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Police investigating Los Banos car break-ins

Thursday, December 27, 2012

A North Valley businesswoman has had enough and is asking for your help to find a brazen burglar.

That bold burglar is targeting the same business in Los Banos.

This past week he's broken into cars on three different days.

It happened at the Vagabond Inn located on Highway 152 near California Avenue.

Unfortunately for the thief, all three break ins were caught on camera.

The suspect, whomever he is, came prepared. Video shows as he walks through the parking lot at the Vagabond Inn.

He uses a flashlight to peer into cars even hid in between vehicles when guests parked and walked into the lobby.

"He acted like he totally belongs," Vagabond Inn General Manager Luci Wood said.

The first time it happened Wood was mad.

But then it happened again, on Christmas Eve, and once more early Thursday morning.

Then Wood decided she had to do something. She's now considering hiring private security.

"Reputation is on the line, I know this is happening everywhere we're not singled out but it's our business our livelihood," Wood said.

One of those cars he hit belongs to Donna Forte who, like most people at the hotel, came home to Los Banos to visit for the holidays.

The thief found her brand new camera buried under blankets in the back seat.

"They can keep the camera, consider it a Christmas present from me, I'll even mail them the manual if you give me the disc back with my grandchildren's first Christmas," Forte said.

Los Banos police say break-ins like this are typical this time of year.. While 3 in the last week may be unusual, Investigative Sergeant Elias Reyes tells Action News thieves are out wandering, looking for an opportunity.

"Please don't leave your valuables inside your vehicle, locked or unlocked, they're very tempting for would be thieves," Reyes said.

Would-be thieves on a mission, no matter who's watching.

Detectives say they have some pretty good leads but if you saw anything or if you've got any information police hope you'll call.

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Tags:
los banos, merced county, crimetracker, theft, local, stephanie stone
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