of the cul-de-sac and walking to the mailboxes. Slight build, camo cargo shorts – black T w/ NorCal (Red Green Gold colors).

Keep an eye out folks.

Keep your eyes out, Claycordians, thieves are lurking all over the place just waiting to take what doesn’t belong to them.

Jason Ruderman July 16, 2014 at 2:11 PM

Good for you!!

I’m also glad you weren’t hurt, or tried to be a hero with this knucklehead.

anon July 16, 2014 at 2:12 PM

What’s the license plate and description of the vehicle?

Who do you think you are? July 16, 2014 at 2:13 PM

If he has a weapon in his hands why the hell would you confront him especially being barefoot. Your clearly not prepared to handle yourself in a exchange. Lucky for you it sounds like a bunch of kids so they wouldn’t have done any physical harm anyway.

Smart,Goodlooking&Debonaire July 16, 2014 at 2:19 PM

interesting article. But more importantly, was anyone offended during the commission of this crime? the local lefties must know!!

Noj July 16, 2014 at 2:20 PM

Way to bird dog those dirtbags!

Laura July 16, 2014 at 2:27 PM

Wow, good for you for trusting your senses that something was not right. Too bad they did not catch him!

Kristy S. July 16, 2014 at 2:33 PM

This is why crime is so low in Clayton… we watch out for our friends, our neighbors, our community. Had this occurred in Concord the suspect would have gotten away completely free.

Vacay hold connection? July 16, 2014 at 2:36 PM

Wonder if he had one of those lists from the newspaper companies showing who put their newspaper subscription on a vacation hold. Seems like he knew which house to target. The Contra Costa Times has been notorious for somehow letting that info get into the hands of burglars and mail thieves. They must hire a bunch of tweaks.

Dana hills area July 16, 2014 at 2:40 PM

Do you have any mail from the Dana hills area? Many cars ( including my truck) were broken into last night. The police think it was the same guy who was stealing mail.

Concord Guy July 16, 2014 at 2:42 PM

I respect him for confronting the guy. If more citizens confronted bad guys, the bad guys might think twice about going into a particular neighborhoods. The neighborhood that this happened in, was one of the better parts of the area.

People need to be more proactive instead of reactive. He was being proactive by confronting the guy vs. Only calling the police and being reactive. He just saved his neighbors some headaches with identity theft.

Well played Sir

Dana hills area July 16, 2014 at 2:43 PM

Whoever broke into my truck left a glove and a white garbage bag

RealityCheck July 16, 2014 at 2:49 PM

I want to say “well done”, but the fact is you really should have called the PD first thing, before confronting this guy. You are lucky you didn’t get a knife in your neck.

Concord Guy July 16, 2014 at 2:52 PM

It is always best just to call the police when there are suspicious people or vehicles.

mb July 16, 2014 at 2:53 PM

@Kristy S.


Michelle July 16, 2014 at 2:54 PM

@Kristy S.

I was thinking the same thing. I read the comments on this blog about how the country has gone downhill and about how things were better in the past an I just don’t get it. Clayton is an amazing community! I feel sad there are people that live so close whose lives didn’t turn out the way they had hoped and now they’re left complaining about how things used to be better. So sad.

Domestic CEO July 16, 2014 at 2:59 PM

Not all parts of Concord are bad Kristy S. Yes… we do live on the border of Clayton, but it is still Concord. I caught a thief running out of a neighbors house and got their license and called the police. Hope they were caught (but they didn’t tell me). Then just today, I saw another neighbor’s gate standing wide-open, then 2 kids come out of the back yard. I confronted them and it turned out they were the children of the gardener working next door. I haven’t talked to the owner yet to make sure that gardener is HER gardener (it just happened about 3 hours ago and she hasn’t come home from work yet). I’ve got details if they weren’t supposed to be there.

There are 2 of us on our street who are always on the look-out and walking the neighborhood. I have even ousted squatters on our street by getting the rest of the neighbors involved and once they were out — we all chipped in and boarded up the house until the State could come in and do what they needed to do. No one else squatted in THAT house!

