Called a “Bad House Burglar”, convicted felon nabbed after brazen daytime burglary in Idyllwild

IDYLLWILD, Calif., — Already on parole for similar crimes, a felon who allegedly burglarized an Idyllwild home was apprehended while fleeing the scene, when he came down Highway 74 and entered the Valle Vista area early Wednesday evening, Jan. 12.


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“So, this individual who we shall call “Bad House Burglar” thought he could just break into a house in our mountain communities and leave the location without consequences,” Hemet Sheriff’s Station officials wrote in a tongue-in-cheek social media release after the incident and arrest.

Alerted to the brazen daytime burglary, deputies assigned to the Hemet Mountain Station confirmed that tools and other personal property had been stolen and immediately began searching the area for a white SUV seen leaving the area. Investigating deputies also put out a general broadcast to other deputies and area law enforcement agencies with suspect information gathered during their initial investigation.

Officers are seen conducting a vehicle search after a convicted felon described by officials as a “Bad House Burglar” was captured while heading into the Hemet and San Jacinto valley on Tuesday. Hemet Sheriff’s Station photo

Believing the suspect could be heading down the mountain to the Hemet and San Jacinto valley, deputies staged at the bottom of the mountain along Highway 74 and soon spotted a vehicle matching the suspect’s description.

Based on the broadcasted information, deputies conducted a traffic stop before the suspect’s vehicle could enter the city of Hemet.

After contacting the driver, 46-year-old Eric Alexander Lang, deputies learned he was a felon with active search terms and conducted a search of his vehicle.

“Our deputies recovered a stolen firearm and stolen tools (Lang) took from the residence,” officials explained, adding, “If that wasn’t enough, ‘Bad House Burglar’ was already on parole for similar crimes.”

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Based on their investigative findings, deputies arrested Lang. He was later transported to the Larry D. Smith Correctional Facility in Banning where he was booked on suspicion of first-degree burglary, being a felon in possession of a stolen firearm, and violation of state parole.

Online jail records indicate he remains in custody where he is being held without bail and he is scheduled to be arraigned at the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta on Jan. 14.

Officials went on to say, “Good work to our great mountain deputies for identifying the individual and his vehicle, which in turn allowed our Valle Vista deputies to locate the suspect and take him into custody. Bravo.”

Contact the writer:

Trevor Montgomery, 50, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source (RCNS) and Shasta County News Source (SCNS).

Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers Valley News, Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; the Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County; and Mountain Echo in Shasta County. He is also a regular contributor to Thin Blue Line TV and Law Enforcement News Network and has had his stories featured on news stations throughout the Southern California and North State regions.

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 30 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 18 grandchildren.