8 Break-Ins, 6 Robberies and a Baby; 2 Arrested


A man and woman suspected in at least eight burglaries and six armed robberies, sometimes with a baby in the back seat of the getaway car, were arrested early Monday in Rancho Santa Margarita, police said.

Todd H. Smith, 32, and Rebecca Mangan, 24, are being held in connection with a two-week spree of burglaries and holdups at hardware and sporting-goods stores across Orange County and in San Bernardino, Fontana, Corona and other Southern California cities, said Jim Amormino, spokesman for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. The couple had been living in a Fontana motel, he said.

Several of the crimes were taped by store surveillance cameras. On Feb. 5, Orange County deputies released information and tape of a burglary at a Sport Chalet in Mission Viejo and an armed robbery at a Home Depot in Laguna Woods.


Police spotted the suspects late Sunday in a white pickup after robberies at two sandwich shops in south Orange County but lost them after the couple ditched the truck and fled on foot through a nearby apartment complex.

While deputies were searching the truck, the suspects drove by in a 1954 Ford Fairlane, Amormino said. The car broke down in front of the officers, and the couple were arrested about 2:35 a.m. after a brief pursuit on foot, he said.

Officers said they found a handgun and ax in the abandoned truck. The baby, who was seen in some store security videos and appeared to be about 18 months old, was not there, investigators said.

Police were trying to find out late Monday where the child is and whether the suspects are the parents, Amormino said.

“They’ve been pretty busy criminals, that’s for sure,” he said.

The pair were booked at Orange County Jail and face charges of armed robbery, burglary, auto theft and child endangerment. Other police agencies are being contacted, Amormino said.