Police Arrest Squatter in Vacant Unit

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Security cameras picked up a suspected burglar entering a vacant apartment. Photo courtesy of Dani Purcell
Security cameras picked up a suspected burglar entering a vacant apartment. Photo courtesy of Dani Purcell

A property manager who reported suspicious activity observed from a surveillance camera led to the arrest of a homeless squatter who admitted to taking advantage of a vacant but furnished apartment listed for $5,000 a month.

Police found a door open in one unit in the 2200 block of S. Coast Highway about 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 24. A police dog detected the intruder hiding in a bathroom, Sgt. Jim Cota said.

Reese Westenberger, 52, was arrested for suspicion of burglary and transported to county jail. Bail was set at $50,000. He told police he had taken up residence in the unit for the past week. His belongings were strewn around the place, Cota said.

Property manager Dani Purcell said she was unsure how the intruder had gone undetected earlier. Cameras were only recently installed, she said, due to homeless people entering the property, which had been cleaned just six days before Saturday’s discovery.

The interior as left behind by a squatter who allegedly broke into a vacant apartment.
The interior of an apartment as it looked after police arrested a man suspected of squatting in a vacant apartment.

Sunday, Feb. 25

Traffic stop. Reed Street. 7 p.m. A 35-year-old Canadian visitor was arrested for DUI.

Sexual battery. 1300 block of S. Coast Hwy. 7 p.m. A woman filed a report after meeting someone online.

Saturday, Feb. 24

Traffic stop. Canyon Road and Toll Road. 12:42 a.m. Erik Matthew Logan, 46, and Gloria Renee Reid, 49, both of Fountain Valley, were arrested for suspicion of three drug related charges and alleged possession of $1,100 in counterfeit bills. A female jailer located four unused hypodermic needles inside Reid’s vagina and a Skittles bag containing heroin in her groin area.

Traffic stop. 300 block of Broadway. 1:58 a.m. A 48-year-old Lake Forest woman was cited for DUI.

Fraud. 31900 Homewood Place. 10:23 a.m. Someone attempted to file taxes using their identity.

Stolen vehicle. 200 San Joaquin St. 12:12 p.m. A ’99 BMW went missing two days earlier.

Friday, Feb. 23

Vandalism. 300 block of Cypress Dr. 1:32 a.m. Two car tires were slashed.

Wednesday, Feb. 21

Traffic stop. Moss St. 1:53 a.m. A 47-year-old Las Vegas woman was cited for DUI.

Disturbance. 20600 block Laguna Canyon Road. 8 a.m. Kenneth Lee Koestler, 43, was arrested for outstanding drug and vehicle license warrants.

DUI. Coast Hwy and Solana Way. 10 a.m. A head-on collision resulted in injury to one driver, who had to be extracted by firefighters from her wrecked vehicle. An investigation determined partial fault by Robert Shannon Grundemeyer, 52, of Riverside, for allegedly being under the influence of drugs. He was charged with suspicion of felony DUI and bail was set at $100,000.

 

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