Fake City Worker Arrested In San Leandro Iron Grate Thefts

SAN LEANDRO (CBS SF) – An Oakland man allegedly donned an orange vest and pretended to be a city worker in order to steal cast iron grates at the base of street trees in San Leandro, police said Friday.

Officials from the city’s Public Works Department first reported the thefts on Monday when they discovered several metal tree grates had been stolen on the north end of 14th Street, said police spokesman Lt. Jeff Tudor.

The grates, which cover the base of street trees at sidewalk level, are very heavy and made of cast iron.

At about 3:45 p.m. Thursday, a San Leandro police officer noticed a man pulling up a grate from the base of a tree near San Leandro Boulevard and Creekside Plaza.

The man was wearing a bright orange work vest similar to those worn by city workers and had an open can of paint next to him, as if he was conducting legitimate work, Tudor said.

When the officer contacted the man, he spotted two other cast iron grates in the back of a black pickup truck. A license plate check determined the truck was stolen out of Oakland.

The man, identified by police as Oakland resident Abundio Colmenero, 57, was arrested on suspicion of possession of a stolen vehicle, possession of stolen property and grand theft.

Inside the vehicle, police also discovered receipts for the sale of more than 1,600 pounds of recycled materials.

“This was a well planned crime,” Tudor said. “Colmenero used props and construction type uniforms to help conceal his criminal act.

“It’s rewarding when you can arrest a subject like Colmenero who is stealing city property,” he said.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

  • http://thecryptojournalist.wordpress.com The Cryptojournalist

    Par for the course from a Drudge linked article…..Crafty criminal in some wacky getup stealing non-precious metal. Get used to this sort of news.


    • Dave

      Just go back to MSNBC and learn about baby panda bears

      • Ferris Lind

        Exactly . Escape with reality with baby pandas.. and not face what your liberal friends are doing to this country

      • teddysalad

        brilliant reply

      • http://thecryptojournalist.wordpress.com The Cryptojournalist

        So you WANT ill informed news. Touche

      • tony

        ….,or stay on Yahoo and see,….GULP, Jennifer Anistons latest evning wear mishap! Oh the HUMANITY!

  • mina

    Glad the officer caught him. Thanks, Matt Drudge, for posting this good news.

    • Drake Jones

      What does ms. drudge have to do with anything? Next you’ll be boosting Howard Stern.

      • Drudge

        Because no would read this rag if drudge did not link to it but a few pathetic loosers in San Francisco still nurseing offf nancy Pelosi

  • StanM

    Just another “green job” (recycling) in Obama’s economy….

  • Jim

    Cut his right hand off as an example to other would-be creeps


    “Fake City Worker”…..aka , public sector union member

  • smashicus

    Whatever happened to posting a picture of the perp?

    • White Cracker

      He’s a Mexican! We cant show he is illegal!

    • Linda Green

      He was mexican. Taboo

      • trj

        He was doing the jobs Americans won’t do.

  • Mike H.

    So they have the receipts from where he sold the grates? How about prosecuting the buyers?

    • OldFrenchy

      Spot on!

    • White Cracker

      The buyers gotta know this guy was stealing from the Government!! The Buyers need to go to jail!

  • smashicus

    This perp’s address is available on the internet

  • claude

    then the police would have to find a new buyer for when they sell their stuff

  • Victor B.

    The government steals from the people…the people steal from the government.

    • George Johnson

      But um…. THIS guy was stealing from the TAXPAYERS.

      You got it all wrong. What are you ? An anarchist??

      The government steal from the people. And if you steal from them, you’re stealing from the people, the taxpayers.

    • Dave

      Yes, BUT. When the government steals from the people it’s called Stimulus

  • Jericho

    During the days of the robber barons the impoverished Saxons stole deer from the kings forest, the forest created by the corrupt Norman Kings and policed by their robber barons. This man like most metal thieves would certainly rather be working, instead he steals modern deer. Sherwood is getting crowded while our king and his barons continue to pillage.

    • KansasGirl

      Tell me Jericho, how has “class warfare” improved your life? Also, how do you know these metal thieves would rather be working?

      • Linda Green

        Spot on. Go tell them.


      If this piece of garbage would rather be working he would be, despite this economy there are jobs out there for those willing to get off thier lazy rear ends and take them. This person is a piece of human garbage that should be thrown away with the rest of the refuse.

  • Geechee

    I thought all city workers were “fakes”.

  • Alarmist Heaven

    Thanks libs, this green economy is awesome! Thanks again.

  • George Johnson

    Coming to America to steal the grates Americans won’t steal.

    Just goes to show you, even without a job, it’s better here in America than that cesspool down south.

    But make no mistake, with the feds down there losing control over almost half of the country, our open border is nothing but a safety valve to keep mexico from totally imploding. Because if they did, eventually, that might mean war. So you can expect a totally open border and giving into their demands (giving the south west quadrant back to mexico) to be the order of the day for some time to come.

    • John

      I was thinking the same thing.

      Coming to America to steal the grates Americans won’t steal.

  • Bearcat

    Doing the work Americans won’t do.

  • Bob

    It was easy to spot a fake city worker….he was actually working.

    • Lance Newman

      Best comment EVER! Made me actually laugh out loud.

    • Jameson

      Actually, he didn’t have six guys standing around doing nothing while he was working.

      • Derek

        So that was the props they spoke of…

  • Early Ardmore

    “Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws.”
    – Plato ———- http://911essentials.com

  • RonnyBaby

    but but but, they just come here to work…….

    • White Cracker

      Doing the work nobody else wants to do! Cracker Please!!!!

  • John L

    With all those recycling receipts, it should be easy to bring charges against recycling plants for colluding in the processing of stolen materials.

  • TJG

    Just be grateful he wasn’t armed with one of Obama’s firearms that Obama and Holder handed out to these criminals.

  • tony

    Yeah, if you are envolved in criminal behavior,….at 57 years old, you CAN’T be rehabilitated! Lock this POS UP for life! Or just shoot him! This POS OBVIOUSLY doesn’t care about anyone but him self!

  • freajt_deak

    Just doing the work Americans don’t want to do, save the baby pandas!

  • luv

    Clearly, Gringos does not want to do this job!

  • Ron Breckler

    This is just an indication on how bad the economy truly is, it is indications of the decay of our civilization indicate where telephone lines and power lines are valued for the metallic content and not the purpose they serve in supporting our society. Don’t get me wrong, we must throw the book at these petty thieves who steal out of need and the lack of opportunity for better jobs. Sadly, the work they’re willing to put forth to steal these metals at one time would be enough to earn them a job in some industry. Thanks to the EPA and the over regulations, no manufacturing can be performed in America without onerous cost and over regulation. Until we roll back the senseless rules and allow our children a opportunity to produce instead of just consume America is on a course for failure.

    • tony

      Sadly, very well put.

    • trj

      SO TRUE! As the economy worsens more and more people are going to become “Criminals” just in order to survive.

  • Trajan Long

    Liberals have spent the last 50 years destroying the US, and the trend may be irreversible.

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