Three men were charged with burglary on Thursday after police say they were allegedly spotted earlier in the week carrying a safe out of a Papa John’s Pizza in Burbank.
Officers with the Glendale Police Department were out on patrol near the Burbank border around 3:40 a.m. on Tuesday when they spotted three men near the restaurant at 904 S. Glenoaks Blvd. loading the safe into a Kia Rio parked nearby.
Sgt. Derek Green, a Burbank Police Department spokesman, said the safe was large enough that all three men had to carry it from the restaurant, through a shattered window and into the vehicle. It wouldn’t even fit in the rear seat where it was placed.
“The safe was so big they couldn’t even close the rear door,” he said.
Green added the safe was used to store cash made from sales at the restaurant until it could be deposited and it was not secured in any way to prevent its removal.
The safe was found with some damage to its keypad and handle suggesting the men tried to break into it first before deciding to carry it out, according to Green.
“It appears [the suspects] were out casing that night looking for an opportunity and this is the location they just happened to choose,” he said.
Officers approached the men and were able to detain one of them while the other two fled into a nearby neighborhood.
Authorities from both Burbank and Glendale soon established a perimeter and spent the next several hours searching the area for the two.
“We had multiple units in the area searching including K9 units,” Green said. “Cars were also screened coming in and out of the neighborhood.”
A suspect was taken into custody around 7 a.m. after police received word that clothing worn by one of the men was found discarded in the 400 block of East Cedar Avenue. A third man was arrested an hour later after witnesses reported seeing someone matching the description of the final outstanding suspect running through an alley in the 1100 block of East Elmwood Avenue.
The three have since been identified as 21-year-old Rupert Lewis from Long Beach, 21-year-old Amil Campbell from Long Beach and 27-year-old Tramell Gaines of Los Angeles.
They were charged with one count each of burglary by the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.