Finally, A Suspect In The Malibu Creek Mystery
After multiple manhunts set off by a homicide and a string of shootings and burglaries near Malibu Creek State Park, authorities have finally made an arrest.
Anthony Rauda, 42, was in custody Thursday after two failed searches last week that involved helicopters and bloodhounds.
The most recent search started Wednesday morning after security camera footage showed a man breaking into the Agoura Hills/Calabasas Community Center to take food from the vending machines.
Several hours in, detectives found fresh boot prints in a remote ravine about a mile north of Mulholland Highway and west of Las Virgenes Road. L.A. County Sheriff Jim McDonnell said they barely had to follow the prints 50 feet before they found their guy.
"After that, they heard movement amongst the brush, followed by observing a male adult, who resembled the suspects in the burglaries," he said.
Rauda was dressed in black and carrying a rifle, McDonnell said. There were a couple tense minutes of talking before he dropped the gun and turned himself in. That was about 3:20 p.m. Wednesday afternoon.
Not much is known about Rauda. McDonnell said he has previous weapons violations and burglaries on his criminal record.
Online records suggest his most recent address was a condo in Canoga Park.
That address dates back to 2012, however, and officials speculate he could have been homeless. That's in part because in most of these burglaries a person was seen stealing food, and the crimes always happened between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m.
Sheriff's deputies said they think the five burglaries in Calabasas and Malibu Park over the past three months are all linked to one person, but they're investigating whether Rauda could be responsible for burglaries dating back to 2016 as well.
McDonnell also said there's evidence to indicate that Rauda is tied to the shootings, including the killing of 35-year-old Tristan Beaudette, who was shot and killed in his tent while camping with his daughters in Malibu Creek State Park.
California State Senator Henry Stern, who represents residents in the Calabasas and Malibu areas, said his constituents already feel better knowing there's at least a lead in all the crime from the past few years.
"Much of that region of the Southland has been on pins and needles. Residents of the community can rest a bit easier tonight knowing that someone has been apprehended," he said.
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