The Anaheim Police Department was among a multi-agency takedown of a crime ring suspected of stealing guns, jewelry and $2 million in cash in 44 separate burglaries in Orange and San Bernardino counties.
The other agencies that participated in the investigation include the Fullerton, Buena Park and Irvine police departments, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms.
“This group of criminals were responsible for numerous burglaries that span several counties and with their capture our residents can feel safer in their homes and about the security of their property,” Anaheim Police Chief Jorge Cisneros said during a press conference held Monday at the Orange County District Attorney’s Office. “This operation should also serve as a reminder to our citizens that even in these uncertain times, your LE professionals will not rest, will not waiver, and continue to apprehend criminals who victimize our communities.”
Fifteen of the 44 burglaries took place in Anaheim, officials said. Law enforcement arrested Alvaro Ramos, 37, Eugene Yi, 35, Jurandir Penate, 24, Erick Soria, 27, and Sergio Soto, 33.
Fullerton Police Chief Bob Dunn said the string of burglaries began in December in Fullerton.
Fullerton police noticed a spike in residential burglaries during that time and investigators linked the crimes through multiple similarities, including suspects using a Dodge Durango SRT during the burglaries.
In four of the charged counts, the residents were at home, Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said.
“We call that a ‘hot burglary,’” Spitzer said. “The reason this is such a serious crime is because somebody is home it’s obviously an incredibly dangerous situation. If people were not home, but were to come home when the intruders were in their house, that is an incredibly dangerous situation.”
Authorities twice tried to arrest the suspects who were in a Dodge Durango, leading to two separate pursuits, Fullerton Police Chief Bob Dunn said.
Both chases were terminated.
A multi-agency operation involving North County and Anaheim Police Department SWAT teams was conducted on May 15, resulting in five suspects being taken into custody without incident.
The arrestees include a third-striker, two parolees, and two one-strikers.
“Operations such as this would not be possible without cooperation amongst our agencies and communication between our personnel,” Cisneros said. “This operation should also serve as a reminder to our citizens that even in these uncertain times, your law enforcement professionals, will not rest, will not waiver and continue to apprehend criminals who victimize our communities.”