LOS BANOS, Calif. (KFSN) --A motel owner in the North Valley is making a plea for help catching the burglars who stole his entire safe filled with priceless family heirlooms. He believes this same group has hit at least three other businesses. That burglary happened in Los Banos.
Police said one of the women was caught in San Luis Obispo after the group pulled off another burglary there. But investigators are still trying to identify the other five people caught on camera.
The surveillance video showed six burglars using distraction and deception to steal from a motel on Pacheco Boulevard in Los Banos. The owners do not want to be identified but they said it all started on January 15th when a man and woman asked to see a room because their family was in town from Hungary for a wedding. "I was working in one of the rooms and she's here, so she says 'okay come outside and we can show you the room,'" said the motel owner.
Once they were out of the office, another man, and three more women snuck onto the property-- including one holding a baby. They stole a bag of cash and a safe from the owners' living area. On the video, you can see them shoving it into a silver mini van. The victims said it was filled with gold jewelry that's been handed down for generations, along with passports and other important documents. "This is like my lifetime savings, plus my wife's sentimental value. I hope they get back my safe," said the owner.
The video also shows the suspects speeding away and nearly hitting the owner as he started to realize what was happening. But the crime spree didn't stop there. Los Banos police learned the group used a similar tactic to target a motel in San Luis Obispo. One of the women was arrested there and is now out on bail. "We have that suspect identified and we are working with agencies in Southern California to identify the remaining suspects," said Commander Ray Reyna, Los Banos Police Department.
The Los Banos motel owner said he's spoken to at least two other owners in Santa Maria and Santa Ynez who believe they were targeted by the same group using the same scheme. Now he and his wife are hoping the suspects are caught before more people suffer. "So we requesting the community's help to find these criminals as they must be arrested."
Police have handed out flyers and posted information on social media to try to raise awareness about these suspects.
Anyone who recognizes them is urged to call authorities. And the owners Action News spoke with here are offering a $5,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest and the recovery of their items.