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Police arrest car seat theft suspects

Two men caught taking the valuable resale items at Costa Mesa's Metro Pointe.

March 09, 2011|By Joseph Serna, joseph.serna@latimes.com

COSTA MESA — Police detectives are seeking additional witnesses to a series of car seat thefts at Metro Pointe.

Just after 2 p.m. Tuesday, police arrested two Los Angeles County men who allegedly drove around the shopping center's parking lot stealing third-row seats from SUVs.

"A lot of them are after-market items," said Lt. Paul Dondero. "They steal these things right and left. It comes in spurts. You see this all across the country."

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Police said the men were seen by Metro Pointe security taking something out of an SUV and then driving around suspiciously through the parking lot.

Security alerted police, who blocked all the exits.

After the men, 27 and 38, saw police, they jumped out of their vehicle and tried to run. They were quickly apprehended. Officers found three to four sets of third-row SUV seats in their van.

"Particular makes and models are popular," Dondero said. "Some of these cost quite a bit of money, so the resale for them is high."

Both men were booked on suspicion of vehicle burglary, possession of stolen property, possession of burglary tools and conspiracy to commit burglary.

The 27-year-old was wanted on a no-bail warrant; the other man is being held in lieu of $250,000 bail.

Police declined to identify the suspects while they search for additional conspirators and wait for more witnesses to step forward.

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