VISTA, Calif. - A man who allegedly forced his way into a Vista home, threatened to kill the homeowners and drove away in the homeowners' car was arrested Friday and has been linked to other similar crimes in the North County.
At about 6 a.m. on Oct. 16, a man entered a home on Links Way and was rummaging through the home when he was confronted by the male homeowner in the kitchen. The intruder threatened to kill the homeowner, who then ran to another room and told his wife to call 911.
According to sheriff's officials, while the woman was on the phone with a 911 dispatcher, she went outside the home and yelled for help. She then spotted the intruder in the garage as he was getting into the couple's Toyota Avalon.
The intruder "yelled several times that he was going to kill them before fleeing the scene in the stolen vehicle," sheriff's officials said.
In addition to the car, sheriff's officials said the intruder took the woman's purse, her husband's wallet and some electronic items. However, the Avalon and some of the stolen items were found later on Mocha Court in Oceanside.
Using surveillance footage captured by the homeowners' security camera, authorities were able to inform the public about the incident and released a photo of the intruder.
According to sheriff's officials, Escondido police detectives recognized the man in the footage as Joe Colin Crowder Jr. Crowder was arrested Oct. 17 by Escondido police for similar crimes that occurred in Carlsbad, Escondido and Valley Center.
Sheriff's officials said Crowder, 50, is in custody at the Vista Detention Facility. His bail was set at $500,000.
Crowder is expected to appear in court on Oct. 28.