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Thefts continue despite arrests

Fair Oaks residents frustrated by string of mid-day burglaries

Posted: March 28, 2009 12:36 a.m.
Updated: March 28, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Sheriff's deputies have stepped up patrols in the Fair Oaks Ranch area of Canyon Country following a string of bold burglaries in the areas, but residents say they don't know if that's enough.

"I definitely see more patrols, but I don't see what (the patrols) are doing," frustrated resident Camron Shimy said Friday. "Maybe patrols aren't the answer."

Burglars have hit at least five Fair Oaks Ranch homes in Canyon Country since March 12, most recently on Thursday, when they kicked in the door on a Popular Point Lane home.

The burglary was discovered by deputies on patrol Thursday afternoon.

A kick-in burglary on Tuesday left youngsters frightened and deputies working hard to gather clues, said Sgt. Darren Harris of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station.

The suspect in Tuesday's crime pounded on the front door of a home on Brown Oaks Way. When no one answered, the suspect kicked in the door and barged into the home, Harris said.

A teenager described the intruder as a black male, about 25 years old, standing 6 feet 3 inches tall and weighing about 230 pounds.

The boy described a second suspect who was sitting in the car during the break-in as a male wearing a black-and-white shirt and blue jeans.

The burglaries stretch back to March 12 when a couple driving a white Mercedes Benz hit three homes in the same evening, Sgt. Darren Harris said.

The two suspects - described as a black male, 5 feet 6 inches tall, weighing 170 pounds; and a black female, standing 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighing 130 pounds are suspected in a "hot prowl" burglary on Cherry Laurel Place in Fair Oaks Ranch.

"(Sheriff's investigators) always thought it was more than one group," Lt. Brenda Cambra said. "We caught one group and we're still looking to catch the other."

On Tuesday deputies arrested Daniel Yacoub, 29, of Sherman Oaks; Thomas Nichols, 21, of Van Nuys; Dino Venturella, 29, of Valencia; and Christopher Pawlik, 29, of Newhall in connection with burglaries in Fair Oaks Ranch and the Hasley Hills neighborhood of Castaic.

Three of the four suspects were arrested in a black Mercedes sport utility vehicle described in a report of a March 18 burglary in the 20000 block of Dorothy Street in Canyon Country, in which a garage door was kicked in.

The four defendants are due back in court on April 28 for arraignment, said Shiara Davila, Los Angeles County District Attorney spokeswoman.

Meanwhile, the search for suspects in the white Mercedes SUV continues, Cambra said.

"We will continue with enhanced patrols and the detective will continue to pursue the case," she said.

With burglaries continuing, frustrations in Fair Oaks Ranch are boiling over.

"Maybe they should set up a stakeout in the neighborhood," Shimy said.

He says his home and others in Fair Oaks Ranch make easy targets, not just due to their proximity to the ready escape offered by Highway 14, but also due to some design characteristics.

"Pardee (the home builder) chose the soft pine front doors, and there are no street-facing windows," Shimy said. "When I buy a home again I will look at those security features."

Shimy is among a handful of Fair Oaks Ranch residents who bolstered his home security after the burglaries.

"I've added some security features, some visible and some not visible, to deter crime," Shimy said.

Deputies are encouraging the public to keep an eye out for suspicious activity and call the Sheriff's Station immediately at (661) 902-5517.


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