REGION — After months of searching, local authorities finally made an arrest in the case of a man burglarizing dozens of breweries across two counties.
Nathanial Maynard, 42, was arrested July 21 after he was caught attempting to break into Wiens Brewery in Temecula. He promptly bailed out, but police arrested him a second time on July 26 after conducting a search at Maynard’s residence in Hemet.
Another search at a residence on Lonnie Street in Oceanside on July 31 revealed stolen property from the brewery break-ins, according to Sgt. Det. John KcKean of the Oceanside Police Department.
Authorities also arrested two women, one potentially in connection with the case, McKean said. Maynard, though, was charged with 13 felonies including four for burglary and nine relating to possession of stolen property and identity theft, McKean said.
Police recovered items inside his vehicle linking Maynard to several of the other burglaries from both San Diego and Riverside counties. He and Leticia Esparza, 35, were booked July 21 and Maynard bailed out, while Esparza was released pending charges.
“I don’t think she was too much involved,” McKean said of Esparza. “I think she just got caught up and then we did a search warrant in Oceanside … and found more stolen property. I don’t know her level of involvement yet.”
Maynard is being held on $450,000 bond at the Vista Detention Facility.
Maynard is suspected of beginning the spree in March and hit at least 25 breweries, wineries, small family restaurants and other family-owned businesses, McKean said. The typical method for entry, per surveillance videos, was breaking a small window or busting a lock, and racing for the registers or visible safes, he added, which led authorities to believe the crimes were related.
According to an April 17 story in The Coast News, breweries from as far north as Temecula and Murrieta and throughout Vista, Oceanside, Rancho Bernardo, San Marcos and as far south as Scripps Ranch and Sorrento Valley have reported burglaries and vandalism.
“We got more stolen property from his house in Hemet and then booked him on four counts in San Diego County,” McKean said. “Mainly, breaking a window and going in, punching out a lock and going in, get off the molding around the window and going in. He was going after anything easy to get out.”
Eve Sieminski, co-owner of Iron Fist Brewery in Vista and Barrio Logan, said she was relieved to hear the suspect had been arrested. Her brewery in Vista was broken into during the spree in March and April.
She said the man broke a small window, crawled through and headed straight for the registers after viewing security camera footage. However, no cash was in the box and other valuables had been locked away.
Sieminski said other burgled breweries were hit in the same way. The man would break a window, crawl through and attempt to steal any cash not protected or already deposited for the night.
“I think it’s great they arrested him and hope they expose him for who he was and pay restitution,” Sieminski said. “Thankfully, he didn’t steal anything from us, that we knew.”
The Oceanside Police Department took the lead to investigate these cases based on input from all investigating agencies. This includes the San Diego, Carlsbad, Escondido and Murrieta police departments and San Diego Sheriff’s Department Vista and San Marcos stations, Riverside Sheriff’s Department, Temecula, Hemet and Lake Elsinore Stations.
If anyone has any information they would like to provide they can contact Sgt. John McKean at (760) 435-4861 or Detective Bob Moore at (760) 435-4435.
Steve Puterski covers Carlsbad and Vista. For tips or story ideas, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @StevePuterski.