Suspected home burglars use shovels as oars for alleged getaway canoe

Riverside County sheriff’s deputies on Tuesday, Nov. 7, arrested two men suspected of stealing items from a Lake Elsinore home and trying to flee the scene by canoe — with shovels for oars.

Jesse Yocham, 20, and Thomas Carlos De La Rosa, 23, were arrested on suspicion of residential burglary, conspiracy and possession of burglary tools. Both were booked into the Cois M. Byrd Detention Center in French Valley and remained there by evening with bails set at $35,000, online jail records show.

Deputies from the Lake Elsinore station received a call about 12:15 a.m. Tuesday from a woman in the 1700 block of Ryan Avenue who said she heard glass breaking at her neighbor’s home and saw a man run from the location, according to a Riverside County sheriff’s news release.

After the deputies confirmed a burglary happened, a sheriff’s helicopter arrived and spotted two men who were climbing into a canoe and rowing out onto the lake with shovels as oars. The men turned back to shore, pulled the canoe into some bushes and tried to run after being spotted by the helicopter, according to officials.

The sheriff’s helicopter helped ground units find the two men, who were then taken into custody. Inside the canoe, deputies found three firearms, a pellet gun, a knife and an assortment of stolen property that has since been returned to the owner, officials say.

Sheriff’s officials are asking anyone with information to contact the Lake Elsinore station at 951-245-3300.

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