Los Angeles/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on April 24, 2024
LAPD Dismantles 'Punch Crew' Burglary Ring Linked to Over $240K in Losses and Damages in Los AngelesSource: Los Angeles Police Department

The "Punch Crew" burglary ring responsible for a string of thefts across Los Angeles County has been dismantled, following the arrest of three individuals linked to the spree of breaking and entering cases, the LAPD announced. Active from March to June of 2023, the group targeted small, often family-run, eateries specializing in Asian and Eastern cuisine in North Hollywood. According to LAPD Newsroom, the burglars used a sharp tool to punch their way through the glass of doors or windows to gain entry and make off with cash registers, currency, and electronic tablets.

Investigators identified the culprits as 19-year-old Jacob Pugh of Lawndale, 25-year-old Kewon Stevenson of Los Angeles, and a minor, who were seen burglarizing closed businesses in the San Fernando Valley and neighboring cities using various rental cars to carry out their crimes. The suspected thieves have reportedly inflicted significant financial blows to the community, with an estimated $80,000 stolen and around $160,000 worth of property damage spread across approximately 131 businesses. A comprehensive investigation led to the collection of crucial evidence, which was then submitted to the District Attorney's office for prosecution.

Legal proceedings have commenced against Pugh and Stevenson, with the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Organized Crimes Division slapping the duo with 19 counts of commercial burglary. They are each being held on a $975,000 bail and were arraigned at Van Nuys Courthouse in Department 100, as reported by LAPD spokesperson. Efforts continue as the investigators collaborate with the Juvenile DA's office to resolve the filing status of the youngest member of the ring. As stated in the LAPD press release, Pugh's and Stevenson's booking numbers are 6693940 and 6693969, respectively.

The arrest of the "Punch Crew" marks a sigh of relief for the business owners who sustained losses and damages due to these crimes. The North Hollywood Division's efforts to apprehend the perpetrators highlight a victory for local law enforcement in their ongoing battle against property crimes. The community, particularly the victimized establishments, awaits the conclusion of these cases as justice is pursued through the legal system.