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Man arrested in Orange County, California, car burglaries

Breaking and entering into cars is a relatively common crime that rarely nets a suspect, and most people who have items stolen from their cars do not see their property again. However, police in Garden Grove believe they may have good news for hundreds of victims of car theft in Los Alamitos and neighboring burgs over the last few years after they discovered a "wall-to-wall" treasure trove of stolen goods found in a suspect's home.

The police noticed a common pattern in auto burglary cases beginning two years ago, when a white Range Rover was reported in the area around the time of each theft. Finally, a witness was able to note the license number of the vehicle, and a visit to the home of the car's owner revealed hundreds of stolen items, including laptops, cell phones, a handgun, more than 100 California licenses and almost $10,000 in cash along with other items.

Police arrested a 41-year-old man for multiple charges in relation to 247 burglaries as well as a sex crimes and child pornography charges in relation to a 17-year-old girl who was found with the man at the time of his arrest. The suspect was released on bond but allegedly continued to rob vehicles. Police located a storage unit containing more stolen property that was allegedly used by the suspect after he was released from jail. The sheer volume of stolen items has been daunting for police trying to identify the owners of the property.

While the evidence against a particular suspect may seem incontrovertible, a criminal defense lawyer may still be able to formulate a defense for the suspect; in some cases, this means bringing evidence to light that tends to show the suspect's innocence. In other cases, it means formulating an alternative theory of how the crime was committed, or, alternatively, entering a plea for a lessened penalty. The suspect originally plead not guilty last November.

Source: Los Alamitos-Seal Beach Patch, "Police catch suspect in hundreds of car burglaries," Jan. 9, 2013

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