Crime, Fire + Courts

Bank texts help deputies nab alleged crooks

By From page A4 | March 11, 2012

Yolo County sheriff’s deputies arrested a West Sacramento mother and son on burglary, conspiracy and other charges, thanks to some helpful texts from the crime victim’s bank.

It began at about 4:20 p.m. Tuesday, when a woman reported being the victim of a vehicle break-in on Old River Road, just outside the West Sacramento city limits. As deputies were en route to the scene, the woman — who apparently receives a text on her phone each time her ATM card is used — got notice that a transaction had occurred at a West Capitol Avenue gas station, sheriff’s Sgt. Lance Faille said.

As one deputy went to the crime scene, another went to the gas station, but the suspects were gone by the time the deputy arrived. However, the deputy learned the suspects possibly were driving a white car.

Moments later, the victim received a second text, this time reporting that the ATM card was being used at an O’Reilly Auto Parts store not far from the gas station. A deputy went to the auto parts store and began questioning the clerk, who pointed out a female customer as the person who had just used the card, Faille said.

The woman fled from the store and jumped into the back seat of a waiting vehicle that had a male passenger in the front seat. But they were missing a driver — he apparently had seen the deputy enter the store “and took off running,” Faille said.

Deputies arrested the two remaining suspects, identified as 42-year-old Tina Marie Woods and her son Jeremiah Woods, 21. Faille said officers recovered methamphetamine, a pipe and shaved keys, along with evidence tying them to the earlier vehicle burglary.

The alleged driver, identified as 39-year-old Brian Willard of West Sacramento, remained at large as of Thursday.

Mother and son were lodged at the Yolo County Jail on suspicion of burglary, possession of stolen property, conspiracy and possession of burglary tools, while Tina Woods faces additional charges of transportation of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia, Faille said. Their bail has been set at $20,000.

— Reach Lauren Keene at [email protected] or (530) 747-8048. Follow her on Twitter @laurenkeene

Lauren Keene

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