My neighbors reciprocate too — one day they noticed someone snooping around our house and chased them away and told us what happened. The perp didn’t get in (he would have been chewed up by our dogs if he tried)–he may have just been casing the house. I am so thankful for my neighborhood and the people in it… the only way to survive in this day and age is to keep your eyes open and be present. Perps don’t like to be discovered.

@Kristy S. July 16, 2014 at 3:11 PM

Oh to live in Clayton, where the birds sing all day and nothing bad happens…barf!

Marianne July 16, 2014 at 3:22 PM

You are so right. Had this happened in Concord, they would have gotten away scot- free, maybe even with help.

Concord Mom July 16, 2014 at 3:24 PM

WOW Kristy S.!!! Yep all us folks in Concord don’t give a $hit about our neighbors that is why you live in Clayton!! Keep living your fantasy. Crime happens everywhere even in Clayton.

Suzie July 16, 2014 at 3:35 PM

All these thefts and with popcorn. What’s good for the goose…..

Calendar Girl July 16, 2014 at 3:37 PM

The reason he didn’t call the cops first was because he was trying to do the right thing and stop a crime in progress. That’s a very normal reaction. Besides, not everyone has a cell phone in their pajama pockets. It was early in the morning and he was able to catch the guy off guard by speaking plainly to him. Good for him! He was able to get back his neighbor’s mail and wise enough to walk away from a potential attack. I applaud this guy!

ArmChair QB's July 16, 2014 at 3:38 PM

None of you were there…. but you feel completely fine to call this person out as doing a VERY Dumb thing – even questioning their ability to handle the situation.

That is Laughable….

Clearly, from reading the text – there was a thought that this person may have been asked to get mail for the vacationing neighbors. Could have been that the newer model car (it was stolen) did not look out of place.

The guy was in his car… not walking around brandishing a knife.

Are we really at a stage where we cannot walk next door to a car in front of your neighbors to just make sure nothing is wrong?

So, from reading Post 4 and TRICIA… instead of investigating something you should get combat ready (absolutely no bare feet – regardless of time of day- have boots ready – steel toe at that) – and Tricia would like for you to call the authorities every time something does not seem right.

little bodie July 16, 2014 at 3:49 PM

Should have called 911 for a robbery in progress

Elwood July 16, 2014 at 3:53 PM

Bring back the death penalty for thieves!

lawabidingcitizen July 16, 2014 at 3:55 PM

Should have called the cops right then or have your kid call while you were confronting them. They are out today probably stealing more mail.

Eye roll July 16, 2014 at 3:56 PM

Like Omg Kristy and Michelle! You two should totally call each other and plan outfits together! You totally have so much in common!

clayton July 16, 2014 at 3:56 PM

@ Kristy and Michelle
Clayton in a bubble….poor little girls.

Anita July 16, 2014 at 4:04 PM

seriously so tired of people like Kristy S. that try to point out their town is better then the next. FYI, comparing Clayton to Concord is like comparing a peanut to a watermelon.

The Barrio Boyzz July 16, 2014 at 4:09 PM

@15 – Kristy is actually right. People in Clayton do watch out for each other and it is a fairly close knit community. That is why Clayton has been ranked as one of the top 20 communities to live in the US.

Where does your beloved Concord rank???? Yeah, that is what i thought.

You are the a$$!!!!

Duck July 16, 2014 at 4:17 PM

You should have shot his tires out from your bedroom window and walked over and duct taped his hand to the steering wheel.

Even know you did a good thing ,no one like a nosy neighbor , next time call the PD first , they could have been there while you were talking to the kid.

In cases like this concealed carry is you best friend……… carry is just a good friend , that shows you mean business……….basicly just a show of power , to let the dirtbags know not to screw with you because you are armed and willing to protect yourself , friends and family.

Next time at least grab a 4 to 6 cell Maglite / weapon or a can of bear spray !
The cops can’t always be there to help out………..Take a self defense class and learn how to handle a weapon , in case you ever need to protect yourself ,friends or family.


The Barrio Boyzz July 16, 2014 at 4:18 PM

@ Tricia – you are a coward. People need to stand up in the community when they see something that is out of place. That is how you help each other out. And she was able to recover some stolen mail for her neighbors, which they surely will appreciate.
But I am sure you are the kind of person who would just walk on by even if these vatos were breaking into a home, right?? Just walk on by and not give a sh*t.
And btw, how would calling the police have helped if she didn’t go up to them and get a good at their vechicle?? The police need something to go off, when you report a theft – now who is the stupid one??? She had to do something and she did. Which is much more than I can say for you.

