3 Men Suspected of Irvine Computer Burglary Arrested

A routine traffic stop in Van Nuys early Sunday led to the arrest of three men suspected of stealing 25 Macintosh computers--valued at about $112,000--from a local warehouse, authorities reported.

Irvine police said they discovered the burglary about 6:40 a.m. Sunday when they responded to a burglar alarm at L.A. Computer Co. on Technology Drive in the Spectrum area.

Irvine Police Officer Peter Semelsberger said the burglars had apparently tried to drive a stolen van through the warehouse's roll-up doors. When that failed, they smashed the office's glass doors and escaped with 25 laptop computers and two printers, the officer said.

Later in the day, Los Angeles Police Officers Holly Capra and Brendan McCarty pulled over a Honda Accord with expired registration tags and noticed that the car contained five boxed computers, all of the same type, Capra said.

When questioned, the driver said the computers had been bought by his girlfriend for her business, the officer said.

The officers gave the driver a ticket for the expired tags, then left the scene. But when they drove around the block and returned, they found the men taking the boxed computers out of the Honda and from another car and carrying them into a nearby apartment, Capra said.

Police became suspicious about what the men were up to and it was determined through a check of serial numbers that the computers were among those taken Saturday night, Capra said.

The three men, whom police would not identify, were arrested on suspicion of commercial burglary and held at Van Nuys Jail, Capra said.

Semelsberger said that burglars had attempted to break into the same computer store about two weeks ago but were foiled when the owner of a nearby business scared them off.

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