Arrest ends Elsinore man’s crime spree

LAKE ELSINORE, Calif — Authorities say the arrest of a Lake Elsinore man on Wednesday ended a multi-day crime spree that included assault with a deadly weapon for intentionally running into a construction worker, robbery, theft, and making criminal threats.

The man, since identified as John Robert Veitch, 37, of Lake Elsinore, was arrested after a citizen called 911 to report a suspicious person in a La Cresta neighborhood, Riverside Sheriff’s Sgt. Veronica Amparano has since said of the alleged suspect’s three-day crime spree and arrest.


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Deputies from the Lake Elsinore Sheriff’s Station began searching for Veitch Monday, Aug. 24, after receiving the report of an assault with a deadly weapon involving a vehicle.

At around 8 a.m., deputies were dispatched to the area of Riverside Dr. and Joy St., where a construction worker reported he was intentionally struck by a man driving a tan Mercedes-Benz.

The construction worker, who was not seriously injured in the attack, told investigating deputies that the driver fled the scene in his vehicle prior to their arrival.

“Further investigation revealed the suspect vehicle was driven by Veitch,” explained Amparano.

Deputies say John Veitch, 37, of Lake Elsinore, was arrested after a series of crimes including assault with a deadly weapon, robbery, theft, and making criminal threats. RSO booking photo

At around 8:30 a.m. the next morning, deputies were dispatched to a convenience store on the 31000 block of Riverside Dr., after receiving reports of a robbery that had just occurred.

Although the suspect fled the location in a tan Mercedes, he was quickly identified as Veitch, according to Amparano.

Later the same day at around noon, deputies investigated another incident at a convenience store on the 18000 block of Collier Ave., regarding a petty theft and criminal threats at the business.

“The suspect fled on foot to a parked tan Mercedes located in the parking lot,” Amparano explained; saying, “Prior to leaving, the suspect drove to the front of the store and threatened employees.”

“Further investigation identified the suspect as Veitch,” Amparano continued.

As their investigation into the three reported incidents continued on Wednesday, Aug. 26, deputies received reports of a suspicious person in the area of Tenaja Rd. and Calle Pino in La Cresta.

The concerned citizen who called 911 told deputies a man was acting suspiciously in tan Mercedes-Benz parked on the side of the road.

Deputies who located Veitch in the parked car identified him as the man responsible for the earlier reported crimes.


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Based on their multiple investigations, deputies arrested Veitch for assault with a deadly weapon, robbery, criminal threats, and theft.

He was later booked into Cois Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta on a sole charge of robbery, but additional charges related to the multiple incidents are pending.

Jail records indicate Veitch remains in custody in lieu of $30,000 bail or bond and he was scheduled to be arraigned at the Southwest Justice Center in Murietta this morning.

The sheriff’s investigation is ongoing and officials have asked that anyone who believes they were victimized by Veitch and has not filed a report to contact Deputy Robert Guerrero from the Lake Elsinore Sheriff’s Station at (951) 245-3300. Callers can refer to incident file number L202380035 and can remain anonymous.

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Contact the writer:

Trevor Montgomery, 48, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, (the now defunct) Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; 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 29 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 16 grandchildren.