A Simi Valley man suspected in several window smash car burglaries is behind bars, thanks to great detective work and an observant deputy. Detectives had been investigating several window smash vehicle burglaries that occurred at some time during the night on January 7 and 8 on Winterdale Drive, Shadyview Drive, and Nearview Drive in Canyon Country. At least three of the burglaries occurred after the vehicle owners had left valuable items such as laptops, purses, and cell phones in plain view inside their cars overnight.
In two of the incidents, the suspect smashed the car window and made off with the valuables. But the suspect’s crime spree ended Wednesday night when he returned to the Santa Clarita Valley, presumably to commit more crime.
Detectives working the cases used investigative techniques to obtain video footage of the suspect and his vehicle. That information was put into a Sheriff’s Department Special Bulletin and briefed to all Santa Clarita patrol deputies. On Wednesday night, a Santa Clarita Deputy spotted the suspect’s vehicle in the 22000 block of Copperhill Drive, Saugus.
A traffic stop was conducted and deputies found an abundance of stolen items and other evidence. Deputies also determined the car the suspect was driving had been stolen out of Ventura. When all was said and done, more than 80 items of evidence were recovered, some linked directly back to the Canyon Country vehicle burglaries. Deputies found check books, purses, wallets, credit cards, GPS systems, laptop computers, numerous financial documents, and tools commonly used to commit burglaries. They even found a replica firearm.
The suspect, Colton Yanello, 19, of Simi Valley also had two no bail felony warrants for taking a vehicle without the owners consent and possession of a controlled substance. He was booked at the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station on felony charges of taking a vehicle without the owners consent and receiving stolen property. He was also booked on the warrants and a misdemeanor charge of possession of burglary tools. He is being held without bail pending future court proceedings. Detectives believe the same suspect may be responsible for other burglaries in the Santa Clarita Valley.
During the investigation, the suspect reportedly told deputies that he only breaks into cars where he sees valuable items such as iPods, purses or computers in view.
The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station would like to use this opportunity to remind all residents about how they can reduce the likelihood of being a victim of burglary or theft and how they can help us protect our community.