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Business owner turns in his own workers to cops

• Valencia man staked out his company.

Posted: April 16, 2008 12:22 a.m.
Updated: June 17, 2008 5:02 a.m.
Concerned that items were disappearing from his shop, a Valencia business owner secretly staked out the premises early Tuesday morning, and ended up catching several employees that he alleges were stealing aluminum.

Jose Montano, 42, and Jose Escobar, 24, both of Palmdale, were arrested Tuesday and booked on fel-ony charges of burglary, embezzlement and grand theft, after they stole more than 900 pounds of aluminum from Contractor's Wardrobe, a sheriff's official said.

The owner of the business, located in the 26100 block of Avenue Hall, had reportedly become suspicious when inventory started turning up missing. Aiming to determine who the thief was, he decided to take matters into his own hands and continuously monitored the surveillance cameras for several hours after he left the office Monday.

The owner watched his employees close up shop and leave for the night, then a couple of hours later noticed two men - Montano and Escobar - return, sheriff's Sgt. Byron Wainie said.

They positioned their vehicles in such a way as to block the video cameras, then proceeded to steal the aluminum worth $1,300.

The owner immediately called deputies when he realized what was going on, Wainie said, and they were able to apprehend the suspects.

Montano and Escobar are being held at the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station in lieu of $20,000 bail each, and are scheduled to appear in court Thursday morning.


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