Stolen items returned to their owners

Thanks to the GPS function on a stolen iPhone, Dana Point Police were able to recover more than 200 items taken from unlocked cars, garages and homes.

Our investigators located the stolen property and the suspect at the Beechwood Mobile Estates, where they recovered power tools, electronics, artwork, musical instruments, construction equipment … and the purse and iPhone taken from a Ladera Ranch women.

“We really lucked out with being able to utilize the GPS from the stolen iPhone to track down the location where several other stolen items were found” says Investigative Assistant Diane Hollenbeck.

The suspect – who has a long history of thefts and drug-related crimes — was arrested and sent to jail on 10 felony counts.

“This is a good example of the types of valuable items we lose to thefts here in Dana Point,” says Community Services Officer Cassie Levine.  “But the real message is that many of these thefts could have been prevented by simply locking your vehicle or hiding your items from view.”

On Wednesday, we offered a property viewing to help find the owners of the stolen items. 

So far, approximately 14 victims have been identified and over $55,000 in property has been returned.

One local painter was able to recover two stolen sprayers, valued at approximately $1,000 each.  He was very grateful because he depends on these items for his livelihood and to support his family.  One Dana Point home was hit twice, both times through an unlocked front door.

Other residents stopped by to look for an iPod left on a car seat in plain view … a GPS device and digital camera stolen from an unlocked vehicle … and a stereo taken from a car with its windows rolled down.

“We’re happy to return these stolen items,” says Investigator Chad Kajfasz. “But there are many more out there.  These are not isolated incidents.”

Unfortunately, no jewelry has been recovered but there are still several items that have been unclaimed including power tools and stereo equipment.  To determine if your stolen items may be available for recovery, please contact Investigative Assistant Diane Hollenbeck at 949-425-1946. 

To view the CBS2 News video click here http://cbs2.com/video/?id=134596@kcbs.dayport.com&wwparam=1273772245


Investigators laid out several recovered stolen items in hopes that the rightful owners would come and claim them.