Did someone break into your car anytime over the last two years? Have you given up hope on ever getting your stuff back?
Don’t despair. Investigators in Garden Grove believe they caught the man responsible for hundreds of vehicle burglaries in Los Alamitos and surrounding cities. They are looking for victims to reunite with what police describe as a wall-to-wall cache of stolen good.
Garden Grove police are calling on the public to help them track down victims of hundreds of vehicle burglaries in northern Orange County to southern Los Angeles County that investigators suspect were committed by one man and his girlfriend over the past two years.
The main suspect in the case -- 41-year-old Julio Cesar Pachas -- not only faces multiple charges of burglary but also underage sex with a 17-year- old girl, according to court records.
Garden Grove police have tabulated 247 vehicle burglaries in their city, Garden Grove police Lt. Jeff Nightengale said. The pattern begins in January 2011, he added.
One commonality was a white Range Rover seen in the area, Nightengale said. Detectives finally got a break when a sharp-eyed victim whose car was just burglarized in September spotted the culprit and wrote down the license plate of the getaway vehicle, Nightengale said.
That led police to Pachas' home in October, where investigators found ``wall to wall stolen property,'' Nightengale said.
Investigators found cell phones, laptop computers, cameras, and other types of electronics, Nightengale said. They also found a handgun, a Taser gun, 119 California driver's licenses, 241 credit cards, several hundred purses, wallets, backpacks, suitcases and nearly $10,000 in cash, Nightengale said.
Investigators suspect Pachas also stole from vehicles in Westminster, Cypress, Los Alamitos, Buena Park and southern cities of Los Angeles County, Nightengale said.
When Pachas was arrested he was with a 17-year-old girl, who told investigators she had been dating the defendant, Nightengale said. Pachas had nude photographs of her on his cell phone, Nightengale said.
Pachas posted bail and was released from custody, but he continued the crime spree, Nightengale alleged.
``There was no stopping him -- he just kept doing it,'' Nightengale said.
Another search warrant served Nov. 20 led investigators to more stolen property from a storage unit Pachas was using, Nightengale said.
Police have so much stolen property that they have to use the city's Community Meeting Center to lay it all out for victims to claim, Nightengale said. Investigators are inviting the public down to the center Thursday in the hopes they can contact more victims, he added.
``Detectives have spent the last several weeks tracking down all of the victims -- a lot of them are tourists, who don't live in California,'' Nightengale said.
Anyone who thinks Garden Grove has recovered their stolen property can claim it from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the center at 11300 Stanford Ave. Anyone with questions can call (714) 563-6052.
Another girlfriend of Pachas -- Michella Ann Fuquay -- was also arrested in November. She is charged with a felony count of receiving stolen property, Nightengale said.
Pachas, who pleaded not guilty Nov. 29, is next due in court Thursday for a pretrial hearing.
Pachas is charged with four counts of second-degree burglary, a count of possession of a firearm by a felon, a count of a prohibited person owning ammunition, and two counts of receiving stolen property, all felonies. He also faces a sentencing enhancement for committing a crime while out of custody on another charge.
In the sex case, Pachas is charged with two counts of oral copulation of a minor, three counts of unlawful sex and possession of child pornography, all felonies.
A message left with Pachas' attorney, Robert Hartmann, after customary business hours was not immediately returned.
- City News Service