Fountain Valley police arrest 3 suspected of Guitar Center grand theft
The search last week for three suspects allegedly involved in two incidents of grand theft at the Guitar Center on Euclid Street took Fountain Valley police from their city to Anaheim and Costa Mesa, law enforcement authorities announced in a news release Monday.
Arrested Thursday were Pamela Young, 37 of La Palma; Pedro Melendez, 39 of Anaheim; and Issac Villalpando, 38 of Westminster. The three were arrested on suspicion of burglary, conspiring to commit burglary and organized retail theft. Jail records on Monday afternoon indicated all three remain in custody on bails of $75,000.
Fountain Valley police said officers were able to obtain the suspects’ license plate in both burglaries and that the plate matched one from a previous robbery case in June 2021. Police said a review of surveillance footage led them to believe the suspects in both cases were the same.
The suspects’ vehicle was later located at an Anaheim motel.
Authorities monitored the vehicle as it traveled to the Bloomingdale’s at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, where two of the three suspects eventually emerged from the store with allegedly stolen merchandise.
Police arrested the trio outside the mall, and about $2,500 in merchandise was identified by Bloomingdale’s staff and returned to the store.
Officers later located inside the Anaheim motel room the clothing the suspects are alleged to have worn during the Guitar Center burglaries, but none of the merchandise taken from Guitar Center has yet been located.
Police said further investigation has also suggested that Young, Melendez and Villalpando were involved in previous Guitar Center thefts in Brea.
According to court records, Young pleaded not guilty to one misdemeanor charge of petty theft on Monday.
Both Melendez and Villalpando face two felony counts of second degree burglary and one felony count each of organized retail theft and pleaded not guilty to all charges.
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