John Wayne Thomson arrested in Victorville, California - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

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John Wayne Thomson arrested in Victorville, California

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SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. - The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department confirmed Monday afternoon that deputies arrested suspected killer John Wayne Thomson in Victorville, California.  Thomson is suspected in the disappearance and deaths of three people - two of which are from Washington state.

The Sheriff's Department says Thomson was picked up at a steakhouse in Victorville, California when he attempted a carjacking.  According to the FBI in Los Angeles, witnesses watched as the suspect, who fit the description of Thomson, tried to take someone's car.  According to the Sheriff, Thompson carjacked one car, drove a short distance, dumped that car, and tried to carjack another vehicle.  The woman in the car was able to grab the keys, honk the horn and put up enough of a struggle to get others' attention.  Thomson then jumped a short wall and tried to carjack another car at a neighboring restaurant.  But by then the witnesses from the second carjacking attempt arrived to take him down and hold him with ZipTies until deputies arrived.

Deputies took Thomson away and used his fingerprints to make a positive identification.

The incident in Victorville is near the other two cars that were found last week: a pickup truck spattered with blood, and another one of Thomson's suspected getaway cars.

Thomson is accused of abducting 73-year old James Ehrgott from Spokane.  He was last seen July 7th at the Sportsman's Cafe on the 6400 block of N. Market Street.  Investigators found Ehrgott's car abandoned near Centralia on July 12th.  Ehrgott's wallet was inside the car, his credit cards were gone, and it was evident the cards were still being used.

On July 20th, police in Longview, Washington announced the disappearance of Lori Hamm.  They listed Thomson as the main suspect in the woman's disappearance.  Her car was later found July 21 in the parking lot of a Home Depot in Longview.  On August 1, Hamm's body was found off Headquarters Road near Castle Rock.

Investigators also suspect Thomson may have murdered 55-year-old Charles Hedlund in California.  He disappeared last Wednesday and was then found dead.

Timeline of Events for John Wayne Thomson

  • June 17, 2005. Thomson arrested trying to steal a truck on Rose Valley Road and sentenced to two months in jail. He lists a Winlock address and is registered as a sex offender in Lewis County.
  • November 2005, Thomson moves to Paris, Texas, to be with a girlfriend, registers as a sex offender with the Paris Police Department.
  • April of 2005, Thomson tells Texas police he's broken up with his girlfriend and may move back to Washington. Later calls to say the move has been delayed. This is the last time he's registered anywhere as a sex offender.
  • Early July 2006, Thomson is spotted in Spokane, according to police there, and is suspected in stealing a handgun from an ex-girlfriend, according to Lewis County officials who determined Thomson also had recently been in the Toledo area.
  • July 7, 2006, 73-year-old Spokane resident James Ehrgott is last seen in a Spokane cafe. Police have named Thomson as the main suspect in what they consider a homicide case.
  • July 12, 2006. Ehrgott's car is found abandoned near Centralia. His wallet is there but his credit cards are gone and have been used since his disappearance.
  • July 16 and 17, 2006. Thomson is seen driving Longview resident Lori Hamm's car -- after she had last been seen driving it away from Kelso Methodist Church the morning of the 16th.
  • July 18, 2006. Lewis County issues a warrant for Thomson's arrest for possession of a stolen handgun, being a felon in possession of a handgun and trafficking in stolen goods after an investigation near Toledo.
  • July 19. Saying he needs to get out of town, Thomson tries to buy a car from Amber Davis's husband and later -- she tells police -- steals the Kelso woman's 1987 Honda Civic while she was inside a store.
  • July 20, 2006. Longview police announce Hamm's disappearance and list Thomson as the prime suspect.
  • July 21, 2006. Hamm's car discovered abandoned in the Longview Home Depot parking lot.
  • July 26, 2006. Police say they believe Thomson may be in California.
  • Aug 1, 2006. Woman's body found off Headquarters Road near Castle Rock.
  • Aug. 2, 2006: California authorities find stolen car in San Bernardino believed to be vehicle Thomson used to leave local area
  • Aug. 3, 2006: Autopsy and medical examination determines that body found near Headquarters Road is Lori Hamm.
  • Aug. 5, 2006  Authorites find the body of 55-year old Charles Hedlund.  His body was found near his abandoned and bloody pickup truck.
  • Aug. 7, 2006  Person matching Thomson's description allegedly tries to carjack someone at a Victorville steakhouse.  Witnesses hold him down until deputies arrive.
  • Aug. 7, 2006  The San Bernadino County Sheriff's Office confirms through fingerprints that the suspect they arrested for the carjacking is John Wayne Thomson.
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