Tulare County DA files charges against serial car burglar

VISALIA, Calif. (KFSN) -- In February, Visalia Police say they noticed an increase in car burglaries that appeared similar in nature, so an investigation began.

"Our property crimes detectives have been investigating a series of vehicle break-ins," said Visalia Police Sgt. Damon Maurice. "Specifically where the vehicle windows were being broken into and visible items were taken by the suspect."

Police aren't discussing how they identified 27-year-old Cash Costa as a suspect in the burglaries.

But say they surveilled his South Visalia home, and last week, served a search warrant there.

Police found property inside belonging to burglary victims.

They believe he's responsible for more than two dozen vehicle burglaries that happened between February and April, primarily in North Visalia neighborhoods.

Jennifer Carrillo says police told her this week they found her driver's license and debit cards in Costa's possession.

Her wallet was taken from her Chevy Tahoe last month, and someone also stole valuable items from her storage units using codes contained in the wallet.

Costa has not been charged for the theft of Carrillo's wallet, or the storage unit items.

But he is facing nine felony counts of second-degree burglary of a vehicle and two counts of identity theft.

His next court appearance is scheduled for later this month.

In the meantime, police say these crimes of opportunity can be prevented.

"Thieves are simply walking the streets looking for targets, looking for things to steal," Sgt. Maurice said. "And if they see an item they believe to have value in your vehicle, chances are they may break into it."

Police say they will investigate to see if Costa had an accomplice.
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