June 12, 2012 (El Cajon) – On June 11 a suspect, Phillip Murphy of El Cajon, was arrested in the series of hot prowl burglaries in El Cajon and the surrounding areas which have occurred over the past two weeks. The arrest was made by Officer D. Thompson after responding to a call of a suspect attempting to gain entry into a home on Joanne Way, El Cajon.
According to El Cajon Police, the suspect had removed a screen and entered into the garage of the home thru an open window. He found a “hide-a-key” and used the key to unlock a door to the home. The homeowner heard this and noticed the door opening. He pushed it shut before the suspect gained entrance and called police.
The suspect fled and was found several blocks away, attempting to hide on a dirt embankment. After hearing K-9 announcements the suspect surrendered to police. He was found in possession of the victim’s “hide-a-key” box, along with a purse belonging to a neighbor. It was discovered that she was the victim of a burglary that had not yet been discovered. After continued investigation a third victim was located next door.
Detectives assisted in the investigation and questioned Murphy about similar hot prowl burglaries in the area in the last 2 weeks. As a result Detective Vojtaskovic added 3 additional charges of residential burglary, for a total of 6, most of which were hot prowls.
Residents are encouraged to take proper precautions to avoid being victimized. This includes locking all doors and windows, cutting back bushes and shrubs from windows and ensuring all exterior lighting is in good working order.