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Vacationing L.A. Times Subscribers Targeted in Burglary Scam

Four people, including a La Verne man, are accused of breaking into the homes of Los Angeles Times subscribers who had been listed on a vacation, 'do not deliver' list. Diamond Bar residents were among the targets.

Four people, including a La Verne man, are accused of using a Los Angeles Times list of vacationing subscribers to carry out a series of home burglaries throughout the San Gabriel Valley, Los Angeles County Sheriff's officials said today.

Investigators, including detectives from the Glendora Police Department, teamed to arrest Duane Van Tuinen, 51, of Azusa; Randall Whitmore, 43, of La Verne; Joshua Box, 43, of Arcadia; and Edwin Valentine, 52, of Covina.

Detectives said, Van Tuinen got a copy of the newspaper's vacation lists and passed them on to the others.

Thieves stole valuables from more than 25 residents in the San Gabriel Valley, including Diamond Bar, Walnut and Chino Hills, and shared the profits with Van Tuinen, officials said.

Detective suspect Van Tuinen got the lists through his work as an office machine repairman contracted by distributors of the Los Angeles Times, according to officials.

The investigation led officials to a West Covina storage locker on Thursday where hundreds of stolen items were recovered.

“Although much of the stolen property has been returned to the rightful owners, we are still trying to locate additional victims”, said Detective Jack Jordan of the Major Crimes Bureau in a written statement.

Investigators recovered additional collectible coins, musical instruments, collectible swords, computers and jewelry from the suspects’ homes, and cars.

Any residents who believe their property was stolen as part of this burglary ring can call LASD Detective Jack Jordan at 562-946-7893.

Vito Spago January 31, 2013 at 12:26 AM
I always worry about this. But our housekeeper is still at home. She does not read the paper so a vacation hold does not mean no one is home. Also the burglar alarm is on.
Robert Corona January 31, 2013 at 02:12 AM
Have the neighbors pick up the paper for you... trusted ones of course! Same for the mail. Try to leave a car parked in the driveway..
Vito Spago January 31, 2013 at 09:18 AM
Great idea. Especially since the Times quit giving credit for undelivered papers during vacation holds.
Breeze Summers January 31, 2013 at 03:37 PM
Read the Times or any other newspaper digitally, the digital version is constantly updated.
notsomuch January 31, 2013 at 03:53 PM
Glad they caught these thugs. Great job LASD Major Crimes.

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