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Police Arrest Inglewood Man for Surfer Thefts

A man who had been targeting surfers and burglarizing their vehicles in Manhattan Beach and San Diego was arrested Monday. Kevin DeShawn Lucas Jr., of Inglewood, was charged in San Diego County Superior Court with 85 felony counts of identify theft and grand theft. 

A string of robberies targeting surfers' cell phones and wallets, stolen from inside their cars, led police to Lucas as a suspect. Authorities believe Lucas watched surfers hide their car keys in secret spots under their tires and waited for them to go surfing, at which point he would use the key to break into the vehicle and steal cell phones and wallets. Lucas used the stolen credit cards at various Target stores throughout Los Angeles.

Lucas became a suspect when the investigation into the burglaries led detectives to a residence in Inglewood. After obtaining a search warrant, police found stolen cell phones and credit cards. Investigators found further evidence linking Lucas to the similar burglaries reported in San Diego.

Stealing hidden car keys while surfers are out in the water is a common burglary tactic. Similar crimes have been reported along the California coast from Ventura to San Diego. Police are advising surfers to lock wallets out of sight in their car trunks, and to carry their ignition keys into the water with them on a chain around their neck. Alternatively, some surfers have begun using lock boxes attached to the bottom of their cars to lock away their keys. 

Lucas is being held on $900,000 bail at the San Diego County jail and is scheduled for arraignment on Wednesday of next week.



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