On Sunday, January 31, 2021, detectives with the Thousand Oaks Special Enforcement Unit (SEU) arrested two Los Angeles County residents for burglary from a vehicle, identity theft and conspiracy to commit a crime.
On February 16, 2021 detectives with SEU arrested three additional Los Angeles County residents for burglary from a vehicle, identity theft and conspiracy to commit a crime. During the months of January and February, Thousand Oaks detectives noted a significant increase in burglaries and thefts from vehicles. Since January 1, 2021, approximately 40 thefts or burglaries from a vehicle had been reported in the city of Thousand Oaks. In looking at trends associated with these crimes, detectives noted that vehicles parked at golf courses, hiking trailheads and dog parks were specifically being targeted. Detectives also determined the thieves were stealing victims’ credit cards and using the stolen credit cards at local stores to purchase high end merchandise and gift cards.
Detectives with the Thousand Oaks Special Enforcement Unit collaborated with the Detective Bureau to identify and arrest the serial thieves. On January 31, 2021, SEU detectives located Brian Patricio Valenzuela Molina, 22 years, North Hills resident and Luis Andres Hormazabal Castaneda, 33 years, North Hills resident, as they exited Best Buy, located at 390 North Moorpark Road in the City of Thousand Oaks, and drove away from the business. SEU detectives coordinated with patrol deputies to have Molina and Castaneda detained. SEU detectives were able to determine Molina and Castaneda had burglarized a victim’s vehicle at the Conejo Creek Dog Park and used her credit card to attempt to purchase merchandise at the Best Buy. Detectives located evidence inside their vehicle linking Molina and Castaneda to the vehicle burglary at the dog park. Molina and Castaneda originally identified themselves with forged Argentinian Identification Cards. After further investigation, SEU Detectives determined Molina and Castaneda were both Chilean Nationals who had recently arrived in the country via the VISA Waiver Program.
Molina and Castaneda were booked into the Pre-Trial Detention Facility for 182(a)(1) PC – Conspiracy to Commit a Crime, 459 PC – Second Degree Burglary of a Vehicle and 530.5(a) PC – Identity Theft. Molina and Castaneda are still in custody with bail set at $50,000.
SEU detectives continued to collaborate with the Detective Bureau to investigate the spike in vehicle crimes. Using a variety of investigative techniques, detectives located a vehicle associated with the serial thieves in the area of Kanan Road and the 101 Freeway. Detectives coordinated with patrol deputies to have an enforcement stop conducted on the vehicle.
Detectives contacted the occupants of the vehicle, who were identified as Cristian Rios Regla, 30 year, North Hills resident, Patrick David Jeria Milla, 29 years, North Hills resident and Bryan Ioannes Arce Yanez, 27 years, North Hills resident. Detectives recognized Regla, Milla and Yanez as suspects in multiple burglaries and thefts from vehicle and subsequent illegal use of the victims’ credit cards. Regla, Milla and Yanez originally identified themselves with forged Argentinian Identification Cards. After further investigation, SEU detectives determined Regla, Milla and Yanez were Chilean Nationals who had recently arrived in the country via the VISA Waiver Program.
Detectives also determined Regla and Milla were on felony probation for Theft from Los Angeles County, and Yanez was on felony probation for Conspiracy to Commit a Crime from Ventura County. At about the same time, Thousand Oaks Patrol deputies contacted the victim of a burglary from a vehicle that had occurred a short time earlier at the Rancho Satwiwa trailhead in Newbury Park. SEU detectives assisted in the investigation and obtained evidence linking Regla, Milla and Yanez to the burglary and subsequent illegal use of the victim’s stolen credit cards at a retail store in the city of Thousand Oaks. Regla, Milla and Yanez were booked into the Pre-Trial Detention Facility for Conspiracy to Commit a Crime, Second Degree Burglary of a Vehicle and Identity Theft.