The Mendocino County Sheriff’s office announced the arrest of a familiar face. Dylan Wayne Swartout, 42, has been arrested multiple times over the past year out of the coastal town of Fort Bragg, and was just picked up for burglary Monday evening on Memorial day. This case won’t go down in the annals of the Sheriff’s Department as one of the toughest they’ve cracked.
At 5:51 in the evening, deputies were sent to respond to a residence on the 18000 block of Old Coast Highway, a small stretch of road that runs behind the main Shoreline Highway 1, just opposite the beautiful Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens, a popular destination for its collection of exotic flowers and coastal cliff views.
The caller reported that he had heard a noise in his garage, and saw a man, who immediately fled out the side door. Within minutes of this report, the dispatchers received a second call from someone in a neighboring house, who said they saw a suspicious man carrying a flat screen TV to another area home. They located the home and talked to the resident there, who confirmed that Swartout had just brought that television, along with a DVD player and speakers, a CD player, and some movies.
It is not clear why Swartout was bringing the items to that house, and whether he had a connection to the resident there. His official residence, though sometimes he’s listed as transient, is about three miles away on Highway 20, heading inland.
A quick search of the area found Swartout less than a quarter mile from the scene, perhaps looking for more supplies for a Memorial Day movie night. Nonetheless, he was detained, and the man who had seen him looting his garage was called on to make an identification. After making a positive ID, deputies arrested Swartout for burglary from a home and vehicle, with bail set at $67,500 total.
Swartout’s recent history with the department includes at least six previous arrests since 2012. His charges have ranged from simple trespassing and being under the influence, to battery of a spouse or cohabitant, and probation violations. He is now back in the Mendocino County Jail awaiting his next hearing.