Police: Costa Mesa homeowner clobbers would-be burglar with a flashlight


A homeowner in Costa Mesa’s Eastside attacked a burglar with a large flashlight when he discovered the would-be thief in his backyard Wednesday morning, according to authorities.

Police were called to a house in the 200 block of Magnolia Street shortly before 6 a.m., where a resident had tried to detain someone, Costa Mesa police Sgt. Mike Manson said.

The homeowner confronted the burglar after the homeowner spotted the burglar trying to make off with a bag full of about $2,200 in property he’d taken from inside, according to police.

The confrontation quickly became physical, Manson said.

“They traded blows,” Manson said. “The homeowner I think started it by hitting this guy in the head with a Maglite.”

The burglar responded by striking the homeowner with a metal bicycle mount and fleeing, Manson said.

Police said they found the suspect hiding about half a block away.

Cody Hammond, 22, was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, possession of burglary tools and attempted grand theft, police said.

Hammond is a transient who came to Costa Mesa from North Carolina for rehab and became homeless, Manson said.

Hammond and the homeowner suffered minor injuries, police said, but Hammond got the worst of it, according to Manson. The homeowner had a small cut on his arm, and Hammond was taken to the hospital for stitches.

Police are looking into whether Wednesday’s incident is related to a string of earlier burglaries in the Eastside.

Hammond is being held at Orange County Jail in lieu of $25,000 bail, according to sheriff’s department records.

Records also show Hammond was released from jail Dec. 17 after being convicted of two misdemeanors and serving a short sentence.

He had pleaded guilty on Dec. 10 to petty theft and falsely representing himself to a police officer, according to court records.