Suspects in Series of North County Storage Unit Thefts Identified

Detectives were investigating a series of thefts into broken storage units, where a suspect or suspects broke in to steal the contents

Officials have identified suspects they say are responsible for breaking into several North County storage units and stealing the contents. 

On Tuesday, detectives from the San Diego County Sheriff's Department (SDSO) executed 11 search warrants on storage units in San Marcos, Escondido and Oceanside. 

Deputies found piles of stolen merchandise and confiscated truckloads of stolen merchandise. They estimate the number of victims to be somewhere between 60 and 100.

Investigators recovered, heirlooms, antiques, baseball card collections.

“We found a lot of wedding pictures from back in 1800s. Property that was labeled 1646,” Detective Benny Cruz said.

There are so many personal items deputies haven't had time to process the items or even open all the boxes.

“It's so much volume our main goal was to execute the warrants and seize the property,” Cruz said.

A law enforcement source verifies items were stolen from “Store em” on East Mission Drive in San Marcos and Cube Smart in Escondido among others.

“That's crazy man. It's like 'Wow,'” Cube Smart tenant Jogo Baguio said.

Baguio and paint business partner Victor Guzman store their paint and equipment valued at $30,000.

“I'm just stunned. I never saw anybody stealing. I’m glad it didn't happen to me,” Guzman said.

Cruz identifies the suspects as a boyfriend/ girlfriend team. Jeffrey Kitfield and Johanna Rowland of Oceanside.

Investigators say the suspects would legitimately rent a space then steal from their neighbors. They believe the thefts have been occurring since last October.

“You just pay the rent you don't go back. You don't find out and the next thing you know you're getting a phone call saying, 'Hey, your lock was popped' and you have no idea when it happened,” Detective Cruz said.

The couple has rented space at San Marcos storage since July. The manager said they didn't steal from here. With a heist this big police say even they needed a place to store it.

Investigators say based on what was stolen it appears elderly home owners were the main target.

People who simply ran out of space in their homes.

The suspects are charged with multiple burglary counts, conspiracy, and auto theft and narcotics crimes.

Cruz said Kitfield was on probation after committing similar crimes in Sacramento.

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