Police have arrested four men in a burglary ring that targeted the homes of hundreds of Los Angeles Times customers in the San Gabriel Valley.
Detectives say up to a million dollars in loot was taken from homes.
The alleged ringleader, 51-year-old Duane Van Tuinen, of Azusa, was arrested Wednesday evening.
He’s the employee of a subcontractor to the times which delivered papers to homes. Detectives say he got lists of people who’d called in saying they’d be on vacation.
Also arrested were 43-year-old Randall Whitmore, of La Verne, 43-year-old Joshua Box, of Arcadia, and 52-year-old Edwin Valentine, of Covina.
All three are suspected of carrying out the hundreds of burglaries over the last six months.
Detectives found a least $100,000 worth of golf clubs, guitars, fine art and many other personal items stolen from the homes of Times customers.
Detectives say the Times helped in the investigation, going back months.
The Los Angeles Times issued a statement, which says in part:
“The Los Angeles Times was contacted several months ago…
“We immediately launched an internal review and collaborated with the Sheriff’s Department as matters unfolded, including honoring their request to keep the matter confidential, because the investigation was active…
“These robberies, while terribly unfortunate, are likely limited to a small section of the vast area we cover.”
Police say that you should tell your neighbors to pick up your paper, instead of phoning it in.
If you have any information, call the Major Crimes Bureau at 562-946-7893.