Two brothers were arrested in connection with 14 residential burglaries in Santa Cruz County over the past eight months.Santa Cruz County sheriff’s deputies located and arrested Brandon Smith, 18, on Nov. 15 and his 20-year-old brother, Larry Smith, on Tuesday. The brothers were allegedly involved in 14 residential burglaries– most of them in the San Lorenzo Valley where the Smiths grew up — between March and November, according to the sheriff’s office. The men were allegedly perpetrating burglaries to support heroin habits, according to the sheriff’s office.
Some crimes occurred in Bonny Doon and Soquel and detectives are investigating whether the men, both of whom are alleged heroin users, are responsible for additional burglaries. The investigation into the burglaries began in the spring after some San Lorenzo Valley residents called the Felton Service Center and said they were concerned about the volume of burglaries occurring in the area. They reported that many of the homes broken into did not have cars parked in the driveway and were entered through an unlocked rear door, the sheriff’s office said. They said burglars had taken items such as jewelry, electronic equipment, heirlooms, musical equipment and cash. During the investigation, deputies identified the Smith brothers as the burglary suspects, but it was not until Nov. 13 that they had enough evidence to arrest them.
On that day, a deputy saw a photo taken from a home surveillance system during a burglary in Watsonville and recognized the suspect as Brandon Smith, according to the sheriff’s office. There was also an interrupted burglary later that day in Soquel where the suspect — believed to be Brandon Smith – injured his arm while breaking a window in an attempt to escape. The Smiths are residents of Santa Cruz. Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the investigations unit at (831) 454-2311.
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