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Could Sex Assault of Minor Been Prevented?

Screen capture of a July 17th Alameda Police Department Nixle alert, showing a burglary suspect.

Screen capture of a July 17th Alameda Police Department Nixle alert, showing a burglary suspect.

Yesterday, the Alameda Police Department issued a warning about west-end burglaries, and notice of a reported sexual assault against a Buena Vista Avenue minor on Sunday morning. The press release included two photographs of a “person of interest” – the same photographs of a burglary suspect distributed by police in a Nixle alert on July 17th.

The July 17th Nixle alert warned residents of an increase in burglaries in the west-end of Alameda, and provided two photographs of a “recent burglar” that Alameda police were looking to identify.

The same two photographs were distributed in a police department press release yesterday about a series of six “hot prowl” burglaries between June 16th and August 9th.

The release seemed to further indicate that the burglary suspect was a suspect in the sexual assault of a minor girl on Sunday morning, August 9th.

Asked if more resources applied to the hunt for the suspect after the July 17th alert might have prevented the sexual assault, Alameda Police Department spokesperson Lt. Jill Ottaviano, wrote, by e-mail, “Patrol officers and detectives are working diligently and investigating all leads in each of the cases. We have adjusted our staffing to allow for increased patrol presence to include uniformed and plain clothed personnel. We are looking at all available video, canvassing neighborhoods, processing evidence, talking with residents, business owners and Alameda city businesses to try and identify the person in the photo.”

Pressed for confirmation that the suspect in the July 17th alert is a suspect in the sexual assault, and for more details on the effort over the past three weeks to apprehend the suspect, Ottaviano did not respond.

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