PASO ROBLES — On Friday, Feb. 23 at approximately 12:10 p.m., the Paso Robles Police Department received a report of suspicious persons loitering around a vacant home in the 1000 block of Caddie Lane.
Upon arrival, police learned that an alert neighbor saw two people hanging around a house and was the one who reported the suspicious activity. These neighbors knew that the house was for sale and vacant and called the police when they noticed the activity. The neighbor told the officers that the suspicious people and a dog had last been seen going into the backyard of the home.
Officers checked the house and found the door to the garage open and personal items scattered about. They could hear people running through the house to the second floor and barricading themselves inside one of the rooms. Officers also found that the suspects had abandoned their dog as they fled.
Due to fact that the suspects fled deeper into the home and appeared to be fortifying their location, officers surrounded the home and took steps to ensure the safety of the neighborhood. The street was closed, neighbors were notified to shelter in place and additional resources were requested. These resources included a California Highway Patrol helicopter, the Paso Robles Department of Emergency Services, San Luis Ambulance, SLO County Animal Services Division and a PRPD K9 unit. Officers made several announcements throughout the incident, advising the suspects to surrender, but received no response.
Police contacted the owner of the home, who confirmed that nobody had permission to be inside the residence. The suspects’ dog was rescued by officers before it fled into traffic in the surrounding area.
Once the scene was secure, officers searched the inside of the home with a police K9, who indicated the suspects had fled to the attic. Officers continued to give announcements to the suspects, advising them to surrender or chemical agents would be used to get them to leave the attic. The suspects did not respond. Officers then used Oleoresin Capsicum, commonly known as ‘pepper spray.’ The two suspects surrendered to officers without further incident at approximately 2:07 p.m.
The suspects were identified as transients Thomas Andersen, 31, and Denise Macarthur, 31. Both suspects were treated at the scene for exposure to the chemical agent. Neither Andersen nor Macarthur were injured.
Andersen was booked into the SLO County Jail on charges of trespassing, possession of a controlled substance, resisting arrest and a felony warrant.
Macarthur was booked on charges of trespassing, resisting arrest and a felony warrant.
No officers were injured during the incident. Officers and personnel from the Department of Emergency Services worked together to ventilate the residual chemical agent material from the home. The suspects’ dog, a two-year-old pit bull mix named ‘Valkyrie,’ was turned over to the custody of SLO County Animal Services.
This is an ongoing investigation and anyone with information about this case is encouraged to call the Paso Robles Police Department at 805-237-6464. Persons wishing to remain anonymous are encouraged to call Crime Stoppers’ 24-hour hotline at 549- STOP or by texting “SLOTIPS” plus your message” to CRIMES (274637).