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.