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Man Suspected in 11 Ranch Burglaries

A 33-year-old Moorpark man arrested by Oxnard police earlier this month for allegedly stealing a car is suspected of burglarizing 11 ranches over three weeks before he was picked up, authorities said Wednesday.

East County sheriff’s detectives booked Augustine Loza Jr., who was already being held at Ventura County Jail in the auto theft case, on charges of grand theft and receiving stolen goods, jail officials said.

Detectives said Loza stole more than $20,000 worth of ranch supplies, including expensive saddles and other riding gear, from 11 ranches stretching from Thousand Oaks to Camarillo.

Investigators said Wednesday that after interviewing witnesses they were able to identify Loza as the suspect. Several of the stolen items were recovered and returned to their owners, said Detective David Lea.

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Jail officials said Loza was arrested by Oxnard police on Sept. 10 on suspicion of auto theft, reckless driving and possession of drug paraphernalia.

East County investigators said the ranch thefts began on Aug. 18 and ended Sept. 9, the day before Loza was taken into custody for allegedly stealing a car.

Loza is being held without bail on a parole hold for an unspecified prior conviction, jail officials said.


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