A Corona man is suspected of committing a mini-crime spree in Burbank earlier this month after police say he allegedly broke into two vehicles, burglarized them, attempted to steal the cars and tried to rob two people, all in the span of 20 minutes.
Efrain Bugarin Salinas, 27, was arrested on suspicion of attempted robbery, vehicle burglary, attempted burglary and attempted vehicle theft on Feb. 4 after the Burbank Police Department received multiple reports around the Empire Center.
Sgt. Derek Green, a department spokesman, said the initial call came in after a witness heard three loud pops coming from the Empire Center’s parking lot and saw a man rummaging around inside a car that had one of its windows broken. Officers eventually located and detained the man near Best Buy.
As officers were interviewing witnesses at the scene, Green said police started to find there were multiple calls from around the area, all involving a suspect who matched the description of the man they had in custody.
The first incident occurred around 6:50 p.m. when a man allegedly tried to steal a Honda Civic at the 76 gas station off of San Fernando Boulevard and Buena Vista Street.
The man was seen minutes later at the Extended Stay America in the Empire Center, reportedly pounding on room doors.
“He ultimately barges his way into a room and demands the occupant of it to give them their car keys,” he said.
The man exited the room without getting anything and allegedly tried to pick-pocket a woman outside the hotel.
According to Green, that’s when the man broke into the car at the shopping center.
“Once officers responded to these locations, there were multiple witnesses at each, and they were describing the same person,” Green said.
Salinas was eventually identified as the suspect, and authorities discovered he was out on post-release community supervision, a form of probation overseen by the county, for a prior carjacking conviction.
Green said it’s unknown why Salinas reportedly went on a mini-crime spree, but added it was possible he was under the influence of drugs at the time.
“It’s an unusual string of events given the time of day and being in a crowded, busy shopping area,” he said. “This person seemed determined to want to steal a car and went to great means to try to.”