A 59-year-old Alabama woman is due in Orange County Superior Court today for a hearing tied to what she allegedly did during frequent trips to the West Coast: steal jewelry from high-end stores in Orange, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego and San Bernardino counties.
Newport Beach Police, whose investigation had been aided by loss-prevention teams at several local department stores, on Feb. 6 arrested Thu Thao Thi Vu of Huntsville, Ala., on suspicion of commercial burglary.
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Vu has been tied to 10 burglaries in Southern California since 2012 that have resulted in losses totaling $47,600, according to a statement from Jennifer Manzella, the Newport Beach Police spokeswoman. Three of the incidents are alleged to have happened in Newport Beach, so perhaps it is fitting Vu is being tried at the Harbor Justice Center in that city.
Meanwhile, Manzella says that during Vu's most-recent trip, she visited Fashion Island, South Coast Plaza, Westfield MainPlace, Westminster Mall, The Outlets at Orange, The Galleria at Tyler (Riverside), Moreno Valley Mall, Ontario Mills, Puente Hills Mall, Santa Monica Place, Stonewood Center (Downey) and Westfield Culver City. Investigators believe Vu is responsible for additional burglaries throughout the region.
Anyone with information that can help investigators is asked is to contact Detective Jennifer Kresge at 949.644.3786 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Tips may also be left anonymously on the Newport Beach Police Department's tip hotline at 1.800.550.NBPD.