Thieves strike Irvine dog park, smash-and-grab purses from cars

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Thieves smashed-and-grabbed several purses from a parking lot at the Irvine Central Bark Dog Park.

Thieves swiped multiple purses after breaking into cars at a dog park in Irvine and the victims were able to track the criminals to Inglewood thanks to an iPhone app.

Megan Rankin and her boyfriend Jared Arteaga were playing with their dog at the Irvine Central Bark Dog Park in the 6400 block of Oak Canyon on Saturday when thieves smashed the windows of multiple cars in the parking lot.

"We came out ready to call on what had happened, and my girlfriend, she decided maybe she should just look in the back of the car to see if anything went missing and her purse was missing," Arteaga said.

Police said two purses had also been swiped from other vehicles. Rankin had left her cellphone inside her purse and it had the Find My iPhone app. The couple tracked the movements of the phone.

"It shows up as a phone icon and I could see the phone icon moving down the freeway," Arteaga said. "We totally saw every single move they made on our phone."

The couple tracked the phone to a location in Inglewood and called police with the information. Officers went to the neighborhood, but said they didn't find anything.

So Arteaga and Rankin decided to go to the location themselves.

"Luckily we did end up going there ourselves, because Inglewood (police) didn't find anything, and we ended up going ourselves and tracking the phone and found all the purses," Arteaga said.

All three stolen purses were located in a trash can, but the IDs, credit cards and debit cards were gone.

"We canceled the cards, all the cards, before they parked the car, because we were watching them the whole time when they were on the 405," Rankin said.

Arteaga and Rankin usually feel comfortable at the park, but said the incident has served as a reminder to be very cautious of what they leave in the car.

Related Topics:
dogsparktheftIrvineOrange County
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