An arrest warrant was issued for a suspect in the Nordstrom smash-and-grab looting in Walnut Creek, California, after she was already arrested and released on bail.
Dana Dawson was arrested in connection to the smash-and-grab looting where about 80 people stormed the Nordstrom location about 25 miles from San Francisco. She is accused of using a Glock 29 9mm handgun during the theft, which is a violation of her parole, ABC 7 reported.
But Walnut Creek police officers did not know she was on parole when she was first arrested.
“I don’t know if it’s just a system failure or just a delay in the information getting to us we’re still looking into that,” Walnut Creek Police Chief Jamie Knox said on Dec. 1.
Nordstrom location in Walnut Creek, California, which dozens of looters targeted on Nov. 20, 2021 (Google Maps )
“It’s not a foolproof system and sometimes you get a delayed hit or the computer system, if they gave us a fake name, maybe it didn’t come up,” Knox added.
The Attorney General’s Office said that it is unclear how officers did not know Dawson was on parole, as the system that records that information appears to be operating.
“At this point, we don’t have information that indicates that the California Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (CLETS) isn’t working as intended on our end when it comes to the ability to access information regarding individuals entered into the system. Generally speaking, law enforcement are able to access information about an individual’s probation or parole status by directly querying the supervised release file via CLETS upon the arrest or detention of an individual who is suspected of having committed a crime. That information should be available immediately upon being queried,” the office said, according to ABC 7.
She became eligible for bail and walked out of court about two weeks ago and hasn’t appeared back since.
Contra Costa County Deputy District Attorney Jordan Sanders said that her parole agent attempted to get a judge to sign a parole warrant on Nov. 30 during her arraignment, but missed the opportunity by about 15 minutes. The parole warrant would have put her back in custody.
“It’s frustrating,” Sanders said on Nov. 30.
She was scheduled to reappear in court, but never showed up on Friday or Monday, according to Sanders.
A warrant is now out for her arrest. The DA’s office said Dawson will remain in custody if and when she is arrested.
A total of three people were arrested in the case, including Dawson. The other two suspects both appeared in court on Monday and are expected back in court in January. None of the suspects are currently in police custody.
The dozens of thieves in the case made off with up $200,000 in merchandise on Nov. 20, according to police. The incident was soon followed by repeated instances of other smash-and-grabs that are plaguing California, most notably in the Los Angeles and San Francisco areas.