First break in commercial burglary cases

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A silver late-model Dodge Magnum (top) and Toyota Camry with chrome rims were captured by surveillance cameras. Courtesy of Riverside County Sheriff’s Department

At a Friday, Jan. 11, meeting of Idyllwild business owners, called to discuss recent commercial burglaries, Hemet Station Special Investigations Supervisor Sgt. Wallace Clear spoke about a break in the case. Beginning in late October 2012, six commercial burglaries have occurred in Idyllwild and one at the Lake Hemet Market at Lake Hemet.

According to Clear, station deputies patrolling Idyllwild in the hours during which previous burglaries had occurred, spotted two vehicles (see accompanying photographs on page 2). Deputies observed activity around 4 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 10, that indicated criminal intent.

“We have no doubt they were in the process of committing a burglary,” Clear said. The target was the twice-burgled Village Hardware.

Deputies gave chase as the vehicles sped out of town, one in the direction of Pine Cove and the other toward Mountain Center. Ice on the highway created a dangerous chase and the vehicles escaped.

Clear noted that additional deputies were dispatched to monitor all Hill exits (Highways 243 and 74). He stated the vehicles were not seen leaving the Hill, according to subsequent deputy reports.

Station Lt. Dean Agnoletto said he believes the vehicles are still on the Hill and that the criminals are local. He urged locals to report sightings of these vehicles.

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