Two arrests made on Sept. 26 led Crescenta Valley Sheriff's Station detectives to a Montrose apartment where well over 1,000 suspected stolen items were discovered.
According to Sgt. Ray Harley, deputies responded to the call of suspicious activity in the 4900 block of Del Monte Road in La Cañada. They observed the two suspects; a white male later identified as Jeffrey Parcell, 37, was at the rear of the residence.
“According to his driver's license he lives in La Cañada, but he is currently living in an apartment in Montrose,” Harley said.
The second suspect, identified as Tobias Reyes, 41, was sitting in the driver's seat of a white Scion. His license lists a Pasadena residence but he also currently lives in the Montrose apartment with Parcell, according to Harley.
It was a call from an alert local resident that led to the arrests and recovery of stolen property. The call came into the Crescenta Valley Sheriff's Station about 3 p.m. on Friday from a La Cañada resident who witnessed a white male entering a nearby home. The neighbor also reported that a Hispanic male was sitting in a white Scion parked a few homes down the street.
On responding to the call, deputies observed Parcell walking away from the La Cañada house and down the street. Reyes exited the Scion and began distancing himself from the location as well. Both suspects were detained.
Deputies walked around the targeted home and discovered two screens missing from two different windows. One window had been open and the blinds were askew. There were also pry marks around a window. It appeared to the deputies that Parcell had attempted to gain entry into the residence.
Further search of the suspects found latex gloves and a center punch designed for working with metal.
Parcell and Reyes each had a two-way radio that was tuned to the same channel in their possession. Deputies also found a small amount of jewelry on the suspects. Numerous burglary-type tools were discovered in the Scion.
“Search warrants [to the suspects' apartment] were issued,” Harley said.
When detectives entered the Montrose apartment in the 4300 block of Del Mar Road they found hundreds of items, from laptop computers to autographed baseballs to Taser weapons.
“This was a crew that [we suspect] had been working the area over a few months,” Harley said.
He added the station had received reports from the community of a white Scion near other burglaries, but no one had any further descriptions. He praised the neighbor who was observant and not afraid to call to station and report her concerns.
“She stayed on the line and kept us informed,” he said.
Harley said this case demonstrates how important it is for law enforcement to have the community's help.
“Deputies were there within a minute [after the call came in],” said Capt. Dave Silversparre.
Many units subsequently arrived to observe, apprehend and follow through with the investigation.
Silversparre added that he was impressed with both the community member who called the station and station personnel who worked as a team to apprehend the suspects.
His team has been working since last Friday on itemizing and categorizing the property found at the Montrose location. Detectives have contacted the victims whose items were clearly marked with an individual or family name. Others who may have been burglarized in the past few months are asked to wait until all the property is categorized before contacting the station.
Detectives are planning to contact victims to identify their property when they have completed the investigation.
“There is just so much stuff,” Harley said. “We have to photograph and [tag] every item.”
That includes the boxes and boxes of individual pieces of jewelry found in the apartment. And the investigation continues.
“Some of the [property] had been sold on eBay and we have traced those purchases,” Harley said.
Those eBay buyers have been notified that they have received stolen property and the station is in the process of recovering those items.
There are also indications that the two suspects may have been planning on expanding their burglaries to identity thefts with the purchase of copying equipment.
Several driver's licenses, credit cards and passports were discovered among the property seized.
Both suspects were released on $50,000 bail each over the weekend. Their next court date is scheduled for Tuesday.