REDLANDS – A Long Beach man who might be responsible for a string of drugstore thefts around Southern California was arrested last week.
On Tuesday, Brian Richard was arraigned on burglary charges.
Redlands Public Information Officer Carl Baker said Richard is on parole out of Long Beach.
Baker said a crime alert flier that had been released by Walgreen’s Loss Prevention unit had reported a string of at least 15 similar burglaries that occurred throughout Riverside, San Bernardino and Orange counties.
Redlands police were on alert, said Baker, for a similar crime at the local Walgreen’s.
“We found evidence,” said Baker, “in the suspect’s car linking him to our burglary and have provided information to other agencies for their investigation.”
On Aug. 24, police answered an alarm at 4:45 a.m. at Walgreen’s Drugstore at 800 East Lugonia Ave., trailing a fleeing vehicle west on Interstate 10. Exiting at Tippecanoe Ave. in San Bernardino, officers located the black 2006 Chevrolet Impala in the parking lot of a Denny’s restaurant.
Baker said police observed stolen items inside the car.
When officers tried to contact the suspect, he led police on a foot pursuit. Richard, 29, was apprehended. Police later found his identification inside the Impala along with about $3,500 of Oxycontin pills that were stolen from the pharmacy, said Baker.
Investigators had determined that Richard smashed two windows and pried open a locked storage cabinet where the drugs were stored.
Richard has served time in prison for felonies, required to register as a drug offender, according to court records.
He said that investigators are working with other agencies in Richard’s possible involvement in other crimes. Detective Tony Ortiz is heading up the Redlands portion of the investigation.
The suspect was being held on $50,000 bail at the West County Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga.
Redlands City Police Department Bulletin