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Man arrested after allegedly breaking into Merced County District Attorney's office

A 21-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of breaking into the Merced County District Attorney's Office on Sunday, after police responding to an alarm found the suspect inside the building.

Merced police believe Nicholas David Brown of Merced broke a window and climbed into the 720 West 20th Street building.

Police arrived at the scene shortly before 3 a.m. after they were alerted by the alarm, according to Cmdr. Floyd Higdon.

While checking the exterior of the building, police heard several banging noises from inside the office. Police saw the suspect standing inside the office at a window. Higdon said Brown was hitting the window with his fists, yelling that he could not get out of the office and needed help.

Police entered the building and arrested him.

Brown tore a thermostat from a wall inside the building, Higdon said, although no items were missing.

Merced County District Attorney Larry Morse II said Brown entered the offices of at least two attorneys. "Obviously, it's a huge intrusion and it is very unsettling," Morse said.

The suspect suffered cuts to his hands and his head from breaking the glass on the window, Higdon said.

It's the second time, in less than a year, that the district attorney's office has been targeted by burglars. Theives broke into the district attorney's office at 650 W. 20th St. in September.

Two desktop computers and a laptop computer were taken during that incident. The thieves entered at least eight offices, some of which were ransacked, opening file cabinets and leaving files on the floor.

In that case, one person was arrested on suspicion of possessing stolen property, and the stolen laptop computer was recovered, Morse said.

Since the September burglary, Morse said all of the buildings rented by the district attorney's office have been equipped with alarm systems.

Brown was booked into the Merced County jail on vandalism and burglary charges. He also had a warrant on suspicion of drinking and driving. He is being held in lieu of $40,000 bail.

Reporter Victor A. Patton can be reached at (209) 385-2431 or vpatton@mercedsun-star.com

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