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Two local teens arrested for alleged theft

July 16, 2011

COSTA MESA — Police are pointing to a string of car thefts Saturday morning by two local teenagers as a reminder to lock your car doors and keep valuables out of sight.

Police said at just before 3 a.m., a 16-year-old Costa Mesa boy and 18-year-old Chandler James Burton, 18, were arrested by officers after roaming eastside neighborhoods looking for unlocked cars.

The pair allegedly got into at least five unlocked cars between the 2500 block of Fairway Drive and 2600 block of Orange Avenue, stealing prescription medicines, sunglasses, iPods, cell phones and other personal items, said Sgt. Matt Grimmond.

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"Anything that's not nailed down, they're stealing," he said.

The two were spotted when a resident was awakened by barking dogs and his car alarm going off, Grimmond said. The resident saw the teens walking away from his car and followed them, later witnessing them try and get into another car, he said. The man called police and the two teens ran but were arrested in short time with the help of Huntington Beach's police helicopter, officials said.

Police found some stolen items on the two suspects, others they probably threw away before being arrested, Grimmond said.

"These are crimes of opportunity," Grimmond said. "People are leaving valuables in their cars, they're not locking their cars. And this just goes to remind people to remove your valuables and also lock your doors."

— Joseph Serna

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