Three accused of stealing guns, jewelry, cash in 26 home burglaries across San Diego

File art of San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit at a news conference.
San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit speaking at a news conference last week.
(Denis Poroy/For The San Diego Union-Tribune)

The suspects from Los Angeles and Riverside counties broke into homes, sometimes several in a day, in communities across northern San Diego — from Carmel Valley to Scripps Ranch


Two men and a woman were arrested this week on suspicion of stealing guns, jewelry and cash from 26 upscale homes during a months-long burglary spree in San Diego, officials announced Thursday.

The string of break-ins happened in neighborhoods across northern San Diego — from Carmel Valley to Scripps Ranch — between Feb. 10 and May 23, police said.

For the record:

4:36 a.m. June 16, 2023A previous version of this story misidentified the genders of the suspects. Officers arrested two men and a woman.

At a news conference at police headquarters, San Diego police Chief David Nisleit said the crew would travel to San Diego from Los Angeles and Riverside counties and sometimes commit several burglaries in a day. On March 18, the thieves hit four homes. Four days later, they hit another four. The day after that, another four.

The crimes were sophisticated and planned, officials said. Investigators determined a driver would drop off the burglars, who would break in through a back door and pilfer high-value items — sometimes ransacking the home. On Monday, the crew returned to San Diego County, and were casing homes in southern Escondido when San Diego police responded and intercepted them, Nisleit said.

After the arrests, search warrants connected to the cases were served at locations in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Moreno Valley in Riverside County. Police recovered two AK-style rifles, seven handguns and other items believed taken during the break-ins.

“The burglaries put the community on edge and caused a great deal of pain and left residents with anxiety and wondering if they’re next,” said District Attorney Summer Stephan, whose office worked with police during the investigation.

The suspects — Charles Ray Henderson IV, 48, of Riverside County; Anthony Latroy Robinson, 30, of Los Angeles County; and Charelle Leann Brumfield, 30, of Los Angeles County — were booked into jail on dozens of counts of burglary and conspiracy to commit burglary. Brumfield and Henderson face 38 felony charges; Robinson faces 10.

All three, appearing virtually from county jails, pleaded not guilty at an arraignment Thursday afternoon in San Diego Superior Court.

After the hearing, Deputy District Attorney Jack Wang said it was “great police work” that cracked the case. Investigators used social media history and cellphone data to link Henderson and Brumfield to all 26 burglaries, and evidence links Robinson to some of the break-ins, Wang said.

The three know each other, Wang said, and Robinson and Brumfield are alleged gang members. Henderson has reported gang ties. Wang said the trio targeted affluent neighborhoods where they could “get in and out.” Many of the burglarized homes are off state Route 56 and Interstate 15.

If convicted of all charges, Brumfield and Henderson face 39 years and four months in prison. Because Robinson has two strikes on his record, a conviction in this case could mean a sentence of 25 years to life.

Nisleit thanked several department units and other agencies across Southern California for their help.

“This work is just another great example of investigators doing incredible work and pairing with different departments to remove dangerous criminals from our communities,” the chief said.

Of the 7,359 burglaries reported in San Diego County last year, 41 percent were residential, which equates to 1 in every 383 households being burglarized, according to crime data from the San Diego County Association of Governments. Five years ago, that ratio was 1 in every 243 households.

Arrests made in burglary spree across northern San Diego
The string of break-ins happened in several neighborhoods — from Carmel Valley to Scripps Ranch — between Feb. 10 and May 23. Police said the three suspects, who aren’t from San Diego, stole guns, jewelry and cash from 26 upscale homes.


4:36 a.m. June 16, 2023: This story was updated with additional information.