Nearly two weeks after Public Safety caught the leading suspect in an auto theft ring, they did it again by arresting three suspects for possible auto burglary.
The officer responsible for catching the three 16-year-old juveniles was Robert Botzheim who said he caught them by mistake.
“It was kind of funny how the whole thing happened,” Botzheim said. “They were driving in one of the lots, and when they saw me they got scared and ran into the car in front of them.”
Botzheim said that when he offered help they seemed real nervous. It turned out that the driver had no insurance and the insurance that he gave to Botzheim was stolen from another vehicle.
Botzheim searched the car and found several items such as CDs, wallets, a cellular phone, and car headlights. There was also a power tool and screw drivers that were later determined to be the tools used to break into cars.
After questioning the suspects, Botzheim found out that the items had been stolen early Wednesday morning from Golden West College in Huntington Beach and Cal State Long Beach.
Their next trip was to CSUF where they allegedly said they planned to steal items from black 1990 Honda Accords.
Public Safety said the suspects confessed to everything, but when the victims were contacted, different stories arose.
Kha Vo, a business major from Golden State Community College, had his wallet with $50 in it, a Honda emblem, and music CDs taken.
“When I came out and saw my car I was shocked,” Vo said.
“But fortunately my friends made me laugh and made a good situation out of a bad thing.”
The suspects denied that there was any money in the wallet and said that the money they had was their own.
“When we have cases like this, the suspects always minimize their stories,” Detective Tom Gehrls said.
“But when we go back to question them further, they say ‘oh yes, now I remember.’”
The suspects were later released to a relative, and will face charges in court at a later date.