"Unusual" is perhaps the only word to describe a spate of burglaries in Glendale on Wednesday that involved lottery tickets, curling irons and more than $300 in cash found between an alleged thief's buttocks.
It all began about 6:31 a.m. after witnesses reported hearing loud bangs in the 2500 block of Cañada Boulevard. Police discovered the glass storefront at Cañada Liquor had been smashed and nine California Lottery scratchers had been stolen. Coins inside the store's cash register were left untouched, as were other lottery scratchers on display.
All scratchers issued to retailers have barcodes that must be activated by a retailer, said lottery spokesman Alex Traverso. Once tickets are reported stolen, lottery investigators track them to determine when and where they were used.
Roughly two hours after the liquor store break-in, Heavenly Beauty Salon in the 3400 block of Ocean View Boulevard was also burglarized.
Thieves smashed in the front door to steal about $200 worth in hair products from Farouk Systems and Joico, as well as three $60 curling irons, police said.
Soon after the first two break-ins, officers arrested Aren Minassi, 21, his 15-year-old brother and his two friends, also 15, at about 12:58 p.m. on suspicion of burglarizing a 78-year-old woman's home, police Sgt. Tom Lorenz said.
The boys' names were not released because they are minors.
While officers were searching Minassi at the jail, they discovered $330, including three $100 bills, between his buttocks, Lorenz said.
Police later booked the cash into evidence.
A pest-control employee who was familiar with recent burglaries in the area followed Minassi and the boys until police stopped them.
Inside the sedan they were using, police reportedly discovered cash and a glass jewelry box with the image of an angel that contained coins, candy and a piece of paper — all them stolen from the woman's home in the 1400 block of Campbell Street, police said.
The thieves apparently entered the home through a rear sliding door.