OAKLAND (CBS SF) – A convicted thief who had been living inside an unoccupied home in the Oakland hills has been arrested in connection with more than 10 burglaries in Oakland, Piedmont, Orinda, Berkeley and Kensington, police said Friday.
The suspect, 41-year-old Lee Crago, has prior convictions for possession of stolen merchandise and burglary, police said.
Oakland police said patrol Officer Malcolm Miller went to 6338 Valley View Road at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday to respond to a report of trespassers inside an unoccupied home.
When Miller arrived on scene at the house he conducted a preliminary investigation and found Crago living inside the residence illegally, according to police.
Miller quickly recognized a large amount of items in the house which appeared to be stolen merchandise, police said.
Problem-solving officers who had been working on burglary suppression in the nearby Montclair district responded and began helping identify the items. Crago was then arrested, police said.
According to police, Crago was in possession of stolen property from more than 10 burglaries and officers recovered two van loads of items believed to be taken from homes in Oakland, Piedmont, Orinda, Berkeley, and Kensington.
The recovered items included personal documents, television sets, computers, tools, and jewelry, police said.
Investigators said they are working to solve all the cases that they think Crago is responsible for and to return the stolen possessions to victims.
Oakland police said people with information about the burglaries are asked to call the department’s criminal investigation division at (510) 238-3326.
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