Two suspects were being held at the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station Thursday, after a resident’s call earlier that morning about a suspicious vehicle on Colmena Street in La Cañada led deputies to a burglarized vehicle and then to the suspects themselves.
Cristian Moreira, 24, of Van Nuys and Stacy Hernandez, 22, of Los Angeles were arrested on suspicion of burglary and mail theft and are each being held on $20,000 bail, according to Sgt. Alan Chu, a detective with the Crescenta Valley Station.
Chu said deputies were called to the area at around 2:10 a.m. by a neighbor who saw a suspicious van in the 2200 block of Colmena, off Ocean View Boulevard.
Deputies examined the vehicle and noticed one of its windows had been smashed and the interior ransacked, with various camping-related items strewn about, the detective said.
“The light was on inside the van, and there were things outside the [vehicle],” Chu said, adding that deputies recovered a trekking pole near the van that had likely been dropped during the incident.
While canvassing the area, deputies discovered a suspicious Honda Fit with two occupants inside about one block south on Ocean View Boulevard, according to Chu.
They conducted a traffic stop, and in the course of the stop, noticed a trekking pole similar to the one left by the ransacked van, inside the car along with other pieces of camping equipment, several items of clothing, documents in the names of other people, a decorated Christmas wreath and two sets of holiday lights.
“The [modus operandi] these days is checking unlocked cars and stealing whatever’s not bolted down, so you usually have multiple victims,” Chu said of typical criminal patterns.
The vehicle also contained several packages, three plane tickets to Denver and a paper shopping bag containing mail. A bag containing marijuana and pills was also recovered.
During a quick review of the immediate area, Chu said deputies noticed another vehicle appeared to have been entered, its door left ajar. When the victims of both the van and the second vehicle were contacted, they were able to identify stolen items recovered from inside the suspects’ vehicle.