Crime

Lompoc Police hoping a "selfie" will return stolen items to their rightful owners

Lompoc Police hoping a "selfie" will...

LOMPOC, Calif. - Lompoc Police are hoping a "selfie" will return stolen items to their rightful owners.

Every 48 hours someone is breaking into a car, smash n' grab style in Lompoc.

"Next morning I woke up to go to work and realized my car had been broken into," burglary victim E.J. Jimenez said. 

E.J. Jimenez knows what it feels like. He estimates these crooks got away with thousands of dollars worth of stuff out of his car.

"I'd left my Ipad in there, unfortunately I'd left my phone, my buddy left his backpack.. and everything was ransacked and stolen," Jimenez said. 

Lompoc police were able to recover his friend's backpack.

"Kudos and hats off to the Lompoc Police Department, great guys, great ladies," Jimenez said. 

Jimenez is sharing his story to serve as a lesson for others who also make the mistake of leaving valuables in their cars.

"The sad thing are the pictures you can never get back, my 99-year-old grandmother, so just really unfortunate," Jimenez said.

Lompoc Police arrested two men who are linked to these recent auto burglaries on February 3rd during a search warrant.

"Unfortunately it's increasing, the thefts lead to bigger things," Lompoc police detective Brian Guerra said. 

23-year-old Rick Reyes of Lompoc and 21-year-old Jose Solana are accused of stealing items out of those cars - including stolen credit cards that were used at a Lompoc gas station. They're still looking for this third suspect seen in surveillance video.

"They sell the property, sometimes it's tied to drug use, it's traded for drugs, it's traded for the money to buy drugs," Guerra said. 

Police recovered shaved keys, burglary tools and about a thousand dollars worth of stolen items during the search warrant, some of which has been returned to their owners..

But there were two cameras that had some "selfie" pictures on them, that are believed to be pictures of the rightful owners of more stolen property. 

"Trying to get the owners identified and get them back their stuff," Guerra said.

"We don't live in a perfect world and we shouldn't pretend like it, get your valuables out of your car," Jimenez said. 

Many of these burglaries happened where the doors were left unlocked - so police are reminding people lock your doors  


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