Covina police nab alleged auto burglars

COVINA — Police hope the arrest of three burglary suspects in a Walmart parking lot Sunday will help curb a trend of auto burglaries in the area, authorities said.
William Gilbert, 23, of Covina, Rene Vasquez, 38, of Baldwin Park and Cynthia Esquivel, 36, of Covina were booked for investigation of burglary and suspicion of possessing stolen property, Covina police Lt. John Curley said. Esquivel is also suspected of possession of a methamphetamine pipe.
The arrest was made about 6 p.m. outside Walmart, 1275 N. Azusa Avenue, Curley said.
Covina police officers Ryan Davis and Ulrich Ramirez were patrolling the area in response to a recent increase in car break-ins when they spotted a suspicious older-model Mercury Cougar and pulled it over, the lieutenant said.
Inside the car, he said, the officers discovered a key ring with keys on it that had allegedly been stolen about a week earlier in a car burglary near Clearman’s North Woods Inn.
Officials are now investigating to see if the suspects may be tied to other Covina burglaries, Curley added.
In the past month, police have seen nearly 15 auto break-ins in the commercial areas surrounding Azusa Avenue and San Bernardino Road, Curley said.
Car thefts also appear to have increased in the area, he added.
During the holiday season, Curley said it’s extra important for people to lock their cars and not leave valuables inside in order to avoid becoming victims of opportunistic thieves.

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