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Senior Center Burglary Suspect Caught

Senior_TruckDNA and hard work by deputies has landed the man suspected in the Senior Center burglary that occured on June 6 behind bars.    

Deputies nabbed the man who directly affected hundreds of senior citizens' lives when he allegedly broke into the Santa Clarita Senior Center early one Sunday morning in June and stole a truck used to deliver meals to the homes of seniors and others in the community who by virtue of frailty or other chronic conditions, cannot meet their own nutritional needs.

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It was Sunday, June 6, 2010 at 6:20 a.m. in Newhall, when Santa Clarita Deputies were called to the Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center/Committe on Aging facility at 22600 Market Street, Newhall, to investigate an incident of commercial burglary and grand theft auto.      

A resident called and reported seeing a man inside the gated area of the Senior Center who was repeatedly backing one of the center's delivery trucks into a locked chain link fence and gate.      

The suspect apparently pried open the front door to the facility. The suspect reportedly entered the facility, got into one of the delivery trucks and used it to repeatedly ram the fence until he damaged the gate to the point where it remained open. He then abandoned the damaged truck on the street and re-entered the facility where he stole a second delivery truck and fled the area.      

The suspect cut himself during the crime, leaving blood in and around the crime scene. Detective Darland, assigned to the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff Station's Burglary and Fraud team, began an immediate investigation and submitted the evidence for DNA testing.      

Detectives got another break in the case on Thursday, September 2, 2010, when the stolen truck was recovered in the 25900 block of Sand Canyon Road, several miles back on a dirt road on a remote ranch. The truck was in relatively good condition but it took deputies several hours to get it out of the remote area after they changed two flat tires.      

The most substantial break came recently when DNA test results returned a direct match to the suspect, identified as James Frederick, a 39-year-old white male from Canyon Country.      

Detectives from the Lost Hills Sheriff's Station also developed information linking James Frederick as a suspect in several incidents of burglary in their community. He is also suspected in a second incident of vehicle theft in Santa Clarita.      

Tuesday morning deputies from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) team assigned to Santa Clarita and Lost Hills Sheriff's Station, along with Detectives from the Lost Hills Sheriff's Station and members of their Community Interaction Team (CIT) developed information as to the whereabouts of Frederick.      

In a covert operation, dozens of deputies converged on the South Fork Trail riverbed and a business complex in the 23000 block of Cinema Drive, the area where Frederick was believed to be frequenting in the past several days.      

As they moved in, one of the deputies spotted Frederick in the business complex and he was immediately taken into custody without incident.     

"It was just a matter of time before we tracked down this suspect," said Captain Paul Becker of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station. "Every deputy takes great pride in apprehending a man who would harm senior citizens and is apparently responsible for several other crimes. A great job by all involved and a special thanks to our counterparts from the Lost Hills Sheriff's Station," added Becker.      

Suspect Frederick was booked at the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station on felony charges of commercial burglary, vandalism, and vehicle theft. He also had two warrants issued out of Santa Clarita for possession of an explosive device and drug possession totaling $230,000. He is being held in lieu of $280,000 bail pending future court proceedings.      

The investigation is ongoing and there is no further information available at this time.