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Crime Report: Business burglaries and thefts fill this week’s sheriff’s log

Crime Report: Business burglaries and thefts fill this week’s sheriff’s log
Reported crimes in early June include vandalism, commercial burglaries, grand theft and theft by false pretenses and petty theft. (File Photo)

June 3

Vandalism: 5000 block of Godbey Drive. The rear passenger window of a woman’s GMC Acadia, which she’d left parked and locked in a lot at 10 a.m. was smashed sometime between then and noon. The victim said her purse, which she’d left on the rear floorboard, was undisturbed and nothing appeared to have been stolen from the vehicle’s interior.

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June 5

Commercial burglaries: 400 block of Foothill Boulevard. As reported in a news article that appeared in the June 7 Valley Sun, three businesses in the same shopping center — Taco Deli, Stella’s Pizza Kitchen and Smoothie Stop — were struck by a smash-and-grab burglar targeting the shops’ cash register drawers.

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June 6

Grand theft and theft by false pretenses: 700 block of Foothill Boulevard. An employee of a business reported that she had been working there at about 9:50 p.m. when she received a phone call from a man identified in the crime report as “Mark Williams,” who said he was from the business’s corporate office. He told her that several locations were being audited and that her manager was about to be fired. He told the employee she too would lose her job if she did not pay a fine. He asked her how much money was at the location and told her to put it on reloadable credit cards. He further told her to close the store early so she could get the cash from the register and the safe for that purpose. He instructed her to provide him with the reloadable cards’ numbers so he could access the funds, after which she was to destroy the cards. The employee said she complied with all of the instructions because she didn’t want to lose her job. Subsequently, she contacted her manager to inquire about the audit. He told her none was being conducted.

Intent to defraud: 700 block of Starlight Heights Drive. A man reported being defrauded after placing a classified ad to sell a couch on a website. He said that after posting the ad he was contacted on May 28 via email by someone who negotiated a price for the couch and agreed to buy it. The suspect instructed the victim to contact a specific moving company (the name of which is redacted from the sheriff’s report) to pick up the couch and told the victim he would provide him with additional funds to pay for the delivery. On June 2 the victim received a cashier’s check in the amount covering the couch and its delivery cost, and deposited it at his bank. Using a mobile app, he transferred money to the moving company and arranged for it to pick up the couch on June 5. No one picked it up that day, so he contacted the “buyer,” who said he’d canceled the pick up and had the moving funds returned to him. The suspect asked the victim if they could terminate the sale of the couch and if the victim would be willing to give him a partial refund on its purchase price. The seller agreed and transferred the agreed upon amount to the suspect using the same money-transfer app, and kept the couch. On June 6, the victim learned from his bank that the check he’d originally received from the suspect had been returned because it was fake.

June 7

Petty theft: 5800 block of Angeles Crest Highway. A man working as a field supervisor for a security firm discovered that a Samsung cellphone and a binder with business information and papers had been removed from a security box sometime between 6:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. that day. The box was secured with a cable and combination lock. There was no sign of forced entry.

June 8

Commercial burglary: 500 block of Foothill Boulevard. Two black males and one black female entered a store at about 3:20 p.m. and began looking at cellphones arrayed on wall displays. About three minutes later, all of them produced wire-cutting pliers and began cutting phones from their security alarms. The three pulled a total of 10 phones off the display and ran out of the store together. Video surveillance footage from a neighboring business showed the three suspects getting into a dark vehicle that was driven northbound on Gould Avenue and out of view.

Commercial burglary: 500 block of Foothill Boulevard (Ralphs market). A white male was seen walking out the door of the store at 8:36 p.m. pushing a shopping cart. The door’s security alarm went off, so a witness called out to the suspect and asked to check his items. The man left the cart and climbed into a waiting Ford Mustang that was driven northbound on Gould Avenue and out of view. Recovered in the basket were several medications, including Rogaine, that still had sensors attached. A man and woman had earlier been noticed sitting for a least an hour in a gray Mustang parked in the same lot, and the woman in that car had earlier purchased a can of pineapple, but it was unknown if that same couple was involved in the attempted thefts.

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