YORBA LINDA (CBSLA.com) — Orange County authorities say they have arrested four members of a suspected burglary ring that could be connected to as many as 100 break-ins in Yorba Linda.
The four people – three men and one woman – were arrested after sheriff’s deputies found them sitting in a car on Club View Drive, Orange County Sheriff’s spokesman Jim Amormino said. The deputies were following up on a report of a stranger ringing doorbells in Yorba Linda.
“We believe this ring is responsible for numerous burglaries in the city of Yorba Linda,” Jim Amormino said.
Lisette Monique Ayala, 18; Andrew Rashad Gatlin, 22, who is on parole for burglary; Terrence Davion Collins, 22, also on parole for burglary; and Art Anthony Wibberding, 28, were arrested Tuesday night on suspicion of criminal conspiracy and possession of stolen property and possession of burglary tools.
Among the tools seized by deputies were a Halloween mask, goggles, a pry bar, latex gloves, air soft guns and a knife.
All four suspects are from the Long Beach area and are also suspected in a Cerritos burglary earlier Tuesday, Amormino said.
The rash of Yorba Linda burglaries they are suspected of started some time before October and peaked in December.
“Sometimes they would cut phone lines, they would use a window smash, they would pry open doors, sliding glass doors, pry open windows with a crowbar,” Amormino said. “We do have a crowbar in custody. We also have some physical evidence from many, many burglaries that we’re attempting to tie these suspects to.”
The report that led to the arrests came from a resident in the 5600 block of Chalon Road at about 8 p.m. The resident told deputies a woman rang the doorbell and asked for someone who did not live there.
“That’s a common burglary tactic,” Amormino said.
About a block away, deputies found the woman identified as the one who rang the doorbells and three men, sitting in a red Lexus, where the burglary tools and stolen property, including guns, were found.
The Lexus was across the street from a home under construct that was recently burglarized, and Amormino says deputies found evidence linking the four suspects to that crime.