FOOTHILL FARMS (CBS13) – A 911 dispatcher who was trusting her instincts, and a mistaken phone call from a TV news crew, led to two arrests and the recovery of the crew’s stolen gear.
On Monday at 6 a.m., a channel 3 news crew comprised of a photographer and a reporter drove their van to a Starbucks on the corner of Garfield Avenue and Greenback Lane in the Foothill Farms area of Sacramento County.
The two then went inside the store, and when they returned, found that a window of the van had been smashed and that a video camera, along with two backpacks containing at least one laptop, were stolen, according to Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Sgt. Shaun Hampton.
Thinking they were in Citrus Heights, they called the city’s police dispatch center. The dispatcher who answered told them of their error, but when she heard their story, said she was in same area at the time of the incident and saw the crew’s van. She said she also saw a grey BMW parked near the van and said it looked suspicious. She wrote down the license plate number just in case, said Hampton.
Information about the incident found its way to the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department where detectives were assigned to the case. Hampton says he also went to the apartment to which the vehicle was registered and waited. Two male suspects eventually came out of the apartment allegedly carrying laptops and the stolen camera, put them into the trunk of a Ford Focus that was missing license plates, and drove away.
Hampton followed the vehicle to a Home Depot on Howe Avenue in the Arden Arcade area where he arrested the men.
In the trunk of the car was the stolen gear and other stolen laptops and tablets. A handgun was also recovered at the scene that had been reported stolen during a residential burglary.
The male suspects have been identified as 26-year-old Marcel Bullard and 27-year-old Terrence Buford. Bullard was booked into the Sacramento County Main Jail on charges of buying or receiving stolen property and possession of a firearm by a felon. He has been denied bail.
Buford was booked into jail on the charge of receiving stolen property. His bail has been set at $540,000.