San Diego

Suspected Serial Thief Caught, Pinned Down by Bystander

A burglary crime spree appears to have been solved thanks to one quick-thinking resident and another's home surveillance camera.

A man wanted in a series of burglaries in the North County was caught Monday by a brave neighbor, according to the San Diego County Sheriff's Department.

Deputies said 18-year-old Jalen Johnson tried to break into a home on Corte Merano in Escondido.

Right after, Johnson took off down the street but he was tackled and held down by a neighbor until deputies arrived.

Detectives told NBC 7, Johnson is linked to several burglaries, including one in Vista, another in Escondido and four in San Marcos.

Surveillance cameras at Pedro Flores' home captured someone breaking into the window of his next-door neighbor's home on January 23. 

San Marcos resident Sujey Hernandez returned home for a quick lunch break to find a mess.

"The first window--it was cracked open and everything, papers everywhere," Hernandez said. "I saw all the papers and everything on the floor, and the window was cracked too and I was just like ‘What is this, what is happening?'"

After calling police, Hernandez's mother checked with Flores and was stunned by what she saw on his surveillance camera.

Flores and Hernandez found out Wednesday from NBC 7 that the suspect has been arrested with the help of a Good Samaritan.

"I mean, I would've done the same thing if I was home. That kind of people, we don't need in our neighborhood," said Flores. 

"I'm glad they caught him though," Hernandez added. "It makes me feel better now, for other people as well, not just for me."

Investigators told NBC 7, Johnson is from Los Angeles.

It’s unclear why he was targeting homes in North County. 

Contact Us