LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A man believed be behind more than 70 storefront break-ins across the San Fernando Valley since October of 2020 has been arrested and charged with nearly two dozen counts of second-degree burglary.
Rueben Virgil Newhouse, 62, was arrested on March 1, ending what the LAPD describes as a one-and-a-half-year crime spree targeting small businesses.
Police say Newhouse broke into businesses between 2 and 4 a.m. by using rocks or a hammer to smash in a front glass door or window, then went straight for the business' cash register. The burglar, who was captured on surveillance video at several of the crime scenes, always wore dark boots, a mask, and gloves.
Detectives serving a search warrant at Newhouse's apartment turned up several burglary tools and other items taken from several of the businesses, according to the LAPD. The estimated loss to the small business owners, who were simultaneously struggling to survive through the COVID-19 pandemic, exceeded more than $200,000 in monetary and property damage.
Newhouse, who is being held on $505,000 bail, faces a total of 23 second-degree burglary charges filed by the San Fernando District Attorney's Office. He is scheduled to make his next appearance in court Friday.
Anyone with information about these burglaries can contact LAPD North Hollywood detectives at (818) 754-8412.
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