LA MESA, Calif. - Two vehicles at a La Mesa fire station were burglarized Monday evening.
The incident was reported just before 6 p.m. at Station 12 on 8844 Dallas Street, La Mesa police said. It occurred in the gated area where firefighters park their personal vehicles while they are on shifts.
One of the battalion chiefs brought his camper to the station to wash it if he had time between calls. He went to get the hose, saw a naked man showering with the hose and went inside to call police.
When the battalion chief returned outside, he noticed that the man had clothes on and recognized the clothes as belonging to people who work at the station.
Firefighters returning from a call checked their vehicles and noticed that items were missing. The vehicles that had items taken from them were unlocked.
Clothes and a bag of tools were taken from a pickup truck and loaded into a camper truck that they think he was going to steal.
"I can't tell you exactly what he was doing, but that's what it appeared to us that he was doing," said Battalion Chief Daryn Drum, who is with the Heartland Fire & Rescue Department
About a month ago, another personal vehicle was stolen from the same gated lot.
"Vehicles stolen, now vehicles broken into … it's sometimes a little frustrating," said Drum.
As officers responded, the man ran away and into a residential neighborhood. He ran into an open garage at a home and began to steal items from the garage, police said. The home's resident called police as the suspect ran away.
Officers responded and set up a perimeter. San Diego Police Department helicopter ABLE responded to help.
ABLE did announcements of the man's description and a neighbor heard the announcements and immediately called police, saying they saw the man run into a backyard.
Officers entered the backyard and found the man hiding underneath a vehicle. He complied with officers' commands and was taken into custody. All of the stolen items were recovered.
The suspect, identified as 29-year-old Leu Brent Edwards from Bonita, faces burglary charges.