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2 Arrested in String of Murrieta Car Burglaries

The alleged thieves were suspected of stealing a computer and other items from cars along the California Oaks Road corridor, Murrieta police said today.

Published May 10, 2012

Two 18-year-old men who allegedly broke into parked cars in Murrieta, stealing a laptop computer and other property, were released from jail today.

Justin Clarke and Andrew Ortiz were arrested Tuesday on suspicion of grand theft and receiving stolen property following an investigation that determined the local residents had allegedly committed a vehicle burglary in the 24000 block of Colmar Lane, according to Murrieta police Sgt. Steve Dyer.

Ortiz allegedly took a computer from the car and later tried to sell it online, leading to his arrest, the sergeant said. The device, as well as other allegedly stolen goods, was recovered during a subsequent search at a home in the 40000 block of Via Diamante, Dyer said.

Clarke was identified as an alleged accomplice, prompting detectives to go to a home on Breckenridge Court to question him, at which point he "admitted his involvement in the laptop theft as well as numerous other thefts from vehicles (between April 29 and May 6)," Dyer said.

Most of the break-ins occurred along the California Oaks Road corridor, according to Dyer.

"Some of the recovered property includes GPS navigation devices, sunglasses and phone chargers," the sergeant said.

Both suspects posted $5,000 bonds and were released from the Southwest Detention Center in Murrieta earlier today.

Dyer asked anyone with information related to the alleged crimes—or those who may have been a victim of theft during the above dates and are still missing property as described—to contact Detective Steve Whiddon at 951-696-3615. 

Information may also be provided anonymously through "We Tip" at 1-800-78-CRIME.          

—City News Service and Maggie Avants contributed to this report.

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