Parolee who fled from stolen car onto Thermal school campus causes lock-down, arrested

THERMAL — A parolee driving a stolen car was arrested Friday morning, Sept. 28, after officials say the man fled from deputies and attempted to hide on the campus of a Thermal elementary school.

The school, John Kelley Elementary, was placed on lock-down while deputies searched for and later arrested the fleeing man.


DUI suspected in solo-vehicle crash that started Gilman Springs Rd fire

Officials investigating possible kidnapping after four men drag victim into waiting van

Seven displaced, one hospitalized, Norco home destroyed by fast-moving fire

After his apprehension, deputies arrested David Linares Samora III, 27, of Indio. He was booked into Indio Jail on suspicion of vehicle theft, possession of stolen property, willful harm to a child, possession of burglary tools, possession of drug paraphernalia, and violation of parole.

David Samora was arrested yesterday morning after allegedly fleeing from a stolen car onto an elementary school campus. RSO booking photo

He remains in custody held without bail and is scheduled to be arraigned at Indio’s Larson Justice Center Oct. 2.

A deputy assigned to the Thermal Sheriff’s Station spotted Samora driving a gray Hyundai Genesis around 11 a.m., Riverside Sheriff’s Sgt. Chris Frederick explained after Samora’s arrest.

The stolen car was being driven westbound on Airport Boulevard, near Fillmore Street, according to Frederick.

When the deputy conducted a check of the vehicle’s registration he learned the Hyundai had been reported stolen and began following the vehicle while waiting for additional officers to arrive in the area.

The deputy continued following the Hyundai to the area of Main and Date streets where the driver, later identified as Samora, abandoned the vehicle and fled on foot.

As Samora was fleeing from pursuing deputies he was spotted jumping a fence surrounding the elementary school and running onto the school’s campus.

School administrators immediately placed the campus on lock-down, directing all teachers to lock their doors and shelter in place with the students.

“Deputies were able to quickly locate and arrest Samora,” Frederick explained – saying, “Samora did not gain access into any of the classrooms.”

No deputies, students, or faculty members, were injured during the incident and Samora’s subsequent apprehension.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation is encouraged to contact Riverside County’s Thermal Sheriff’s Station at (760) 863-8990. Callers can refer to incident file number C182710019 and can remain anonymous. Citizens may also submit a tip using the Sheriff’s CrimeTips online form.


Contact the writer:

Trevor Montgomery, 47, recently moved to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, The Valley Chronicle, and Anza Valley Outlook; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and Mountain Echo in Shasta County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 28 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 14 – but soon to be 16 – grandchildren.