ROYCE DEL MERARI
Officer Royce Del Merari grew up in Orange County, California. He graduated from Foothill High School, where he played football and was the principal cellist in the orchestra. Royce was hired by Tustin PD as a Police Recruit in August 2011, and graduated from the Orange County Sheriff’s Regional Training Academy in March 2012. He is currently assigned to South Area Patrol.
On September 27, 2013, Officer Del Merari was patrolling the east alley behind Big Lots and noticed a rental truck parked behind the store. As the Officer Del Merari approached, he heard a loud noise and saw a subject pop his head out of the vehicle. When the suspect saw Officer Del Merari, he fled in the vehicle at a high rate of speed eastbound on El Camino Real. Officer Del Merari returned to his patrol vehicle and went after the suspect, engaging his lights and siren. The suspect veered into westbound lanes while driving eastbound, and then suddenly turned left. He then crashed into a tree at an apartment complex. The suspect then fled on foot and Officer Del Merari gave chase through the complex. Officer Del Merari caught up with the suspect, and with the assistance of back-up officers, took him into custody.
The rental vehicle contained copper fittings and pipes, as well as several burglary tools. At the original scene, copper piping and air conditioning parts from the buildings HVAC system were located on the roof of the building. Under Miranda, the suspect admitted to the burglary and to fleeing from the scene. The suspect, with priors for the same, was booked into Orange County Jail on several burglary charges and four felony warrants.
Officer Del Merari’s initiative, observation skills, and quick action led to the arrest of the suspect. For the excellent work on this case, Officer Del Merari has been selected as the recipient of the Chamber of Commerce Officer of the Month Award for October 2013. Congratulations Officer Del Merari!