An Escondido man was behind bars today after getting caught with a cohort in a neighborhood evacuated due to the Cocos Fire, authorities said.
Two San Diego police officers were patrolling in the 1600 block of Hamilton Lane in southern Escondido when they spotted the pair of men sitting in a gold car parked in a residential driveway about 5:30 p.m. Thursday, SDPD public-affairs Officer Mark Herring said.
Since no civilians were supposed to be in the area, the patrol personnel stopped to question the men and to inform them about the emergency evacuation. The one behind the wheel initially claimed that he lived at the address and was there to check on his home, but recanted when asked for identification, Herring said.
Suspicious that the men might have been in the area to loot vacated homes, the officers questioned the pair and learned that the passenger, 29-year- old Brandon Leny Gunn, was the subject of an outstanding warrant for felony theft. He was arrested and booked into county jail in Vista, where he was being held on $75,000 bail pending arraignment.
Gunn's companion was released after being questioned. His name was not released.
Read updates on the San Diego County Wildfires here: Friday San Diego County Firestorm Coverage.
—City News Service