LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Eight people pleaded not guilty Friday to charges they operated a home burglary ring targeting vacationing Los Angeles Times subscribers.
According to prosecutors, the ring stole an estimated $1 million in electronics and other items in dozens of burglaries in both Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties.
A 39-count indictment unsealed Friday named Randal Joseph Whitmore, 44; Duane Vantuinen, 52; Joshua Ray Box, 44; Lorraine Marlene Vasquez, 41; Cory Mulligan, 22; Brian Thomas Duran, 42, Margaret Mary Susan High, 29; and Edwin Lynn Valentine, 53. All eight are charged with multiple counts of first-degree residential burglary, receiving stolen property and conspiracy.
An investigation began with a June 24, 2012 traffic stop involving Whitmore. Prosecutors say officers discovered stolen property in the car, along with an L.A. Times “vacation hold” list that contained the names and addresses of subscribers and the dates they were scheduled to be out of town.
The suspects, who are each being held on more than $1.6 million bail, are scheduled to appear in court Dec. 10 for a pretrial hearing. If convicted as charged, each defendant faces at least 20 years in state prison.