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An East Bay triple-murder suspect left his cell phone behind at the scene of a Pinole burglary and then called it to get it back, unaware that a police officer was on the other end, authorities said today.

Anthony Ramirez, 23, never got his phone. Instead, he is in jail, charged with killing a man in Emeryville and suspected of two other homicides in Contra Costa County, Pinole police Sgt Matthew Messier said.

At about 9.30 pm May 22 a burglar broke into a home on Alice Way in Pinole. The resident interrupted the break-in, and the burglar fled out the window. But he left his cell phone behind.

As Pinole police were scouring the home for evidence, they heard a cell phone ring. Officer Uri Nieves answered it. “Hey, did you find my phone?” said the voice on the other end. Nieves acted as if he was “just some guy who picked it up off the street,” Messier said. Nieves asked the caller what his name was, and he replied, “Tony”. Nieves arranged to return the phone to Tony—for a price—at the Boys and Girls Club on Appian Way.

Ramirez drove to the scene in a stolen Nissan 350Z, police said. Pinole police tried to box the car in with their cruisers, but Ramirez escaped. Pinole police identified Ramirez as the suspect and learned that he was wanted in Emeryville for the April 20, 2008, shooting death of Chad Clarke on the 5500 block of Beaudry Street. Pinole handed the phone over to Emeryville police.

On Wednesday, officers found Ramirez outside a home on Samuels Street in Pinole, where he had apparently been sleeping on a mattress on the front porch, Messier said. Even as officers were closing in on him, Ramirez was texting his phone to arrange a meeting to get it back, unaware that the person on the other end this time was an Emeryville police officer. [San Francisco Chronicle]


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Jun. 3rd, 2009 02:53 pm (UTC)
Can we vote for this guy tomorrow? I'm confused.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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