Identical twin brothers accused of robbing coin shop, leading police on chase in Costa Mesa

Posted at 8:35 AM, Nov 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-21 11:36:11-05

COSTA MESA, Calif. (CNS) - Twin brothers were arrested on suspicion of breaking into a Costa Mesa coin shop and stealing at least $10,000 in goods, but if they had been a bit more sophisticated they could have grabbed much more valuable loot, a store manager said.

The break-in occurred about 7:25 a.m. Sunday at Orange County Rare Coin & Bullion at 1927 Harbor Blvd.

Jamal Walker and his brother, Jamel, both 42 of Los Angeles, allegedly smashed through a glass door to get into the store, tripping an alarm, said Michael Vuong, the store's operations manager. When the store's alarm company offered to call police they declined, thinking it was a store employee who accidentally tripped an alert.

However, Vuong and owner Dennis Tarrant logged onto an online video feed of the store and when they realized what was happening they called the alarm company, Vuong said.

"We called them back and they had police there in five minutes," Vuong said.

The suspects took silver and about 50 pounds of pennies, Vuong said.

The store has coins that can be worth up to $500, and they were too preoccupied with taking what they thought was valuable, Vuong said.

"They weren't the smartest bunch," Vuong said. "We lucked out because of that."

A Costa Mesa officer spotted the suspected getaway vehicle at 19th Street and Newport Boulevard, according to Roxi Fyad of the Costa Mesa Police Department.

The suspects refused to pull over and led police on a high-speed chase, Fyad said. At some point they stopped on the Costa Mesa (55) Freeway and attempted to run away, but were quickly rounded up, Fyad said.