A 34-year-old Wilmington man has been arrested in connection with a string of vehicle burglaries in Manhattan Beach.
Officers detained Jose Vega-Contreras in the El Porto parking lot on March 16, according to Manhattan Beach Police.
While conducting a surveillance operation of the lot following several vehicle burglary reports in the area, police observed the suspect looking into parked vehicles.
After he was found to be in possession of stolen property from vehicles in the El Porto parking lot, Vega-Contreras was charged with identity theft, receiving stolen property and vehicle burglary, according to a Manhattan Beach Police Department press release.
The man also matched the description of an outstanding suspect seen purchasing items with stolen credit cards in video surveillance photos obtained by officers.
Vega-Contreras allegedly made several fraudulent purchases with stolen credit cards at locations throughout the South Bay, police said.
Five vehicle burglaries have been reported in the El Porto and Manhattan Beach Pier parking since February.
“In all of these cases, the suspect stole keys which were either left on a beach towel, on the tire, or hidden somewhere on a parked vehicle. The suspect stole several items from vehicles which included the victims’ wallets and credit cards,” Sergeant Tim Zins said in the statement.
The Manhattan Beach Police Department reminds beach-goers to avoid leaving keys unattended on the beach or around their parked vehicle.