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Hearing in Piecemakers case postponed

jury trial set for Feb.

January 13, 2006

Three members of a Costa Mesa religious sect were in court Thursday on charges of operating a restaurant without a proper permit and of blocking a health inspection, said Deputy Dist. Atty. Scott Steiner.

At a pretrial hearing in Orange County Superior Court, the three members of the Piecemakers were represented for the first time by attorney Robert Miller, Steiner said. The pretrial hearing was continued, and a jury trial is scheduled for Feb. 28.

Police believe crew targeted unlocked cars in Dover Shores

A man arrested in connection with a theft from a vehicle in Newport Beach's Dover Shores neighborhood Jan. 6 is believed to be part of a crew that was targeting unlocked vehicles, police said.

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Police believe say Kurtiss Andrew Nielson, 19, of Costa Mesa, to be part of a theft ring of four others who were arrested Tuesday in connection with several thefts from vehicles in the Dover Shores area, police said.

In all of the reported incidents, the cars were unlocked.

Detectives are investigating whether the group may be responsible for more thefts from vehicles, said Newport Beach Sgt. Bill Hartford.

"We're still looking into this crew and seeing which thefts from vehicles could be attributed to them," Hartford said.

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