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Suspected Looters and One Allegedly Fake Firefighter Arrested

Three people were arrested on suspicion of looting and one for allegedly impersonating a firefighter in connection with this week's wildfires, the Sheriff's Department announced today.

Three people were arrested on suspicion of looting and  one for allegedly impersonating a firefighter in connection with this week's  wildfires, the Sheriff's Department announced today.

About 4 p.m. yesterday, deputies patrolling an evacuated neighborhood in  Fallbrook spotted a man in firefighting garb laying a hose across the 2800  block of Live Oak Park Road, Capt. Ed Prendergast said.

"The deputies were suspicious because there were no other firefighters  or fire apparatus in the immediate area," Prendergast said.


The man, William Brock, 44, told the officers he was a crew member who  had been sent to the area to help put out "hot spots," the captain said.

Brock, who was dressed in emergency-services apparel, including a blue  shirt with the word "firefighter" printed on it, was driving a civilian  pickup truck loaded with hoses and other firefighting gear.

Upon further questioning and checking, the deputies determined that  Brock was not associated with any fire department, Prendergast said.

They arrested Brock, who was on probation for narcotics violations in  the Los Angeles area, on suspicion of impersonating a firefighter, entering a  closed area and obstructing officers in the performance of their duties.

About an hour later, deputies on patrol in the far southeastern reaches  of San Diego County spotted two men carrying items out of a burned-out home in  Tecate, Sgt. Mike Radovich said.


One deputy tracked the suspects as they headed toward the nearby  international line, then captured them with the help of Border Patrol agents.

Arrested were 18-year-old John Campos, a U.S. citizen, and Mexican  national Noe Macias, 29. They were booked into county jail in San Diego on  suspicion of looting, Radovich said.

All the allegedly stolen items were recovered, the sergeant added.

This afternoon, U.S. Border Patrol personnel detained a man walking  through a Jamul neighborhood, carrying a backpack and a woman's purse,  sheriff's Sgt. Kevin McQuillen said.

While questioning the man, later identified as Mexican national Pedro  Cervantes, the agents determined that the handbag had been stolen from an  evacuated home. They arrested him on suspicion of looting and took him to  county jail for booking, McQuillen said.