Two men have been arrested on suspicion of past burglaries of two Anaheim pharmacies that are among those targeted by series of Orange County thefts of a prescription cough syrup, police announced Tuesday.
More than a half-dozen pharmacies have been broken into in Orange County this month — in Santa Ana, Garden Grove, Tustin, Villa Park and Seal Beach, in addition to Anaheim. Dozens of locations have been hit since the beginning of the year, Anaheim police said last week.
The thieves are targeting promethazine with codeine cough syrup, which is used to create a drug-infused concoction known as "syzzurp," among other names.
Joey Baldovinos, 20, of Alhambra was taken into custody April 8 on suspicion of burglarizing a pharmacy at 1012 N. Euclid St. on Jan. 7. The same pharmacy was again robbed April 6, but it’s not clear if Baldovinos was involved in that more recent crime, according to an Anaheim Police Department news release.
During a probation search of Baldovinos’ apartment, detectives found several empty bottles of prescription cough syrup, the release stated. Those bottles were not taken during Euclid Street burglary, so investigators are trying to determine if Baldovinos is linked to other recently crimes.
Baldovinos was booked on suspicion of commercial burglary but posted $25,000 bail and was released, police said. He is on probation for a previous conviction for commercial burglary from a pharmacy in Los Angeles County, according to the news release.
There’s no known connection between Baldovinos and the other man arrested, Darnell Clarke, 30, of Long Beach.
Clarke was arrested Monday on suspicion of an Oct. 29, 2015, burglary of the Medicine Shoppe at 2795 W. Lincoln Ave. He was taken into custody at the West Justice Center in Westminster, where he was appearing for a hearing related to an August 2015 pharmacy burglary in Fountain Valley.
The Fountain Valley crime occurred Aug. 23 at Tao Wellness at 16931 Bushard St., Fountain Valley police Sgt. Tony Luce told the Orange County Register.
As with Baldovinos, Anaheim detectives are working to determine if he committed any of the other burglaries.
Clarke is a documented criminal street gang member in Los Angeles County, according to Anaheim police. His bail was increased to $500,000.
Anyone with information on the crimes was asked to call Crime Stoppers at 855-TIP-OCCS.