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Alleged burglary ring members arrested in Glendale Galleria theft

April 17, 2012 | 12:18 pm

Glendale Galleria

Three men believed to be connected to a group of organized burglars were arrested Sunday after they ransacked an AT&T kiosk inside the Glendale Galleria, police said.

Police stopped Tairez Smith, 22, Willard Hill, 25, and a 16-year-old boy, whose name wasn’t released because he is a minor, in a red Buick at Columbus Avenue and Hawthorne Street after they allegedly stole 24 cellphones and five iPhone cases from the mall kiosk, according to Glendale police.

Glendale police Sgt. Tom Lorenz said the trio entered through one of the mall’s department stores just after 8:30 a.m. and headed to the main shopping area, which wasn’t open yet, the Glendale News-Press reported.

They allegedly ransacked the first-floor AT&T kiosk and left the mall with the loot when a security guard spotted them as they got into the Buick, according to police reports.

Officers caught up with the men a short time later.

Along with the iPhone cases and cellphones, police reported finding a thumb drive, a memory card package, two iPhone chargers, a crowbar and bolt cutters inside the Buick.

The arrests were the latest in a weeks-long spate of burglaries that authorities have tied to a gang-backed crime ring.

The trio reportedly told police detectives that Glendale was a target-rich environment that was easily accessible by freeway, Lorenz said.


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Photo: Shoppers at Glendale Galleria. Credit: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times