By City News Service
Eight people allegedly involved in a residential
burglary ring that targeted Los Angeles Times subscribers whose names were on
stolen "vacation hold" lists pleaded not guilty to charges in a grand jury
indictment unsealed today.
The ring stole an estimated $1 million in electronics and other items
during burglaries in Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties, according to
Victims resided in Diamond Bar, Walnut, Hacienda Heights, Chino Hills, West Covina, Arcadia, Pasadena, and Santa Monica in Los Angeles County, as well as Redlands and Ontario in San Bernardino County.
The 39-count indictment names:
-- Randal Joseph Whitmore, 44;
-- Duane Vantuinen, 52;
-- Joshua Ray Box, 44;
-- Lorraine Marlene Vasquez, 41;
-- Cory Mulligan, 22;
-- Brian Thomas Duran, 42;
-- Margaret Mary Susan High, 29; and
-- Edwin Lynn Valentine, 53.
All eight defendants are charged with multiple counts of burglary, along with two counts each of conspiracy to commit a crime.
Vantuinen, Box and Vasquez are additionally charged with possession of a firearm by a felon, while Duran and High are charged with possession of contraband -- methamphetamine -- in jail and bringing a weapon into jail. All but Mulligan are also charged with receiving stolen property.
The 14 burglaries named in the indictment occurred between December 2011 and November 2012.
The investigation was launched after a June 24, 2012, traffic stop involving Whitmore, according to the District Attorney's Office.
Police allegedly discovered stolen property in the car, along with Los Angeles Times vacation hold lists that contained the names and addresses of subscribers and the dates they were scheduled to be out of town.
The eight -- who are jailed on amounts ranging from $1.6 million to $2.6 million -- are due in Pomona Superior Court on Tuesday for a pretrial hearing.
If convicted as charged, each defendant faces at least 20 years in state prison, according to the District Attorney's Office.