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Man accused of break-in has long criminal history

Posted: 11:28 PM, Aug 15, 2018
Updated: 2018-08-16 06:34:23Z

LA MESA, Calif. (KGTV)— A La Mesa woman, who was the victim of a recent burglary, is opening up to 10News about her frightening experience. 

10News met the woman at her home, in a quiet, secluded neighborhood in La Mesa. In the last four years she and her family have lived in the house, they have always felt safe. Until last Saturday. 

“To see the figure of a stranger in your home is an absolute worst nightmare,” the woman said. 

La Mesa Police said at around 11 pm, an intruder came through the side entrance, opened her gate, and walked into the home through the sliding door. That is when the homeowner heard a thump.

“I have a three-year-old son, and looked at the monitor, and made sure it wasn’t him. He was fine,”  she said. 
But that thump turned into a scratch and then rumbling. After waking up her husband, she opened her bedroom door to see a complete stranger. 

“I screamed, Oh my God! Get out of my house!” she trembled. “I can’t get the image of him, standing in the hallway, out of my head.”

She said her husband ran the intruder out of the home. But within minutes, a police helicopter spotted the suspect, holding her stolen goods. La Mesa police arrested 28-year-old Dontel Wallace.

It turns out that Wallace has been arrested at least eight times in the last ten years. A 10news article from 2016  shows that he was arrested for wielding a sawed-off shotgun in public.

Wallace appeared in court for his arraignment Wednesday, pleading not guilty to his most recent felony burglary charge. The homeowner said she cannot believe how a career criminal could still be on the streets. 

“It just baffles me how that could happen,” she said. 

According to La Mesa Police, Wallace served his time the judge gave him for his previous crimes. While the hope is rehabilitation, the department said they see too many criminals go back to their old ways, terrorizing new victims. 

“This is not a crime without a victim,” the homeowner said. “The victim is this family. We will never forget this. We will never feel comfortable in our own home again.”

No one was physically hurt Saturday, and the homeowner’s three-year-old son remained asleep throughout the ordeal. Wallace remains innocent until proven guilty.