VISTA, Calif. – A realtor describes how his years in law enforcement led to him finding a woman looting a home evacuated due to the Lilac Fire Sunday.
Realtor Torrey Cluette has 25 years of experience as a former deputy and police officer. On Sunday, his law enforcement instincts kicked in.
"As a law enforcement officer you’re always trained to watch out for people’s safety, but you also have to watch out especially in a time of an evacuation. You’re watching out for people’s property as well," he said.
Cluett was checking on his client’s home on Disney Lane in Vista when he noticed an unfamiliar car parked in the driveway packed with items from the house.
"At that point my radar kind of went up and that’s when I saw movement behind the shed,” said Cluett.
Cluett says he was stunned to find the woman, identified by officials as 43-year old Sacheen Silvercloud. The woman told Cluett she was an investor interested in the property.
"The hairs go up on the back of your neck and you kind of know when someone’s lying to you anyway,” said Cluett. “She had a story right off the bat which I was pretty impressed with. But as I started looking past her and looking into the car I could see stuff from inside the house so at that point I knew the gig was up."
Cluett called deputies who then arrested Silvercloud on the spot on suspicion of burglary during a state of emergency. She faces charges of possession of drug paraphernalia and driving under the influence.
"At that point it is just stuff, people are safe, that’s a good thing, but at the same time you don’t want people taken advantage of others when they’re down and out," he said.
The items that were taken have since been recovered.
Silvercloud is being held at Vista County Jail and expected to be arraigned Tuesday and is being held on $56,000 bail.