You are officially scratched off my dating list, cuz you have no guts.

@Eye Roll July 16, 2014 at 4:31 PM

Yeah, and I am so sure that the “classy” women of Concord, would not even bother dressing up to go out on a night in the town…for those elegant Concord ladies, all they need is a pair of daisy dukes on their XXXL waistlines, a loose fitting bra and a thug with a 40 in his hand.

bohemian jojo July 16, 2014 at 4:37 PM

@Kristy, yes crime is low in Clayton…now white collar crime is another story. Just look up on Seeno Hill…

Grob July 16, 2014 at 4:40 PM

This is a perfect reason why we need MORE guns in the hands of responsible gun owners. You could have made a citizens arrest and this would have been all done.

CoCoOld July 16, 2014 at 4:42 PM

@Kristy and Michelle,
It’s a statistical fact that there is more crime per capita in Clayton than in Concord.

RunDogRun July 16, 2014 at 4:43 PM

@16 Michelle

If you like it now, you
would have *REALLY*
liked it in the 50s, 60s,
and 70s!

ConcordNeighborhoodWatcher July 16, 2014 at 4:51 PM

@Kristy S.
@ Michelle

Not in my neighborhood in Concord. We all watch for each other here. We call 911 first, then send an alert on Nextdorr to everyone. Then we take a picture of the license plate as we walk up to “talk” with them. Usually by that time there are a number of us around the car…..

Several would be theives have been escorted away by the Police.

City Girl July 16, 2014 at 5:03 PM

I have not read through all the comments, so maybe someone else already asked this question. Since you had such a clear image of this guy, did Clayton PD offer to do a sketch?

MeCrazyWoman July 16, 2014 at 5:16 PM

Bravo for looking out for your neighbors!

Not sure how a discussion about this ended up in insults to all women who live in Concord.

Walnut Creek Resident July 16, 2014 at 5:19 PM

Good job! That crook definitely needs to get caught he sounds like he’s been doing this a long time and he just doesn’t give a hoot about anybody. He also sounds pretty dangerous from the description.

@smart July 16, 2014 at 5:23 PM

Please shut the %+#@% up. We get it, your a closed minded recheck republican. How about coming up with something constructive and positive. Instead of your endless flow of hateful spew that your slinging.

anon July 16, 2014 at 5:33 PM

you done good!
gotta go with the gut feeling and ignore the thought of ‘you’re so paranoid’. that’s so last century. things have change and if we’re over cautious, so what? nothing to regret. This is how the city is where I grew up, everyone watches when someone suspicious comes around. they don’t get away w/ much.

@ ArmChair QB's # 23 July 16, 2014 at 5:34 PM

“Are we really at a stage where we cannot walk next door to a car in front of your neighbors to just make sure nothing is wrong?”

Clearly you have a reading comprehension problem. If he had actually walked up to see if something was wrong you would be correct. BUT, according to the poster, “All I said was, “hey – give me the mail”. That is an extremely aggressive way of approaching a situation you know nothing about.

If all the open carry and concealed carry guys on here were approached like that you would be shot dead in your tracks. More guns. The answer to everything.

Atticus Thraxx July 16, 2014 at 5:37 PM

One comment in and I decided not to read anymore. Sounds to me like it was handled as good as could be expected considering the circumstances. Good neighboring!

@City Girl July 16, 2014 at 5:42 PM

I don’t think this was a serious enough crime to warrant a sketch artist.
Clayton P.D. thought about it but couldn’t find their crayons

Scarface July 16, 2014 at 5:46 PM

Great work spotting this dirtbag!

Good job. July 16, 2014 at 5:50 PM

Sounds like this guy handled the situation perfectly. Those of you who would have hidden under your beds and called the cops would have let the thieves get away with all the stolen mail long before the police arrived. I sincerely hope the guy in the story is my neighbor, and not all you scaredy-cats.

White Boy Fresh July 16, 2014 at 5:52 PM

WTF? My house, My d*^# ,My Dog, r all bigger then any of yours & I live in CONCORD!!!!! Come on by I’m live off ridge road!!!!!

