LANCASTER – A parolee believed to have committed several vehicle burglaries and at least one auto theft in Lancaster was captured Tuesday morning after a brief standoff at a local motel, authorities said.
Christopher Dean, 37, was leaving his room at the Tropic Motel around 9 a.m. when he saw several deputies from Lancaster Station’s Burglary Suppression Team approaching the room. The deputies had linked Dean to several local burglaries, tracked him to the Tropic Motel and were coming to arrest him, according to Lancaster Community Relations deputy Michael Rust.
When Dean saw the officers, he ran back inside the room, slammed the door shut and barricaded himself as deputies surrounded the motel, Rust said.
The motel was placed on lockdown and deputies contained the area to prevent Dean from escaping, Rust said.
“While deputies were on the back side of the motel room, someone from inside the room opened the window and threw a handgun into the bushes,” Rust said.
Deputies quickly recovered the handgun that was tossed from inside Dean’s room, while giving several verbal commands for Dean to exit the room.
“After a few minutes of him being inside the room and them ordering him to come out, he did come out and surrender,” Rust said.
Dean and a 17-year-old male exited the motel room without incident, and both were taken into custody, Rust said, adding that the situation could have ended much worse.
“It’s potentially bad when you have a suspect who’s barricaded himself inside of a room,” Rust said. “It raises the danger level tremendously because we never know what they have inside the room.”
Dean was arrested for being a felon in possession of a handgun, being a felon in possession of ammunition, theft-related charges and narcotics related charges, Rust said.
Inside Dean’s room were several items believed to have been stolen during local burglaries, Rust said. Authorities are now working on processing the items and returning them to their rightful owners, Rust added.
UPDATED: Were any of these items stolen from you?
The items in the photographs below were recovered from Dean’s room at the Tropic Motel, authorities said.
If you were the victim of a burglary in Lancaster, some the stolen items may belong to you. Deputies are asking residents to come to the Lancaster Sheriff’s Station tomorrow (March 20), between 9 a.m. and 2p.m., to identify and claim their items.
You will be asked to provide proof of ownership (i.e. police report #, other identifying info.) before you can claim your belongings. If you are unable to make it to the Lancaster Station tomorrow, but would still like to identify and claim your items, contact Deputy Gore at 661-940-3833.