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Retired Deputy Sues After a Withdrawal from Agoura Hills Bank Prompts SWAT-Like Raid

Current L.A. deputies crossed into Ventura County, to the home of William Eggebrecht, with guns raised after he withdrew $400,000.

Patch file photo.
Patch file photo.

Originally posted at 10:17 a.m. April 24, 2014. Edited to add new details.

A retired sheriff's deputy and his wife who withdrew more than $400,000 from an Agoura Hills bank branch are suing the county and OneWest Bank, alleging sheriff's deputies raided their home later the same day -- guns drawn -- to investigate what they were doing with so much money.

William and Hannalore Eggebrecht, who did not specify how much they were seeking, claim they were falsely investigated on suspicion of being drug dealers or targets of fraud or kidnapping. The lawsuit filed Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court cites false imprisonment, assault, intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress and invasion of privacy.

Sheriff's spokeswoman Nicole Nishida issued a statement in response to the lawsuit.

"The department has no knowledge of this lawsuit," Nishida said. "If it were served with such a lawsuit all allegations will be appropriately investigated."

According to the complaint, Eggebrecht worked for about a decade at the Malibu-Lost Hills sheriff's station and received awards for his service. He and his wife withdrew more than $400,000 from their account at the OneWest Bank branch in Agoura Hills last Sept. 6, the suit states.

The lawsuit did not say what the money was for.

Later that day, the Eggebrechts were sitting in their Ventura County home when they heard a knock on their door, according to the suit. Eggebrecht saw numerous patrol cars through a peep hole in a door of the home, the suit states.

"To ... Eggebrecht it looked like an action usually reserved for a SWAT team," the suit states.

Eggebrecht opened the garage door and held his retired sheriff's identification in his left hand, but one of the deputies told him, "We knew who you are," the suit states.

Eggebrecht was "nonetheless still frightened for his life looking down the business end of shotguns and automatic weapons," the suit states. "Identifying himself did not cause the deputies to lower their weapons."

Two of the deputies said they were going to search their home to make sure they were not being held hostage, but the Eggebrechts believed they were using that explanation as a ruse to get into their home -- which was outside their jurisdiction and in another county -- without their permission, the suit states.

However, the deputies actually wanted to "invade the plaintiffs' home to search for what was presumably drugs and/or cash," the suit states.

After searching the home for 20 minutes, the deputies left, the suit states.

"Eggebrecht spent the evening wondering what happened to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department that he loved," the suit states.

On Sept. 9, a woman from the Ventura County Home Services Agency arrived at their home and said she was investigating the possibility of elder abuse of the couple based on a call she received from OneWest Bank about their withdrawal, according to the complaint.

The Eggebrechts believed their privacy was violated by OneWest Bank's alleged disclosure to third parties that they withdrew a large amount of money, the suit states.

"It made the plaintiffs start worrying about potential burglars and home invaders, which added to their emotional distress," according to the suit.

The next day, Eggebrecht called Lt. Matthew Squire of the Malibu/Lost Hills station for an explanation, the suit states.

Squire replied that he knew nothing about deputies drawing guns at their home, but said that based on a call from OneWest bank he "wanted to make sure you were OK."

Although Squire said deputies tried to call the couple's residence first and received no answer, both Eggebrechts were at home at the time and heard no telephones ring, the suit states.

"What Lt. Squire said was simply not true," the suit states.

--City News Service


A Surfers Girl April 24, 2014 at 01:35 PM
That sheriffs station is SO KNOWN for being wrong on so many levels. Even cops are turning in to cop haters? They've abused power and taken advantage so Long now, it seems everyday that a few BRAVE people are willing to finally call them out. I still won't. I was told by a certain sheriff there to , "watch my back" on what I say to the media. Yeah, a 22 year Agoura mom/resident and that happened to ME! I can't imagine some of what's really happening. Time someone does something.
John April 24, 2014 at 03:57 PM
Drugs, or laundering. That some of cash would be called into question by any bank although, OneWest is a terrible bank.

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