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West Ventura County Focus

VENTURA : Drowning Victim Was Burglary Suspect

October 22, 1994|GREG RIPPEE

A pre-dawn prowler who drowned off the Ventura Pier after fleeing from police was identified Friday as a transient being sought in connection with up to 15 nighttime burglaries while residents were home, authorities said.

The 36-year-old man, whose identity was withheld until relatives could be reached, ran into the sea after a foot pursuit by officers that began at 3:12 a.m. Thursday in the parking structure at the Country Inn on South Chestnut Street.

Divers found his body about 4 p.m. Thursday, his bulky clothing snagged on the barnacles along the pier pilings about 10 feet down, police said.

"We've been looking for this guy for some time (for questioning)," Ventura Police Sgt. Gary McCaskill said.

Detective Sean Conroy, who has tallied up to 15 similar burglaries in the mid-Ventura area around Main Street and East Thompson Boulevard, said a prowler has been slipping into residents' homes while they were home. The prowler has then snatched up available items such as purses and jewelry before fleeing, Conroy said.

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