A Mountain View Police Department officer investigating suspicious behavior outside of a department store on Showers Drive last week ultimately uncovered dozens of stolen items, including gear belonging to another Bay Area law enforcement agency, and facilitated the arrests of two suspects.
“The instinct shown here, and the subsequent excellent investigative work by our patrol teams, highlights the incredible caliber of personnel we have serving the city of Mountain View,” said Lt. Frank St. Clair, according to a department press release.
The MVPD arrested San Francisco resident James Atkins Jr., 35, on suspicion of possessing stolen items and burglary charges. Officers cited his acquaintance, 28-year-old Livermore resident Ashley Hund, for petty theft. A third suspect, a man, remains at large.
Atkins attracted police attention by parking a U-Haul van near the entrance of the Kohl’s, located at 350 Showers Dr., late into the evening of Nov. 1, according to the release. At approximately 11 p.m., the time when the MVPD officer spotted the van, employees of the store called police to report the presence of people known to have stolen from Kohl’s locations before. The officer attempted to make contact with Atkins and another man on site, but only Atkins responded; the other man walked off. A search of Atkins’ rented U-Haul followed and revealed drug paraphernalia and stolen items including identification information, license plates, paperwork belonging to a state agency and police equipment like handcuffs.
Additional officers arriving on scene interviewed Hund, discovered sitting outside the Kohl’s, according to the press release. Among her possessions were Kohl’s stolen goods. The officers learned she had been staying with Atkins at the Hotel Avante, 860 E. El Camino Real, and there they found more drug paraphernalia and suspected methamphetamines in their room.