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Fallbrook detectives fish for crooks - Undercover operation nets information and subsequent arrests for rave crew

SAN DIEGO- The recent conviction of Jovan Peter Araujo, 21, for two counts of burglary was not without hours of somewhat tedious yet creative detective work. Araujo was arrested for hosting rave parties at several vacant and foreclosed North San Diego County homes, including some in Fallbrook. The parties caused damage to the homes and were publicized over the Internet.

In August of this year, Detectives Jeff Lauhon and Dan Laibach from the Sheriff’s Fallbrook Substation, received information that party crew members were going to hold a meeting under the Oceanside Pier. The meeting was scheduled for the evening of August 6, 2009. Armed with their guns, badges, and fishing tackle, the detectives set off to hopefully catch a crook.

The detectives threw a couple lines in the water and waited. They didn’t have to wait long. Much to the detectives delight, several of the party crew leaders showed up for the meeting. The detectives were so convincing in their fishing attire, they were able to stand just outside of the group and listen to plans and strategy for the next party. “I even caught a small yellow fin croaker, so it made the surveillance even better,” said Detective Lauhon.

Having information they needed, the detectives identified themselves to the shocked group. The members were all identified (Araujo was not among them) and detectives warned them of the criminal consequences of their actions. The detectives were able to verify Araujo’s identity as well as a co-conspirator. A few days later, on August 14, 2009, Araujo was arrested in San Marcos by deputies responding to an illegal party call. Co-conspirator Cynthia Munoz is scheduled for a preliminary court hearing on December 1, 2009.

“This type of unique and creative investigation shows the diligence of our area investigators,” said Sheriff Bill Gore. “I’m proud of the steps they took to get these suspects off the streets and put an end to the destruction they were causing.”

Araujo plead guilty on November 19 to two felony counts of burglary. He will be sentenced on January 12, 2009.


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