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Detective: Burglars hit vacationing Times readers

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- At least 25 homes were burglarized while residents were on vacation after lists of suspended subscriptions were taken from the Los Angeles Times, according to Los Angeles County sheriff's investigators.

Detective Jack Jordan said Wednesday a contracted office-machine repairman, 51-year-old Duane Van Tuinen, is accused of stealing lists of vacationing subscribers from the newspaper and passing them on to a group of thieves.

The group included Randall Whitmore, 43, Joshua Box, 43, and Edwin Valentine, 52, authorities said. Van Tuinen is accused of repeatedly stealing the lists in return for a cut of profits from selling stolen goods. More victims are being sought.

Homes in the San Gabriel Valley, Hacienda Heights, Diamond Bar, Walnut and Chino Hills were robbed of collectible coins and swords, musical instruments, computers and jewelry.

Detectives discovered a West Covina storage locker last Thursday where they say hundreds of pieces of stolen property were recovered.

“Although much of the stolen property has been returned to the rightful owners, we are still trying to locate additional victims,” Jordan said in a release.

Times spokeswoman Nancy Sullivan said in a story posted on the newspaper's website that the Times has made changes in its delivery policies since the alleged thefts.

Charges against the suspects are pending, police said.

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