LOCAL : Suspect in Diamond Bar Robbery, Slaying Arrested in Costa Mesa

From Times staff and wire service reports

A suspect in the slaying of a Diamond Bar woman was arrested this morning at a Costa Mesa motel, authorities said.

Allen David Brooks, 42, is suspected of being the man who entered a Diamond Bar check cashing store Dec. 15, 1988, and shot Belinda Brecke, 31, with a sawed-off shotgun. The killer fled with $10,000 to $15,000, police said.

Costa Mesa Police Lt. Gary Webster said Brooks is also suspected of holding up two Orange County restaurants Monday and escaping with an undetermined amount of money. The description provided after those robberies fit the description of the man wanted for the Diamond Bar killing, police said.

A Costa Mesa officer on routine patrol about 3 a.m. today spotted a Dodge van that fit the description of a getaway vehicle used in the Costa Mesa robberies. Police set up a small SWAT team outside the hotel where the van was parked about 6:30 a.m., and Brooks surrendered 15 minutes later.


Brooks remains in the custody of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, which handles prisoners for Diamond Bar.