Sheriff's deputies looking for auto theft link

LA CRESCENTA — Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies are investigating a link between four La Crescenta men arrested in Pasadena last week and a string of vehicle burglaries in Crescenta Valley.

Pasadena police arrested Jeffrey Morquecho, Sean Marshall, Adrian Bernhardt — all 18 — and Brent Gorman, 24, Thursday on suspicion of grand theft, vehicle burglary and evading an officer.

According to Pasadena Police Lt. Chris Russ, a motorcycle officer observed Morquecho fail to stop at a red light. The officer pulled the white 2007 Toyota Camry over into a parking lot near Fair Oaks and California avenues.

“As the officer got off his motorcycle the vehicle drove away,” Russ said.

After a brief pursuit, the vehicle pulled over. Morquecho stayed by the car while the other three fled. The three were captured and arrested a short time later, Russ said.

The car was reported stolen from a residence in the 4900 block of Rosemont Avenue in La Crescenta sometime during the early morning hours of July 2, said sheriff’s Det. Rodger Burt, of the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station.

Four other vehicles were reported burglarized at the same residence during that same time period, authorities said. Items allegedly taken range from gum and loose change to a lap top computer. The stolen Camry reportedly had a computer tower in the front seat when it was taken. All the vehicles had been left unlocked, according to a sheriff’s report.

Sheriff’s deputies had previously identified the four as members of the 211 Crew, thought to be responsible for a number of recent crimes in the Crescenta Valley area.

Morquecho was arrested in May by Glendale police suspected in a series of vehicle burglaries.

At least 20 vehicle burglaries were reported in the La Crescenta area since the beginning of this year at the time about 24 reported members of the 211 Crew were arrested in late April and early May.

Glendale police said many of the members were addicted to heroin, so they likely committed the burglaries to support their drug habits.

The crew, which police said was established two to three years ago, is alleged to be responsible for a wave of crime, including graffiti and heroin sales, in La Crescenta nearly 18 months ago — a trend some county authorities say is continuing in the foothills.

The investigation into the latest alleged theft is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to contact Burt at the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station at (818) 248-9491.

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