Suspect Arrested in Felony Vandalism to Police Vehicle

(Charleen Earley, Photographer)
Robert Brock, a True Value Orinda Hardware manager, seen here with wife Jessica Brock, was arrested on Jan. 27 for a felony crime of defacing an Orinda decoy (crime deterrent) vehicle with white paint in the BevMo! parking lot. The couple lives in a van with their cat named Grey as temporary housing, due to an eviction in 2019.

    On Friday, Jan. 27, a decoy (crime deterrent) Orinda police vehicle, parked in the BevMo! lot next to First Republic Bank, was spray-painted in white with “Tyre” on all sides. An arrest was made several hours later.
    Refusing The Orinda News access to the police report, Jimmy Lee, Director of Public Affairs with the Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff (CCCOS) and spokesman for the Orinda Police Department (OPD), provided the following statement:
    “Suspect arrested in felony vandalism incident. On Friday morning, January 27, 2023, at about 5:19 a.m., Orinda police officers were dispatched to a report of a patrol vehicle that was vandalized on Camino Pablo. A suspect was identified during the investigation and was arrested later that morning. He is identified as 34-year-old Robert Brock. He was booked into the Martinez Detention Facility on one count of felony vandalism.”
    City Manager, David Biggs, emailed the police report to The Orinda News Feb. 9. According to the report, officers arrived at “approximately 0523 hours and conducted an area search for the described suspect. The area search yielded no results …”
    After reviewing two surveillance camera videos, Deputy Daniel Marzilli wrote “a white Ford van owned by Brock,” pulled into the BevMo! parking lot, driving slowly “past the parked patrol vehicle…before parking south of the Camino Pablo entrance … in front of a large tree.” Both cameras capture the subject, “wearing dark colored clothing and a dark colored hooded sweatshirt concealing his face” and “carrying a lighted object, possibly a cell phone.”
    The subject, who emerged “from the area of the driver side door of the parked white Ford van,” is seen walking around the parked patrol vehicle as the “windows change from a dark color to a lighter white color. The subject spends approximately two minutes around the patrol vehicle before exiting out of view.”
    Responding officers arrived about two minutes later. No other vehicles or subjects are visible in the videos.
    Brock’s wife, Jessica, contacted The Orinda News via email.
    “When Robert was arrested, he said he would go to the news,” she wrote. “Once he was out and we were settled, I figured since it happened in Orinda, then we’d start there.”
    The couple live in a white Ford van, which Brock parks in the BevMo! lot when he is on the job as a manager/supervisor at Orinda Hardware.
    According to Brock, he was questioned by a rotation of five police officers in the parking lot for nearly two hours.
    “The whole time I told them I didn’t do it and that they got the wrong guy. I didn’t see the news, so that was the first time I had ever heard that name before – I didn’t even know who Tyre was,” said Brock. “I was embarrassed and humiliated in front of my coworkers and friends.”
    With purchase receipts and GPS vehicle tracking, Brock said he has evidence to prove his whereabouts, which he claimed contradicts the police report. He provided a receipt from McDonald’s in Lafayette, dated Jan. 27 at 5:01 a.m.
    “They [Orinda Police officers] simply assumed it was me,” said Brock. “Just because I happen to work in the same parking lot. The footage does not line-up to what happened. Nor, what I actually did that morning. I have two apps with GPS backing up my movements.”
    Marzilli conducted “an initial search of the van and located no items appearing to be associated with the vandalism.” Further searches included “various trash cans and dumpster in the immediate area of the parking lot,” looking for discarded paint cans or clothing. The search “yielded no results within the dumpsters or trash cans.” A pair of gloves was collected and booked as evidence.
    “Based on the surveillance footage from the front cameras on the BevMo! building, I reasonably believed the driver of the Ford van to be the suspect who defaced the parked patrol vehicle. Further, the suspect in the video wore a dark colored hooded sweatshirt similar to the sweatshirt Brock was wearing,” wrote Marzilli.
    The Orinda News has been denied access to the video surveillance footage.
    “The Office of the Sheriff is not providing any digital photos, copies of evidence, or police reports to you. They are investigative records and are exempt under the Public Records Act. In an earlier email, you stated your code of ethics is to ‘do not harm.’ Please understand that to provide ongoing comment (beyond our initial statement) or evidence could harm the investigation. There is still work to be done and we prefer not to have this played out in the media,” wrote Lee via email.
    Upon request, Mayor Inga Miller provided the following statement, “Based on the facts given to us from when it happened, which was right away, we as a city, feel we are the victims in this case and we do not want to prosecute [Robert Brock].”
    Prosecution, if any, is handled by the County District Attorney’s Office.
    As of press time, this remains an active criminal case and Brock’s clothes, laptop and cell phone, which were taken from his van, have not been returned to him. His arraignment hearing and discovery (show of evidence) was scheduled for Feb. 21 at the courthouse in Martinez.

Charleen Earley can be reached at

(Arshad Ahmed, Photographer)
On the heels of nationwide protests for the brutal beatings and death of Tyre Nichols in Memphis, TN, an Orinda Police decoy (crime deterrent) vehicle was vandalized with white spray paint with the word ‘Tyre’ written on all sides of the unit during the early morning of Jan. 27 in the BevMo! parking lot in Orinda. A suspect, 34-year-old Robert Brock, was arrested the same day for felony vandalism.

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