Oceanside CA— On April 28, 2017, the Oceanside Police Department became aware of a series of criminal events including animal cruelty occurring in the 3900 block of Carino Way, west of Heritage Park. This morning, August 9, 2017, the Oceanside Police Department executed a search and arrest warrant for David Herbert at his residence, 3995 Carino Way in Oceanside. Herbert was taken into custody at approximately 9:35 am without incident. A search of his home for additional items of evidentiary value was executed this morning. Herbert is currently being held on a one-million dollar bond.
Police investigating the April 28 incident discovered additional crimes related to this series of events. “One incident turned into multiple incidents. After the first reported incident on April 28, 2017, investigators discovered there were several incidents that had occurred prior to that,” explained Oceanside Police, Lt. Valencia Warner-Saadat during an afternoon press conference. Prior incidents included vandalism to vehicle tires “and other incidents in February that did not come to the attention of the police department,” continued the Lieutenant, “There were no noise complaints or reports of any incidents, to the police department, that led to any knowledge of disturbances between the two neighbors and the suspect.”
The residents, who moved into the home in December of 2016, moved immediately after their dogs, two Huskies, were assaulted inside of the security of their home. The two dogs had been poisoned and doused with acid while in an outdoor yard on prior occasions. Veterinarians at the Humane Society had to remove the eye of one of the Huskies because it was too damaged to be saved. A reward of $10,000 was being offered in that case by San Diego Animal Advocates.
Another family moved into the home and on May 30, 2017, the new residents reported both of their pets, two dogs, had been missing from their home. “It was the second time the dogs had unexplainably got out of the yard that day,” said Lt. Saadat. One, a Chihuahua named Prince, was recovered and returned to the residence by a neighbor who left a note on the owner’s door. The second dog, Lala (a golden retriever), never returned home. Through the course of an extensive investigation, it was determined Lala was taken from the home by Mr. Herbert.
A search of the suspect’s home was conducted on June 1, 2017. Items of evidentiary value, including DNA evidence recovered from the suspect’s vehicle, were submitted for evaluation. Based on the totality of the investigation, it is believed Lala was subjected to a violent assault which caused severe injury. She has never been located and her whereabouts are unknown.” Mr. Herbert was questioned and released because we did not have the evidence that he was guilty of anything at that time,” said Lt. Saadat.
Oceanside Police and the San Diego Humane Society have investigated a total of 6 reported criminal cases where two separate residents of the same home have been victimized over a 6 month period.
There has been no motive offered to explain the attacks on the dogs.”I can’t really speak for someone that would do something like this because it’s a demented mind. The only thing is the suspect and the victims shared a common fence and it appears that Mr. Herbert really didn’t like pets,” said Detective Sergeant John McKean.
“There was a lot of evidence collected including electronic (computers) at the time of the first search warrant,” explained Detective Sergeant John McKean. “The first search warrant yielded enough evidence to move the case dramatically forward. We had new information about items like clothing we were not aware of during the first warrant which was enough for us to get a second warrant from a judge. The people in this neighborhood have been terrorized by this whole incident. People lived in fear everyday when they went to work and left their pets at home. The neighborhood and the victims are very grateful we were able to make an arrest today.”
“This investigation was challenging in different ways because it involved animals. There was a lot of forensic evidence that had to be evaluated and lot of coordination with the Humane Society. It was something that we hadn’t had to experience before. It is something that really gets to the hearts of people. We are talking about attacking animals. Not only attacking animals but breaking into a home to attack your animals where they are supposed to be safe and secure,” said Lt. Saadat. “We like to thank everyone for calling in tips. We had a lot of information and tips from neighbors about different things going on in the area but it didn’t become readily apparent until a couple of weeks ago that Mr. Herbert was the suspect.”
Herbert , who lives alone, lived in the home at 3995 Carino Way for 6 years. Yesterday, the home was put up for sale.
Herbert is subject to multiple felony charges which could lead to a 16 year prison sentence. He is described as the following:
David Herbert, DOB: 06/18/81
Honorable discharge, disabled veteran with 6 years of Naval Service. He does not own or have any animals at his residence.
The charges are:
• PC 597(a) Animal abuse x5
• PC 12022(b) using a deadly weapon in the commission of a felony.
• PC 459 Residential Burglary
• PC 594(b)(1) vandalism x4
• PC 488 petty theft x2