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Suspect in Irvine office thefts arrested

Police suspect that John Steven Gachupin, 47, walked into offices unlawfully and stole workers' wallets and purses.

August 03, 2011|By Lauren Williams, lauren.williams@latimes.com

Irvine police have arrested a man suspected in 13 workplace burglaries that netted credit cards, wallets and purses, officials said Wednesday.

John Steven Gachupin, 47, whose last known residence was in Chula Vista, was arrested Tuesday in Tustin, said Irvine Lt. Julia Engen.

Gachupin is believed to have entered workplaces during business hours, stealing credit cards and immediately using them in nearby retail stores, according to Irvine police.

He is believed to be involved in thefts dating to 2009. Police suspect that Gachupin was involved in about 20 thefts countywide.

Police were able to identify Gachupin after they tracked transactions in Oceanside to stolen credit cards from victims in six different cities, according to a news release from Irvine police.

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In 1995 Gachupin pled guilty to seven felonies, including forgery, fraudulent use of access cards and receiving stolen property, according to court records. He was sentenced to two years in state prison for the crime.

He also had convictions in 2007 for burglary, unlawfully taking a vehicle and receiving stolen property in 1997, and stealing a car in 1990, court records show.

He is being held at the Orange County jail without bail on a parole hold.

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