A lost cellphone that turned up at a Thousand Oaks residence that was broken into led to the arrest of an alleged serial burglar, officials said Friday.
Sheriff’s deputies took the phone’s owner into custody Thursday after a weeks-long investigation into the case that tied the man to additional burglaries in the area, according to a statement from the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office.
The phone was found at a home in the 1800 block of West Hillcrest Drive on Aug. 4. The resident called authorities after returning home and realizing someone broke in during the day and stole several items, deputies said.
As deputies were combing the home for evidence, the resident pointed out a cellphone that had apparently been forgotten by the intruder.
Sheriff’s officials obtained a search warrant for the phone and analyzed texts and photos they say identify the owner as 23-year-old Thousand Oaks resident Cesar Ramirez.
Further evaluation of the pictures revealed that some included items matching the description of property stolen in an Aug. 3 burglary that also occurred on the 1800 block of West Hillcrest Drive, authorities said.
After further investigation, detectives were able to tie Ramirez to both burglaries and served an arrest warrant at his Thousand Oaks home.
Ramirez is currently on parole for grand theft auto and is a documented gang member, according to the sheriff’s office.
Investigators believe Ramirez was involved in a number of other residential burglaries in the area and said they expect he will be implicated in additional crimes.
He is expected to be arraigned on Monday.