In the second accidental suspect release in two weeks, the mere three suspects arrested in the 80-member flash-mob Nordstrom heist are all released, but two of them apparently shouldn’t have been.
The Union Square flash-mob thefts of November 19 continue to draw national criticism of our fair city nearly a month later. But honestly, law enforcement handled that fairly well, as close to half of the mob was arrested on the spot, and were quickly detained and charged with felonies. Compare this to the Keystone Kops/Reno 911 situation we’re seeing Walnut Creek, where 80 suspects stormed and robbed a Nordstrom, a measly three of whom were arrested, and one of those was accidentally released from custody right away.
This follows yesterday’s development that the @CoCoSheriff mistakenly released Walnut Creek @Nordstrom theft suspect Joshua Underwood. Underwood is now back in custody. Dana Dawson is not. https://t.co/v1u83GEYBU— Melanie Woodrow (@MelanieWoodrow) December 2, 2021
Two weeks later, the Britney Spears jokes write themselves. Oops! All three of them are now free, and the Contra Costa County district attorney says two of them shouldn’t be, as KGO is reporting. The Walnut Creek Police Department says one suspect was released thanks to a computer glitch, another was released in an apparent error by the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office.
.@walnutcreekpd Chief Jamie Knox said it's possible Dana Dawson's name got a "delayed hit" for being on parole when arresting officers ran her name in the system. I contacted CA DOJ to ask if that happens? A spokesperson w/ @AGRobBonta's office provided the response in comments. pic.twitter.com/03EeIwQLXy— Melanie Woodrow (@MelanieWoodrow) December 15, 2021
"I'm just being real with everybody. I don't know why all the finger-pointing is going on,” Walnut Creek Police Chief Jamie Knox said Tuesday. “I mean, mistakes happen and I think that's just what happened in this case that there was just a mistake that occurred."
KGO’s Melanie Woodrow, who appears to have a better grasp on these cases than anyone in the various Contra Costa County law enforcement agencies, reports that one of these suspects, Dana Dawson, was carrying a gun and was already on parole. That means she should not have been released. But her name did not come up in an initial law enforcement database search of the California Law Enforcement Telecommunications System when she appeared in court November 30.
“Despite efforts by her parole officer to get a parole hold, which the Contra Costa County Deputy DA says would have remanded her to custody, the timing was off by about 15 minutes,” KGO reports. Dawson had another court date Friday and did not show up.
Meanwhile, the suspect whom the Contra Costa County Sheriff's office “accidentally released” in late November, Joshua Underwood was taken back into custody, posted bail, and now he’s free too.
The third suspect, Rodney Robinson, did not even have to post bail. A judge released him on the mere conditions that he “stays away from Nordstrom, is subject to search and seizure without probable cause or a warrant and not leave the neighboring counties of Alameda and Contra Costa,” according to KGO. All are due back in court in January, except Dawson, as a warrant is out for her re-arrest.
Image: Meg T. via Yelp