• Arcadia Man is a Suspect in Burglary Ring

    LOS ANGELES (CNS) – Authorities today announced arrests in a burglary ring that targeted subscribers of the Los Angeles Times who had notified the newspaper to stop deliveries while they went on vacation.

    Detectives urged possible victims to contact them to retrieve their recovered property.

    Investigators believe that Duane Van Tuinen, 51, of Azusa, obtained the vacation lists and passed them on to a group of suspects, including Randall Whitmore, 43, of La Verne, Joshua Box, 43, of Arcadia, and Edwin Valentine, 52, of Covina, according to sheriff’s spokeswoman Nicole Nishida.

    Whitmore, Box, and Valentine have been arrested, Nishida said. Charges are pending against all four suspects, Nishida said.

    Van Tuinen worked as an office machine repairman who was under contract to distributors of the Los Angeles Times to repair their office machines, Nishida said.

    “Once inside the businesses, investigators believe that he repeatedly stole lists of Los Angeles Times newspaper subscribers who were on vacation,” Nishida said.

    “Van Tuinen passed them on to the suspects, who carried out the burglaries,” Nishida said. “Van Tuinen would share in the stolen property and ultimately sell it for profit.”

    Detectives believe the suspects committed more than 25 burglaries in areas that included Hacienda Heights, Diamond Bar, Walnut, and Chino Hills.

    The investigation led detectives to a West Covina storage locker; and on Thursday they seized hundreds of pieces of stolen property from dozens of residential burglaries, Nishida said. The property included collectible coins, collectible swords, musical instruments, computers and jewelry.

    Detectives have found some of the victims and returned their property to them. They urged others to contact authorities.

    People who had placed themselves on the vacation list and who were subsequently burglarized were  urged to call Detective Jack Jordan, (562) 946- 7893. Victims should be prepared to provide a police report number from their burglary and a description of the stolen items.

    Nancy Sullivan, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles Times, said the newspaper has made changes in its delivery policies since being made aware of the crimes.

    “We continuously review and upgrade our policies and systems to protect and best serve our customers,” she said in a statement.

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