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Burglary ring used Craigslist, posed as fumigators to steal millions, LAPD says

April 1, 2010 |  6:36 pm
Burglary Suspects

LAPD detectives and federal authorities have busted an alleged San Fernando Valley burglary ring they believe is responsible for a string of high-end break-ins that netted the criminals several million dollars worth of electronics, jewelry and luxury items.

The alleged burglars targeted luxury homes in and around the Valley area. They watched the properties and exploited the tenting of homes for pest eradication, planned estate sales and listings on Craigslist to find locations, authorities said.

“In one house alone they stole more $750,000 of items,” said LAPD Lt. Alan Hamilton. “This ring is responsible for at least 15 burglaries based on the items we’ve recovered and identified alone.”

Hamilton said that in some cases the burglars wore respirators to enter homes that were being fumigated and take expensive items, including computers, big-screens TVs and tools. They often watched a home for several days before breaking and entering, he said. LAPD investigators working with Immigration and Customs Enforcement spent several months pursuing the ring.

The ongoing burglary investigation centers on 35-year-old twins Karisa Kay and Kristina Kay of Valley Village, and 40-year-old Steven C. Miller. Hamilton said the twins also have a history of property crimes.

LAPD detectives say the Kay twins have been arrested on several occasions in the last year for investigation of burglary and receiving stolen property. Karisa Kay has been charged with 12 felony counts, including identity theft, theft, commercial burglary, forgery and methamphetamine possession, records show.

Hamilton said Miller is alleged to be involved in at least 11 burglaries and was on parole for burglary when he was arrested in January. He was charged with nine felonies and returned to a Lancaster state prison. Two other suspects were detained by ICE for unlawfully entering the United States and engaging in criminal activity.

Those two suspects were transported to the Metropolitan Detention Center pending further investigation and deportation proceedings. Detectives from the LAPD’s North Hollywood Division served five search warrants throughout Los Angeles County from Marina Del Rey to Winnetka to recover property taken over the last several months linked to a ring that operated mainly in the San Fernando Valley.

--Richard Winton

Photo: AP