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Police blotter 1-31-14

Thieves make bold moves taking belongings at Claremont establishments

Coveting another person’s belongings caused a lot of problems in Claremont this week. From coffee bags to handbags, here’s a look at the more than $30,000 in damages.

 

Sunday, January 18

A Claremont resident’s oversight left a higher than usual price for a meal out last Sunday. The woman’s wedding ring, given to her by her husband 40 years ago, went missing from the restroom at Walter’s Restaurant. The woman says she had accidentally left the band behind after slipping it off to wash her hands. Realizing her mistake an hour later, the woman returned to the bathroom, but the ring, valued at $10,000, was gone. The owner is offering a reward for its safe return. Contact the COURIER if you have any information.

Friday, January 24

Two Claremont men treated themselves to a free cup of coffee Friday morning, much to the displeasure of employees at the Claremont Village Starbucks. However, Gregory Switzer, 33, and David Merritt, 36, didn’t make it far with the mug and bag of coffee they scooped from the coffee shop’s store. Police caught up with them down the street, where they vehemently denied the swindle. Though Starbucks did not seek prosecution, both Mr. Switzer and Mr. Merritt were wanted for outstanding Claremont warrants, according to Claremont Detective Isaac Reyes. They were cited and sent on their way, sans their morning brew.

Saturday, January 25

A Thompson Creek thief’s Saturday morning success was short lived. The burglar made off with a brown purse left behind in a vehicle parked near the trailhead on Mountain Avenue, shattering the car’s window to grab the goods. Much to his dismay, another hiker was present, and stuck around long enough to help officers identify a license plate in connection with the getaway vehicle. A search warrant was obtained and arrest was imminent as of press time.

Sunday, January 26

Norms Diner played host to the week’s most costly crime. A family returning from a long day of shopping at the nearby Coach outlet stopped for a bite to eat Sunday night and returned to their car to find someone had helped them with their shopping bags. An estimated 280 designer purses, wallets and keychains worth about $20,000 were stolen, according to Det. Reyes. The car window had been smashed to gain access to the goods, left in plain sight. There were no witnesses. Claremont residents are reminded to never leave valuables in their car and to always lock their doors.

Monday, January 27

Two men were caught on camera burglarizing Claremont City Blessings Church in the 700 block of South Mills Ave. on Monday morning. Coincidentally, they were caught on camera stealing two of the institution’s security cameras. The person watching the crime take place, however, was at an alternate location and unable to stop the incident. By the time police were on scene, the crooks and the cameras were nowhere to be found. The men were described as being between the ages of 25-30, both with mustaches and riding bikes. The stolen cameras are valued at about $900.

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Claremont Little League took a hit before the season even started. Last week, two aluminum ladders belonging to the local baseball league were stolen from behind the snack bar at College Park. A witness claims to have seen two men take off with the ladders in a blue pickup truck headed down Elder Drive, however, police were unable to locate the suspect vehicle or the missing property. A report was taken. Any information should be reported to the Claremont Police Department at (909) 399-5411.

—Beth Hartnett

news@claremont-courier.com