IRVINE, CA (July 12, 2012): On Wednesday, July 11, 2012, Irvine Police Detectives arrested Jennifer McClain, (1-29-78) for burglary, possession of stolen property, possession of burglary tools and possession of dangerous drugs at her La Palma residence. McClain is believed to be responsible for at least five separate locker-room burglaries in health clubs in Irvine as well as similar burglaries in at least seven additional Orange, San Diego and Los Angeles County cities. The pattern of burglaries in Irvine occurred between February and late June. However, McClain is suspected in a burglary in Costa Mesa as recently as Monday, July 9th.
McClain is suspected of entering health clubs and cutting the locks from lockers while patrons were working out. She would take wallets, purses and car keys, often using the stolen credit cards at nearby stores prior to the victim being aware of the theft. Additionally, detectives believe she would use keys stolen from the lockers to access the victim’s cars and steal additional property or, as was the case in at least two instances, steal the car itself.
Detectives served a search warrant at the time of the arrest and recovered a small amount of property purchased with stolen credit cards and personal belongings from victims such as purses and wallets. Also recovered at McClain’s residence was a stolen vehicle from a burglary committed on July 9th.
The identification of McClain as the suspect is being credited to an alert employee of an Irvine health club. Once the burglary was discovered, the employee remembered a suspicious subject that had handled a promotional brochure earlier. She was able to provide that brochure to the responding officer. A partial print was located and with the use of law enforcement data bases, that print was linked to McClain.
Irvine detectives are working with several other police agencies to identify burglaries committed in their jurisdictions and to return the recovered property to owners.
Detectives believe McClain selected victims as they entered the clubs and watched as they secured their valuables.
The Irvine Police Department recommends the following to help reduce the risk of becoming a victim of this type of crime:
· Leave your valuables at home
· Keep your smaller valuables on your person while you workout
· Utilize common area lockers in the gym / workout area for your smaller valuables
· Lock your belongings in your trunk, out of plain sight; do this BEFORE you arrive at the gym
· Secure your belongings in a locker with a disc lock (lock with a shackle guard)
· ALWAYS lock your doors and your locker – NEVER leave property in plain sight in your car or unattended in the gym
IRVINE POLICE DEPARTMENT
One Civic Center Plaza, Irvine, CA 92606
(949) 724-7000 www.irvinepd.org
"Working In Partnership with the Community"
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The City of Irvine has a population of more than 212,000, spans 65 square miles and is recognized as one of America's safest and most successful master-planned urban communities. Top-rated educational institutions, an enterprising business atmosphere, sound environmental stewardship, and respect for diversity all contribute to Irvine's enviable quality of life. This family-friendly city features more than 16,000 acres of parks, sports fields and dedicated open space and is the home of the Orange County Great Park – the first great metropolitan park of the 21st century. For more information, please visit www.cityofirvine.org.