Local

Public’s Help Sought In Finding Suspect Linked To Westminster Church Burglary

View Comments
(credit: Westminster Police)

(credit: Westminster Police)

WESTMINSTER (CBSLA.com) — Westminster police are asking for the public’s help finding a suspect they believe could be linked to a string of burglaries of religious institutions in Orange County over the last four years.

Surveillance photos have been released of an unidentified male breaking into the First Presbyterian Church, located at 8541 Whitley Ave., sometime between 5 p.m. June 2 and 9 a.m. June 3.

The suspect is described as a white male, approximately 35 to 45-years-old. He was last seen wearing a light short sleeve button down shirt, a light color baseball cap and shorts.

Investigators say the suspect stole computer equipment from the institution. Surveillance video also shows the suspect attempting to break into donation boxes.

It is not yet known how the man entered the church.

It is believed the suspect is also responsible for similar incidents in Westminster and Huntington Beach dating back to 2009.

Surveillance video from at least two prior incidents shows a male suspect matching the same description.

City News Service reports investigators are also considering the possibility that the burglary is connected to a rash of break-ins at religious institutions in Santa Ana, Irvine and Anaheim. Four suspects have been arrested in those burglaries.

Daniel Ruben Cortes, 29, of Santa Ana, pleaded guilty June 13 and was sentenced to a year in jail, while co-defendants James Allen Dorscht, Robert Lee Dennis and Fernando Flores are  awaiting trial.

Detectives from the Westminster Police Department are currently investigating the latest incident. No suspects have been located.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the Westminster Police Department Detective Bureau at (714) 548-3207 or by visiting the department’s website.

Anonymous tips can be made to the Orange County Crime Stoppers at (855) TIP-OCCS or at Orange County Crime Stoppers online.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

View Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,438 other followers