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No restitution sought from ‘hot tub’ burglars

Posted: June 23, 2014 7:15 p.m.
Updated: June 23, 2014 7:15 p.m.

Three burglars who tried to break into a Castaic home and then hid from sheriff’s deputies in an empty Westridge hot tub and trash can were out of hot water with homeowners this week.

At least for now.

The three — a woman and two men — were scheduled to appear in San Fernando Superior Court last week to learn how much money they were expected to pay to the owners of a home they meant to burgle exactly one year ago tomorrow.

But as it turned out, the victimized homeowners made no effort to contact prosecutors about restitution, said District Attorney’s Office spokesman Ricardo Santiago said Monday.

“Letters regarding restitution were sent to all of the victims, but we never received a response,” he said in an email. “The case was taken off calendar but can be put back on if any of the victims decide to seek restitution.”

Last month, each of the three burglars pleaded no contest to first-degree residential burglary.

Jumua Jaihad Zhaytoon, a 21-year-old Victorville woman, was sentenced to five years formal probation, 120 days in county jail and a six-year suspended state prison sentence. She surrendered Thursday to begin her jail time.

Rafiki Smith, 19, of Los Angeles and Kiyon Hodges, 24, of Inglewood each received prison sentences for home burglaries in other Southern California communities — and for the local burglary.

The burglary in Castaic was interrupted by Santa Clarita Valley sheriff’s deputies, who chased the three suspects in their car down Interstate 5 at speeds up to 100 mph until they got off in Stevenson Ranch and wound up in the yard of a Westridge home.

Zhaytoon was taken into custody hiding in a trash can; Smith and Hodges were arrested while holed up under the cover of an empty hot tub.
on Twitter @jamesarthurholt




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