Four family members accused of a string of retail thefts across Southern California

A Riverside County Sheriff's have arrested a family in connection with a series of thefts targeting stores across Southland.
Riverside County sheriff's investigators have arrested a family in connection with a series of thefts targeting stores across Southern California. (Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times)

Sheriff's investigators arrested a Riverside County family in connection with a string of retail robberies and for allegedly stealing goods worth more than $7,000.

The investigation started April 24, when Riverside County deputies were called to an undisclosed business in the 32100 block of Temecula Parkway in Temecula, authorities said in a news release. There, a group of suspects had allegedly conspired to steal more than $1,000 in merchandise.

Investigators learned that the group was linked to similar retail thefts at other businesses, the sheriff's department said. The suspects were identified by robbery investigators as Thomas Balandran, 50; Sherri Alvarez, 48; Brianna Balandran, 19; and a 17-year-old relative whose name was not disclosed, authorities announced Friday.

The four are suspects in at least 10 other thefts in San Bernardino, Los Angeles and Riverside counties, totaling more than $7,000 in stolen goods, authorities said, with possibly more thefts that have not been identified.

Sheriff's investigators served a search warrant at a home in the 6800 block of Valley Way in Jurupa Valley on May 13, where they said that they found a large amount of stolen merchandise with some retail tags still attached to the goods. Investigators said they also found "items of evidentiary value" in the home, including "narcotics and paraphernalia," but the sheriff's department did not provide details about the items recovered in the search.

Read more: Eight arrested in multimillion-dollar retail theft operation, Los Angeles County sheriff officials say

The three adult suspects were arrested and booked on charges of organized retail theft, burglary, conspiracy and grand theft, according to the sheriff's department; the 17-year-old was released to a family member with possible charges pending in juvenile court. Thomas Balandran was on probation for grand theft, and sheriff's investigators asked for additional charges to be added, including a probation violation and drug-related offenses.

During their investigation, sheriff's deputies were led to two additional homes in Moreno Valley believed to be involved in buying and selling stolen goods. While serving a second search warrant on Tuesday in Moreno Valley, deputies found more than $3,000 in additional merchandise they allege to have been stolen, according to the sheriff's department.

So far, authorities say, the probe has led them to a total of three homes believed to be involved in buying and selling stolen goods.

The investigation is ongoing, according to authorities, who said they believe there are more thefts linked to the case.

Anyone with information about the investigation can call Riverside County Sheriff's Deputy Christina Weber at (951) 696-3133.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.