Border Patrol joins manhunt in Big Bear
SAN DIEGO – A San Diego-based U.S. Border Patrol SWAT team was assisting in the search Saturday for a fired Los Angeles police officer suspected of killing three, as law enforcement officers throughout San Diego County were on heightened alert for a third consecutive day.
Border Patrol agents were assisting in the search focused around the Big Bear area, where 33-year-old suspect Christopher Jordan Dorner’s pickup truck was found burning just off a forest road Thursday.
“Customs and Border Protection officers and agents from the Office of Field Operations, U.S. Border Patrol and the Office of Air and Marine are participating in and providing assistance in the manhunt for Christopher Dorner, as requested by the local law enforcement authorities,” Border Patrol Agent Steve Pitts said.
Pitts said local agents, including those who staffed the checkpoints in San Diego County were advised to “continue to be vigilant and if they spot the individual, they will detain him.”
Law enforcement officers in San Diego County and across the Southwest remained on heightened alert for a third consecutive day Saturday.
But police and the sheriff’s office reported no new possible sightings of Dorner, 33, who was fired by the Los Angeles Police Department five years ago.
Both the San Diego Police Department and the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department were maintaining regular staffing levels as authorities in the Big Bear area resumed their search.
“We’re at regular staffing at this point, but we have other special units that are monitoring what’s going on and if things come up, they’ll be able to respond, but there’s nothing at this point because we don’t have any information about him bring in this area,” said sheriff’s Lt. Scott Amos.
San Diego police Sgt. Ray Battrick said SDPD personnel were being updated with any new information that came up in the investigation into what he said was “a dangerous individual.”
Dorner, a former Navy reservist, had been staying Tuesday at the Navy Base Point Loma.
Police believed he had tried to steal a boat during his crime spree, which led to increased surveillance of those headed into Mexico, U-T San Diego reported.
CHP officials reported that only two traffic lanes were open on southbound Interstate 5 at the Mexican border.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokeswoman Angelica De Cima said agents were “exercising additional vigilance in southbound inspections in Southern California.”
Southbound travelers into Mexico could experience delays, she said.