A private security guard was arrested Monday on allegations he stole jewelry from the home of a dead Tiburon resident whose residence he was assigned to check on, police said.

Erik Tyler Epting, 22, of Windsor was booked into Marin County Jail on suspicion of burglary. He was released on bail while the district attorney's office reviews the case for potential charges.

The investigation began at 1:35 a.m., when Bright Star Security alerted Tiburon police about suspicious activity by one of its employees. The employee was assigned to keep tabs on a Little Reed Heights home that was vacant because the owner had died.

Bright Star dispatchers became suspicious because the employee, identified as Epting, had been unreachable for an extended period, said Greg Molloy, president of the Novato-based security company. When a dispatcher did contact Epting, he said he had been using the bathroom, Molloy said.

Bright Star sent a supervisor to check the house, developed suspicions that items had been stolen there, and contacted Tiburon police.

Tiburon police Officer Zach Jacobsen then alerted other law enforcement agencies to look for the car Epting was driving. Jacobsen sent the information over the computer system rather than the police radio, knowing that a security guard could be listening on a police scanner.


Advertisement

Police stopped Epting on northbound Highway 101 near the county Civic Center, said Tiburon police spokeswoman Laurie Gordon.

Inside the car, police found a bag of jewelry and property, including an item with the name of a person associated with the Tiburon home, Gordon said.

The investigation was continuing.

Molloy, describing the situation as "just unbelievable," said Epting started working at Bright Star three days ago, and now he is terminated.

"I've been in usiness 30 years, and I still have my first client," Molloy said. "We take our job seriously. When we think there is a problem, we investigate and solve the problem. We're proud of the fact that we at least solved it. We cleaned up our own mess, so to speak."

Epting, a former police Explorer cadet, could not be reached for comment Monday.

Contact Gary Klien via email at gklien@marinij.com ------ (c)2012 The Marin Independent Journal (Novato, Calif.) Visit The Marin Independent Journal (Novato, Calif.) at www.marinij.com Distributed by MCT Information Services