Hard work pays off for Fullerton PD in case of serial burglar who targeted women


A Menifee man has been sentenced to eight years in prison for burglarizing homes in Fullerton and Orange, where female college students lived, stealing computers, iPads and TVs, along with personal items such as panties and bras.

In a case investigated by Fullerton Police Property Crimes detectives, Arturo Galvan, 44, was sentenced Monday, Sept. 19, after pleading to five counts of first-degree burglary, one count of felony attempted burglary and one count of misdemeanor resisting a peace officer.

The burglaries were committed over a period of six months in 2015.

Arturo Galvan. FPD booking photo

Galvan obtained pictures of his victims posted online and then obtained the GPS coordinates embedded in the photos to find out where they lived, said Det. Josh Earnest, the lead investigator on the case.

As the burglaries continued, investigators ramped up their investigation because they believed Galvan posed more of a threat to his female victims.

“It was not just the burglaries for us,” Earnest said. “It was what it could have turned into. There were definitely sexual undertones.”

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FPD photo

In addition to panties and bras, Galvan stole framed photos of women and jewelry from the homes and apartments he hit.

“It seems like he wanted very specific things and we could tell that he was progressing,” Earnest said. “He was definitely gravitating towards personal items.”

Crime analysis was used to help predict where he would strike next, Earnest said.

On Dec. 3, Galvan was caught attempting to break into a home. He was arrested after a three-hour search near Dorothy Lane and Raymond Avenue.

Close to 1,000 stolen items were recovered from Galvan’s house, belonging to at least 30 victims, Earnest said.

“For four weeks, detectives went over property, getting it inventoried for the purpose of finding the owners,” the detective said. “We were able to get about 20 laptops back to students in time for finals.”

FPD photo

FPD photo

The rest of the property was returned after the court case, he said.

Detectives Rebert, R. Garcia and Pineda participated in the investigation, as did members of the Directed Enforcement Team.

“It was very rewarding that everybody’s efforts paid off,” Earnest said.

While the owners of most of the stolen items are known, Earnest is asking anyone who feels they may have been victimized in this case to contact him at 714-738-6765.

FPD photo

FPD photo

FPD photo

FPD photo