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Assault Rifle Used in Dope Deal: WC Police

Concord suspect arrested in Oakland used an assault rifle to rob a victim on Camino Verde, Walnut Creek, police report.

Update: 4:05 p.m. Monday, adding allegations of marijuana deal and details from advisory by Walnut Creek Police Department.

An Internet-arranged marijuana deal turned into a robbery with an assault rifle month ago, and that turned into an Aug. 24 (Friday night) arrest of a 19-year-old Concord man, police reported.

A Friday morning search and arrest warrant in Concord failed to nab Joseph Stevenson, but reportedly developed information that allowed police to make the arrest Friday night in Oakland.

The original robbery went down on the morning of Saturday, July 28, on Camino Verde near the Palos Verde Mall in Walnut Creek, which is close to the Pleasant Hill line. That's where the victim and suspect, after meeting up on a marijuana-selling website, agreed to meet, according to an advisory issued Monday morning by the Walnut Creek Police Department.

When the two met, Stevenson brandished the assault rifle and robbed the victim, police said. He allegedly fled in a gold, 1990s model BMW with tinted windows. The only description at the time was that the suspect was a "large" African-American male, police said.

On Friday, Aug. 24, Walnut Creek and Concord officers executed a search warrant on a residence on Tioga Road, Concord. They reportedly found evidence related to the July 28 robbery.

Several hours later, detectives assisted by Oakland police and Alameda County sheriff's officers arrested Stevenson, WCPD reported.

Stevenson has been charged with robbery, being a felon in possession of a firearm and possession of an assault rifle. At the time of his arrest in Oakland, he had an assault rifle and a lot of ammunition, police reported.

The incident first came to light in a Sunday post on the Walnut Creek Police Association Facebook page.

The association cited this as an example of undue city control of the release from information: "Over the past few months the City Manager’s Office has become very involved in controlling the information flow from the police department. Information related to crimes occurring, officer staffing levels and anything deemed a little too scary for residents is usually filtered or prevented from being released. We believe in transparency and feel a more informed public can only benefit our great community. This is why we highlight this type of good work officers are doing day in and day out behind the scenes."

City Manager Ken Nordhoff said Monday his office does not "control" the release of information, and in fact the city is "transparent" in releasing information from and about the police.

Anyone with information about this crime or similar crimes is asked to contact WCPD Detective Leonard at (925) 256-3518.

SR August 27, 2012 at 02:42 AM
City leaders have always thought they know which information we deserve to hear and what they want to keep from us. Image is everything in Walnut Creek and the media carries water for the city (print media) on a regular basis. Do you really expect the Times to go against the city when their HQ is here and they co-sponsor every charity, arts and library event under the sun together. It's great they sponsor charity events but they need to also be willing to ask hard questions from time to time. That, historically, has NOT happened in Walnut Creek where everything is always roses.
Not surprising August 27, 2012 at 02:46 AM
A City Manager with his hands that deep into a police department is a sign of one thing- a weak police chief. City leaders need to deal with this. Get a new CM or a new Chief. It is not healthy for the city.
Karen Cohen August 27, 2012 at 03:18 PM
I agree with the indignation about this de facto censorship of the news. But where is our sense of indignation that individuals can own AK 47s and what are we doing about that?
Stephen Fredricks August 27, 2012 at 03:23 PM
What kind of political power or authority does a City Manager have over a Police Chief?
Bob Brittain August 27, 2012 at 03:33 PM
Hi Stephen, Here is a link to the organization chart for the City of Walnut Creek on their website. The Police Chief reports to the City Manager who reports to the City Council: http://www.walnut-creek.org/civica/filebank/blobdload.asp?BlobID=6135
Jim August 27, 2012 at 03:58 PM
Nothing good come can from mixing politics with the free flow of information. This should be addressed. Bob, aren't you involved in Mayor Simmons' re-election campaign effort? Maybe you can ask the Mayor to look into this? Just a thought....
Stephen Fredricks August 27, 2012 at 04:34 PM
Bob Thank you for your response. Who does the City Council report to? I've never heard of any elected city official controlling information that affects the public and then keeping it from them. Constitutional violation?
Lance Howland (Editor) August 27, 2012 at 06:34 PM
Pertinent to this discussion is a new story in which City Manager Ken Nordhoff denies that his office "controls" information coming from the police department. He discusses the process. http://patch.com/A-xr60 -- Lance Howland, editor, Walnut Creek Patch.
Frank August 27, 2012 at 06:48 PM
I question whether is was an AK 47 "assault rifle". It was most likely a civilian version of the AK without the select fire of an actual assault rifle. More disnformation from the press.
Bob Brittain August 27, 2012 at 07:13 PM
Stephen The City Counciil reports to the voters of Walnut Creek. Bob
Wendy Harrison August 28, 2012 at 12:48 AM
I wonder what kind of punishment the "victim" will receive for trying to buy an illegal substance?
Stephen Fredricks August 28, 2012 at 07:35 PM
Maybe too late to respond Bob, but that was my point, if the Council reports to the voters/public then where do they get off making decisions on what we can read or not read?

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