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Police: Shoplifter and residential burglars caught

CHICO, Calif. - Chico Police responded to two different crimes on October 12, 2017, both occurring about the same time.

Around 2:40 p.m., Chico Police responded to the Rite-Aid on Mangrove Ave. to the report of a shoplifter. The suspect, Alexander Duitsman, 20, a homeless man from Chico, allegedly stole merchandise from the store and took off on a bicycle. Duitsman fell and continued on foot as a loss prevention employee followed.

Duitsman ran across the street into Bidwell Park. Once in the park, he was again confronted by the loss prevention employee, but threatened the employee with a stick to not come any closer. Duitsman found another bike nearby and rode away from the area. Officers canvassed the One-Mile area of Bidwell Park and found Duitsman hiding in the bathrooms at Sycamore Pool. The loss prevention employee identified Duitsman as the suspect, who still had the unpaid items from the store with him. Duitsman was arrested and booked. It was later determined that Duitsman is on felony probation.

As that call was being investigated, a call of an interrupted residential burglary occurred in west Chico.

A homeowner called 911 around 2:48 p.m. from a home near W. 2nd Street and Walnut Street. The caller said he was sleeping when he was woken by a sound of a woman's voice in his house. The victim investigated and saw a woman, later identified as 29-year-old Tiffany Copp, standing in his family room with an arm full of the victim’s property.

Copp was startled by the victim and dropped the property before running out the back door. The victim followed and found a man outside his back door armed with a set of bolt cutters. The man was later identified as 45-year-old Jason Nystrom. 

Nystrom tried to hit the victim with the bolt cutters, but was countered by the victim and taken to the ground. The bolt cutters were dropped and Nystrom ran off on foot, while Copp took off on an orange bicycle. There did not appear to be any property taken from the victim’s house.

About two hours later, officer Cameron Kovacs was on patrol and saw a male and female near 20th Street and Park Ave. who matched descriptions of Nystrom and Copp. Officer Kovacs detained the pair and the victim was brought to the scene. He positively identified the two as the suspects from the burglary.

Nystrom was in possession of a duffel bag that had a loaded .45 caliber revolver and a 20-gauge double-barreled shotgun inside. Nystrom is a felon and prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition.

According to police, Nystrom and Copp are from Chico and homeless. Both were arrested and taken to the Chico Police Department for booking. Many other items were found inside Nystrom’s duffle bag which are being cross referenced with other recent burglaries.

Chico Police would like to remind the public that it can be very dangerous to try and detain suspects during the commission of a crime. The best practice is to get to a safe place and call 911.


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