White Boy Fresh July 16, 2014 at 5:53 PM

clayton sucks!!!! Bunch of yuppie wannabes

@CoCoOld July 16, 2014 at 5:54 PM

Must be why Concord is so much more desirable to live in and property values are so much higher than Clayton. The only thing Concord is doing to lower its stats, is just not taking reports for stuff any more.

Clayton is full off... July 16, 2014 at 5:56 PM

pretentious a$$holes. just because we live in Concord doesn’t mean we aren’t civilized people. In Dana Estates, we watch out for our neighbors. But I guess in Clayton all of you snobby women get to stay home and look out the window all day.

Nutcreek Frontier July 16, 2014 at 6:13 PM

This guy is a gem, and please don’t live in fear people. Take back your neighborhoods! I check on strangers on my street all the time, and I am a female..just ask in a nice way, “Can I help you” Criminals know they are being observed

Concord Mike July 16, 2014 at 6:51 PM

Here is an idea.

Get your immediate neighbors with cell phones and text messaging to set up a group text message – call it neighbor911 so any one can send a quick text to all saying someone suspicious is driving, walking, or biking through the area. Would really have an impact if the thieving cretins saw 10 neighbors suddenly walk outside with pitchforks, cameras, etc.

Silva July 16, 2014 at 7:04 PM

What a bunch of Nervous Nells.

Fritzhugh Ludlow July 16, 2014 at 7:06 PM

It is a very bad idea to walk arround Clayton barefoot…My friend got bitten by a baby rattlesnake while doing that!

Maya Piñon July 16, 2014 at 7:57 PM

To remedy mail being stolen drop all your mail off at the post office, don’t put in mailbox to send. Check your mail daily as soon as you get home each day. This might be a bit of a preventative, and it’s better than a poke in the eye.

Chevelle girl July 16, 2014 at 7:58 PM

@ Kristy…well aren’t you full of yourself! I have live in Concord for 27 years and have always watched put for my neighbors as they do me. We too have prevented crimes from happening. It’s people like you that give meaning to the word Claytonites!

One less craZy July 16, 2014 at 8:22 PM

Clayton likes to think it is a bubble. Their crime stats show their teens are out of control and it is not improving. But what can you expect from a city built on inbreeding?

Concord Res July 16, 2014 at 8:37 PM

Clayton is 1/12th the size of Concord. The biggest crime in Clayton is Seeno, and that puts every petty crime in Concord to shame.

GoGo Gomez July 16, 2014 at 8:47 PM

Scum bags are out again…

Michelle(original) July 16, 2014 at 8:56 PM

I drove around Claycord today and I looked quite a few streets ahead, some sort of incidents. I was trying to call the police but by the time I had gotten to where they were; they were gone so I just hung up. I have to put the number on speed dial.

Cy Nical July 16, 2014 at 9:12 PM

It seems that in every thread like this someone says they’re from Clayton, whether they are or not and puts down another city, usually Concord.

And then without fail someone takes the bait.

Some people will never learn.

Buster July 16, 2014 at 9:37 PM

So what was the license plate of the red Honda?

@White Boy Un-Fresh July 16, 2014 at 10:11 PM

You think are so tough, don’t you? “Here’ a stick of gum, let me show you how to chew it…” with your untrained little pitbull dog running unleashed all over contra costa canal trail…i know your type. You send your mutt around me , that dog will be hurt. Please stay in Concord, chump!!!! and don’t insult people who live Clayton, just because they have it better than you.

LaurieFr July 16, 2014 at 10:51 PM

Thank you!

Antler July 16, 2014 at 10:53 PM

Am uneasy about a contradiction in the story:

First “snapshot” is of the confronted mail thief In a car parked in front of the neighbor’s house.

Parting “snapshot” is of thief being brazen, parking at the head of the cul de sac and walking the block.

But our hero had no way of knowing anything like the latter “snapshot” was true! Our hero only saw the driver parked at his neighbor’s house and then supposedly tearing off.

Mayor, please…..did you actually confirm with the Clayton police force that this alleged report was really filed?

City Girl at #39 was not so blunt as I, but is it possible she also has doubts about the veracity of the hero’s story?

what is not to get July 16, 2014 at 11:51 PM

reread, the child reported seeing mail being taken!

