Religious Facilities Burglaries: Robert Dennis, Fernando Flores Held, James Dorscht Sought

The Irvine Police Department announced the arrest of two men and a warrant out for a third in the case of recent burglaries of religious institutions that has already resulted in the arrest of a fourth man previously disclosed by the Santa Ana Police Department.

The suspect being sought is parolee James Dorscht, 39, of Norwalk.


Irvine Police collected DNA evidence at the scene of a Jan. 15 crime in that city that eventually led them to Robert Dennis, 45, of Santa Ana, according to a statement from Lt. Julia Engen, the department spokeswoman.

A search warrant was served at a Garden Grove residence associated with Dennis on Wednesday, and while the suspect was not there, information collected led investigators to suspect Dorscht and Fernando Flores, 21, of Garden Grove, were part of the burglary ring, Engen said.

Irvine detectives located and arrested Dennis and Flores in a commercial complex in the area of Fairview and Trask in Santa Ana, where burglary tools, a shotgun and a billy club were recovered from their car, according to Engen.

Dennis was arrested on suspicion of burglary, possession of burglary tools, possession of a dangerous weapon and being a felon in possession of a firearm. He was booked into Orange County Jail in lieu of $20,000 bail. Flores was held on suspicion of burglary, possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia, theft of a firearm, possession of a dangerous weapon and a $15,000 warrant for commercial sex. His bail at Orange County Jail was set at $35,000.

Law enforcement believes security video from burglaries of churches, temples and other religious facilities in Orange County since at least January show Dennis, Flores, Dorscht and Daniel Cortes, who Santa Ana Police arrested last week.

Daniel Cortes Held in 3-Man Crew's Theft of Santa Ana Church Safe with $15,000 Inside

Cortes is believed by cops to be the burglar wearing a White Sox cap in surveillance video taken from Forty Martyrs Armenian Church in Santa Ana, where a safe containing $15,000 in cash from bingo games was taken.

Various law enforcement agencies are now working together to find Dorscht. Anyone with information is asked to call the Irvine Police Department at 949.724.7200.

Email: mc****@oc******.com. Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!


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