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Burglars hit area Jamba Juice stores, take more than $20,000

July 18, 2007|Ari B. Bloomekatz | Times Staff Writer

Burglars have targeted at least a dozen area Jamba Juice stores in recent months, breaking in during the early morning and usually escaping with the store's safe, authorities said.

The first theft occurred May 13 at a Bellflower Boulevard store in Long Beach, and the most recent was June 25 at a Jamba Juice in Brentwood.

Some of the burglaries were caught by security cameras, and the same two thieves are probably responsible for all the heists, said L.A. County Sheriff's Det. Gary Sloan on Tuesday. In each case, the two men were in and out of the stores in about two minutes.

They used specialized tools to break into each building but did not always take the approximately 3-by-3-foot safes, apparently because they wanted to stick to a two-minute timetable, Sloan said.

Jamba Juice recently announced a $5,000 reward for anyone with information about the burglaries.

"It's gone from Tarzana, Pasadena, Encino, Long Beach, Lakewood, Cerritos, Carson and Los Angeles," Sloan said.

No one has encountered the burglars and no one has been hurt. Sloan estimated that more than $20,000 has been stolen.

Sloan said investigators initially considered the possibility that a Jamba Juice employee was responsible for the crimes, but they now believe the thieves are not employees.

ari.bloomekatz@latimes.com

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