A teenager suspected of breaking into more than three dozen businesses, mostly in southwest Riverside County, was being held Monday in Murrieta Juvenile Hall.
The youth, whose identity was not disclosed, was arrested Friday on suspicion of committing multiple commercial burglaries.
According to Riverside County sheriff’s Sgt. Sean Liebrand, the break-ins began July 2 and continued into late last week.
Liebrand said hair salons, taco shops, pizza parlors and other establishments were targeted by the juvenile and two cohorts, whose identities have not been confirmed.
The crew are suspected of burglaries in Hemet, Lake Elsinore, Menifee, Moreno Valley, Murrieta, Temecula and Wildomar.
“All (of the businesses) had their front windows shattered as a point of entry into the locations,” the sergeant said. “Deputies were able to obtain security surveillance videos from multiple locations, showing the suspects illegally entering the businesses and targeting the cash registers.”
A Ford 500 sedan was spotted coming and going from the shops, and it was eventually traced to a Hemet residence, according to Liebrand.
He said a search warrant was served at the property, where items from “several of the burglaries were located and recovered.”
No one was arrested at the home. However, three additional break-ins along Rancho California Road in Temecula Friday led investigators to the same boy linked to the prior burglaries, and he was taken into custody without incident hours later in Hemet, according to Liebrand.
Detectives are working to identify the suspect’s alleged co-conspirators.
Anyone with information was asked to contact the sheriff’s Temecula station at 951-696-3000.