Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department

Name of Suspected Armed Burglar Wanted for Questioning in Camper's Slaying Known for Months

Detectives who arrested an alleged armed burglar suspected of breaking in to several businesses and buildings in Calabasas and Malibu had identified the wanted man by name months ago but couldn't find him.

A variety of law enforcement sources told NBC News in July that Anthony Rauda, 42, was also wanted for questioning in the shooting death of camper Tristan Beaudette. 

The sources initially described Rauda as a drifter with a criminal record in Texas and Florida, including an assault case in El Paso and a series of less serious violations in Tampa, court records show.

In Los Angeles County Rauda was prosecuted in 2003 for commercial burglary and was sentenced to a few months in jail. In 2004 he was arrested again and prosecuted for being a felon in possession of a gun and explosives. He was sentenced to more than 4 years in state prison.

Booking records show Rauda was last in jail in LA in September, 2016, when he was arrested by deputies at the Sheriff's Lost Hills Station. Rauda was sentenced to serve a 30-day sentence on a misdemeanor charge and a 10-day sentence for a probation violation, court records show.

On Wednesday Rauda was spotted walking through brush near Mulholland Highway by detectives from the LA County Sheriff's Department's Major Crimes unit and was arrested without incident.

Rauda was armed with a long gun or rifle when he was caught, the officials said.

The armed, masked man became the focus of an intensive wilderness manhunt after an early-morning burglary September 30 at a construction office at the intersection of Las Virgenes and Mulholland Highway.

Security cameras captured video of a masked man with a rifle slung over his left shoulder prying a window open and climbing inside.

NBC News obtained still images from that video that showed the burglar was wearing a battery-powered headlamp and tactical-style clothing.

Investigators also told NBC4 food was stolen but valuables including cash were left behind. The break-in was similar to several other food-thefts in the same area, authorities said, leading detectives to consider whether the burglar was hiding out somewhere in the brush-covered hills of Malibu.

The gun seen on the security video also raised questions about whether the burglar could be responsible for a some of the seemingly random shootings reported in the same area over the last year, including the killing of Beaudette, who was shot while he camped with his 2- and 4-year-old daughters at Malibu Creek State Park in June.

Preliminary ballistics analysis showed more than one type of gun was used in the shootings, the sources said, so it was not immediately clear how many - if any - incidents might be linked to the gun seen in the security video.

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