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Laguna Beach


Police Files

Homeowners and realtors beware: crimes at open houses on the rise

On Sunday, May 26, at 6:36 p.m., LBPD received a report regarding a petty theft incident during an open house, at the 700 block of Manzanita Drive.

“As the victim, a local realtor, was cleaning up for the day, she placed her purse near the front door. As she was leaving, she could not find her purse,” LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota said. “She suspects that a male/female couple that had just come through before closing up took it and fled.”

Her purse contained a driver’s license, a credit card, an iPhone, and approximately $20 in cash. According to reports online, the suspects began using her credit card in nearby cities immediately, before being shut down.

The victim reported that there were two suspects. One was described as a thin white male, 5’10” to 5’11” tall with “reddish” hair, 20 to 30 years old, wearing all black and having tattoos. The second suspect is a white female, 20 to 30 years old, with short dark hair and wearing mostly black clothing.

“An officer took a report and the incident will be submitted to Investigations for follow up,” Sgt Cota said.   

A second open house incident occurred on Monday, May 27, at 1:12 p.m.

“During an open house at a residence on North Vista De Catalina, an unknown suspect(s) entered the residence and stole approximately $4,700 in camera equipment, personal items, and jewelry,” Sgt Cota said. “A report will be taken and forwarded to Investigations.”

 Laguna Board of REALTORS® provided a link to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) Realtor Safety Program with helpful tips to protect realtors and their clients belongings at www.nar.realtor/safety/56-safety-tips-for-realtors.

Some of the safety tips include: 

--Show properties before dark. 

--Limit the amount of personal information you share. 

--Always let someone know where you are going and when you will be back.

--Leave the name and phone number of the client you are meeting and schedule a time for your office to call you to check in. 

--Don’t assume that everyone has left the premises at the end of an open house. Check all of the rooms and the backyard prior to locking the doors. 

--Be prepared to defend yourself, if necessary. 

--Whenever possible, take your own car to a showing. When you leave your car, lock it.

--Tell your sellers not to leave personal information like mail or bills out in the open where anyone can see it. 

--And be sure to lock down your computer and lock up your laptop and any other expensive, easy-to-pocket electronics, like iPods, before your showing.

Buzzed BBQ buddies cause havoc at Heisler

On Sunday, May 26, at 5:26 p.m., LBPD officers responded to the lawn bowling area at Heisler Park. According to Sgt Cota, four male subjects had been there congregating most of the day, BBQ-ing and consuming alcohol. Officers received several calls for service about them causing disturbances throughout the day. 

“Beach Patrol Officers contacted the suspects, who had their personal belongings and trash scattered all over the area,” Sgt Cota said. “At the time of the last call for service, one of the suspects, Kyle Winton, was consuming from a bottle of vodka when Beach Patrol Officers asked him to put the vodka down. Winton chose to finish the vodka and then left the area. Beach Patrol Officers requested patrol officers to assist.”

According to Sgt Cota, Winton returned to the area shortly thereafter. 

When patrol officers and a supervisor arrived on scene, Cota said that Wilson and Winton were climbing through the bushes, screaming, and yelling at other park goers. Both Wilson and Winton were reportedly intoxicated and placed under arrest for public intoxication.

Kyle Albert Winton, 39, of Laguna Beach, and John Andrew Wilson, 59, of Laguna Beach were both arrested for disorderly conduct related to alcohol.

Bail was set at $1,000 for Winton and $500 for Wilson.

Editor’s Note: An arrest contains allegations that a suspect or defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.

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