Police seek owners of stolen items

Huntington Beach police are looking for the owners of stolen property recovered this month from a cargo box in Westminster.

Police said many of the items have been identified as property stolen from ExtraSpace Storage at 7531 McFadden Ave.

Residents reported burglaries from those units in late May, according to Sgt. Jerry Abrahams, adding up to at least $200,000 in missing goods.

Lisa Sanford, 42, of Huntington Beach, James Hayes 47, of Westminster, and John McGowen, 45, of Seal Beach, were arrested June 1 on suspicion of possession of stolen property, Abrahams said.

Sanford pleaded not guilty June 12 to four counts of burglary and three counts of receiving stolen property, according to Orange County Superior Court records. McGowen pleaded not guilty to four counts of burglary, one count of receiving stolen property and possession of drug paraphernalia the same day. Hayes was released on $200,000 bond June 4 and faces an arraignment hearing July 22.

Sanford has pleaded guilty before for burglary, once on Feb. 15 and in June 1996, according to court records.

Hayes and McGowen have no history of burglary charges but both have been involved in numerous cases involving drugs and drug paraphernalia possession, according to Superior Court records.

Police served a search warrant June 2 in Westminster and recovered many of the items stolen from the storage units, Abrahams said. A 25-foot cargo box found on the property contained additional stolen goods.

For the past few weeks, police have been identifying the recovered items and posted pictures on the Huntington Beach Police Department's Facebook page.

"We have 115 pictures of most of the property, with the hopes that someone would recognize it and give us a call," he said.

Abrahams said storage sites are logical targets for burglars because people tend to not check on the contents of their units very often.

"We could have potential victims coming back to us six months from now saying they went to their storage unit and half their stuff is missing," he said.

Abrahams advises residents to store valuable items, like jewelry or weapons, in safe deposit boxes or other alternatives to storage units.

"There's this sense of security with a storage unit, but those are fairly easy to break into because the walls are made out of drywall," he said. "You can rent a storage unit and bust through drywall and work your way through a bunch of storage units and take your time looking for what you want."

If you have seen one of your items on the HBPD Facebook page, contact Det. Jerry Goodspeed at (714) 536-5653 or Sgt. Jerry Abrahams at (714) 536-5949.

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