By Jennifer Madrigal
Eastvale – With the availability and affordability of technology to homeowners, many have taken advantage of it and wired their homes for security. These cameras have helped to capture images of alleged thieves and burglaries in action. These images can then be enlarged and posted on social media sites so that the community can help identify the culprits. While this can lead to false accusations and a sense of paranoia, the positive aspect of being able to quickly identify and locate a suspect has seemed to outweigh the negatives. In December, a rash of burglaries occurred within the City of Eastvale and this technology, along with our active social media community came together to help identify these suspects.
Technology came to the aide of several Eastvale residents on Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013 when many woke up to find that their vehicles had been burglarized. Some became aware of the burglary when they realized cell phones, chargers, wallets or various other items were missing and some found their car windows smashed. Security cameras installed on several homes captured the faces of the alleged thieves in action and soon the images were posted all over Facebook. Our newspaper shared the information with the community immediately via our Facebook page (facebook.com/EastvaleCommunityNews) and the videos and images quickly spread to over 16,000 people within hours.
One of the residents hit by this rash of burglaries was Mark Ramirez, whose limousine was tampered with sometime around 2 a.m. His video surveillance system was able to capture a picture of the alleged thieves driving by in their vehicle. Ramirez contacted Eastvale Police, and said, “They came and took some good fingerprints that they left on my windows when they tried to pry it open.” Ramirez hopes that these fingerprints will help in identifying the suspects and that all charges will stick. He also shared the images and description of the vehicle with the police.
On that late Sunday morning, Police started to put together that several break-ins and trespassing of vehicles had occurred. As many as 10-15 vehicles had been part of this crime, according to residents. Soon residents began to identify and provide more information. The pictures of the suspects were a huge help to Police in capturing the individuals. Another resident, who was able to capture the alleged thieves in the act via video, said that “It became obvious that more than one of my neighbors had had their cars broken into. I have video surveillance on my house that tapes the front yard and driveway, so we decided to take a look at it. What we saw was a young male opening my truck and going through it. Luckily, I didn’t have anything of value in it and he didn’t appear to take anything. We did however get some footage of him pretty close up, and were able to upload the pictures to Facebook as well as the video.” These series of thefts occurred on the 7100 block of Cornflower Ct. and according to a news release from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, the suspects stole car audio speakers, amplifiers, an Apple iPod and a miscellaneous amount of currency from the vehicles. The suspects fled the location on foot and subsequently entered an unknown make, color and model sport utility vehicle.
This video and close-up picture was one of the main pieces of evidence that led to the identification of at least one of the suspects. The news release also stated that the investigation revealed several unknown suspects, including suspect Cody Ridley, 18, of Eastvale. Ridley was located and arrested on Dec. 17, 2013. The case has been forwarded to the Riverside County District Attorney’s office for prosecution and officers are continuing the investigation to obtain the identity of the remaining suspects in the crime. If you have any further information regarding this case, please contact the Eastvale Police Department by calling (951) 955-2600.