Vacationing Times Subscribers Targeted in Burglaries

Eight people allegedly targeted subscribers on the newspaper's subscription vacation hold lists

By Kyler Jae
|  Friday, Dec 6, 2013  |  Updated 9:01 PM PDT
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Items stolen from the homes of Los Angeles Times subscribers were discovered inside a West Covina storage locker Jan. 30, 2013.

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Six men and two women pleaded not guilty on Friday to charges involving a burglary ring that netted $1 million in property from the homes of Los Angeles Times subscribers in two counties whose names they took from newspaper vacation hold lists, the LA County District Attorney’s Office said.

The suspects, who range in age from 29 to 53, face 39 counts, including first-degree residential burglary, receiving stolen property and conspiracy, prosecutors said.

The case began after a traffic stop involving one of the suspects in June.

During the stop, police allegedly found stolen property in the car along with the names and addresses of LA Times subscribers who had put temporary stops to their subscriptions while they were away on vacation.

Investigators believe one of the suspects, identified as Randal Joseph Whitmore, 43, received the lists from a second suspect, Duane Vantuinen,51, who allegedly worked as an office machine repairman for the Times.

Authorities said they recovered much of the stolen property in a West Covina storage locker in January.

The suspects are expected in court again on Dec. 10. They were being held in custody in lieu of $1.6 million bail each.

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