A man suspected in a string of burglaries in Costa Mesa was arrested after he was spotted in line waiting to order food at a restaurant investigators believe he broke into earlier in the day, police said Thursday.
Daniel Lee Warn allegedly used a drive-up window to climb into the El Pollo Loco in the 1900 block of Harbor Boulevard (map) in the morning hours of July 16, the Costa Mesa Police Department stated in a news release.
Surveillance video from the restaurant, which was closed at the time, showed a man wearing a green shirt and a distinctive hat rummaging through cash register drawers in a failed attempt to find money, the news release stated.
A few hours later, after the restaurant opened, a manger recognized a man wearing the same clothes as the burglar in the video was waiting in line to order food. The manager called police who arrived and detained Warn.
Earlier that morning, a man broke into a liquor store in the 100 block of East 19th Street (map).
Surveillance video showed the man running around looking for cash after smashing through the rear glass door. No losses were reported in the break in.
One day earlier on July 15, three burglaries were reported in the south Costa Mesa area with the burglar getting away with between $100 and $1,000 in each incident, police stated.
The burglar used bricks to break glass doors at a chiropractic business and a DVD store in the 2000 block of Newport Boulevard (map), according to investigators.
A discarded cash drawer from the DVD store was found empty a block away, according to the news release.
A safe and a cash box were taken from the third business, which was located in the 1900 block of Newport Boulevard (map). Both were found empty in some bushes near the business, according to police.
Warn, a transient in the Costa Mesa area, was suspected in each of the burglary incidents during the two-day spree, police stated in the news release.
Warn was on Post-Release Community Supervision out of San Bernardino County, as part of the State of California, AB109 Realignment, police stated in the release.
He was being held on $20,000 bail.