Man arrested for possessing stolen property during traffic stop


An officer on patrol in the area of Rohnert Park Expressway and U.S. Highway 101 pulled over a bicyclist for riding without a headlight attached to his bike at about 9:05 p.m., according to police.

The bicyclist, later identified as 36-year-old Joseph Vitali, was carrying a plastic 50-gallon trash bag as he rode, police said.

Vitali was on probation in Sonoma County for being in possession of stolen property and a controlled substance, according to police.

The patrol officer conducted a search of Vitali and located several bags and backpacks inside the garbage bag. The bags contained tools, jewelry, shoes, clothing, an Apple laptop and a computer bag with the name of phone number of the owner, police said.

The owner was called to the scene and he identified the computer, computer bag and several other items as his, police said.

Other items Vitali possessed appeared to belong to one of the victim's roommates, according to police.

An investigation revealed that the victim's home in Cotati had been burglarized earlier in the day, police said. Cotati police is investigating the break in.

Vitali was arrested and booked into Sonoma County jail on suspicion of possessing stolen property and violating probation.

Officers are continuing to identify the owners of the other property found in Vitali's possession.

Police continue to investigate.

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