SANTA ANA (CBSLA) — Five men accused of running a multi-county burglary ring responsible for the theft of $1.9 million in designer watches and purses, jewelry, guns and cash in 44 residential burglaries in Orange and San Bernardino counties have been arrested, officials announced Monday.

“We have now charged these five individuals with committing, what we know of today, at least 44 residential burglaries which is a phenomenally high amount,” Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said.

Jurandir Endnilson Penate, 24, Erick Daniel Soria, 27, Alvaro Ramos, 37, Eugene Yi, 35, and Sergio Soto, 33, all of Los Angeles, were arrested in a multi-agency operation in South Los Angeles on Friday.

Law enforcement officials said all but one of the suspects have long rap  sheets, and most are career criminals. Soto is a third striker, facing life in prison if convicted.

“These individuals, five what I consider very dangerous thieves, who go to peoples homes in very nice neighborhoods here in Orange County and San Bernardino, and steal property,” Spitzer said. “They’re looking for high-end purses and Rolex watches and other kinds of property that they can easily and quickly dispose of that has value on the streets.”

The five suspects have been charged in connection with the rash of burglaries that began in Chino Hills in August 2019 and continued in Fullerton, Anaheim Hills, Villa Park, Lake Forest, Yorba Linda, Buena Park, and Irvine through February. Four of the burglaries occurred when residents were home.

Spitzer said he believes the group was laying low in light of stay-at-home orders due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We do know that when people are home and they’re watching their property, burglars are less likely to want to break into their homes during this pandemic,” he said.

Penate, Soto, Soria, Yi and Ramos are all being held on no bail at the Orange County Jail.

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