GLENDORA — Police jailed a man Thursday on suspicion of burglarizing the SUV of a Vietnam veteran’s daughter during a funeral for the Marine at a Glendora cemetery last month.
Jose Angel Abrajan, 31, was arrested at his Chino home Thursday morning, Glendora police Capt. Tim Staab said.
Police allege he attended a funeral for 64-year-old Aurelio Rodriguez of Eastvale on June 18 at the Oakdale Cemetery, where he posed as a mourner before helping himself to the purse of Rodriguez’s daughter, which had been left in an SUV parked nearby.
The daughter, Angela Earthman of Huntington Beach, said she noticed her purse was missing when she left the funeral. But it wasn’t until family members and friends reviewed photos from the ceremony later in the day that they realized they’d captured images of the burglar breaking into the SUV, as a Marine color guard ceremonially folded a flag and performed Taps in the foreground.
“I’m just so happy that they arrested him,” Earthman said. “For someone to do that… the crime itself is absolutely horrible.”
Glendora Police Chief Rob Castro agreed.
“This is a despicable crime to steal from people during an emotionally vulnerable time,” he said in a written statement. “I’m proud of the tenacious investigative work done by our detectives in capturing Abrajan and hopefully sending him to jail for a long time.”
Investigating officers realized whoever stole the purse had immediately begun using stolen credit cards to try to make purchases, Staab said.
A surveillance video obtained from an Azusa In-N-Out restaurant provided police with an image of Abrajan trying to use one of Earthman’s cards to purchase food.
Authorities were also able to obtain a photograph of the person’s license plate, which was matched to Abrajan, the captain said.
Upon arresting Abrajan Thursday and searching his home, police also found other suspected stolen property, such as purses and cell phones, he said.
Abrajan was on probation for a receiving stolen property conviction at the time of his arrest, officials added.
“It looks like that’s what he’s doing for a living,” Staab said.
Abrajan was being held in lieu of $45,000 bail at the Glendora Police Department’s jail pending his initial court appearance, officials said.
PHOTOS Courtesy of the Glendora Police Department. Top: booking photo of Jose Abrajan. Middle: surveillance photo of Jose Abrajan allegedly using a stolen credit card to try to purchase food at an Azusa In-N-Out. Bottom: Jose Abrajan can be seen in the background, posing as a mourner, during this photograph taken by a family friend at the funeral.