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LAPD sergeant charged with felony in Mentone burglary

December 20, 2011 | 11:03 am

An L.A. police sergeant was charged Tuesday with burglary for allegedly breaking into a woman's home near the San Bernardino National Forest.

Sgt. Lucien Daigle faces felony first-degree burglary, a felony, in connection with the break-in in Mentone, a remote community near Redlands.

Daigle had been a skid row drug expert for the Los Angeles Police Department for many years but was recently reassigned to the Olympic division. He is on administrative leave while the incident is being investigated by the department's professional standards bureau.

The victim, a physician, confronted Daigle inside her home on Tres Lagos Drive on Oct. 23 after returning home from a walk with her dogs, detectives said.

When she saw him, she screamed and ran down the stairs, officials said. The woman told investigators the intruder pursued her, but he ran away when she emptied a can of pepper spray typically used to ward off bears on him.

Bear pepper spray is far more powerful than pepper spray usually used by law enforcement.

Authorities said Daigle allegedly fled but crashed his car a few miles from the Mentone home.

He reeked of pepper spray and had valuables in his car -- including jewelry, cameras and camera equipment -- that belonged to the woman, San Bernardino County Sheriff's officials said at the time of his arrest.

Authorities said there was no indication Daigle, a Highland resident, knew the victim.

“It was a burglary,” Morrison said.

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-- Andrew Blankstein

Twitter.com/anblanx

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