Honeymooners’ home is burglarized

Couple’s wedding gifts, computers and identities were stolen during their trip. Two suspects were arrested.

September 05, 2009|By Joseph Serna

The newlyweds’ honeymoon ended quickly.

Kim and Ralph Dillon came home one July morning to find the lights on and the doors and windows open, as though someone had been living in their house. Their work, computers and even wedding gifts were missing.

During their two-week honeymoon in Hawaii, the Dillons’ Newport Beach house was ransacked.

“We were kind of freaked out,” Kim Dillon said. “The place was definitely ransacked. We called police, and they came out and called [Crime Scene Investigation].”


Investigators couldn’t find anything that identified the burglars, she said.

“We kept finding things every day that were missing.”

Things only got more strange in the coming days, as the Dillons got new cell phones in the mail, along with a driver’s license with Ralph Dillon’s personal information on it, but someone else’s photo.

They stole the couple’s identities too, Kim Dillon said.

“It was definitely creepy. The phones were activated and were getting calls and text messages,” she said. “We felt very violated. We felt like we needed to move because these people who were out there, it seemed like they were going to come back.”

The burglars didn’t come back. According to police, the burglars just found more victims.

On Aug. 14, police arrested Matthew James Lamberth, 36, of Garden Grove, and Dedra Dianne Moffat, 32, of Newport Beach on suspicion of burglary.

According to police, the two are a prime example of thieves taking on crimes of opportunity. Police said that outside of the Dillons’ burglary, two homes, two garages and a car were burglarized. All had unlocked doors or windows, said Sgt. Evan Sailor.

The Dillons had left an opening for a friend who was supposed to house-sit, but other arrangements got in the way.

Police said the couple lost nearly $7,000 in property.

Lamberth and Moffat were arrested after police learned that their latest victims — who lived on Carnation Avenue — had their BMW 550i stolen, Sailor said. The couple were arrested in the stolen car in Irvine on Aug. 14.

The couple has pleaded not guilty to several counts of burglary and is scheduled to be back in court Sept. 15.

The Dillons said they’re just hoping to get some of their property back, like a necklace Kim’s mom had given her for the wedding.

“I’m sure they don’t need it or want it,” she said.

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