EXCLUSIVE: Undercover sting by Santa Ana police busts man with stolen computer parts

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A 37-year-old man caught in an undercover sting was allegedly trying to sell computer parts stolen from a Santa Ana manufacturer in March on eBay, police said.

A Riverside man was arrested Wednesday by Santa Ana police for allegedly possessing hundreds of thousands of dollars in stolen computer parts.

"This is his business, selling high-end components, obviously he's selling these things for pennies on the dollar," said Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna.

Detectives believe Walter Levar Mallet, 37, is connected to a burglary at a computer manufacturer in the 1300 block of East Edinger Avenue in Santa Ana on March 22.

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Surveillance video shows three hooded men smashing in a glass door, then taking items from a backroom. Santa Ana police say the men knew exactly what they were doing, and walked away with nearly $400,000 worth of equipment.

"They disarmed the security system. They were inside the business for over three hours picking out specific, high-end components," Bertagna said.

Detectives recently received a tip that Mallet was allegedly selling the high-end components on eBay.

"We made arrangements with the suspect to buy $50,000 worth of these high-end components for $15,000 in cash," Bertagna said.

Mallet brought his wife and 18-month-old baby boy to the alleged deal and undercover sting, which was set up in San Juan Capistrano. Santa Ana police detained and released Mallet's wife, but are continuing to investigate whether she may have played a role in the crime.

Santa Ana police also served a search warrant at the couple's home in Riverside. Mallet's exact role in the burglary remains undetermined, but detectives are certain additional suspects remain at large.

"We are hoping that additional people that see this story and may have information come forward," Bertagna said.

Anyone with information on this crime or the suspects in the surveillance video was asked to contact Orange County Crime Stoppers at (855) TIP-OCCS.
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arrestexclusiveburglarycomputersundercovertheftSanta AnaOrange CountySan Juan Capistrano
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