Two Lake Elsinore residents were arrested Thursday on suspicion of being the not-so-bright burglars who stared at a security camera while rummaging through a San Juan Capistrano home.
Sheriff’s officials , although the actual theft at the gate-guarded Hidden Mountain tract home occurred April 12.
After that, several tips rolled in, advising deputies that the wanted couple was from Lake Elsinore, said Jim Amormino, spokesman for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. The department alerted Riverside County authorities, who searched several motels in Lake Elsinore for the couple.
Riverside County sheriff’s deputies spotted the blue Honda Accord (previously thought to be green) seen in the surveillance video, Amormino said. The car was believed to be stolen from Riverside County, while the plates were taken from a car in Mission Viejo.
Riverside sheriff’s deputies arrested Peter Nash, 27, and Jinny Frances Angels, 20, on suspicion of car theft, Amormino said. The two remain in custody there while Orange County detectives put together their case against the pair.
Amormino said Nash is a parolee whose previous crimes include theft and narcotics.
The San Juan Capistrano homeowners had installed security cameras, which captured clear video and sound of the two thieves as they hunted for items to steal from the master bedroom. Out of view of the camera, Nash is heard activating a round in the chamber of a semi-automatic gun he found in the bedroom.
Later, as Nash comes into view, the gun is visible in his right hand. Sheriff’s officials said Wednesday they considered the pair “armed and dangerous.”
Angels is seen spotting the camera, which was placed behind two candles on a mantel, sheriff’s officials said. She darted away quickly but warned Nash, who walked right up to the camera and gave law enforcement officials a clear shot of his face.
In the video, Nash calls Angels “Debbie,” and she calls him “Anthony.” Amormino said the false names were a “diversionary tactic.”
Authorities believe the couple broke in after stealing a purse and garage door opener from the homeowner’s car while it was parked in a Dana Point park. The estimated value of items taken from the car and house was almost $10,000, sheriff’s officials said.
Amormino said detectives believe the couple may be responsible for additional thefts in South Orange County and Riverside County. The investigation is ongoing.