Shawn Thompson. Photo: Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office
Shawn Thompson. Photo: Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office

A fugitive from Tennessee is now in police custody after a Berkeley officer spotted him downtown Sunday in a parking lot recently plagued by auto burglaries, authorities report.

Sunday at 10:25 p.m., an officer on patrol was scoping out the downtown parking lot, in the 2000 block of Berkeley Way, when he noticed five men in the area, said Sgt. Andrew Frankel, Berkeley police spokesman.

The officer recognized three of the men, and knew they were on probation. So he conducted a search of the group and turned up methamphetamine and narcotics paraphernalia, according to Frankel.

Frankel said one member of the group, who was found with narcotics, initially gave police a fake name. When he ultimately confessed his true identity, 31-year-old Shawn Dylan Thompson was found to have three out-of-state warrants, according to Frankel.

Two of the warrants — from a June 2017 case involving the manufacture of methamphetamine, and theft — link back to the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) in Tennessee, according to that agency’s website. Thompson was living in Chattanooga at the time, according to the HCSO.

Information regarding the third warrant was not immediately available, but Frankel said Thompson is extraditable due to the charges he is facing outside California.

This week, Thompson remains in custody at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin. He is ineligible for release, however, due to the warrants.

Despite the Tennessee charges last year, Thompson is no stranger to the Bay Area. On Nov. 16, 2015, he was picked up by local police on three misdemeanor charges related to drugs and disturbing the peace, according to Alameda County court records online. He took a plea deal and spent six days in county jail. He was placed on probation for two years.

Instead of being released from jail, however,  an active “fugitive from justice” felony warrant at that time led to Thompson’s extradition in December 2015. The location of his extradition was not listed.

According to current Alameda County sheriff’s office records online, Thompson is scheduled for a plea hearing Friday at the Wiley Manuel Courthouse in Oakland.

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Emilie Raguso (former senior editor, news) joined Berkeleyside in 2012 and covered politics, public safety and development until her departure in 2022. In 2017, Emilie was named Journalist of the Year...