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Man found dead outside fumigated Westminster house

A man who was found dead on the back porch of a Westminster house may have died from poisoning, authorities said Wednesday.
April 23, 2014 8:11:57 AM PDT
A man who was found dead in Westminster may have died from poisoning, authorities said Wednesday.

A-1 Fumigation workers made the discovery in a back yard at a home on the 14400 block of Monroe Lane in Westminster at about 6 p.m. Tuesday. Police say the man was overcome by fumes before he could get inside the house. He was not immediately identified. Police say he's from the Bakersfield area, but did not have any identification on him when he was found.

"He's a male white about 30 to 40 years old," said Westminster Police Detective Norma Vasquez.

The owner of the house just sold the property after living there for 30 years. The house was being fumigated as part of the terms of the sale. He was staying with his daughter when they received the news.

Burglars targeting tented homes is not uncommon in Southern California. Detectives are checking to see if the dead man was connected with previous burglaries in the area.

"That's something that we would definitely look into," said Vasquez. "Last year we had about, I would say 10 fumigation burglaries -- 2012 is when we had a lot of them: We had about 17 in 2012."

Police warn homeowners to take precautions if their home is being fumigated. Call police to request extra patrols in the area.

"What we recommend residents to do is also hide valuables, anything that they fear might be taken or of high value to prevent from losing that," said Vasquez.

An autopsy had not been performed Wednesday and the cause of death was not confirmed.

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