A suspect in a Covina burglary was arrested in Pomona Thursday after the victim spotted one of the items stolen from her home — a rare card from the collectible trading card game Yu-Gi-Oh which she designed — for sale online, authorities said.
Officers carried out a search warrant at around 10 a.m. at a home in the 500 block of East Pasadena Street in Pomona. They arrested Jennifer Gomez, 23, of Pomona, on suspicion of burglary and receiving stolen property, according to Covina police officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
Gomez was taken into custody without a struggle, Covina police Lt. Ric Walczak said.
The burglary was first discovered on Oct. 25, 2016, when the victim returned home from a vacation and found her apartment in the 1100 block of N. Conwell Avenue had been broken into, according to the lieutenant.
Jewelry and various valuables were stolen from the apartment, including a rare, autographed, framed trading card from the popular Japanese card came Yu-Gi-Oh, Walczak said. The card, described as a “Gagaga Cowboy”card, is valued at about $500.
But the sentimental value attached to the cars was invaluable, Covina police Detective Ivan Ostarcevic said. The victim, a successful artist and graphic designer, had personally designed the card.
“Our victim is actually the person who designed the card. She drew it,” the detective said.
The card was autographed by voice actor Steve Blum, who voiced a character on a Yu-Gi-Oh television series, Ostarcevic explained.\
A break in the case arose recently when the victim spotted the rare collectible card listed for sale on the online marketplace, OfferUp, Walczak said.
“Detectives were able to establish that the seller of the stolen property had been a neighbor of the victim at the time of the crime,” police said in a written statement.
Investigators went to the suspect’s home in Pomona on Thursday, armed with a search warrant.
“Items stolen during the burglary were recovered during the search warrant service included jewelry and (the) trading card,” according to the statement.
Of an estimated $4,000 worth of goods stolen in the October break-in, police recovered about $1,000 worth of items from suspect’s home, Walczak said. The remainder of the victim’s property remained unaccounted for.
Adding insult to injury, the victim had shown significant generosity to the alleged burglar, Ostarcevic said.
When she moved out of state, in part because of the break-in, she gifted her neighbors about $1,000 worth of housewares, such as bedding and plates, the detective said.
Months later, she would learn the same neighbors were allegedly responsible for the burglary.
Gomez was being held in on $50,000 bail pending her initial court appearance, scheduled Tuesday in the West Covina branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court.
PHOTOS: [ABOVE] Covina police recovered jewelry and a valuable “Yu-Gi-Oh” trading card stolen from a Covina home while carrying out a search warrant in Pomona on Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017. A woman was arrested on suspicion of burglary and receiving stolen property. (Courtesy, Covina Police Department) [BELOW] Jennifer Gomez, 23, of Pomona. (Courtesy, Covina Police Department)