Los Altos Police announced the arrest of two San Jose residents who are suspected of entering a south Los Altos garage and stealing the homeowners’ car and wallet that was inside the car.
Police Sgt. Scott McCrossin said Monday that detectives’ follow-up work on the June 23 auto theft and burglary on the 1900 block of Colleen Drive uncovered more than $30,000 in fraudulent transactions from the burglary.
Arrested were Tanya Espinoza, 36, on charges of burglary, identity theft, fraudulent use of an access card, and possession of drug paraphernalia, and Kevin Ortiz, 31, on charges of possession of stolen property, identity theft, forgery, fraudulent use of an access card, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Espinoza was arrested July 17, and booked at the Santa Clara County main jail in San Jose on a $56,000 bail, and later released on her own recognizance. Ortiz was arrested on July 23 and booked at the Santa Clara County main jail, then released on a $66,000 bail. Both suspects are currently awaiting further court proceedings.
The side door leading to the garage had been left unlocked, a laptop was inside, along with a wallet —and the keys —were in the car, according to police. Her husband found the car left in the Woodland Library parking lot, but the computer and wallet were gone.
The suspects used credit cards cards to make fraudulent purchases throughout the Bay Area and Southern California, said McCrossin.
The suspects also committed crimes, constituting identity theft, which included the rental of a vehicle, ultimately resulting in a stolen vehicle report by the rental agency, according to McCrossin. That vehicle was later recovered by the San Jose Police Department. Detectives sought search and arrest warrants for several locations.
Los Altos detectives are actively investigating this case and have not ruled out the possibility of additional suspects, he said.
Is it a little creepy to think that while Los Altans are sleeping, burglars are going through the side gates and trying doors? Well, Los Altos is generally safe, but let's not get complacent, McCrossin said. Times are hard.
“The problem is, there are people doing that,” McCrossin said. “We get auto burglaries and thefts from vehicles at night quite a bit.”
“It’s more rare for burglars to go into people’s home at night when the people are likely home—that concerns us,” McCrossin said.
Police have nothing to indicate that there were other burglaries on the block that same night, but McCrossin acknowledged it’s possible the pair tried other houses before finding the unlocked garage side door and the car full of valuables.