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Police: Duo Burglarized Cars Of Surfers Catching Waves, Then Bought Gift Cards

HUNTINGTON BEACH (CBSLA) - While surfers in Huntington Beach were catching waves, police say a criminal duo were allegedly preying on people at the beach.

Officials say since mid-November, at least 20 cars parked in lots on Pacific Coast Highway near Goldenwest Street were broken into - wallets, phones, credit cards and cash taken as visitors walked on the sand with their dogs and splashed in the water.

"This is the perfect spot for them to take advantage when surfers way out there," said resident Kate Smiley. "They can't see, they're concentrating on the waves."

Police say the burglars would drive into the lots and either check for open doors, hidden keys, or use tools to break into cars. The suspects targeted victims who owned Honda and Hyundai vehicles, according to investigators.

car burglary suspects

Carlos Alberto Inostroza, 47, and his 18-year-old accomplice Nicolas Suarez, both from Chile, were caught after police say a witness spotted them breaking into a car.

Police had collected video of the pair at several Target stores over the last few weeks using people's stolen credit cards to buy gift cards.

But they couldn't get to them - until this past Sunday once the tip came in.

And while there are likely more victims who haven't contacted police, Officer Angela Bennett says there have been no new reports made since the arrests.

So far, we haven't had any other ones," said Bennett.

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