Marine now tied to 18 burglaries


Last updated 3/13/2008 at Noon

Thomas Young, a 21-year-old Marine stationed at Camp Pendleton who was arrested February 11 in connection with two commercial burglaries in Fallbrook, has now been linked to 16 other local crimes of a similar nature.

The case was sent to the District Attorney’s office on March 6, with a preliminary hearing tentatively set for March 25.

Detective Jeff Lauhon, the officer who caught and arrested Young and headed up the investigation into the crimes, said evidence led to a match at 18 crime scenes. Fourteen crimes have been linked by fingerprint matches, three by shoe prints and one by DNA.

“Basically, we had 28 commercial burglaries we thought he was responsible for,” Lauhon said. “We took the evidence collected by the deputies and submitted lab requests for comparisons.”

Lauhon said the majority of Young’s fingerprints were lifted off of glass surfaces and cash register drawers. His DNA was collected from an aluminum soda can he left behind at one of the crime scenes.

“What it boils down to, out of all those cases, we tied him to 18 out of the 28,” Lauhon said. “It’s more than I expected.”

Out of the 18 crimes, 13 have been classified as commercial burglaries and five as attempted burglaries.

The task to collect and process all the evidence was accomplished through cohesive teamwork, Lauhon explained.

“A lot of people were involved in this,” he said. “I couldn’t have done it without the patrol deputies who were out there collecting evidence. It was a good example of teamwork.”

Young, who remains in custody with the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, is an active duty Marine assigned to Camp Pendleton. It is uncertain what action the Marine Corps will ultimately take in Young’s situation.

“In the Marine Corps justice system, there is no such thing as double jeopardy; conceivably, after we’re done with him, the Marine Corps could court marshal him and sentence him to the brig,” Lauhon said.

Lauhon said that at the time of his arrest Young was living in an abandoned apartment in Fallbrook.


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