Is LAPD sergeant a serial burglar? After arrest, authorities check
San Bernardino County sheriff's investigators are examining whether a Los Angeles police sergeant arrested for a burglary last weekend in a foothills community is responsible for other break-ins nearby.
LAPD Sgt. Lucien "Lou" Daigle, 44, was arrested Sunday after a female homeowner confronted him inside her massive Mentone home and doused him with a potent form of pepper spray, typically used to ward off bears. Daigle, an 18-year LAPD veteran, fled the home but crashed his car a few miles away -- apparently overcome by the repellent, said San Bernardino County sheriff's Sgt. Paul Morrison.
Morrison said detectives are working with a criminal analysis unit and contacting other departments in the region about similar unsolved burglaries.
"We find it hard to believe this is the first time he has done this kind of crime. He took property from this home and we suspect he has done it from others," Morrison said.
The victim, a physician, confronted Daigle inside her home on Tres Lagos Drive after returning home from a walk with her dogs about 6 p.m., according to detectives. When she saw him, she screamed and ran down the stairs, Morrison said. The woman told investigators the intruder pursued her, so she emptied the pepper-spray can on him, which prompted him to run away.
Deputies responding to a Highland traffic collision discovered Daigle reeking of pepper spray. Daigle did not reveal he was an LAPD sergeant immediately and does not know the victim, Morrison said.
The woman, whose name was not released, told KTLA she has opted to stay away from her home after learning that Daigle was released on $125,000 bail.
"It keeps sinking in that he was a police officer, and it's scary," she said. "I'm really, really scared."
Prosecutors have not yet filed charges because of the ongoing investigation.
Daigle did not return messages. He has been placed on administrative leave by the LAPD pending the outcome of the criminal and internal investigations.
Daigle is a father of six who operates a real estate and mortgage business and lives in a spacious Highland home. He was a narcotics expert in the Skid Row area for the LAPD. He recently was transferred to the Olympic Division.
-- Richard Winton