Rocklin police were able to track down four auto burglary suspects – three adults and a juvenile – on Sunday after investigators found a photograph online of $120 worth of food from Carl’s Jr. that was purchased with a credit card stolen in one of the burglaries.
“I’m glad we caught them,” said Sgt. Scott Horrillo. “Sometimes, technology acts in our favor; sometimes, it doesn’t. This time it did.”
Tavion Spignor, 19, Leroy Jackson, 27, and Malek Morgan, 20, all of Sacramento, were arrested on suspicion of auto burglary, conspiracy, possession of stolen property and unauthorized use of personal ID.
They were being held at the Placer County jail in Auburn on Monday. Bond for Spignor was set at $10,000, while Jackson’s was $20,000. Morgan’s bail had not been set yet.
A 17-year-old male, also from Sacramento, was held at the county’s juvenile detention center. He faces the same charges as the other three.
On Saturday night, between 9 p.m. and 11 p.m., the four allegedly broke into four different vehicles that were parked in the Blue Oaks Town Center on Lonetree Boulevard and the nearby Staybridge Suites Hotel parking lots in Rocklin.
According to police, they smashed in car windows and grabbed GPS units, wallets and other items that had been left in plain sight.
Shortly after midnight, one of the victims who had caught a movie at the Blue Oaks Town Center theater came out to find her vehicle burglarized and reported the crime. She learned that about an hour earlier, around 11 p.m., one of her credit cards had been used at the nearby Carl’s Jr. restaurant to pay for $120 worth of food.
Investigators contacted the restaurant manager, who remembered a large drive-through order that was paid by credit card. According to police, the manager, who was not identified, had thought the order was suspicious and had taken down the license plate number of the vehicle.
She also thought she recognized one of the suspects as a student at a local high school, and told detectives that photos from the Carl’s Jr. order had been posted on Instagram.
Katelyn Hubick, 20, who was working as a shift leader at the Carl’s Jr. restaurant Saturday night, gave a slightly different account of what happened. She said that a trainee had taken the order.
“They came through and they said they would pay for the person behind them,” said Hubick.
“I was the one who wrote down the license plate, because I thought it was weird. We never see orders that big, never. And the fact that they would pay for the person behind them, and didn’t know how much that order was, I told (the trainee), ‘This is weird.’ ”
Hubick said the order included five $6 burgers, five orange creme shakes, three barbeque chicken quesadillas, one bacon Swiss chicken sandwich, two double western sandwiches, two orders of fried zucchini, six orders of cross-cut fries, two teriyaki burgers, with added bacon, two barbeque chicken sandwiches, with added bacon, five southwest chicken tacos, with added sour cream. The total came out to $119.95.
Hubick said her twin sister, Danielle, prepared the food while she went outside to get the license plate of the car, a Buick that pulled around and parked in front of the restaurant to wait for the food to be delivered.
“I went out and parked behind them and shined the lights on them and got the license plate,’ she said. “They started acting all weird – they were looking back and fidgeting.”
After they left, Hubick said the trainee decided to snap a picture of the receipt from the order and posted it on Instagram because it was the largest order she had seen.
A friend of the food service worker saw the photo and told her, “I know the person because they posted a photo of all the food,” according to Hubick. The friend had been following the juvenile suspect’s Instagram feed.
Horrillo confirmed that the photos were taken by the juvenile suspect, and that detectives were able to identify him and learn that the suspects were planning to return to Rocklin Sunday night.
Officers were on the lookout for the Buick, which belonged to Spignor. At 9 p.m. Sunday, an officer spotted the Buick speed by him, going west on Sunset Boulevard. The car then pulled into a Walgreens parking lot at Park Drive and Sunset Boulevard.
Horillo said that the suspects went into the Walgreens and were coming out of the store when the officer detained them.
A search of the Buick turned up items that were stolen in the auto burglaries Saturday night, as well as things that were taken in an unreported auto burglary in Roseville about an hour before the Walgreens stop.
Hubick said she was glad that the burglary suspects were caught.
“I think they’re kind of stupid,” she said of the suspects’ postings. “I think social networking is helping to catch people.”