SAN DIMAS, Calif.—A 33-year-old man was in custody Dec. 1 for allegedly following a Los Angeles County employee home to San Dimas, then robbing and killing him in his garage.
Jerrid Joseph Powell of Los Angeles was arrested during a traffic stop in Beverly Hills after his vehicle was caught on surveillance video reviewed by deputies investigating the Nov. 28 night shooting, which occurred just before 7 p.m. in the garage of a home in the 1800 block of Hawkbrook Drive, Sheriff Robert Luna said.
Nicholas Simbolon, 42, who worked as a project manager in the Los Angeles County executive office, was found by his wife inside his Tesla in the garage of the home, suffering from a gunshot to the upper body, according to witnesses and sheriff’s officials. Paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene.
According to Mr. Luna, surveillance video determined that Mr. Simbolon was apparently followed home from an electric-vehicle charging station in the 200 block of South Citrus St. in West Covina. The suspect approached Mr. Simbolon in the garage, stole some unspecified items, then “senselessly” shot him, Mr. Luna said.
The sheriff said investigators saw a vehicle of interest on surveillance video that was believed to be connected to the crime. The vehicle was spotted Nov. 29 near Santa Monica Boulevard and Rexford Drive in Beverly Hills, and police pulled the driver over, leading to his arrest.
Mr. Luna said a gun was found in the vehicle, and it is believed to be the one used to kill Mr. Simbolon.
Mr. Powell was booked early Nov. 30 morning on suspicion of murder and robbery. According to jail records, he was being held in lieu of $2 million bail.
“My heart goes out to the family on this tremendous loss,” San Dimas Mayor Emmett Badar said in a statement Nov. 29. “This is a priority investigation and I have faith in our sheriff’s office to properly investigate and bring this suspect to justice.”
City officials said patrols were increased in the area, noting that “the city’s primary focus is providing safety for our community.”
Mr. Simbolon is survived by his mother, wife, and two sons, aged 8 and 10, Mr. Luna said.
County CEO Fesia Davenport said Mr. Simbolon was a seven-year county employee, previously working at the county Superior Court, then joining her office in 2019. She said he was “key and instrumental in developing many software apps for the CEO’s office.”
Mr. Luna said the case should be a reminder for people to always remain vigilant, noting that criminals who carry out follow-home robberies will often target people wearing flashy jewelry or driving fancy cars.
“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.”
“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,” Mr. Luna said, but he added that investigators have not fully ruled out the possibility.