Six former and current Cablevision Industries employees were arrested Tuesday on suspicion of grand theft. Police are seeking two others in connection with an alleged scheme to steal and resell more than $800,000 worth of converter boxes and cable television equipment, authorities said.
Detective Robert Thoreson, of the Los Angeles Police Department's burglary-auto theft detail, said police recovered about 40 stolen converter boxes after executing search warrants at five Valley homes and two businesses.
Thoreson said some of the suspects appeared to have set up an illegal mail-order business to resell the converter boxes. The investigation is now focusing on how the property was stolen from Cablevision, which is based in New York and has offices on Topanga Canyon Boulevard, Thoreson said.
Taken into custody and booked on suspicion of grand theft and receiving stolen property were: Leon Chisman, 46, of Reseda; Ernest Cook, 22, Roy Williams 22, and Darryl Smith, 21, all of Canoga Park; Sam Amar, 50, of Van Nuys and Kelly Robbins, 21, of Mission Hills.
Police said the arrested employees had worked for Cablevision as installers and in the warehouse. Thoreson said an internal audit by Cablevision in August revealed that about $880,000 worth of equipment was missing.
The investigation is continuing, Thoreson said, and arrests of other past and current Cablevision employees are expected.
George O'Leary, the company's vice president for cable operations, declined to comment until after the police investigation was completed.