Following a months-long investigation, Morro Bay police last week arrested a man they say burglarized local businesses, including a popular restaurant, and was caught with a number of forged checks taken from residential mailboxes throughout the city.
Phong Thanh Tran, 44, of Morro Bay was arrested Nov. 5 on suspicion of 18 felony and misdemeanor counts of commercial burglary, possession of stolen property, forgery, identity theft, writing bad checks, false representation, fraudulent vehicle registration, driving on a suspended license and possession of a controlled substance.
He was booked into San Luis Obispo County Jail and held in lieu of $80,000 bail. As of Monday, Tran was no longer in custody, according to jail records.
Morro Bay detectives, with the help of Sheriff’s Office investigators, arrested Tran on Nov. 5.
In a news release, Morro Bay police said Tran is suspected in the May 26 burglary of the Dutchman’s Seafood House on the 700 block of the Embarcadero, which they say resulted in a loss of about $5,000 to the business.
He’s also suspected in an Oct. 31 burglary of Antiques Etc. on the 1100 block of Main Street, which resulted in a loss of several hundred dollars, according to Morro Bay police.
In both incidents the businesses sustained damage due to Tran’s alleged forced entry.
At the time of his arrest, Tran was allegedly found in possession of personal checks that were forged in his name, which investigators believe were stolen from mailboxes across the city, along with other items used to forge checks.
Police said evidence has also linked Tran to a number of incidents in recent months and additional charges are being considered as the investigation continues.
As of Monday, Tran did not yet have a court arraignment scheduled.