NATIONAL CITY, Calif. – In National City Monday morning, an employee at Platinum Autosports made a shocking discovery when taking out the trash.
“Magazine full of bullets and belt and a helmet,” said Majid Yahyai, store manager.
“First reaction was what the hell is this doing there?” said Yahyai.
At the time the manhunt for Christopher Dorner hadn’t started, so employees didn’t know who the items belonged to.
“The owner [of the business] showed up,” said Yahyai. “And basically both of us we walked across the street to the police station and turned it in.”
Yahyai said it didn’t take long for investigators to make the connection.
“Next day two detectives showed up here,” said Yahyai. “And they explained to me that it was a murder case and basically asked me if I had touched the stuff, which we did, I did. And they just took our DNA, to make sure they eliminate us from the suspect list I guess.”
Yahyai said they also took video from his surveillance camera in the alley. From that video investigators pulled a photo of Dorner’s truck that they released to the public.
Yahyai said the video showed Dorner stopping at a dumpster at the beginning of the alley and unloading items. Yahyai said he then drove down the alley to the dumpster out back of Platinum Autosports and dumped the remaining items.
The surveillance video showed it happening around 9:07 a.m. That means not only did he dump the items across the street from the National City Police Department, but he did it in broad daylight.
“Just seeing him go a couple times back and forth in the alley,” said Yahyai. “Throwing it in the dumpster and then to come back and do it again it was complete shock. At the same time I was very excited that he showed up during the day.”
Yahyai said he is grateful his employee wasn’t in the alley when Dorner showed up.
“I was really happy,” said Yahyai. “He just missed him by 20-30 minutes. At the most 30 minutes.”
National City police officials said they turned the case over to the Irvine Police Department.