OXNARD (CBSLA) — Adding insult to injury, a family that was forced to pack up their home to escape the Thomas Fire were hit by burglars who broke into their SUVs and stole more than $75,000 of their valuables.
Five people have been arrested in connection with breaking into the family’s two Chevrolet Suburbans, which were parked on Dec. 5 in the 3700 block of Dunkirk Drive, where the family was staying with friends, according to Oxnard police officials.
After a credit card was used to make $10,000 in purchases, detectives were able to identify the suspects involved.
Jasmine Zavala, Maryann Zuniga, both 29, and 44-year-old Juan Carillo were ultimately taken into custody after they were questioned in connection with a disturbance call on Dec. 10 at the Channel Islands Inn. In the room, police say investigators found property belonging to the burglary victims.
Zavala, Zuniga and Carillo were taken into custody on suspicion of possessing stolen property. Zavala was also booked on a count of child endangerment, while Zuniga had an outstanding warrant for her arrest.
David Rosales, 28, was arrested on Dec. 18 on an unrelated charge, but police say when he was taken into custody, he was found in possession of property belonging to the burglary victims. A search warrant served at a Camarillo home connected to Rosales led to the discovery of more of the victims’ property.
During the search at the Camarillo home, 28-year-old Lisette Topete was arrested on suspicion of receiving stolen property, possession of stolen credit, methamphetamine and narcotic paraphernalia.
Police say the victims are unsure of what exactly was stolen due to the urgency of needing to evacuate. Anyone with information about the burglary or the stolen property can contact Detective Chip Buttell at (805) 385-7755.
The Thomas Fire, which continues to burn, is 60 percent contained after having burned 272,000 acres across Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. It is currently the second largest wildfire in California history.