Hemet theft investigation leads to pair of felons’ arrests – Firearms, ammo and banned magazines seized

HEMET, Calif., — Authorities say the theft of an Apple iPad and pair of Apple earbuds from a Hemet home led to the arrest of a pair of felons Friday afternoon, Jan. 28.


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City of Hemet police officers began investigating the theft after the victim reported to Community Services Officers that the items had been stolen from her Hemet home.

The total combined value of the pair of stolen items was more than $500 according to officials; who later shared a tongue-in-cheek social media post that began, “Stealing AirPods? ~$129. Stealing an iPad? ~$399. Stealing items that lead to your felony arrest? Priceless.”

A short time after CSOs took the initial theft report, the victim called back stating she had successfully tracked her Apple products to a private residence on Apricot Lane, just a few blocks away.

Responding to a Hemet home after the victim of a theft was able to use an online app to track down her stolen electronics, officers arrested a pair of felons after finding firearms, ammunition, high-capacity magazines and more. Hemet PD photo

Officers who responded to the home observed a pair of earbuds that matched the description of the stolen pair on the ground near the open garage and contacted four subjects at the home, including two women and two men.

After learning that one of the men was on felony parole, officers conducted a thorough search of the residence.

During the search, multiple firearms, high-capacity magazines, and ammunition were located, leading to the arrest of the two felons, since identified as 35-year-old Michael Bacca and 47-year-old Christopher Willoughby.

After their arrests, both men were transported to the Cois Byrd Detention Center.


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Online jail records indicate Bacca was booked into jail on suspicion of being a felon in possession of firearms, being a felon in possession of ammunition, possession of high-capacity magazines, and violation of parole. He was also booked on warrant-related charges of DUI, hit and run, and possession of a controlled substance.

He has since been released from custody due to jail overcrowding and is scheduled to be arraigned at an unspecified court on Feb. 14th.

Although Willoughby was booked on suspicion of being a felon in possession of firearms and being a felon in possession of ammunition, he has since been released after he was not able to be arraigned within the state-mandated 48 hours.

Anyone with information related to this investigation is encouraged to contact Hemet PD at (951) 765-2400. Callers can refer to incident file number 2022-00569 and can remain anonymous.

Contact the writer: [email protected]

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.