When customers subscribe to the news, they are reasonably assured that they will be reading the news instead of being at the center of it. But that’s what happened to a group of Los Angeles Times subscribers when they were robbed by four men while on vacation after one of the suspects stole a list of delivery holds.
According to an LASD press release, deputies are still trying to return all of the owners’ rightful property after discovering hundreds of items of stolen property at a West Covina storage locker.
“Although much of the stolen property has been returned to the rightful owners, we are still trying to locate additional victims”, said Detective Jack Jordan of the Major Crimes Bureau.
The burglaries were masterminded by 51-year-old Duane Van Tuinen of Azusa. Van Tuinen was contracted as an office repairman to fix some machines owned by Los Angeles Times distributors. Once inside the businesses, police believed that Van Tuinen stole the vacation hold lists and subsequently dispersed them to a team of burglars.
The team of 43-year-old Randall Whitmore of La Verne, 43-year-old Joshua Box of Arcadia, and 53-year-old Edwin Valentine of Covina ultimately performed over 25 robberies across the San Gabriel Valley including Diamond Bar, Walnut, and Hacienda Heights. All the suspects split the stolen items which included collectible coins, musical instruments, collectible swords, computers, and jewelry.
The LASD was already able to research the traceable property and identify several of the victims. All of the suspects are in custody with charges pending the identification of as many victims as possible.
Persons who had placed themselves on the LA Times vacation list and were subsequently burglarized are encouraged to contact LASD Detective Jack Jordan at 562-946-7893. Be prepared to supply the police report number from the burglary and a description of the items stolen.
NBC 4: Sheriff’s Department: Burglars Targeted Los Angeles Times Subscribers