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Trio of suspects burglarized 131 businesses, police say


Los Angeles police arrested three people who they said burglarized and targeted as many as 131 commercial businesses throughout L.A. County, many of them independent and family-owned restaurants.

Between March and June 2023, police said, three people they came to name the “Punch Crew” burglarized several restaurants, including several that served Asian and Eastern cuisine. The restaurants were often small and family-owned, and the suspects stole about $80,000 from various businesses and caused about $160,000 in damage, police said.

“From records obtained through search warrants, the suspects had a consistent pattern of burglarizing several ethnic restaurants at a time in one area before moving to another part of the city,” the police said in a statement. The police did not name the restaurants that were burglarized.

LAPD identified the suspects as 19-year-old Jacob Pugh of Lawndale, 25-year-old Kewon Stevenson of Los Angeles and a juvenile who was not identified. The trio were identified after burglarizing closed businesses in the San Fernando Valley area and neighboring cities, police said.

North Hollywood Division detectives named the trio for their tactics — they used a sharp punch tool to break glass doors or windows of the establishments before taking cash registers, money and electronic tablets.

According to the police, the Punch Crew used multiple vehicles, including renting vehicles from various rental companies and car-sharing platforms.

The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office has filed 19 counts of commercial burglary against Pugh and Stevenson, and bail was set at $975,000 for each. Investigators are still working with the D.A.’s office regarding the filing status of the juvenile suspect, police said.



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