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8 charged with stealing $200,000 in high-end bathing suits

May 31, 2012 |  8:27 am

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Eight Southern Californians have been charged with stealing more than $200,000 worth of high-end bathing suits from a Tustin warehouse.

Tustin police had been patrolling the area near the warehouse around 5:30 a.m. Sunday morning due to what prosecutors say was an increase in industrial business thefts. There they found a “suspicious white van” according to a statement from the Orange County district attorney’s office.

Six of the eight defendants are accused of cutting through a fence and entering the warehouse on the 2600 block of Dow Avenue. Prosecutors say the other two defendants remained in a separate vehicle outside the warehouse to serve as lookouts while the bathing suits were being loaded into the white van.

Authorities say the six defendants fled in their van on the 405 Freeway, and at one point had to jump out of the van in an attempt to escape from officers. The defendants in the other car were stopped and arrested on Interstate 5, prosecutors said.  

Baldomero Lopez Morales, 28, Allan Jose Lopez, 25, and Omar Bermejo-Cruz, 27, all of Downey; Johnathan Alexander Chamorro, 24, of Bellflower; Guillermina Ventura-Moran, 33, of Huntington Park; and Rogasiano Carpintero, 35, Jose Luis Montecinos, 26, and Norma Yaneli Sanchez, 26, all of Los Angeles, are charged with second-degree burglary and other crimes related to the theft.

They face differing maximum sentences, but Carpintero has four prior prison convictions in Los Angeles and Orange County and could face more than 10 years in prison, the district attorney’s office said.

City News Service said that the suspects pleaded not guilty in court on Wednesday.

Anyone with additional information is encouraged to contact Tustin Police Sgt. Robert Wright at (714) 573-3257 or Supervising Dist. Atty. Ron Frazier at (714) 347-8691.

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-- Matt Stevens

twitter.com/mattstevenslat

Image: Approximate location of incident shown in red. Credit: Google Maps

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