IRVINE, CA (February 28, 2012): After a weekend of investigations and several similar but unrelated arrests, Irvine Police continue to urge residents to join in the fight against vehicle burglaries and thefts from vehicles by securing their valuables out of sight.
The first of the recent arrests was Saturday, February 25th, in the early morning hours. It was just after 2:00 a.m. when an observant neighbor called the police to report suspicious activity. The resident reported a young man removing something from inside a vehicle and walking away. Police flooded the area and detained a 16-year-old male. While he was detained, officers confirmed that at least three and possibly as many as five unlocked vehicles had been entered near where the young man was seen. The suspect was in possession of items missing from the vehicles, as well as a can of pepper spray. Although no evidence of additional suspects was found, detectives believe he may have had a partner as several items lost in the string of thefts, including a laptop computer, were not recovered. Police believe the same suspect may be responsible for similar thefts in the past. He was arrested for petty theft and for being a minor in possession of pepper spray and booked in to Orange County Juvenile Hall.
The next arrest was made on February 26th. This time, it was detectives that witnessed the suspicious activity while watching an area where a brief pattern of vehicle burglaries had emerged. For the past three months, there have been about ten vehicle burglaries in the area of Quail Hill Park. Detectives began a focused investigation immediately upon recognizing the series. On Sunday afternoon they were conducting surveillance in the area when they saw a suspicious subject get out of a vehicle and look into the windows of cars in a parking lot. Although the subject did not enter any vehicles, detectives did find evidence that two vehicles were tampered with in an apparent attempt to “punch” the door locks. The suspect, Nellum Bryant (4-11-62) of Los Angeles was detained a short distance away with a second suspect, Khalia Sharlette Grandberry (4-10-87) also of Los Angeles. Inside their vehicle were tools consistent with use for vehicle burglary as well as property from more than five different Orange County vehicle burglaries, including a purse that had been stolen about two hours earlier from a car at an Irvine health club. Nellum and Grandberry were booked into the Orange County Jail for burglary, attempted burglary, possession of burglary tools, receiving stolen property, possession of stolen credit cards, and conspiracy.
The last of these similar but unrelated arrests occurred late Monday evening, February 27th, when an Irvine patrol officer stopped a speeding vehicle. As the investigation developed, the officer discovered the driver was possession of dangerous drugs. During a search of his vehicle, property from multiple vehicle burglaries, including at least six different identification cards, multiple GPS units and other miscellaneous stolen property was recovered. The suspect, Michael Evan Jenkins (9-17-80) of Huntington Beach was arrested for possession of a dangerous drug, possession of drug paraphernalia, receiving stolen property and possession of burglary tools. He was also arrested for falsely identifying himself to officers in an apparent attempt to hide his true identity and status as a parolee during the booking process.
Irvine detectives caution that although they have had good fortune in arresting a number of thieves in these types of crimes, the best defense continues to be prevention. In nearly 100% of thefts from vehicles and vehicle burglaries, the suspect could see the targeted property from outside the vehicle and in more than half of these types of crimes, the vehicles are unlocked.
The Irvine Police Department is appealing to residents to secure their valuables out of sight, especially when visiting a health club where would-be thieves know many people leave their valuables behind for extended periods of time.
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IRVINE POLICE DEPARTMENT
One Civic Center Plaza, Irvine, CA 92606
(949) 724-7000 www.irvinepd.org
"Working In Partnership with the Community"
INTEGRITY - QUALITY SERVICE - ACCOUNTABILITY - RESPECT
The City of Irvine has a population of more than 212,000, spans 65 square miles and is recognized as one of America's safest and most successful master-planned urban communities. Top-rated educational institutions, an enterprising business atmosphere, sound environmental stewardship, and respect for diversity all contribute to Irvine's enviable quality of life. This family-friendly city features more than 16,000 acres of parks, sports fields and dedicated open space and is the home of the Orange County Great Park – the first great metropolitan park of the 21st century. For more information, please visit www.cityofirvine.org.