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Alleged burglars dubbed "Punch Crew" arrested for 19 break-ins across San Fernando Valley

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CBS News Los Angeles Live

After a year-long investigation, detectives believe they have finally tracked down the two men and juvenile making up the "Punch Crew," a group of burglars allegedly connected to 131 break-ins across Los Angeles County. 

The team got the nickname because of the sharp punch too they would use to break the glass in front of the smaller, often family-owned restaurants, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. 

Prosecutors charged the two men of the "Punch Crew," 19-year-old Jacob Pugh and 25-year-old Kewon Stevenson with 19 counts of commercial burglary.  The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office did not charge the juvenile as of Tuesday afternoon. 

Pugh and Stevenson are each being held on a $975,000 bail. 

Investigators believe the burglaries happened between March and June 2023. The crew would allegedly break into a handful of businesses, mainly ethnic restaurants, in a certain area before moving to another area in the city. Detectives believe they used multiple cars they either rented from different companies or car-sharing apps. 

After breaking the glass with their signature tool, the suspects would raid the business, stealing the cash registers, money and electronic tablets before getting away.

The crew allegedly stole about $80,000 from numerous businesses and caused some $160,000 to the mostly family-owned restaurants. Detectives said the suspects mainly focused on Asian and Eastern eateries. 

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