A 35-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of trespassing this week after making himself at home at an unoccupied residence in the Elmwood, having a shower and taking the owner’s Tesla Model X to go shopping, authorities report.

The owner, who is on vacation, asked officers to check on his home Monday at about 12:50 p.m. after getting an alert from his cleaning service that a stranger had answered his door, the Berkeley Police Department said this week.

The man who answered the door told the cleaners “that he was working on the house and that they could have the day off,” said BPD in a prepared statement. The cleaners called the homeowner to let him know about the intruder.

“When officers arrived, they discovered an unlatched window and entered the house. As they searched inside, officers heard the sound of running water and located the suspect after just stepping out of the shower,” BPD said.

Police identified the man as Eddie Lee Lankford III, and said he has no permanent address.

“Officers later learned that the suspect had also taken the resident’s 2016 Tesla Model X to go shopping during the course of his stay,” according to BPD.

Officer Byron White, BPD spokesman, said police believe the man had been there at least two days.

Lankford was arrested on suspicion of trespassing, possession of controlled substances, stealing a vehicle, and violation of probation. Police said they also found “a quantity of methamphetamine” in his belongings.

According to jail records online, Lankford is scheduled for a hearing to revoke his probation Aug. 2. He remains in custody at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin. No bail is listed.

According to the Alameda County district attorney’s office, no court papers for Lankford’s newest case were available Thursday. He has a number of other cases in Alameda County dating back years.

No information was available Thursday about any charges that may be pending against him.

Avatar photo

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...