What a difference an arrest makes.
Hours after a man already suspected in a string of burglaries last fall was arrested in a new break-in, prosecutors filed felony charges recommended by detectives in April.
Michael L. Yamaguchi, 29, and Stephen Victor, 19, appeared in Superiro Court today on 26 charges related to eight burglaries at gas stations and convenience stores on Nov. 21, Dec. 11 and Feb. 1.
The men were arrested in February with Samantha A. Wynne, 20, who also is charged. Detectives finished the investigation April 1. They'd searched apartments and found video games system and a flat-screen TV that Victor reportedly said he'd bought with the stolen cash.
Wynne reportedly admitted to babysitting Yamaguchi's son during the burglaries and said the three split the proceeds. Yamaguchi said he sold the stolen cigarettes for $3 a pack or $30 a carton, according to court documents.
Yamaguchi was arrested Wednesday in another burglary at Hico Mart, 1201 North Barker Road. Charges were field for the burglaries that day.
He, Victor and Wynne are charged with burglary, theft and malicious mischief for each break-in, as well as theft of a motor vehicle.
Detectives say the trio made spare keys while test driving vehicles, then returned at night to steal the cars.
Here's a list of the alleged crimes:
- Nov. 21, burglary at Conoco, 3333 W. Indian Road
- Dec. 11, burglaries at Divines, 10222 N. Division and 1428 W. 2nd; Quick Stop, 2508 Northwest Blvd.; Tesoro, 3158 E. 17th
- Jan. 30 or Feb 1: Car thefts at Haven Street Motors, BJ's Used Cars and Neighborhood Auto.
- Feb. 1: burglaries at Shell, 1520 N. Argonne and 1007 N. Sullivan, and Taco Bell, 10620 E. Sprague.
Jan. 30 or Feb 1: Car thefts at Haven Street Motors, BJ's Used Cars and Neighborhood Auto.