An alleged ring of thieves who preyed on open offices at universities across the Southland has been broken up, thanks to detective work by the UC Irvine and Long Beach police departments.
Arrested were Karim Patrece Davis, 28, Angie Latoya Gray, 25, Jacob Amir Qureshi, 22, and Jason Robert Walker, 28, all of Long Beach. Davis and Gray are believed to be responsible for burglaries at five campuses since May.
On July 25, a male suspect later identified as Davis entered office areas in the Physical Sciences Quad and Engineering Gateway at UCI and took wallets, purses and laptop computers that had been left unattended. A campus crime alert about the incident was issued July 26.
UCIPD detectives immediately began tracking use of the stolen credit cards by Davis and a female suspect later identified as Gray at businesses in Orange and Los Angeles counties.
The investigation subsequently revealed that the two allegedly carried out similar burglaries at UCLA; California State University, Long Beach; California State University, Fullerton; and California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.
UCIPD detectives were able to determine that the suspects frequented two locations in Long Beach, and – with the help of the Long Beach Police Department’s Career Criminal Apprehension Team – surveillance was initiated.
On Aug. 4, UCIPD detectives executed search warrants at the two sites and, after finding purses, wallets and credit cards stolen during the campus burglaries, took Davis, Gray, Qureshi and Walker into custody. Chief Paul Henisey expressed appreciation for the “excellent assistance and support” of the Long Beach Police Department during the operation.
Davis was charged with burglary, possession of stolen property and identity theft. He is being held at Orange County Jail on bail of $50,000. Gray was arrested on a $50,000 welfare fraud warrant out of Los Angeles County and booked into Orange County Jail. Burglary, possession of stolen property and identity theft charges are pending.
Qureshi and Walker were arrested on outstanding misdemeanor warrants out of Los Angeles County and booked into Long Beach City Jail.
“This is another remarkable example of our detectives’ effectiveness,” said Wendell Brase, UCI vice chancellor for business & administrative services. “UC Irvine is a safe campus with strong values of tolerance, free expression and nonviolence where students, faculty and staff are able to focus on rewarding work, and it is thanks in large measure to our UCI Police Department.”
In the past two years, UCIPD has been cited for its outstanding criminal investigations by the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the California College & University Police Chiefs’ Association. The department serves UC Irvine Medical Center in Orange as well as the main campus and adjacent University Hills neighborhood in Irvine.
About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is a top-ranked university dedicated to research, scholarship and community service. Led by Chancellor Michael Drake since 2005, UCI is among the most dynamic campuses in the University of California system, with nearly 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students, 1,100 faculty and 9,000 staff. Orange County’s largest employer, UCI contributes an annual economic impact of $4.2 billion. For more UCI news, visit www.today.uci.edu.
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