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La Jolla burglaries may be linked to theft ring

La Jolla burglaries may be linked to theft ring
Posted at 5:36 PM, May 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-31 22:16:24-04

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (KGTV) - Investigators are looking into whether several recent burglaries in La Jolla are linked to an organized theft ring targeting high-end homes.

Around 9:30 p.m. Friday, Edgar Diaz Garza got a Ring camera alert on his phone while he was out of town.

Video shows three men, two of them carrying a large safe out of his home off Via Capri. One of the thieves is seen smacking the camera on his way out.

“It's a terrible feeling because you see them taking your stuff,” said Diaz Garza.

Diaz Garza says the men scaled a neighbor's fence and his fence, then broke windows, before smashing a bathroom window and targeting the safe in a bedroom closet.

“It's scary. It also makes you mad. You need to work, so they can enjoy,” said Diaz Garza.

Inside the safe was a cache of jewelry and watches, full of sentimental value.

In April, there was a similar burglary about a block away.

“Completely violated,” said Ingrid Westlake.

Burglars shattered Ingrid Westlake's back bedroom window and ripped out a safe, bolted to the wall. Her safe was full of family heirlooms.

Both Diaz Garza and Westlake say detectives revealed their suspicions.

“The police immediately recognized the MO of this gang of thieves that's been operating since last year,” said Westlake.

In January, deputies said a South American theft ring, including Chilean nationals, were suspected in nearly 60 high-end burglaries. San Diego Police said an additional 18 cases in La Jolla may be linked to the ring. In the crimes, there are usually three or four thieves, entering from the back, going in and out quickly.

ABC 10News reached out to San Diego Police and is waiting to hear back.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477.