Lakeside man says deputies brushed off home invasion hours before suspect went on crime spree

Posted at 7:05 PM, Aug 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-23 22:20:53-04

A Lakeside man is hoping for accountability after he said sheriff's deputies disregarded his claims of an armed intruder -- possibly the same man who was later found dead after a carjacking and chase.

Just before 7 a.m. on Thursday in Poway, witnesses heard shots ring out after deputies responded to reports of a prowler shining a flashlight at an auto shop.

Investigators said Trenton Lohman stole a deputy's cruiser, and then carjacked an SUV, leading to a chase. It ended with a bullet-riddled windshield and Lohman, a parolee, dead at the wheel.

About six hours prior to the Poway incident, Lakeside resident Kevin said he was at his home on Eucalyptus Hills Drive when he woke up to the sound of a rattling doorknob. He saw a beam from a flashlight in his window and heard a man yelling, "Police!"

The stranger caused Kevin, who had pulled out his gun, to hesitate.

Kevin told 10News the man was wearing a winter hat with a cutout, perhaps a ski mask, with the word "POLICE" written across it in yellow.

Kevin, who is in his 60s, said the tall, muscular man then put a pistol to his head and claimed, "I will kill you if you move."

Kevin told 10News the man grabbed some cash, prescription drugs and his Colt .45 handgun before leaving.

Kevin called 911, and three deputies responded, but he thinks they didn't believe his story and left after 10 minutes without taking a report.

Kevin felt it was an "egregious failure in policy and procedure."

"I was violated twice that night," he told 10News.

Days later, after calling the sheriff's department, Kevin said investigators took a report.

Kevin posted details of his incident on Facebook sites, including the East County Emergency Updates and East County Brush Fire Partyline.

On Tuesday morning, he said detectives called him and told him his case had been solved.

The San Diego County Sheriff's Department confirmed his case is connected to the Lohman case.

A spokesperson with the Santee substation declined to reveal whether Kevin's stolen gun was discovered with Lohman but did say they've launched an internal probe into why Kevin's report was not taken.

"The first response was a failure, but they really turned it around and I'm just glad they solved this case. Still, corrective action is needed to make sure there isn't a repeat," said Kevin.

Kevin believes if they had taken him seriously, they could have gotten an earlier start on tracking Lohman.