The crimes seemed simple. A person would buy something from the Apple store at the Mission Viejo Mall, or maybe at Fashion Island in Newport Beach, or at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, California. A thief would break into the car after the owner left to do other shopping, and get away with new computer equipment.
But detectives began to notice a pattern based upon the type of items stolen, particularly the desirable Apple products. They set up a sting after Christmas in Mission Viejo, where eight similar burglaries had been reported. Authorities said three men followed an undercover Sheriff’s deputy after he bought a printer and computer and broke into his car after he drove off, parked and shopped elsewhere.
The detectives from three counties, Orange, Riverside and Los Angeles, are sharing the information in hopes of capturing others believed to be associated with the ring. Shoppers often have to leave their purchases in their cars because they cannot take them with them which makes them easy targets.
Burglary is serious but the scale and number of the crimes makes it an even more serious situation. They will get jail time for their crimes. Whether you live in Tustin, Aliso Viejo or Brea, if you are charged with burglary, call an experienced criminal defense attorney right away to assist you.