Vista man mistaken as burglary suspect - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Vista man mistaken as burglary suspect

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SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) — A Vista man was left to clear his name after he was mistakenly tied to a North County burglary ring. The man is about 20 years older, several inches shorter and about 60 pounds lighter than the suspect's description.

So, how did this happen?

A Crimestoppers press release highlighted a burglary in Vista on May 16 and showed surveillance photos taken at the scene. But listed next to "suspect number 2" was a picture of a man walking his dogs.

Ike Iloputaife found out he was that person of interest when neighbors spotted his picture on TV so he called the sheriff's department.

"I'm not going to go around casing a home with two extremely conspicuous dogs," said Ike. "It just doesn't happen."

When he called, authorities confirmed Ike was suspect number two. Ike said he couldn’t believe it.

Ike's Russian Wolfhounds - Lars and Luvkiy - have a lot of energy, so he says every day he takes them on long walks through his Vista neighborhood - and a lot of people know him. It's his belief detectives made very little, if any, effort to identify him before posting his picture on the Crimestoppers flier.

"There was a lack of due diligence, in my opinion," said Ike.

Detectives got the picture from a woman who lives a few doors away from the house that was burglarized. She took the picture about 6 hours before the burglary happened and showed it to detectives because she didn't recognize the man.

News 8 spoke to the woman who took the picture and she was in tears over what happened. She said she didn't take the picture because Ike is black or because he was a stranger. Instead, she said she took it because she thought his dogs were so beautiful and she showed me a text message that backs up that claim.

The picture was sent to her daughter - with the words: "Check out this guy and the dogs just walking our street - the dogs were huge!" Her daughter replied, "Polar bears!"

Ike says he doesn't have any ill will toward the woman, but he is disappointed that his picture was still on the Crimestoppers website days after the sheriff's department told him it would be taken down.

Earlier this week, the picture finally did come down and the sheriff's department issued a statement – apologizing:

While we understand this caused unnecessary strife for Mr. Iloputaife, it was not done intentionally nor with any malintent. We are sorry for any strife this may have caused Mr. Iloputaife and have begun working on steps to streamline this process to avoid a similar oversight in the future.

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