Suspects arrested in Leisure World truck theft after lengthy investigation

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After a lengthy investigation, the Seal Beach Police Department arrested three individuals on suspicion of stealing a vehicle from the Leisure World community. According to the SBPD, they committed several other thefts throughout Orange County.

On Jan. 2, 2020, the SBPD responded to a call of a stolen vehicle inside Leisure World. The stolen vehicle was a commercial truck which contained personal property. The responding officer also remembered investigating a stolen license plate that occurred in the same area just days before. Believing these two crimes may have been related, the investigating officer notified Seal Beach Police detectives.

Later that same afternoon, Seal Beach investigators discovered that the Orange Police Department was attempting to locate a stolen vehicle which was emitting a LoJack stolen vehicle system alert. Seal Beach investigators responded to assist the Orange Police Department and confirmed that this was the same vehicle stolen from Leisure World. The stolen truck was recovered and returned to the owner.

As a result of this information detectives identified several involved suspects. Follow-up investigation was conducted which included serving search warrants, reviewing video surveillance, and conducting physical surveillance on the potential suspects. Several suspects were identified and discovered to be in possession of other stolen property linked to crimes throughout Orange County.

Because of the large scale of this investigation, the Seal Beach Police Department partnered with the Orange County Auto Theft Taskforce (OCATT), a multijurisdictional law enforcement program which investigates vehicle theft and fraud cases. This allowed Seal Beach detectives to link the suspects with other crimes and work with investigators from outside jurisdictions.

On Jan. 31, after several weeks of surveillance, search warrants, and cooperative efforts with other police agencies, the Seal Beach Police Department with the assistance of OCATT arrested three suspects for possession of stolen property and vehicle theft. At the time of their arrest they were in possession of a different, fraudulently obtained vehicle. The suspects were identified as Lindsey Gamel, age 28 of Corona, Jeffrey Diaz, age 39 of Fullerton, and Shelby Salgado, age 41 of Whittier. The suspects were processed at the Seal Beach Detention Center and later transported to the Orange County Jail for booking.

The investigation is currently ongoing. The police are asking anyone with additional information about the suspects to call Detective Jon Ainley at 562-799-4100 ext. 1113.