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Manhunt: Sheriff worries Big Bear residents may dish out own justice

February 8, 2013 |  7:07 pm

Search for Christopher Dorner in Big Bear

While scores of law enforcement officers continued to search Friday for a fugitive ex-cop suspected of killing three people, San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon said he is worried about armed Big Bear residents -- whom he calls "hearty" --- taking the law into their own hands.

The search for Christopher Jordan Dorner, 33, has been the talk of the town over the last two days.

"Snow scares me more than this guy does," said George Sowers between sips of coffee at the Teddy Bear cafe in Big Bear Village. "All these flat-landers coming up here don't know how to drive."

Sowers, 57, wore a flannel shirt and sat with his wife, Barbara, 60, who was wearing a NASCAR jacket. The couple has been coming to the Teddy Bear for 36 years.

PHOTOS: Manhunt for ex-LAPD officer

"I see him, I shoot him," George Sowers said. "We can take care of ourselves up here. We have to."

Dorner's burned-out pickup was found Thursday morning just a couple miles away, with tracks leading into the forest. Law enforcement officers have been searching the resort community for him ever since.

TIMELINE: Manhunt for ex-LAPD officer

Barbara Sowers thinks the truck was a diversion, a theory many others have had over the last 36 hours. 

"I think he had that thing rigged up and he's long gone," she said. "There's not too many ways out of here. Maybe two, three roads."

Police are checking cars descending the mountain and SWAT teams are searching for Dorner, going door to door.

ALSO:

Dorner manhunt: LAPD gunfire hits Torrance homes, cars

Dorner eludes manhunt as snow, cold intensify in Big Bear

Dorner manhunt: Ex-girlfriend called him "emotionally disturbed"

-- Joseph Serna in Big Bear and Ari Bloomekatz in Los Angeles

Photo: Even as the search for Christopher Dorner continued Friday in Big Bear, the mountain community returned to the business of being a resort. Credit: Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times

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