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Man arrested in connection with string of drone thefts

Jose Vargas

Los Angeles resident Jose Vargas, 28, was arrested on suspicion of grand theft for allegedly stealing drones from businesses in Glendale, El Monte and Van Nuys, as well as from a Glendale home.

(Courtesy Glendale Police Department)

A 28-year-old Los Angeles man was arrested this week after detectives reportedly tied him to four drone thefts since January in three different cities, including Glendale, police said.

Jose Vargas was arrested on suspicion of grand theft for allegedly stealing drones from businesses in Glendale, El Monte and Van Nuys, as well as from a Glendale home.

On Jan. 31, Vargas entered Robin’s Hobby, located on the 1800 block of West Glenoaks Boulevard, and told the clerk he planned to purchase a quadcopter and remote-controlled car, said Glendale Police spokeswoman Tahnee Lightfoot.

When the clerk turned away for a moment, Vargas allegedly grabbed the two items, together valued at $638, and fled.

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On July 5, Vargas met up with a drone-seller he contacted through Craigslist at the seller’s Glendale home, located on the 800 block of Alma Street. While the victim was showing Vargas the drone, Vargas reportedly grabbed it from his hands and ran into a get-away car, which fled, Lightfoot said.

Using surveillance footage, detectives also tied Vargas to two drone thefts from businesses in El Monte and Van Nuys, Lightfoot said. Those thefts occurred on Feb. 20 and July 13, respectively. The stolen items were together valued at $5,900.

This week, detectives served a search warrant at Vargas’ home, where they reportedly found evidence that he was involved in the series of thefts, to which he later admitted.


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