Three suspects accused of stealing expensive sunglasses were arrested Wednesday after break-ins at Orange County eyewear stores and a brief pursuit on the 57 Freeway.
The first break-in occurred at a store in the 13000 block of Jamboree Road in The Market Place shopping area in Irvine. A second was reported about 10 minutes later at a Lake Forest Eyestyles for Lifestyles.
An officer witnessed a third break-in at 1040 E. Imperial Highway in Brea, according to police.
The officer heard the burglary report from the Irvine case and responded to the Brea location, arriving before the suspects, according to Sgt. Jim Griffin. The officer saw a black Volkswagen Jetta back up to the store front before two individuals smashed the business' glass door.
The driver sped away, but the officer pursued the suspects north on the 57 Freeway before they stopped at the Diamond Bar Boulevard exit. Two subjects were immediately taken into custody. A third individual was apprehended after running from the vehicle.
Hundreds of glasses and sunglasses were stolen, including Maui Jim, Tiffany and Versace brands.
Police told NBC4 officers recovered a "substantial amount of high-end sunglasses."
Detectives with the Irvine and Brea police departments are attempting to determine whether the suspects in custody are behind the earlier burglaries in Irvine and Lake Forest.
Police identified the suspects as Justin Valdepena, 23, of Whittier; Kyle Ochoa, 19, of Claremont; and Thomas Mackinlay, 23, of Hacienda Heights. They were arrested on suspicion of burglary.
The Brea LensCrafters was open for business later Wednesday. Workers placed a board over the broken glass door.
In May, thieves targeted LensCrafters stores in Whittier and Anaheim. The Anaheim burglary netted about $23,500 worth of sunglasses, said Anaheim Sgt. Bob Dunn.