Community Works Together to Help Police Pursue Suspect Linked to Burglary

Tri-Community NewsPlus

On Friday, June 30th, Michelle Morrison and her boyfriend were notified that their home in Pinon Hills was burglarized while they were out of town. The couple had first noticed suspicious charges to their credit cards and reported them as fraudulent. While on their way back home the following day, a close family member was able to inspect their home located off Green Road in Pinon Hills and confirmed that someone had come through a window and stolen their possessions. According to Morrison, the family member waited at their home for police to arrive early Saturday morning but instead witnessed two vehicles approach the property, one being a black Nissan Altima. Once the suspects in the vehicles realized the home was not vacant, they fled the scene before the police arrived.

Later that day, Morrison saw a post on Facebook from local realtor Carol Smith, in which she posted a picture of a man caught on a Ring Home Security camera trespassing onto a vacant property for sale in Pinon Hills. As a local realtor and as a community member, Smith said she is active on the Phelan Facebook group and posted the photo to warn the community that if they saw this suspicious man, who was caught on camera looking through windows and then backing out of the driveway in a black Nissan Altima, to call the police.

Two days later, at 11:39 am on Tuesday, July 4th, the victim, Michelle Morrison, noticed the black Nissan Altima in the parking lot of the 76 gas station on Phelan Road and recognized the man from the picture on social media. Morrison immediately contacted the police, and when deputies arrived and attempted to stop the vehicle as it left the parking lot, the driver fled at a high rate of speed down Sheep Creek Road, which led to a police pursuit. The suspect then crashed the vehicle on Sunnyslope Road in Phelan and exited the vehicle, where he immediately became combative with deputies but was eventually taken into custody. Benjamin Misenheimer, a 32-year-old male, was arrested, and police found the stolen items from the burglary in the car along with a gun, ammunition, and narcotics. Misenheimer has a history of theft and fraud in the Tri-Community; he was arrested in 2018 while attempting to use fraudulent credit cards at Stater Bros in Phelan. Currently, Misenheimer is booked at High Desert Detention Center and is being held without bail.

Michelle Morrison said she is thankful that the police found her stolen property. She is also very proud of the community coming together and looking out for each other, saying, “I feel like I’ve gained more friends now through all this!”

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