Three Laguna Beach burglary suspects arrested after multi-agency investigation

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A total of 20 suspects, including five juveniles, face burglary-related criminal charges after Los Angeles and Orange County law enforcement agencies conducted a 13-month joint investigation into a string of 35 reported break-ins that occurred in Orange County, the District Attorney’s Office reported Thursday. 

 

A map supplied by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office shows the nine cities and unincorporated areas where the LA-based burglary crime ring is said to have targeted. Graphic courtesy of Orange County District Attorney’s Office.

 

Authorities stated that three of the suspects have been linked to two burglaries in Laguna Beach.

 

The multi-agency investigation, which included Laguna Beach detectives, uncovered that the 20 suspects had ties to Los Angeles-based gangs and operated as part of a crime ring.

 

The ring carried out 34 residential burglaries in Orange County, including two in Laguna Beach, and resulted in a total loss of over $500,000 in cash, guns, jewelry and other items, police said.

 

Laguna Beach police detectives said they first became aware of the crime ring in December 2022 after a residential burglary on Skyline Drive, where the suspects entered through a window of an empty home and stole about $10,000 worth of jewelry.

 

Police arrested and charged Jesus Alberto Guerra, 29, of Los Angeles, with 14 felony counts of burglary and multiple other charges, including felony grand theft, grand theft firearm and first-degree robbery, according to authorities. 

 

Guerra faces a maximum sentence of 28 years and four months in prison if convicted.

 

In August, eight months after the first burglary in Laguna Beach, a residential home camera system caught footage of two people with masks on going into an empty home on Alta Laguna Boulevard. The resident quickly told the police, which led to an unsuccessful pursuit and the suspects eluded capture, police said.

 

Jamari Njie Devon Manning, 19 and Nathaniel Eric Roberts, 25, both of Los Angeles, were arrested and charged with five felony counts of first-degree burglary and one felony count of conspiracy to commit a crime, according to authorities.

 

If convicted, Manning and Roberts each face a maximum sentence of 12 years and eight months in prison.

 

Laguna Beach police detectives worked alongside police departments from Anaheim, Cypress, Fullerton, Orange, Placentia, Torrance and Westminster, as well as the Orange County Sheriff’s Department during the investigation. 

 

Nine of the defendants were arrested in the recent sweep, while 11 remain wanted on felony warrants, the DA’s office said.

This investigation is ongoing. Law enforcement said it believes the burglary ring could be involved in other cases. Those who may have additional information that could help investigators are encouraged to contact the Orange County Sheriff’s Department at 714-647-7000. Anonymous information may be provided through Orange County Crime Stoppers at 1-855-TIP-OCCS.

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