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OC sheriffs crack down on ‘dangerous, prolific crew' that stole Range Rover, guns and jewelry from homes

Orange County’s Sheriff and the District Attorney made nine arrests in a crime ring they said has been breaking into homes, stealing more than half a million dollars in cash and other luxury items throughout the county for more than a year.

“This is a dangerous, prolific crew and the announcement today is to do everything in our power as government officials and leaders to put them out of business,” Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said in a press conference Thursday.

The OC Sheriff’s Department, with the help of 19 police departments, linked 34 burglaries to one group of at least 20 people — all from Los Angeles. Nineteen of the home burglaries occurred in Fullerton and three of them took place when people were home.

The DA is charging 15 adults and five teens in total with crimes including breaking into homes and stealing more than half a million dollars in cash, guns, jewelry, and more. In one case, Sheriff Don Barnes said the thieves stole a Range Rover.

The DA also mentioned that the office will seek the maximum sentence in state prison, which ranges from six to 28 years. As for the teens, he expressed frustration that they will go to juvenile court where they reside in Los Angeles.

When asked how they linked these suspects, Barnes said he couldn’t share specifics, but did mention the importance of surveillance cameras and motion sensors on second floors.

“A lot of these burglaries are occurring when people make an entry off the second floor off a balcony or some type of awning and breaking through the master bedroom,” Barnes explained.

They stressed that these are organized groups that surveil neighborhoods, looking for a pattern of life that will provide an opportunity.

“Oftentimes, they’ll surveil residences, looking for lights off, lights on, people routinely leaving, no cars in the driveway,” he said.

Sheriff’s deputies arrested nine of the twenty alleged burglars on Wednesday. The others still have warrants out for their arrest.

Barnes added that there are likely other people involved in the crime ring that they have not yet identified. They may also be involved in other burglaries that have not been reported.

Anyone with additional information that may assist investigators, is encouraged to contact the Orange County Sheriff’s Department at 714-647-7000. Anonymous information may be provided through Orange County Crime Stoppers at 1-855-TIP-OCCS.

Source: NBC Los Angeles

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