ALBANY -- There are nights when a pair of experienced thieves might think they could escape police after trying to buy merchandise with stolen credit cards.
National Night Out, when cities host dozens of anti-crime block parties and extra police patrol the streets, visiting each party, is not a good night for that.
A pair of would-be thieves were arrested Tuesday after a vehicle and foot chase that actually went through one of the block parties -- and was aided all along by information and calls from residents out enjoying the evening, police said.
Stoney Rodriguez, 25, of Oakland, already on parole, and Rebecca Hunter, 19, of Martinez, were arrested and charged with burglary and possession of stolen property, police said. Hunter, who drove the getaway car, was also charged with fleeing from police.
Officers were called to the Target store on Eastshore Highway just before 5:30 p.m., as National Night Out parties were kicking off, after a store security worker recognized one of the suspects from a prior theft, police said.
Police arrived just as the suspects were preparing to drive away. They led officers on a short vehicle pursuit before abandoning the car in a driveway on Washington Avenue and running into the nearby neighborhood.
Unfortunately for them, there were nine anti-crime block parties being held in the approximately 30-square-block area surrounding the intersection of Washington Avenue and San Pablo
Police said as the suspects fled through the neighborhood -- with one suspect actually running right through one of the block parties -- residents fed them a constant stream of information and tips.
One resident told police that a suspect "looked a little surprised when his head poked over the fence and he saw dozens of people on the street."
Both suspects were arrested within 10 minutes of the call, and responding officers returned to visit some of the residents enjoying the evening and meeting their neighbors.
Investigators reported finding numerous credit cards and stolen property that had been taken from vehicles around the Bay Area, including Richmond, Oakland, San Rafael and Dublin. One credit card had been stolen at Point Isabel Regional Park the same afternoon, and the car the pair were in had been rented using a stolen card as well, officers said.