EL CERRITO – El Cerrito was the setting for the capture of a Petaluma burglary suspect last month.
Shane Michael Bugnatto, 22, was arrested by the El Cerrito Police Department Feb. 26 after an officer attempted to stop the vehicle driven by Bugnatto. Bugnatto drove off, leading El Cerrito police on a brief chase before he crashed his vehicle. He then attempted to flee on foot, but was quickly arrested by police officers hiding in a neighborhood, waiting for the suspect.
Petaluma police had issued an arrest warrant for Bugnatto after fingerprints found on a partially open window of a Petaluma home led them to believe he has made a burglary attempt at that Olive Street house.
On Feb. 2, husband and wife residents were asleep in their bedroom when the wife was awakened by a noise in the kitchen. Believing the noise was caused by one of the family pets, she went to the kitchen to investigate, only to be surprised by a man standing in the darkened room.
She screamed for her husband. The suspect immediately fled through a nearby door.
Petaluma police and a K-9 unit arrived at the house around 10 p.m. that night and searched for the suspect without success. Officers surmised that the suspect entered the house through a partially opened window. He may have fled in a vehicle that was parked nearby.
“The suspect was in the house long enough to stack a number of the homeowners’ possessions near a door in preparation for stealing them,” said Petaluma police Lt. Mike Cook. “We ran the fingerprints through a national fingerprint identification system and obtained a match on a possible suspect.”
Bugnatto was charged with felony pursuit, auto theft, possession of stolen property, possession of methamphetamine, prohibited possession of ammunition, possession of burglary tools and felony warrant for the Petaluma burglary case.
He faces arraignment in Contra Costa County on the charges stemming from the El Cerrito arrest. Petaluma police will be coordinating with the Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office to prosecute Bugnatto on the outstanding arrest warrant for the Petaluma burglary.