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Police search parolee's cellphone; make arrest in Oakland Museum heist

Posted on in Dealing with the Police

Police in Oakland, California arrested a parolee on suspicion of theft crimes after searching his cellphone Sunday morning. This blog has previously discussed a variety of issues where law enforcement needs to obtain a search warrant. However, Oakland Police say that no search warrant was necessary in Sunday's investigation because the man is on parole.

What law enforcement claims to have found in the cellphone search were pictures of a Gold-Rush era jewelry box and a pistol which were stolen in two separate alleged burglaries at the Oakland Museum. Law enforcement arrested the parolee after the investigation.

Police believe that the man is linked to a burglary at the museum on January 9 when the jewelry box disappeared, and also to a burglary November 12, when gold nuggets and gold-rush era pistols disappeared. However, for now at least, the man is charged with receiving stolen property related to the box.

Police claim that the cellphone search for pictures led to the recovery of the jewelry box. Law enforcement says that the box was recovered from a business. Authorities are keeping mum on where specifically the box was allegedly found. No other item for the two museum burglaries has been recovered, according to authorities.

In January, a security guard called police to report a burglary at the museum. Authorities say that the guard could see the image of an alleged burglar on surveillance cameras. However, the guard and Oakland Police say that the alleged burglar escaped from the museum before authorities could arrive at the museum.

Source: The Oakland Tribune, "Parolee arrested in connection with artifact thefts at Oakland Museum," Kristin J. Bender, Harry Harris and Serena Valdez, March 5, 2013

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