- Police received a call at 2 a.m. on Monday from a security staff member, reports say
- Kevin Garcia Valdovinos, 29, was taken into custody
A suspected stalker was arrested while hiding outside Prince Harry and Meghan’s Montecito mansion in the middle of the night, according to reports.
It is understood that a member of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s $14m (£112m) California home security team placed the man under arrest before alerting the local police.
A spokesperson for the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office told TMZ they received a phone call around 2 a.m. Monday from security personnel.
The tabloid said Kevin Garcia Valdovinos, 29, was taken into custody at the entrance to the couple’s property.
Once the police arrived, the man was taken into custody and convicted of criminal harassment, before being released on bail.
The law under which Valdovinos was arrested said it was not the first time he had committed a similar offence.
TMZ reported that he never made it to the property and it was something he said to security that prompted them to place him under citizen’s arrest.
Nine calls to the police in nine months from July 2020 to February 2021
July 2020: police were called four times, three of which were listed as “alarm activations” and one phone request
August 2020: A miscellaneous priority incident
November: Activation of the alarm
Christmas Eve: Nicholas Brooks allegedly violated property rights and was released with a warning
Boxing Day: Brooks arrived again and was arrested
February 2021: Activation of the alarm
It was unclear whether Harry and Meghan – or their two children Archie, 4, or Lilibet, 1 – had come at the time of the arrest.
The couple were in New York last night to attend the Ms. Foundation Women of Vision Awards, where Meghan received the 2023 award “for her global advocacy for the empowerment and defense of the rights of women and girls”.
The couple and their then-one-year-old son Archie moved into the exclusive neighborhood of Montecito in 2020.
They bought the lavish 18,000 square foot home, which sits on 5.4 acres of land, for $14.5m (£11m).
It was revealed a year later by the PA news agency, in July 2021, that police had been called to the mansion nine times in as many months.
The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office even responded twice over Christmas to pick up an intruder who had traveled to the Sussexes’ home from Ohio.
The property’s alarm system had also been triggered five times during this period.
The data, obtained under freedom of information laws, was released after the couple aired their safety concerns during their explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey.
Nickolas Brooks was the man who drove all the way from Ohio. He was caught trespassing on Christmas Eve 2020. He returned two days later, on December 26, 2020, and was arrested by police for trespassing.
READ MORE: ‘You can be the visionary in your own life’: Meghan hails ‘acts of service, grace and kindness’ as key to a ‘just world’ as she accepts Women of Vision award At New York
Brooks was initially released with a warning, but he showed up at the house again on Boxing Day at 2:54 p.m. and was later arrested and charged with one count of trespassing.
Brooks later said he may have been “high” when he broke into the house. It was later revealed that he had a previous conviction for taking part in an attack that left a man with a broken bone in his face.
He said: ‘I don’t know why I went to them, that’s kind of where I ended up. I’ve driven across the country – I know it’s crazy.
“I was told to stay away and that I’m never allowed to go back, but I don’t have to appear in court. I spent a night in jail and they told me to stay away in the future.
News of Brooks’ failings came just a week after Harry said he was worried about his family’s safety. The prince aired his fears during the couple’s explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey on March 7, 2021.
Harry has revealed how Buckingham Palace revoked their security details when they quit as senior royals and moved to North America.
He said he and Meghan signed their lucrative deals with Netflix and Spotify because they needed money to cover their own security after being “cut off financially” by the Palace after leaving the UK.
“I have what my mom left me, and without it, we couldn’t have done this,” he told Oprah at the time.
“During COVID, a friend’s suggestion was, ‘What about streamers? ‘ Harry said, while Meghan added: ‘We really hadn’t thought of that before.
“We hadn’t thought of that,” Harry continued. “So there were all kinds of different options. And look, from my perspective, all I needed was enough money to be able to pay for security to protect my family.
The deals with Netflix and Spotify were worth $100 million and $25 million respectively, while Harry has since released a memoir titled ‘Spare’, which – according to Guinness World Records – has become “the best-selling non-fiction book of all”. time’ on the date of its release.
It is widely reported that Harry received $20 million for the book deal.