Lodi resident Stacy Lee Knutson sat in the grass of his front yard, handcuffed, with his young, smiling son wiggling in his lap. His daughter played with her pink bouncy ball, weaving in and out of a circle of roughly 10 police officers and detectives from Lodi, Stockton and San Joaquin County.
Knutson’s home was just one of 220 places targeted to be visited in a citywide sweep conducted by the Lodi Police Department with the help of the Stockton Police Department, San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office, San Joaquin County Probation Department, California Highway Patrol, Manteca Police Department, Galt Police Department, California State Parole, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office.
Though the roughly 90-person operation was not able to search all 200-plus residences, they were able to visit 140 of their targeted residences and arrest 18 parole and probation violators.
The crime crackdown Friday had been dubbed “Operation Safe Summer.”
Inside Knutson’s home on the 1300 block of East Lockeford Street, for example, police found two computers that were stolen from Leroy Nichols Elementary School, according to Cpl. Dale Eubanks of the Lodi Police Department.
As Knutson, 38, sat on his lawn and officers questioned his family, a man driving by in a van shouted his thanks out of his window, giving the officers a “thumbs up.”
Knutson, who was arrested on suspicion of receiving known stolen property, now faces a $20,000 bail.
His arrest was just one of seven that police officers and sheriff’s deputies were able to conduct before 5 p.m. Friday afternoon, and officers braced for a busy night ahead.
No specific group of individuals were targeted — whether drug dealers, gang members or individuals who ran from the police, officers were hoping to remove any parole or probation violator from the Lodi streets in order to keep the upcoming summer months as crime-free as possible.
43-year-old Lodi resident Thomas Glenn Miller, for example, was on parole for burglary, but was found to be riding a stolen bicycle, according to Lodi police who pulled him over for questioning.
The sweep operation netted 15 arrests before 8 p.m., and police officers and sheriff’s deputies would not be stopping their efforts until about 9:30 p.m. Friday night, according to Lodi police officers.
A command post set up at the Lodi Grape Festival Grounds’ Burgundy Hall served as a command post for the multi-agency sweep.
After suspects were gathered at the hall, they were herded into the vans and transported to the county’s jail in French Camp. Upon reaching jail, the paperwork completed by officers was entered into the jail’s database.
Contact reporter Katie Nelson at firstname.lastname@example.org.