Second bank robbery in as many days

Police are searching for a man who robbed a Chase bank branch Wednesday, the second bank robbery in Dublin in as many days.

The robbery at the Chase branch at 4520 Dublin Blvd. came just one day after a Bank of America branch was robbed on the same street a half-mile away.

No one was injured in either robbery.

Officers were called at 5:50 p.m. Wednesday to the Chase bank after a man entered the branch and handed the teller a note indicating he had a gun and wanted money, Lt. Herb Walters said. No weapon was seen, but the teller complied with the note, and the suspect left the bank with an undetermined amount of cash.

Police described the suspect as a 20- to 30-year-old white man between 5 feet 11 inches and 6 feet 1 inch tall, and 185-195 pounds. He wore a blue sweatshirt jacket, black ball cap and bluejeans.

The suspect also had a bushy beard similar to baseball pitcher Brian Wilson, Walters said, but noted that it was possibly fake.

About 11:45 a.m. Tuesday, a different man robbed a Bank of America branch at 4250 Dublin Blvd., police said.

-- Natalie Neysa Alund, Staff

The Delta

State harvesting troublesome hyacinth

There's no offseason in the fight to control aquatic weeds in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Days after stopping its yearly herbicidal treatment of water hyacinth, state officials started using mechanical harvesting in some troubled spots against the invasive aquatic plant.

The California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways began using the tactic in the Delta waters on Thursday and will continue until early March, when it can again use the herbicide, according to an agency news release.

The harvesting will be focused in several areas, including Whiskey Slough, Rivers End Marina and Old River in far eastern Contra Costa County.

Other spots include Stockton's Marina and Waterfront, Fourteen Mile Slough, Village West Marina and Weatherbee Lake near Lathrop. Areas where the hyacinth impairs boater navigation will also be targeted.

Harvesting includes large machinery that collects floating mats of water hyacinth, removes it from the water and places the plant at approved dump sites or drying areas. Depending on weather and permit conditions, harvesters can remove several acres per day, officials said.

For more information on the state's water hyacinth control program, visit www.dbw.parks.ca.gov.

-- Paul Burgarino, Staff


Suspect nabbed after crashed vehicle stalls

A 33-year-old woman who allegedly stole a car and crashed it Thursday was arrested after the car stalled, police said.

Police say a man watched as Tammy Lechucia drove away in his wife's car in downtown Antioch around 7:30 a.m. Thursday. The man got in a second car and followed Lechucia as she ran a stop sign and broadsided another car, police said.

She wasn't done yet, police said. Lechucia fled the crash scene and drove until the stolen car stalled, leaving the alleged car thief in handcuffs after officers caught up to her. She was later booked into County Jail in Martinez on suspicion of auto theft and felony hit and run.

-- David DeBolt, Staff


Man sought in fatal S.F. shooting arrested

A Sacramento man wanted in connection with a fatal shooting in San Francisco's Bayview district earlier this year was arrested in Antioch on Friday, police said.

Joshua Pittman, 23, was arrested in the 400 block of Amargosa Drive on a $10 million warrant by San Francisco police with assistance from the FBI, and Antioch and Sacramento police.

Police did not say why Pittman was in Antioch. Police also did not have any information on what charges Pittman faces.

Pittman was wanted in connection with a homicide that took place about 3:05 p.m. June 30 in the 700 block of Kirkwood Avenue in San Francisco. The victim was on the street when he was shot numerous times.

The San Francisco Police Department is continuing to investigate the homicide.

-- Katie Nelson, Staff


Health clinic manager sentenced for fraud

A 43-year-old self-described "life coach" who managed a clinic in Richmond was sentenced to more than two years in prison for conspiring to commit health care fraud, the U.S. attorney's office said Thursday.

Migran Petrosyan, of Burbank, was sentenced to 27 months in prison and ordered to pay $370,607 in restitution. Authorities say Petrosyan and others conspired to bilk Medicare out of $1.7 million.

The scam set up authentic-looking clinics in Sacramento, Richmond, and Carmichael, where patients, mostly elderly and non-English speaking, would be paid for their time and use of their Medicare eligibility. Patient files with false charts were sent to Southern California for doctors to sign them and then bill Medicare for procedures on patients that never happened.

Petrosyan recruited doctors and also managed the phony clinic in Richmond, authorities said. Besides Petrosyan, 10 others were charged in the case, including two doctors involved with the Richmond clinic. Lana Le Chabrier is serving a six-and-a-half-year prison sentence while Derrick Johnson, who has pleaded guilty, is awaiting sentencing.

-- David DeBolt, Staff


Surveillance video leads to man's arrest

A day after posting video on social media of a suspected burglar at work, police received tips that led them to arrest a 28-year-old Fremont man.

Police spokeswoman Geneva Bosques said the video, captured from surveillance cameras in the home, got more than 2,000 hits on YouTube and reached 30,000 people on the Fremont Police Department's Facebook page.

The video was taken Saturday when a home in the 4100 block of Eggers Drive was burglarized. The thieves stole high-end speakers, two cameras, men's clothing and a computer printer, The items were valued at $1,900, police said.

By early Thursday, more than a dozen tips led police to Richard Andres Banuelos, 28, a Fremont transient.

-- Kristin J. Bender, Staff

San Francisco

Man accused of tossing cats into bay

A man accused of throwing two cats into the bay last week was arrested Friday afternoon, a San Francisco Animal Care and Control spokeswoman said.

Eric Leroy Patterson, 33, was arrested at the Embarcadero Four building shortly before 4 p.m. after tips flooded in from people saying they spotted the man police say is responsible for taking a cat carrier from a woman, which had her two beloved pets inside, and tossing it into the water near Pier 25.

Patterson, who has been living in San Francisco for some time, also has a lengthy arrest record in Oregon that contains numerous assault charges, according to Deb Campbell with San Francisco Animal Control.

Both cats died in the incident.

Patterson will be booked at San Francisco County Jail and will face charges of felony animal cruelty and resisting arrest, Campbell said.

-- Katie Nelson, Staff