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Investigation continues into area burglary ring


Last updated 2/27/2013 at Noon

An official with the San Diego County Sheriff's Dept. has said that although three suspects were arrested in connection with an area burglary ring on February 26 in Rainbow, the investigation continues into the operation.

"This is a pretty big investigation that involves connected crimes occurring well into other jurisdictions; we are working with several other agencies, including the U.S. Postal Service," said Lt. Todd Richardson, commander of the Fallbrook Sheriff's substation.

Richardson said the investigation into the ring began two to three months ago and involved a variety of crimes ranging geographically from Temecula to Rancho Bernardo.

"The crimes involve numerous charges – it has not been purely residential burglaries, there are also some commercial burglaries, theft from mailboxes, and more," said Richardson.

In the February 26 arrests, a quantity of methamphetamine and some handguns were also confiscated. On that date, those arrested in the 2200 block of Huffstatler Road included Rainbow residents Erik Watte, 26, Henry Zermeno, 22, and a 17-year-old juvenile from Fallbrook. The 17-year-old was in possession of a stolen vehicle.

Richardson said a $1,000 reward is being offered through Crime Stoppers for information leading to the arrest of additional suspects. Those with information should call (888) 580-8477.

In speaking about burglaries in general, Richardson said in the Fallbrook jurisdiction, "We have seen an increase in the number of burglaries occurring on weekends." In the past, more residential burglaries have been committed during weekday daytime hours.

"We are asking residents to be cautious on the weekends by making sure they keep their garages closed and lock their cars, in order to help prevent these crimes of opportunity," said Richardson.

The lieutenant couldn't stress enough that residents should report any suspicious activity in their neighborhood to the Sheriff's Dept.

"We need people to call in and report suspicious persons in their neighborhood," he said. "If someone isn't doing anything wrong, they aren't going to get in trouble."

(previous story, Feb. 27, 2013)

Three arrested in connection with Fallbrook area burglary ring

FALLBROOK - A two-month investigation resulted in the arrest last night (Tues., Feb. 26) of three suspects in a burglary ring operating out of the Fallbrook area.

The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Postal Service and San Diego County Sheriff's Department and also resulted in the seizure of stolen property, drugs, cash and several guns at 2243 Huffstatler Road in Rainbow, a small community within the Fallbrook area, said Sgt. Joe Montion of the San Diego Sheriff's Department.

The investigation began when postal inspectors began an investigation into cases that ranged from mail theft, commercial burglaries and residential burglaries in San Diego and Riverside counties, Montion said.

Taken into custody was Erik Watte, 26, and Henry Zermeno, 22. A 17-year-old juvenile from Fallbrook was also arrested in a stolen vehicle before the warrant service.

Anyone with information on the burglary ring was asked to call the sheriff's department at (858) 565-5200. A $1,000 reward has been offered for information leading to the arrest of additional suspects.


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