SAN DIMAS, Calif. - A suspect was arrested Thursday for allegedly following a San Dimas man home, then robbing and killing him in his garage.
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department deputies responded to a call in the 1800 block of Hawkbrook Drive, off N. San Dimas Canyon Road, around 6:45 p.m. When deputies arrived, they found 42-year-old Nicholas Simbolon suffering from an apparent gunshot wound to the upper torso.
The investigation reveals Simbolon had left work, then drove to an EV charging station in West Covina. He was pulling into the garage and had just parked when he was shot, surveillance video showed, LASD Sheriff Robert Luna said during a press conference Thursday.
The suspect, identified as 33-year-old Jerrid Joseph Powell, had apparently followed Simbolon home from the EV charging station. After shooting Simbolon, Powell robbed him of his personal belongings and then took off from the scene. Simbolon's wife contacted authorities after finding him lying in their driveway.
Simbolon, who worked as a project manager in the Los Angeles County executive office, was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics. He is survived by his mother, spouse, and two sons, ages 8 and 10.
Authorities have found no known connection between Simbolon and Powell. Luna said it does not appear that Simbolon's employment played a factor in the murder.
Powell was arrested Thursday by officers with the Beverly Hills Police Department. This came after detectives were able to identify Powell's car in connection with the incident. Luna said a gun was found in the vehicle, and it is believed to be the one used to killed Simbolon.
Powell was booked on suspicion of murder and robbery. According to jail records, he was being held in lieu of $2 million bail.
"It appears that the robbery and senseless murder was an isolated incident, and there's no evidence to indicate the suspect acted in concert with others," Luna said, but he added that investigators have not fully ruled out the possibility.
Authorities are reminding the public to be vigilant, especially as the busy holiday season gets underway.
"We have seen countless videos and news coverage of individuals who have been traumatized by robberies and having guns and weapons pointed at them," Luna said. "It is unacceptable for our community members to be threatened in this manner, especially while driving in a safe place like their homes or businesses or driving to and from these locations."
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"Be aware of your surroundings at all times," he said. "... Look around. Be vigilant, and don't be distracted, specifically by continuously looking at your cell phone."
Luna noted criminals who often carry out follow-home robberies will often target people wearing flashy jewelry or driving fancy cars.
"We encourage the public to avoid predictable patterns. Install proper lighting around your property and consider a home security system. Lastly, please don't take any action that would jeopardize your life or that of your family," Luna advised.
If you believe you are being followed, do not go home; drive to the nearest police department or sheriff's station and if necessary, call 911. Take down the person's license plate and vehicle description if possible.
Those with information are asked to contact the LASD Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Those who wish to remain anonymous can submit tips online at LA Crime Stoppers.