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2 plead not guilty in open-house burglaries after arrests in H.B.; third person is charged

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Sara Neal, 28, and Richard Maloney, 29, both of Whittier, were arrested in Huntington Beach in connection with burglaries that targeted open houses.
(Courtesy of Huntington Beach Police Department)

Two people have pleaded not guilty in connection with burglaries of homes being shown during open houses ranging from Huntington Beach to San Francisco, authorities said.

Whittier residents Sara Neal, 28, and Richard Maloney, 29, were arrested Wednesday in Huntington Beach.

Maloney pleaded not guilty Friday to one felony count of first-degree burglary and one felony count of conspiracy to commit a crime in connection with a March 10 incident, court records show.

Neal pleaded not guilty Friday to two felony counts of first-degree burglary, two felony counts of conspiracy to commit a crime and one misdemeanor count of possession of a controlled substance, court records show.

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She is charged with the March burglary as well as one April 16, according to court records.

A third person, Keith Allen Gorden, has been charged with felony first-degree burglary and felony conspiracy to commit a crime in connection with the April incident, court records show. The status of his case was not immediately clear Monday.

Police conducted surveillance after a vehicle suspected of being associated with the crimes was seen in Huntington Beach last week, police said.

Police followed the vehicle, and at 4:45 p.m. Wednesday, Neal and Maloney were arrested, police said.

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During a search of the vehicle, police said, officers found “large amounts” of stolen property linked to local burglaries of open houses as well as crimes reported as far away as San Francisco. Police said they also discovered more than two ounces of methamphetamine.

Neal and Maloney were booked into Orange County Jail with bail set at $110,000 and $50,000, respectively, according to jail records. Both are scheduled to appear in court July 1.

Police advised people who are selling their homes to try to have two real estate agents at open houses to help prevent burglaries and to lock up their valuables or remove them from the home when the property is being shown.

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