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Arrest made in investigation of suspected local burglary ring


November 04, 2013
A Valley Center resident was arrested Oct. 30 in connection to an ongoing investigation of a suspected burglary ring in North County.

The case involves a group of individuals suspected of involvement in at least 21 outstanding burglary cases in the county, several of which were reportedly in Valley Center. While local residents express dismay at a perceived increase in local crime, Sgt. Pat Shannon of the San Diego County Sheriff Department (SDCSD), said more arrests are likely in connection to the case.

"Several suspects have been identified based on physical evidence, recovered property, and investigative work," according to a Oct. 1 statement from the San Diego County Sheriff 's Department.

Members of the department, aided by other law enforcement agencies, served a warrant last Wednesday at a residence on Vesper Road resulting in the arrest of Gabriella Vegara, 35, who was charged with the possession of stolen property. According to an Oct. 30 statement from the department, "numerous stolen items related to ongoing investigations and several items of suspected stolen property" were found at the residence.

Additional suspects are under investigation including several who are already in custody due to unrelated charges, he said. The extent of organization among the suspects remains under investigation, including suspected activities in Riverside County and the rest of San Diego County, he added.

"It's amazing how much property they have stolen," he said.

Detectives from Encinitas, Poway, Vista, San Marcos, Orange County Sheriff 's Department, Carlsbad Police Department and Escondido Police Department aided in serving the warrant on Oct. 30.

Jewelry, furniture, bicycles and electronics are among the items the group is suspected of stealing, Shannon said. Victims of recent burglaries in the local area have identified items among those seized last week by law enforcement.

Laura Weyland, the SDCSD detective incharge of the ongoing investigations, did not respond to multiple requests for comment from the Valley Roadrunner.

Local resident Barbara Cervantes said in a phone interview that she was a victim of a vehicular burglary last year. The theft resulted in the loss not only of a collection of approximately 100 compact discs but also a long-held sense of trust in the quiet ways of the rural area she has called home since 2002.

"I didn't lock my car that particular night ... just my luck," she said. "I figured we're safe here, but now I'm locking my car every night."

For information regarding claiming stolen personal possessions or to provide information for the ongoing investigation, call the San Diego County Sheriff 's Department's toll-free number at 800-565-5200.

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