ROCKLIN, Calif. (CBS13) - Four alleged burglars were arrested after police found a photo of them eating $120 worth of Carl's Jr. fast food on photo sharing website Instagram.
Rocklin police say between 9 p.m.-11 p.m. on Saturday, the suspects – three men and one juvenile – smashed the windows of multiple vehicles in plain view in the Blue Oaks Town Center and Staybridge Suites Hotel parking lots and stole various items, including GPS units and wallets, according to a Rocklin Police Department statement.
Soon after making a police report, one of the victims found $120 was charged to her credit card at a nearby Carls' Jr. restaurant. Officers then went to the restaurant where the manager gave them the license plate number of the suspects' car, a 1994 Buick registered to Sacramento, that was presumably captured on surveillance video. She also said she recognized one of the suspects as being a student at a local high school.
Officers then learned photos of the thieves' purchase may have been posted to an Instagram account. They checked the account and found a photo believed to be of the suspects eating the food they purchased on the stolen card. They also found out the suspects were planning to return to Rocklin on Sunday night.
At around 9 p.m. Sunday, as expected, the suspects' car sped past police on Sunset Boulevard. Officers pulled the car over and found items reported stolen the day before and found items stolen during a vehicle burglary that happened in Roseville within the hour.
Tavion Spignor, 19, Leroy Jackson, 25, Malek Morgan, 20, who are all Sacramento residents, and an identified minor, were arrested on charges of auto burglary, conspiracy, possession of stolen property and unauthorized use of personal identification.
"This was an excellent police investigation by members of the Rocklin Police Department, and demonstrates the high-caliber of personnel we have. They used keen investigative techniques, technology, patience, and good old fashioned police work to catch these criminals. Bravo to our men and women in blue! I am proud to be their chief," said Rocklin Chief of Police Ron Lawrence.
Police urge holiday shoppers who leave personal items in their cars to keep them hidden from view.
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