Eight people arrested in connection with 20 burglaries in the East County are part of the so-called Gold N Dragon Chasers.
Dragon Chasers is slang for people who smoke heroin. This group called itself the Gold N Dragon Chasers because San Diego County sheriff’s detectives say the suspects, including juveniles, were stealing gold to pay for their habit.
The suspects would knock on the front door -- If no one answered, they would go around back and break in.
Cody and Brittany Mauzy returned to their Santee home recently to find their kitchen window shoved in and several items stolen.
Their Xbox was later recovered from a pawn shop, but the jewelry and a camera loaded with pictures are still gone.
“Honeymoon pictures we didn't' get to download two months fresh, that was hardest part cried over that a lot,” said Brittany Mauzy.
After a three-month investigation, deputies made eight arrests after six search warrants were served at six residences in the north end of Santee Thursday .
Sheriff's detectives say they also seized a gun, heroin, drug paraphernalia, and cash but believe the crew stole at least $50,000 in property over the course of their crime spree.
Detectives have been able to recover jewelry taken to pawn shops in the East County or gold buying kiosks at Parkway Plaza mall in El Cajon.
“They're neighborhood kids so they know their surroundings, they know who's coming and going and they're hitting houses in some instances next door to their house,” said Det. Brian Patterson.
Knowing people less than a block away from me could do that to their own people in their community,” said Cody Mauzy. “Tough to see that real tough.”
Detective Patterson says he has recovered some unidentified jewelry that the suspects allegedly pawned during the crime spree. Anyone who believes they may also be a victim, make an appointment to come to the sheriff’s substation to take a look at the property.