SANTA ANA, Calif. (KABC) -- Authorities announced Monday arrests made in a burglary ring involving nearly $2 million in stolen cash, jewelry and guns in at least 44 residential crimes in Orange and San Bernardino counties.
Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer and law enforcement leaders from the county sheriff's department, Fullerton, Anaheim, Buena Park and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms held a news conference to discuss the investigation.
Officials said the string of burglaries occurred before the coronavirus pandemic, beginning in December. Fullerton Police Chief Bob Dunn said the department noticed a rise in residential burglaries at that time. After an investigation, detectives connected the crimes through multiple similarities, including suspects using a Dodge Durango SRT during the burglaries. Some of the crime were also committed in the same area, and some happened while people were home, Dunn said.
Five suspects were identified in the Fullerton burglaries through the investigation that included surveillance footage.
Dunn said detective with Anaheim, Buena Park and Irvine police departments as well as the Orange County Sheriff's Department also identified similarities in their local burglary trends that appeared to be connected to the Fullerton crimes. During the same time, at least two residential burglaries were also confirmed in Chino Hills.
Authorities attempted to take the suspects who were in the Dodge Durango into custody, leading to two separate pursuits, according to Dunn. Both chases were terminated.
However, a multi-agency takedown was conducted on May 15 in which all five suspects were taken into custody without incident.
"Copious amounts of evidence were collected, and some of that evidence has led us to additional confirmed burglaries in both Los Angeles County and San Bernardino County," Dunn said. "They were prolific burglars who perpetrated crimes across at least three counties and operated without care for the consequences."
Spitzer said the suspects all have criminal records.
He emphasized the fact that four of the burglaries were committed when residents were home at the time of the break-ins.
"Because of the criminal history of these individuals, many of them are residential burglars, and thank goodness their background doesn't show that they're home invasion robbers," Spitzer said. "But that is clearly what we're trying to protect against, is the dangerousness of people who would go into residential properties."
All of the suspects are being held without bail.
Spitzer said the suspects are facing sentences ranging from 19 to 125 years in prison.
Orange, San Bernardino counties burglary investigation nets arrests for nearly $2M in cash, jewelry, guns
Authorities announced Monday arrests made in a burglary ring involving nearly $2 million in stolen cash, jewelry and guns in at least 44 residential crimes in Orange and San Bernardino counties.