Four people that police believe are responsible for a rash of late-night car break-ins throughout Laguna Beach last week were arrested on Sunday, Dec. 18, aided by a Tia Juana Street resident who called police when her car alarm began blaring at 1:41 a.m.
Ultimately, investigators uncovered a cache of property stolen from Laguna residents in a Westminster motel room and arrested the suspected culprits, said Lt. Jason Kravetz.
Owners of at least 15 vehicles, from South Laguna’s Third Avenue to North Laguna’s Ledroit Street, last week reported thefts from ransacked cars, most of them unlocked, the police log shows.
In the 400 block of Nyes Place, police detained Norman B. Stilley, 25, of Riverview, Fla., who had with him sunglasses missing from the Tia Juana Street car and was arrested for possession of stolen property, Kravetz said.
Patrol officers, alerted to be on the lookout for something unusual and to close off escape routes, set up a perimeter in the Moulton Meadows area after receiving the car alarm report, Kravetz said.
Under questioning by detectives, police learned Stilley arrived the week before from Utah
with three companions, one of them a former Orange County resident who described easy pickings from unlocked vehicles in Laguna Beach, Kravetz said.
“The thefts helped pay for their room. They would take loose change and exchange it at Paystar machines in grocery stores. They would also pawn stolen items in North Orange County,” he said.
Laguna detectives went to the Westminster Motel 6 and
awakened the other three suspects. In addition to Stilley, police arrested Sarah Ann Allred, 19, Eric Thomas Buseth, 19, and Allan David Liesk, 23, all of Sandy, Utah, all of whom were charged with possession of stolen property, burglary, petty theft, possession of a dangerous weapon (police collapsible baton), and conspiracy to commit a crime, Kravetz said.