Spoons made me Fat July 17, 2014 at 1:47 AM

You can’t lump Concord into one area. There are some very nice areas and some not so nice areas. Concord stretches from Clayton past Walnut Creek then to Martinez/Pleasant Hill – bordering on Bay Point.
I’ve lived in Concord and currently now in Clayton. Had two break-ins… one in Concord and one in Clayton. The cops that came blamed it on someone coming over from Pittsburg so….

John H. July 17, 2014 at 3:31 AM

way to go.. we need more people like this. Next time, come out to his vehicle with a handgun hidden, and when the perp shows probability of being in the wrong, make a citizens arrest.

Call the Cops first.... July 17, 2014 at 6:29 AM

hopefully the maggot would have waved his knife at them, and they could have legally executed this peuking cockroach.

commoncents July 17, 2014 at 7:32 AM

wow reading this is better than the politics section…..

Carry on!!!!

Connie Dobbs July 17, 2014 at 8:01 AM

It was nice of you to get your neighbor’s mail back. I hope they thank you.

Cracky McGee July 17, 2014 at 8:18 AM

Why would the poster call the police so quickly if his initial thought was that the neighbors were out of town and this was the individual assigned to pick up their mail? He was simply confirming that was the case when he discovered the people were actually stealing mail …. I commend him for confronting the scum!

Lock and Load July 17, 2014 at 8:52 AM

For all those liberal sissies who can’t stand the thought of carrying a gun, it works. I have a friend who lives in Vacaville, he always is carrying the S&W in his car trunk. You know why? Because he has been mugged so many times!! Now, if the local punk a$$es of Vacaville step to him, he flashes his gun, and they back off.

Think about it if someone was stealing your mail or worse – your car. Are you Obamacare/no gun supporters going to just sit there and call the police while the perp gets away? No, because chances are you will never get your car back!! If this punk kid saw the guy and his gun, i am sure he would have stayed put and not moved an inch.

If someone is breaking into my mailbox, my car, my house – I am lighting that fool up. Remember, the police can’t always bail you out.

Info July 17, 2014 at 10:13 AM

* Police Report Officially Filed yesterday & is Active & currently being investigated
* There were a number of break-ins that evening (cars and 1 home under construction)
* Nothing has been reported that lends itself to be an incident that happened post confrontation in Peacock Creek area
* Neighbor who investigated parked car & subsequently confronted mail thief did not witness the act of stealing mail. Confirmed perp parked car and walked to mailbox after verifying w/ his daughter post confrontation

Mimi (original) July 17, 2014 at 10:15 AM

Thank goodness my neighbor is a stay-at-home mom! Whenever she hears my dogs barking she always looks outside to see if things are amiss. I’m sure she’ll save the neighborhood some day! Hooray for people that can be home during the day!! I love my neighbor!

Antler July 17, 2014 at 10:45 AM

Info……. I’m waiting for Mayor to confirm with official blue-highlighted post, if he decides to investigate and post.

For all we know, you are the same person who wrote the story to begin with!

Antler July 17, 2014 at 3:14 PM

You do that Antler.

Hopefully you can find the solace you are looking for.
As the bearing of that news should have zero impact on your life but it’s great that you chime in w/ your cynicism

Tom July 17, 2014 at 5:12 PM

When you go on vacation, have your mail held at the post office.

If you suspect mail theft, get a license number and call the police.

Wise up!

InConcord July 18, 2014 at 5:52 PM

Dont listen to the trolls on here. Its not worth it. They hide behind a computer while getting bold on here and trying to get a rise out of people.

And by the way, great job and You handled it great. People need to step up to these cowards whether its confronting them, scarring them off or calling cops.

Just a thought July 18, 2014 at 11:59 PM

Clayton is lucky to be surrounded by such a safe, large city as Concord. It’s
unfortunate some of the newer residents don’t see this. The older, established Claytonites do appreciate and understand this. If the crime in either Clayton or Concord does ever increase like most of the bay area, the carpet baggers like Kristy and Michelle will move on to some other wonderful place. What these two don’t understand is Concord and Clayton are wonderful towns, but these two have nothing to do with it.

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