An arrest was made Wednesday afternoon during a search in the Calabasas and Malibu areas for an armed burglar wanted for questioning in the shooting death of camper, several law enforcement sources told NBC4.
The man, identified as 42-year-old Anthony Rauda during a news conference held by the LA County Sheriff's Department Wednesday evening, was spotted walking through the brush near Mulholland Highway during an intensive search involving dozens of LA County Sheriff’s Department deputies and detectives.
Rauda was arrested armed with a gun at approximately 3:20 p.m., LA County Sheriff Jim McDonnell said. In addition, the sheriff said that the suspect had a previous criminal history. Rauda had previous weapons violations, according McDonnell.
Malibu Creek State Park commander Tony Hoffman said that Rauda was being held on parole violations until further investigations. McDonnell said Rauda was booked on a felony charge without bail.
NBC4 obtained security video images of the wanted man recorded during a burglary in the early morning hours of Sunday, Sept. 30. It showed a man wearing a face mask and head lamp pulling the screen off of a window.
Another image shows the burglar had a long gun slung over his left shoulder as he climbed into a construction office at the intersection of Mulholland Highway and Las Virgenes. The man made off with a cache of food and left other valuables untouched.
The trailer is less than a quarter-mile from the Malibu Creek State Park campground where camper Tristan Beaudette was shot to death in June.
Several days later detectives said the same man burglarized a building at a nearby water treatment facility, again, stealing only food from a refrigerator and freezer.
On Tuesday the man was again recorded on security video attempting to break-in to vending machines at the Agoura Hills/Calabasas Community Center on Malibu Hills Road.
The law enforcement sources said the gun seen on security video could be a key piece of evidence in the Beaudette case, if it can be linked through ballistic tests to the bullet recovered at the Beaudette scene.
The Sheriff’s Department said it was also investigating whether the same man could be responsible for a series of seemingly random shootings reported in the same area over the last year.
The sources cautioned that not all of those shooting incidents were consistent with the Beaudette case, and it was possible multiple people were responsible.
The recent series of food burglaries was similar to several others at outbuildings on properties with large homes and businesses in the area, and investigators not authorized to discuss the case publicly told NBC4 they believed the burglar could be living in the wilderness area nearby to avoid detection by residents or law enforcement.
"It should be noted there have been four or five reported burglaries of unoccupied offices and other buildings at night in the general area in the past two years," the Department said in a statement last week.
"It is unknown if those burglaries are related to this incident, but there are some similarities."