2 Drug Arrests Made at Infamous Novato Mansion

Police take two East Bay women into custody at Obertz Lane home owned by a former Ukrainian prime minister who is serving time in prison.

There's trouble at the mansion again.

No Picasso lithographs stolen this time, though.

The arrested two women at one of Novato's most luxurious homes — owned by a former Ukrainian prime minister who is serving time in prison for money laundering.

Police were tipped off to a burglar alarm at 100 Obertz Lane, in the hills above the Marin Country Club area of Ignacio, a 4:53 a.m. Monday, according to Sgt. Jay Demski. Officers found evidence of a break-in and a perimeter was set up around the house. No one was found.

At 8:23 a.m., a patrol officer watched an early 1990s Lexus pull up to the gated entrance to the mansion and approached the occupants, identified as Sabrina Cross, 20, of San Pablo and Lisa Gutierrez, 44, of Hercules. Police found evidence of drug use and arrested the women.

During subsequent interviews, the women were tied to the early morning break-in, and the women were booked into Marin County Jail on suspicion of narcotics possession, drug paraphernalia possession, burglary, burglary tools possession and conspiracy.

The Marin Humane Society took custody of a male pitbull who was in the car with the women.

Novato police are continuing the investigation.

Acting Lt. Jennifer Welch said there have not been any reported incidents of break-ins or thefts since the Picasso artwork was lifted from the home of Pavlo Lazarenko. It was determined that a large group of teenagers had been partying at the empty mansion May 27 and someone made off with the 1957 lithograph titled femme au chignon ("woman with hair bun"). The Picasso was propped up against a fence on June 11 and taken into police evidence.

Novato police have been in steady communication with Dugsbery Inc., which manages the home for Lazarenko. Welch said the property managers have taken extra steps to improve the mansion's security.

"We've had quite a bit of extra patrols, both in vehicles and on foot," Welch said. "We're working closely with the property management."


Lou Judson July 30, 2012 at 11:41 PM
Interesting development. It would be neat to know more about this place - is it sitting empty but fully furmished? Is there a caretaker? How did the partiers get access in both of the news stories we have seen? Can it be taken by the city as abandoned property and sold off to buy another sniffer dog? So many questions! I'd tempted to take a drive up to the gates just to see what can be seen, but that sounds dangeropus at this point. I'm no teenager any more... <http://goo.gl/maps/mOx9t> Thanks.
Tricia Painter McKay July 31, 2012 at 12:45 AM
So here we are again with a drug bust and the neccesery comment about a pit bull. Is it neccesery? No. I'm the owner of a pittie mix and all the negative hype is why these fabulous family dogs have a bad name. We need to educate and negativity is not helping. Even though no derogatory words were said, you just linked drugs and pitbulls together unneccesarily.
Nick Kies July 31, 2012 at 01:14 AM
So you're only worried about the innocent statement about the pit bull? Okay, pit bulls are okay dogs, but only if the have reasonably bright owner that learns to deal with dogs. As a breed there are several others that in fact are just as dangerous if handled improperly, German Shepard is one example. Fact is, most dog owners are clueless as to how to properly deal with and exercise dogs. This problem is exerbated by human societies that adopt dogs out willy nilly, to the clueless. Now, that's the real problem.
Novatan July 31, 2012 at 01:21 AM
The pitbull was mentioned because it was taken into custody by the Humane Society. Would you have rather they left it in the car to perish after it's drug addict owners went to the pokey?
Born & raised July 31, 2012 at 02:48 AM
The writer linked Pit Bulls with drugs as much as they linked San Pablo, Hercules, Women, Lexus, Picaso, Obertz Lane, and the Country Club area with drugs. Mature educated intelligent people are fully aware of how dangerous a pit bull is. I could care less if a pit bull is linked to drugs. What I am concerned with is how pit bulls are unquestionably linked to killing humans.
Brent Ainsworth (Editor) July 31, 2012 at 03:16 AM
Looks like I don't need to defend myself here. Thanks, folks.
SP July 31, 2012 at 05:32 AM
....and so are cars, swimming pools, airplanes and electricity. It is the idiot human that ruins thse dogs, not the breed itself.
wangosfangos July 31, 2012 at 06:45 AM
This pitbull was mellow because he had a medical marijuana card allowing him to eat weed brownies along with his kibble, so he could de-stress after reading all the bad things written about his breed. If more pit bulls smoked or ate pot, the world would be a mellower place-----and Kibble Sales after midnight would skyrocket. Ever seen a pit bull with the munchies? Then they go out for won ton and are hungry an hour later. Another brownie, another won-ton. A vicious cycle.
Cindy July 31, 2012 at 01:26 PM
wangosfangos, please continue to comment, you are hilarious, you definately helped put this entire situation back in proper perspective!
Lou Judson July 31, 2012 at 05:20 PM
I suggest that maybe the text came mainly from the IJ: <http://www.marinij.com/novato/ci_21194151> so maybe the dogfriend can complain to them? I dont' like any dogs so it doesn't really matter to me, except to accuse Brent of a slant.
Elizabeth Ramirez July 31, 2012 at 05:56 PM
I'm pretty sure the point of the article was the empty mansion and a drug-related break in. Not sure how all of you became obsessed with the Pit Bull line, which was merely informational and completely irrelevant.
SP July 31, 2012 at 06:47 PM
See @Born and Raised response - that is how we got on the topic. The rest of the story is about criminals possibly stealing from a criminal.
Patrick Bohler August 02, 2012 at 06:14 PM
How ignorant can one person be? I'm more concerned with a person who gets his/her education from news reports.
Patrick Bohler August 02, 2012 at 06:17 PM
You, along with a few others need to brush up on the history of the American Pit Bull Terrier and as to it's true temperament. whether or not you intend your comments to be negative or not, they only serve to perpetuate the myths and lies.
Karen Green August 06, 2012 at 11:56 PM
Is no one else annoyed by the fact that our police have to spend their time protecting an empty mansion owned by a convicted felon? Why isn't the management company paying for the additional security? I know our police have better things to be doing with their resources.
Bob Ratto August 07, 2012 at 11:44 PM
Please wear your seatbelt, always...I like your commentary, and it would be awful if you were needlessly paralyzed in an accident because you were not wearing your seatbelt. Looking at the police blotter this week, I internally referred to it as "burglary week"...


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something