Update on Friday, July 8 at 4:00 p.m.: 55-year-old Thomas Aaron Brothers was taken into custody in Santa Monica around 11:30 a.m. Friday, officials said. Brothers has not been identified, but faces vandalism charges.
Tuna Canyon resident Lloyd Ahern said the incident left them terrorized and said it was scarier than it looked.
“He could’ve gone in the house and killed someone,” Ahern said.
Ahern added that Tuna Canyon was the best spot to hike, it’s not so much anymore.
“The thing about it is—nobody is surprised, but we’re still surprised,” Ahern said. “We’ve had enough incidents over the years, it used to be ‘live and let live,’ with the homeless in the canyon, we would walk through the canyon on hikes, they would just look at us and smile or ignore us, but then they got a little more violent, you don’t go up there anymore, nobody goes hiking there anymore. It used to be a very favorite spot to hike, but now you don’t go up there because you know something is going to happen.”
Ahern also recalled the incident that occurred earlier this year on Feb. 27 near Coastline Drive, where a man was detained for being armed with a machete. The Los Angeles Police Department and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department closed the Pacific Coast Highway at Coastline Drive for nearly four hours after the suspect was taken into custody. No injuries were reported.
As for how the suspect was able to obtain a pickaxe, Ahern also reminded anyone who drives construction trucks to lock up and protect their equipment.
“I said lock that up because every homeless person who walks by, they just reach in and steal things,” Ahern said. “If you leave your door open on Pacific Coast Highway, guys will be driving by and if they see a car door open, they’ll pull over really fast, and they’ll steal it.”
Ahern said Ring cameras with audio are helpful and suggests more residents to consider adding them to their homes for safety.
“You could never describe the look on that guy’s face, if you didn’t have that video,” Ahern said. “The other thing too is to make sure you get a recording device on it.”
July 5: Several homes along Pacific Coast Highway and Tuna Canyon Road were vandalized by a man with a pickaxe Monday night around 9 p.m., reported by KTLA news. The man was seen on one of the home security cameras swinging the pickaxe towards residents’ doors and vehicles. Residents who want to remain anonymous say he’s been seen on camera at least three nights in the past week.
“We’re pretty upset about it,” one resident told KTLA in an interview. “My wife is pretty scared because he’s swinging a pickaxe at my car, my neighbors’ cars, my neighbors’ garage doors.”
One victims’ windows have been shattered multiple times and residents are concerned it can escalate to violence.
“I’m really concerned it could go from vandalism of a car to personal safety,” she said.
Residents say they don’t recognize the man, nor do they understand why he is vandalizing their property.
Residents have filed several reports with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Lost Hills station, and officials confirmed they are investigating the case.
Residents say they say they don’t feel safe until he has been caught.
Captain Jennifer Seetoo said if the community encounters the suspect, to call law enforcement.
“Malibu/Lost Hills detectives immediately started to work the case and were able to identify the suspect,” Seetoo said. “Our crime analyst created a wanted bulletin and we are actively working the case.”
Lieutenant Chad Watters provided an update on the suspect during the Public Safety Commission meeting on Wednesday afternoon and confirmed it was a homeless individual. He said they had deputies looking for him on Wednesday.
“We know where his encampments is, we’re waiting for him to come back, we will have him in custody hopefully in the next 24 to 48 hours,” Watters said.
Watters said they posted the wanted flyer on social media with the suspects photo and were able to identify the suspect with the victims home security footage.
“They gave us some really good footage, which was able to assist us and identify him,” Watters said.
The story has been updated and will be updated when we get more information on the incident.