Property Returned to Los Angeles Times Burglary Ring Victims

The victims live in Arcadia, Pasadena, West Covina and Santa Monica, and the stolen property includes "personal possessions of great sentimental value," the police say.

An additional 20 victims of a home burglary ring who used stolen Los Angeles Times vacation hold delivery lists were identified, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department announced earlier this week.

The victims live in Arcadia, Pasadena, Santa Monica and West Covina, according to the sheriff's detectives. Property stolen by the ring, including a collection of Elvis Presley art and "a number Thomas Kinkade prints," have been returned to 45 victims, said Lt. Kent Wegener of the sheriff's Major Crimes Bureau.

"Many people have also been able to recover personal possessions of great sentimental value," Wegener said. "One granddaughter was grateful to find out her grandfather's irreplaceable World War I military deployment records had been recovered."

, according to the sheriff's Headquarters Bureau.  Among the cities in which homes were targeted are Hacienda Heights, Diamond Bar, Walnut and Chino Hills.

Four men have been charged in connection with the burglary ring.

One of the men, Duane Van Tuinen, 51, of Azusa, reportedly worked as an office machine repairman and was under contract to distributors of the Times to repair their office machines. A conspiracy charge alleges Van Tuinen entered a distribution warehouse in Baldwin Park last June and "stole a list of the Los Angeles Times subscribers who had called in to suspend their paper delivery for vacations."

Randall Whitmore, 43, of La Verne, Joshua Box, 43, of Arcadia and Edwin Valentine, 52, of Covina were also arrested in the case.

Detectives have received hundreds of telephone calls from victims asking about their property following extensive media coverage of the arrests. Investigators expect they will be following up with other victims over the next several weeks.

Patch editor Dan Abendschein contributed to this report.

Ivan G February 09, 2013 at 02:27 AM
Sadly, having your property returned provides little satisfaction unless it is something of sentimental value. Most homeowners carry insurance that covers replacement of stolen property. If the property is recovered, it belongs to the insurance company.


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