Ventura County burglary ring targeted farms, construction sites
Three men were in custody Tuesday and a fourth was being sought for allegedly stealing tools from construction sites and farms in Ventura County in a series of nearly 50 burglaries.
Detectives from the sheriff's departments in Ventura, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles and Riverside counties began an investigation in July after noticing a pattern of burglars cutting their way into locked metal storage containers at rural work sites to steal tools, including air compressors, welding machines, water pumps, drills and saws.
Ventura County Sheriff’s deputies on Friday arrested Jose Dominguez, 22, of Los Angeles, and issued arrest warrants for Osman Enamorado, 23, and Henry Briones, 26, who were already in custody in connection with a similar burglary in Riverside County. A fourth suspect, Wilfredo Jimenez, 34, was still being sought.
The men are suspected of stealing an estimated $150,000 worth of tools over a year-long period starting in November 2009 and selling them to a middleman in Los Angeles, said Det. Ray Dominguez of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department's agricultural crimes unit.
Detectives linked the suspects to the burglaries with DNA evidence, fingerprints, shoe impression analysis and surveillance. Authorities also have identified sites in Santa Barbara County the group may have burglarized.
-- Tony Barboza