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Neighbors arrested for stealing from dead woman's Highland home with daughter

April 2, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
A bizarre home burglary in the city of Highland has gotten even stranger: A dead woman's house was repeatedly broken into by neighbors who brought a child with them.

Highland resident Joanie Eckland died last month. Then sometime after her death her home was broken into and ransacked. The suspects in the burglary are Eckland's own next-door neighbors, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.

One neighbor says when Eckland's mail started piling up, another neighbor called for a welfare check and that's when authorities found her body.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department says Perla Alba and her boyfriend, Janos Farkos, snuck next door on several occasions to steal things from the house after Eckland died.

Police say Alba would even take her 12-year-old daughter to the house to take part in the theft, and her daughter's 12-year-old friend.

Police estimate that more than $30,000 worth of property was stolen.

"Jewelry, crystal. She had furs," said San Bernardino County Sheriff's spokeswoman Cindy Bachman. "She had many, many things in her house that were valuable, and when the family came there, obviously they noticed right away that almost all of her jewelry was gone."

Alba and Farkos are charged with burglary and possession of stolen property. They may also be charged with delinquency of a minor. Both suspects posted bail.

Police did not say exactly what led them to arrest Alba and Farkos. A search warrant served at the residence of led to several stolen items being found, but many other items were missing. Detectives are asking anyone who may have been sold property by these suspects to call Highland Police at (909) 387-8313.

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