Detectives are investigating two home burglaries where more than $600,000 in jewelry was stolen within Laguna Beach’s gated ocean-front enclave of Smithcliffs last week.
“There is a likelihood that the two Smithcliff burglaries are related, but I cannot definitively say I am 100% sure until more investigation work is completed,” said Lt. Jason Kravetz, adding that investigators are consulting with the Orange County Crime Lab over common threads.
The first incident, reported at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, July 13, apparently occurred within the previous eight days. The victims noticed over $100,000 in jewelry was missing from their home, though there were no signs of forced entry, Kravetz said.
In the second burglary, reported at 10 p.m. Saturday, July 14, a woman returned home after a three-hour absence to discover a break-in and the loss of jewelry valued at $500,000. She said her 19-year-old daughter was home at the time, but heard nothing.
Police declined to identify the missing items due to the ongoing investigation.
Tip Leads to Multiple Drug Arrests
Laguna Beach detectives arrested four people for drug offenses last Tuesday, July 10, after pursuing a tip that a Dana Point man might be selling drugs in Laguna Beach, police said.
After detectives began surveillance of Michael Gillen Gregory, 27, of Dana Point, they observed him allegedly selling oxycodone to another man and contacted him outside his home, Lt. Jason Kravetz said. Following his arrest, a search of Gregory’s home turned up additional prescription pills and heroin, Kravetz said.
Also arrested on possession charges was Ashley Mylan Antal of San Juan Capistrano, who was present in the house, he said. Two other men seen leaving Gregory’s home were pulled over for a routine traffic violation about 2:30 p.m. on Camino Del Avion and eventually arrested. Robert Luis Gardner and Wyatt James Davis, both 27 and of San Clemente, were arrested for suspicion of possessing heroin. Davis was also charged for allegedly transporting narcotics. Bail was set at $20,000 and $30,000 respectively.
Monday, July 9
Burglary. 2:56 p.m. 400 block of Arroyo Chico. Someone broke a window and entered the home, removing a computer and electronic equipment.
Traffic stop. 11:52 p.m. 200 block of Thalia St. A 19-year-old Laguna Beach resident was cited for DUI and held for $2,500 bail.
Tuesday, July 10
Traffic stop. 2:25 a.m. Ocean Ave. A 22-year-old man was arrested for DUI and held for $2,500 bail.
Grand theft. 12:57 p.m. 31800 block of Ninth Ave. The victims reported that two bags of jewelry valued at up to $30,000 were stolen three weeks ago.
Suspicious vehicle. 4:19 p.m. 600 block of S. Coast Hwy. Farid Rafael Trinidad, 34, of Laguna Niguel was arrested for suspicion of marijuana sales after police received multiple reports of transactions taking place in the parking lot of a fast-food restaurant. Bail was set at $25,000.
Petty theft. 8:14 p.m. 500 block of S. Coast Hwy. Two rings valued at $400 were reported stolen from the front of a store.
Medical aid. 9:21 p.m. 31800 Coast Hwy. A southbound trolley driver deviated from his route to drop off a 53-year-old female passenger, who complained of chest pains, at the hospital’s emergency room.
Wednesday, July 11
Grand theft.. 11:44 a.m. 2100 Catalina St. An iPad valued at $978 was stolen over the weekend; a suspect may have entered through an unlocked door.
Battery. 11:53 a.m. 31800 S. Coast Hwy. A staff member suffered head, neck and shoulder pain after being hit with a clipboard by a mentally unstable patient, according to a log entry. The suspect could not be interviewed for another six hours due to administered medication and a five-point restraint, the log noted.
Grand theft. 2:35 p.m. 700 block of Wilson St. Thieves made off with a Corvette cover valued at $900.
Friday, July 13
Foot patrol. 6:58 a.m. 1500 block of S. Coast Hwy. Matthew Rogers, 55, of Laguna Beach, was arrested for a parole violation and held without bail.
Indecent exposure. 7 a.m. S. Coast Hwy. North Main Beach. A woman and her children playing in the tidepools made a citizen’s arrest after encountering a 46-year-old naked homeless man who made no effort to cover up. The same man had earlier in the day been arrested for indecent exposure, obstructing police and pot possession after he was found naked hiding between cars on Broadway. He told police he was trying to wash his clothes.
Burglary. 1300 block of Circle Way. Unknown suspects kicked open a front door of a residence and proceeded to steal an unknown amount of items. The loss was discovered by a guest.
Saturday, July 14
Traffic stop. 12:47 a.m. 1400 S. Coast Hwy. A 48-year-old Glendale woman was arrested for DUI and held for $2,500 bail.
Indecent exposure. 6:10 p.m. El Paseo. A 64-year-old Nevada man was arrested for lewd conduct after he followed a father and son into the restroom and exposed himself. Bail was set at $1,000.
Sunday, July 15
Traffic stop. 12:27 a.m. 30800 block of Coast Hwy. Shelby Summers, 23, of Laguna Beach, was arrested for suspicion of DUI, child endangerment and possessing counterfeit money. Her passenger, a 30-year-old homeless person, was arrested for an outstanding grand theft warrant. The driver’s 3-month-old son was released to a relative.
Found property. 1500 block of S. Coast Hwy. 6:38 a.m. A money clip with a bunch of $20s was discovered.
Vehicle burglary. 1:41 p.m. Beach St. A car was discovered broken into over night; a s purse, duffle bag, lap top altogether valued at $8,600 is missing.
Burglary. 4:52 p.m. Lagunita Dr. The theft of two laptoops valued at a $3,000 loss was reported.