San Luis Obispo police say they’re building a case against four Southern California men who went on a burglary spree that included a heist of the MacSuperstore on Los Osos Valley Road late last month.
The break-in happened Sept. 23 around midnight after the San Luis Obispo store was closed, resulting in the loss of more than $11,000 in merchandise. Stolen items included iPods and three computers, according to the department.
The four suspects, connected with other crimes, are believed to be part of a San Bernardino gang, according to Detective Eric Vitale. Police haven’t made any arrests yet but are gathering information.
The men are also suspected of stealing Mac items from a store in Simi Valley and a rash of stores in the San Bernardino area, Vitale said.
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The MacSuperstore surveillance camera captured images of three men wearing bandanas that covered their faces, Vitale said. A fourth man is suspected to be the getaway driver.
The burglars used a sledgehammer to smash a window in the robbery, which took less than a minute to execute.
“They used a green plastic container to put the items in,” Vitale said. “They wore bandanas, hats, a sweatshirt and gloves. This was a coordinated effort.”
Vitale said footage of the burglars of the Simi Valley store appeared to match the identities of those who robbed the San Luis Obispo business.
Authorities served a search warrant in San Bernardino and discovered stolen Mac items with serial numbers matching the Simi Valley store’s products as well as the green container believed to be used in the San Luis Obispo break-in, Vitale said.
Store owner Shane Williams said that he’s owned his business for 13 years. He opened in a new location near Target two months prior to the break-in.
Williams said he’s now taking measures to secure his business further, adding that his surveillance footage was vital in helping to identify the thieves. Vitale said the store already was one of the most secure in San Luis Obispo.
“It’s very disappointing that people out of town with an agenda would look for weak spots and take advantage of us as we try to provide for the community,” said Williams, a San Luis Obispo native.
Vitale said police are examining a sledgehammer left at the scene of the burglary.