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Ex-Fugitive Dimitri Storm Enters Plea To Attempted East Bay Car Thefts

Dimitri Storm is wanted for several crimes in the North Bay and Santa Cruz County. Authorities said he may have recently changed his appearance. (Santa Cruz County Sheriff)

Dimitri Storm is wanted for several crimes in the North Bay and Santa Cruz County. Authorities said he may have recently changed his appearance. (Santa Cruz County Sheriff)

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OAKLAND (CBS SF) — Fugitive and alleged serial car thief Dimitri Storm pleaded not guilty to nine charges in Oakland Monday in connection with attempted auto burglaries in Berkeley last week, according to the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office.

An Alameda County Superior Court judge set a pretrial hearing on the charges against Storm for Monday and a preliminary hearing for May 24 at the Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse in Oakland, district attorney’s office spokeswoman Teresa Drenick said.

Storm, 43, was arraigned in court on Friday for the attempted burglaries of six cars, petty theft, resisting arrest and providing a false name to police after his arrest by Berkeley police Tuesday.

A judge on Friday ordered the defendant held in the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin on $610,000 bail, up from $312,000 set after his arrest, according to jail records.

Storm, who used the name James Prouty Rollston when he was booked into jail Tuesday, is wanted in Santa Cruz, Monterey, Marin, Sonoma and Santa Clara counties following a spree of auto burglaries, car thefts and other crimes that started on March 31.

At least two $1 million warrants had been issued for his arrest, in Santa Cruz and Sonoma counties.

According to a report by Berkeley police, officers were dispatched at 3:24 a.m. Tuesday to the 1500 block of Summit Road in Berkeley near Grizzly Peak Boulevard after a report of a man with a backpack “casing” parked cars.

A male witness who was sleeping in one of the cars told an officer the suspect tried to break into his car and that he saw the suspect trying doors to five other vehicles on the residential street or in driveways, police said.

The police officer reported she saw the suspect walking toward her patrol car and then approached the suspect, who identified himself as “James Prouty Wilson” which the officer later alleged was a false name.

When the officer ordered him to her car and attempted to turn his right arm to arrest him the suspect spun around and ran down Summit Road until another officer tackled him to the ground.

The two officers commanded Storm to stop resisting and after placing handcuffs on him, one noticed the suspect was bleeding from the face and called the Berkeley Fire Department to provide treatment.

While in a police car, Storm continued to resist by kicking an officer, then was transported to Alta Bates Summit Medical Center for further treatment before officers booked him into jail, police said.

In addition to the six alleged car burglaries, all felonies, and misdemeanor resisting and false name charges, police also arrested him on suspicion of misdemeanor petty theft based on a reported theft from an unlocked car on Summit Road, police said.

The district attorney’s office listed six prior felony convictions it said Storm had that could make him ineligible for probation, according to its complaint.

The convictions he received included sale of a controlled substance in Santa Cruz in 1997, first degree residential burglary and grand theft auto in Santa Barbara in 2003, willful evading and felony resisting an officer in Santa Barbara in 2004 and first degree burglary in Santa Cruz in 2005.

While authorities in the other five counties are seeking Storm, it is not yet clear when he would appear in court in those jurisdictions.

In Santa Cruz County, the district attorney’s office has filed felony burglary and vehicle theft charges and several misdemeanor charges against him stemming from an auto burglary in Ben Lomond on March 31 and home burglaries and vehicle thefts in Santa Cruz on April 2.

Storm is also alleged to have stolen a GMC Acadia in Windsor in Sonoma County in early April.

Sonoma County sheriff’s deputies used a Taser on Storm after he allegedly resisted them when they pulled over a stolen SUV in Petaluma on April 5.

Storm then drove away, escaping to the Woodacre area in Marin County.

On April 17, deputies spotted Storm in a stolen Lexus in the Carmel area in Monterey County, but he eluded them by driving through a construction zone.

He later stole a Jeep Cherokee in that county, allegedly led police on a chase and then nearly struck a patrol car, authorities said.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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