A Val Verde man accused of several burglaries, including a “hot prowl,” was charged with five counts related to theft and vandalism in Val Verde, according to court documents.
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Manuel Guerrero Cortez, 33, was arrested for his alleged involvement in a residential burglary that took place while the resident was home.
He was arraigned Thursday on first degree residential burglary charges, two second degree vehicle burglary charges in connection with a series of car thefts in June and two vandalism charges that also appear related to car burglaries.
Sheriff’s Department Parks Bureau deputies arrested Cortez on suspicion he forced his way into a home July 15, while the owner was still in the residence, which is called a hot prowl burglary.
Once inside the residence, Cortez allegedly stole power tools, two cellphones, a GPS unit and a Nintendo Gameboy, officials said.
Based on the fact that some of the items recovered did not belong to the victims that Sheriff’s Department officials identified, detectives believe there may have been other burglaries.
Detectives sent out a Nixle report shortly after their arrest seeking to identify those victims and return their property.
Nixle is a service used by law enforcement agencies throughout the country, including the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station, to put out crime alerts and community messages. (Click here to sign up.)
One of the victims, who was identified through the property, found lived in Canyon Country, according to Detective Perry Tardif of the Parks Bureau.
Tardif urged people to write down the serial numbers for their valuables, because if they are stolen and later recovered, detectives have a nationwide database known as the Automated Property System, which is used to track such items.
If there’s no serial numbers, but the property owner has an opportunity to mark the item with a unique identifier, such as a driver’s license number, then they should. Tardif said deputies can use that to create a unique ID number in the database.
The system goes back decades, Tardif said.
The criminal complaint against Cortez also mentions two prior convictions — a grand theft charge and a burglary charge.
If anyone can identify the items stolen recently, they’re asked to contact Detective Perry Tardif at PCTardif@lasd.org or Detective Adam Dorman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anonymous tips can be reported to LA Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS.
Cortez is being held in lieu of $160,000 bail at Men’s Central Jail. He’s due back in court Sept. 16.
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Source: Santa Clarita News