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Arrest made in commercial burglary; CHPD credits citizen tip, good video

Surveillance, arrest, suspect, Citrus Heights
Police said a tip from a citizen led to the arrest of the suspect pictured in security footage officers released last week. // Images courtesy, CHPD

Citrus Heights police announced the arrest of a 25-year-old man on commercial burglary charges this week, after they said a tip was received from a citizen who recognized the suspect from surveillance footage released by police last week.

“This suspect was apprehended due to the pro-active thinking of the business owner who installed high quality surveillance cameras which provided great photos of the suspect,” said Police Lt. Michael Wells, who also credited the Citrus Heights community for helping provide information on the suspect.

Wells said the suspect, Dennis Howerton, was arrested on Tuesday after police lined up a prior booking photo of him with surveillance footage and determined he was “the likely suspect.” Wells said the tip came from a citizen who identified the suspect in the photos and provided police with Howerton’s name.

As previously reported on The Sentinel, the incident occurred around 2:30 a.m. on the morning of Sept. 20, where an unknown suspect forced entry into a closed, unspecified restaurant on Auburn Boulevard. The following day, police requested help from the public and released several photos on social media that appeared to show a man caught on video burglarizing the business and rifling through a cash drawer.

Police said the tip came in several days later, resulting in officers contacting Howerton on Tuesday. Lt. Wells said the 25-year-old “confessed to committing the burglary and admitted the surveillance photographs from inside the business were indeed him.” He was subsequently arrested for commercial burglary, which is a felony.

[From Wednesday: “Citrus Heights police, Kings drop off new basketball hoop at Sayonara Center”]

Sacramento County Superior Court records indicate Howerton has a lengthy criminal history, including at least one felony conviction.

Asked regarding the dollar value involved in the most recent incident on Sept. 20, the Lt. Wells called the amount “not a significant loss,” but said police “still took this case seriously and continued to investigate it until we could identify a suspect.” He also said a person willing to commit such crimes is “likely involved in additional theft related crimes in the area.”

Wells said residents and business owners are encouraged to contact police, “no matter how big or small” the crime. He said information from the community allows police to “appropriately deploy our resources based on were the crimes are occurring.”

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