Burglary Spree at Verano Halted
Campus police arrested a man who allegedly committed a string of burglaries in Verano Place early Saturday.
Officers say Anthony Rodriguez, 35, was found crouching by the window of a Verano apartment next to an Albertson’s shopping cart. Inside the cart were a variety of items later found to come from at least eight separate Verano Place residences.
According to Sergeant Steve Monsanto from the UCI Police Department, the suspect did not take the ‘typical burglar kind of stuff.’
The 59 items found included milk, orange juice, jewelry boxes, clothing, a frying pan, shoes, CDs, a CD player, a number of different watches, necklaces, a cigarette lighter shaped like a handgun and prescription drugs.
Rodriguez will likely be facing eight separate burglary charges, Monsanto explained, since the thefts at each residence counts as an individual crime.
Monsanto said dispatchers received a call at roughly 4 a.m. from a Verano resident concerned with suspicious sounds coming from outside her apartment.
Two officers were sent in to investigate, but left after failing to find anyone at the scene.
The Verano resident who made the call, speaking on condition of anonymity, said she alerted the police again two hours later after someone started knocking on her apartment window.
‘I was scared,’ she said. ‘His skin color was brown, he spoke some words, not in English … he said something but [my roommate and I] did not understand. And then he left.’
She knows there were at least two burglars operating that night and believes the man she saw wasn’t the same man the police had arrested.
‘There were at least two people,’ she said.
Monsanto believes a friend of Rodriguez who lives in Verano Place may also be involved. Since he has yet to be charged with a crime, UCI Police would not reveal his identity.
Rodriguez himself was not a Verano resident.
Anshuman Tripathi, a third-year ICS graduate student, said the burglar