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Vacationing L.A. Times Subscribers Targeted in Burglary Scam

Four are suspected of targeting vacationing residents who directed the Los Angeles Times to hold delivery of their newspaper subscriptions. Police have identified 25 victims and believe there may be more in the San Gabriel Valley.

Sheriff’s detectives said four people carried out a string of burglaries throughout the San Gabriel Valley, targeting residents who were on vacation and directed the Los Angeles Times to hold delivery of their newspaper subscriptions while they were gone.  

Detectives have already identified more than 25 victims in the San Gabriel Valley and surrounding area and believe there may be more.

San Gabriel Valley investigators, including detectives from Glendora PD, assisted in the investigation that led to the arrests of Duane Van Tuinen, 51, of Azusa; Randall Whitmore, 43, of La Verne; Joshua Box, 43, of Arcadia; and Edwin Valentine, 52, of Covina. According to Sheriff’s detectives, Van Tuinen obtained the vacation lists and passed them on to a group of thieves, including Whitmore, Box and Valentine.

Detectives said the thieves stole valuables from more than 25 residents in the San Gabriel Valley, including Diamond Bar, Walnut and Chino Hills, and share the profits with Van Tuinen.  

Van Tuinen was an office machine repairman contracted by distributors of the Los Angeles Times.

Detectives believe once inside the businesses, Van Tuinen would steal the vacation lists.

The investigation led detectives to a West Covina storage locker Thursday where hundreds of pieces of stolen property were recovered.

“Although much of the stolen property has been returned to the rightful owners, we are still trying to locate additional victims”, said Detective Jack Jordan of the Major Crimes Bureau in a written statement.

The Glendora, Arcadia, Chino Hills, Monrovia and San Marino Police Departments were involved in the operation that uncovered the burglary ring.

Stolen property included collectible coins, musical instruments, collectible swords, computers and jewelry from the suspects’ homes, and cars.

Any residents who believe their property was stolen as part of this burglary ring can call LASD Detective Jack Jordan at 562-946-7893.

Mike n Teri January 30, 2013 at 10:52 PM
Very good job by the area law enforcement, specifically the investigators. Now how is it that the Tribune company would be so careless as to leave this information available, to pass on the thief? Seems like they are a tiny bit liable.

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