Vacationing L.A. Times Subscribers Targeted By Burglary Ring
Some vacationing Los Angeles Times subscribers who put their paper delivery on hold—precisely to avoid calling attention to the fact they're out of town—ended up being targeted by a burglary ring in the San Gabriel Valley.Sheriff's detectives arrested four men in the ring. They say Duane Van Tuinen, 51, was an office machine repairman contracted by the Los Angeles Times. He allegedly stole the vacation lists and passed them onto burglars Randall Whitmore, 43, Joshua Box, 43, and Edwin Valentine, 52, who targeted subscribers while they were out of town.
So far sheriff's detectives say they have linked the ring to 25 burglaries in Hacienda Heights, Diamond Bar, Walnut and Chino Hills. Detectives were able to recover a lot of the stolen goods, including collectible coins, musical instruments, swords, computers and jewelry.
Detective Jack Jordan of the Major Crimes Bureau said they're still hoping to find more victims, "Although much of the stolen property has been returned to the rightful owners, we are still trying to locate additional victims."
The Los Angeles Times aid that it has made changes to its delivery policies since the ring was uncovered. Spokeswoman Nancy Sullivan told another Times reporter: "The Los Angeles Times was contacted several months ago about criminal activity which may have been linked to subscriber delivery information. We immediately launched an internal review and collaborated with the Sheriff's Department as matters unfolded, including honoring their request to keep the matter confidential because the investigation was active. The Times sympathizes with those who have been harmed and joins the other victims in thanking the Sheriff's Department for their hard work."