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PROPERTY SEIZED FROM SUSPECTS DEPUTIES COLLECT STOLEN ITEMS.

Byline: Carol Rock Staff Writer

CANYON COUNTRY - Residents of the Via Princessa area of Canyon Country might be interested in a large amount of items hauled into the Santa Clarita Valley sheriff's station Friday morning after the arrest of two suspects in a series of local burglaries.

Michael Pena, 21, of Canyon Country and Khachik Yervandyan, 48, of North Hollywood were arrested Thursday on suspicion of possession of narcotics and stolen property, both felonies, said sheriff's Sgt. James Anderson. Yervandyan was booked and released; Pena was being held in Men's Central Jail on $250,000 bail.

Deputies working the early morning shift Thursday saw a car linked to a previous burglary and waited for someone to return to the parked vehicle. Yervandyan was seen leaving the residence of Loralee Dirickson, after which he got into the car, then was detained by the deputies, Anderson said.

A search of the vehicle revealed a large amount of stolen property, Anderson said. When deputies contacted Dirickson, they noticed additional stolen property and obtained a search warrant for the home.

During that search, about 70 items believed to be stolen were recovered from Dirickson's condominium, Anderson said. It was also during this phase of the investigation that Pena was taken into custody.

``We've had a lot of burglaries in the area of Jake's Way, Eric Court, Jason Way and Tyler Lane,'' Anderson said. ``Suspects were either breaking into the side-entry doors of the garages or using a master remote garage-door opener to gain entry. When we were searching the condo, one of the people we were detaining mentioned a storage unit.''

A warrant to search the storage unit at Highway Self Storage on Weyerhauser Way was obtained and detectives recovered so many items that they filled an interrogation room at the station.

``We've found recently that suspects believe we will search their home, so they hide their stuff in other places, like friends' houses or garages. Here, these guys were paying for a storage space,'' Anderson said.

Detectives tagged and inventoried more than 140 items Friday morning. Dozens of power tools, computers, cameras, luggage and CD collections were piled in the station hallway along with one-of-a-kind items that included a set of bagpipes, a chain-mail tunic and an engraved sword.

``We figure this property will relate to 60 or so burglaries that we have reports on and maybe some unreported as well,'' Anderson said. ``We don't think we have all the victims yet.''

During the next two weeks, detectives will attempt to match victims and recovered items. Anyone who has had items stolen from their garages or cars are advised to call the Santa Clarita Valley sheriff's station at (661) 255-1121. If a large amount of property remains that cannot be returned to victims based on crime reports, a public showing for potential victims will be conducted.

``These guys might have been able to sell some of these items to pawnshops or the tools directly to construction workers, but there are so many individual, personal items in here that would not sell. They must have been in a hurry, stealing everything they could,'' he said. ``One guy had a really old stamp collection stolen. That's something that you could only market to other stamp collectors.''

Anderson said investigators suspect that Pena and Yervandyan might be working with others targeting locations in Sylmar as well. Both men are scheduled to be arraigned Monday in Santa Clarita Municipal Court.

Carol Rock, (661) 257-5252

carol.rock(at)dailynews.com

CAPTION(S):

3 photos

Photo:

(1) Detective Mike McPheeters displays a sword Friday that was recovered from burglary suspects.

(2) The hallway at the Santa Clarita Valley sheriff's station is full of property recovered in a burglary investigation.

(3) Detective Scott Miller photographs a car DVD player as he inventories property recovered from burglary suspects at the Santa Clarita Valley sheriff's station.

Evan Yee/Staff Photographer
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Mar 4, 2006
Words:648
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