A man was arrested for a string of commercial burglaries that occurred in the span of two days in Riverside, and further investigation linked him to other robberies in Rialto.
According to a press release from the Riverside Police Department, four businesses in the Mission Grove and Orangecrest neighborhoods were broken into during the early mornings of July 19 and July 20.
The break-ins occurred at Gra Pow Restaurant, a Cold Stone Creamery, Men’s Club Barbershop and Hollywood Threading, and detectives found that the suspect entered all four locations through the ceilings and got away with tens of thousands of dollars in cash and jewelry.
Due to their similar nature, investigators concluded that all four of the burglaries were likely committed by the same suspect, police said.
Further investigation by Riverside Police Department Property Crimes Unit detectives were able to identify the suspect as a homeless man who was said to frequent the city of Colton.
“On Wednesday [Aug. 16], an observant Colton Police Officer located the suspect’s vehicle at a local motel in their city and contacted [the Riverside Police Department Property Crimes Unit],” Riverside PD said in a release. “Detectives obtained a search warrant…and found the suspect in the motel parking lot and conducted a search of his motel room.”
The suspect was identified by authorities as 37-year-old Michael Scott Sturm.
Items linking Sturm to the four burglaries were seized in his hotel room, along with suspected methamphetamine, heroin and a large amount of money, police said. However, several unique pieces of jewelry stolen from Hollywood Threading were not recovered.
Sturm was booked into the Robert Presley Detention Center on four counts of commercial burglary, grand theft, possession of suspected heroin and methamphetamine for purposes of sales. He is currently being held on $120,000 bail.
Further investigation led to the discovery of Sturm’s involvement in several other commercial burglaries in the city of Rialto, Riverside PD said.
Authorities are working to determine if Sturm is responsible for other burglaries in the Riverside and Rialto areas and are also attempting to locate additional stolen property.
Anyone with information is urged to contact Property Crimes Unit Detective Vanessa Castillo at 951-826-5376.