6 arrested in 3-year Ventura burglary string


The Ventura Police Department launched an intensive investigation into a rising trend of residential burglaries in the city in December 2010. Daytime burglaries had risen 40 percent in the city.

In May, police received a report of a burglary in progress in Mid-Town. Patrol officers and detectives responded and caught three suspects. That led to several searches that recovered stolen property, and led to further arrests as well.

Luis Manuel Galvan, 18; John Michael Gutierrez, 18; Antonio Espino, 21; Edwyn Hernandez, 18; Santiago Hernandez, 18; and a 17-year-old male juvenile, all from Ventura, were arrested.

Detectives believe the group had been committing residential burglaries since 2008, and are responsible for 300 to 500 burglaries in that time period.

Police described the alleged method of the burglaries. From about 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., groups of two or more would drive around Ventura neighborhoods including Poli, Sunset, Hillcrest, Ondulando, Mid-Town, Clearview and Bayshore.

Suspects would target a residence and ring the doorbell or knock on the door. If no one was home, they would attempt to enter through unlocked doors, windows or dog-doors.

They allegedly stole guns, flat-screen TVs, small electronics, cash and jewelry, then sold them for cash or narcotics, according to police.

Some residences were burglarized repeatedly.

If you have information related to these crimes, you can make an anonymous call to Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS.

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