Five men and a woman, all from Santa Clarita and described as a “brazen band of thieves,” were arrested on suspicion of stealing thousands of dollars in cars, electronics, photography equipment and other items of value from dozens of Santa Clarita Valley residents over the last few weeks.
Deputies with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station named the suspects as: Evan McLaglin, 24; Samuel Oseas, 22; Kylie Crawford, 20; Nicholas Menorbooth, 22; and Kyle Porter, 22.
The young adults allegedly broke into cars, and took anything of value. In some cases, the suspects would take the car too, if the keys were left inside, Shirley Miller, spokeswoman for the SCV Sheriff’s Station said.
The station’s Crime Impact Team led by Sergeant Pete Bringas began investigating the thefts during the first week of June.
“In one of the first in the string of thefts, a Saugus resident’s pick-up truck was stolen out of the driveway,” said Bringas. “The victim’s wallet was in the truck, and the suspects started using the victim’ s credit cards at restaurants immediately after.”
CIT deputies began working extensively to gather any information that would lead to the identification of the perpetrators, Miller said.
The first arrest of a member of the burglary ring happened June 12 with the arrest of Evan McLaglin. Crime Team deputies continued following leads, working to locate the other members of the ring.
Detectives received an ‘unexpected break’ in the case Tuesday, June 18, Miller said. It was a call from a citizen reporting suspicious activity in front of a business located on the 26500 block of Bouquet Canyon Road.
A deputy dispatched to the location spotted a man in a vehicle stuffed with items, including ladies’ handbags and briefcases, Miller said.
Earlier that same morning, a handful of vehicle burglaries had been reported in the Valencia area, and some of the items matched the description.
The occupant of the vehicle,identified by deputies as Samuel Oseas, 22, was arrested on grand theft charges.
He admitted to a deputy that the items were stolen, and indicated he took them to support his drug addiction, Miller said.
Two days later, three more members of the ring were arrested, Kylie Crawford, 20, Nicholas Menorbooth, 22, and Kyle Porter, 22.
By the time the CIT Team’s investigation wrapped up, six suspects were in custody, five stolen vehicles were recovered and thousands of dollars’ worth of property returned to victims.
One victim received his photography equipment back, valued at $3,000.
“These suspects were going out nightly and admitted to pulling at least 200 door handles per night,” said Sgt. Bringas.
“They were breaking into vehicles and home, at least five to 10 burglaries per night. With the arrests of these suspects, we expect vehicle thefts to go down substantially.”
Sgt. Dan Dantice who oversees the station’s Crime Prevention Unit, expressed relief at the apprehension of the burglary suspects, but warned the public to stay vigilant in removing items of value from their vehicles, and locking the doors at all times.
“Most of the thefts that occurred were from unlocked vehicles,” Dantice stated.