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Tunneling Through Businesses For Burglars Is Now A Thing

GARDEN GROVE (CBSLA) -- Burglars who tunnel through walls in one business to commit burglaries in another is becoming a thing.

For the second time in a month, security cameras have captured burglars as they break through the walls of one business to steal from another.

The latest burglary does not involve the same guys from a month ago. But KCAL9's Laurie Perez reported the scenes are pretty similar. The M.O.'s could have been scripted.

Police say they caught the guys in the most recent tunnel-burglary while the alleged thieves were finishing the job this morning.

Authorities said they are familiar with both suspects. In fact, police said they've been convicted or suspected in a series of tunneling cases over the past four years.

They are part of what police call "The Ocean's 11 Crew."

"My son was so scared. He was like mom the burglar, it happened right now, it happened right now," says Kelly Huynh of Bebe Salon.

Huynh is still scared -- she didn't want to show her face on camera. But she shared what her son saw on the security camera.

You hear the "pop" of a window and then see a man walking into Bebe at 1 a.m. -- like he belongs there. He calmly walks to the back while talking on the phone.

He did real damage of- camera.

Police in Garden Grove say the two suspects used a blow torch and other construction equipment to break through a back room wall and into the sandwich shop next door.

"It's like a movie you know, it's like they're doing a movie," Huynh says.

Quite the elaborate operation for frankly, not that much in return. The owner of Tip Top Sandwiches say the thieves only got change and actually burned nearly $1,000 in trying to get the safe open.

"I think they are professional for to do it, they are professional," says Tsao Phung of Tip Top.

Garden Grove Police arrived on scene before the suspect could leave. On the security video, one of the men sees police outside and knows they're busted.

Robbers Tunnel
(credit: Blake Purdy/Surveillance video)

This burglary was similar to one in Toluca Lake last month -- in that burglary, the suspect came through a nail salon next door before busting into a computer store next door.

[Related Link: Build The Wall (Better) -- Thieves Hit Computer Store By Tunnel]

In the Garden Grove case, police say the two men they apprehended are old hats at these type of burglaries. They said one of the men is the head of the "Ocean's 11 Crew" and they have been caught "multiple" times since 2015.

In both cases, it would appear that the burglars see salons as soft targets, establishments without much security and easy places to hit when they want to gain access to what they're really after next door.

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