Officer of the Month
Officer Micheal Fitzpatrick has been selected as the recipient of the Chamber of Commerce Officer of the Month award for April 2019.
On March 8, in the early morning hours, Officer Fitzpatrick was conducting patrol near Browning Avenue and Pinebrook Drive when he observed two subjects, a male and female, walking northbound on Browning. They seemed startled when he drove by. He turned around, and pulled up next to them and asked where they were headed. The male stated they were walking home, but was not able to give Officer Fitzpatrick an address. He asked if either of them had been arrested, and the male stated he had. Officer Fitzpatrick then asked if either were on probation, and they both replied no.
As Officer Fitzpatrick exited his car, he saw the male attempt to hand the female something. He asked them to sit down. At this time, the male gave his name and date of birth, and the Communications Unit conducted a records check. The female then confessed that she was on probation. At this time, Officer Fitzpatrick requested follow officers.
A search of the female revealed methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia, keys to a Honda, keys to a Fiat, and a room key at a Santa Ana motel. In a backpack the female claimed she had just found, contained a recent parking citation issued to a Toyota registered in the City of Irvine. The male had identification cards belonging the registered owner of the same Toyota. Officers responded to the Irvine address of the registered owner of the Toyota and found it had been ransacked.
A records check of the Fiat showed it was an un-reported stolen car out of the City of Laguna Hills. The two suspects admitted to stealing it. They were taken into custody and transported to the station. A probation search of the motel room and Honda led to the discovery of numerous pieces of suspected stolen item including mail, a cell phone, a disabled person parking placard, checks, driver’s licenses, vehicle titles, and credit cards from multiple victims.
Officer Fitzpatrick conducted detailed interviews with the suspects, eventually obtaining their confessions as related to the recovered stolen Fiat, and the stolen property from the ransacked Toyota in Irvine. They were arrested and booked into Orange County Jail. Officer Fitzpatrick then organized the other items for Detective Rojas. Detective Rojas’ investigation identified 17 victims throughout Orange County, all of whom desired prosecution.
Officer Fitzpatrick’s observation, investigative, and interviewing skills led to the arrest and confessions of the suspects. He recovered multiple pieces of stolen property, which detectives were eventually able to return to the victims.