Laptop Leads to Arrest of Two Burglary Suspects

The good news, Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Capt. Chris Blasnek said, is that two more burglary suspects have been arrested and the allegedly stolen items located with them were returned to their owners in La Cañada Flintridge.
The not-so-great news, he said, is that the suspects — two men, one 23 and another 25 years old — were traced to Apple Valley, the High Desert city 90 miles away.
“What concerns me,” Blasnek said, “is that these people came all that way. It concerns me that they may have come over the back way, on Highway 138. Several deputies have mentioned that they could be coming over from Palmdale, but I never would’ve guessed they’d be coming from Apple Valley.”
Despite the substantial distance, sheriff’s deputies were able to track down possessions that were reported stolen from a home in the 700 block of Greenbridge Drive on Tuesday, Feb. 13, when residents found their home ransacked and jewelry, a Macbook Air laptop computer and a safe (containing a shotgun and a semi-automatic pistol) missing, Blasnek said.
Authorities are still searching for a third suspect, a female described as being of Asian descent in her 20s with long black hair.
Sgt. Alan Chu said investigators have a series of leads on the local whereabouts of the suspects before and after the alleged break-in.
“We have their route plotted out pretty much,” Chu said.
The suspects divulged their location, Blasnek said, when they turned on the laptop Wednesday in Apple Valley, activating a function that allowed it to be traced. The victims received a notification and contacted the sheriff’s station.
“And we called the San Bernardino County sheriff’s and they went out to the house and detained a couple of people, located the laptop and recovered the guns,” said Blasnek, who sent deputies from the CV station to assist in the operation and transport the suspects back to La Crescenta, where they were booked in the Crescenta Valley station jail.
Blasnek said the fact that one of the suspects was on probation related to a domestic violence charge gave authorities an avenue to search the property prior to obtaining a search warrant, which would have happened, he said, but might have taken more time.
Blasnek said the suspects were cooperative, turning over the items — including the pried-open safe, which was located in a shed in backyard.
The sheriff’s department also is holding a grey 2012 Dodge Challenger belonging to one of the suspects as evidence.
Thanks to the Ring device on the front door of the residence in LCF, there is video evidence of the car passing the home shortly before the break-in. The device also provided “great video” of the woman approaching the home before it was burglarized, said Blasnek, who said authorities are looking for her now.
“I encourage everybody to get Ring — I have it and I love it,” Blasnek said, noting it has the additional benefit of alerting you to the arrival of packages.
“The bad news is that another house got hit,” Blasnek said. “The good news is that we have suspects in custody and guns recovered. It’s interesting that they would come from so far away, but if they think we’re a good target out here, I encourage people to put their valuables away, secure them, move them out of their master bedrooms if possible and don’t give these people a reason to come back.”
Equipping electronic devices with traceable software could be helpful, too, Blasnek said.
Last week’s arrests add to the six burglary suspects apprehended in the San Gabriel Valley in January, although three of those jailed last month had bonded out by last week, Blasnek said.

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