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More than 140 individuals have been charged in connection with a series of burglaries and robberies in Orange County over the past year, as announced by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office on Wednesday.

The issue of home invasions, smash-and-grabs, and burglaries has become a frequent concern in the county, prompting questions about law enforcement’s efforts to combat these crimes.

Law enforcement agencies from across Orange County held a news conference to address their ongoing actions in response to the escalating criminal activities.

The District Attorney highlighted that his office has successfully pressed charges against over 140 individuals in the past year alone.

However, he acknowledged the challenges faced in prosecuting these cases.

A visual presentation at the conference depicted a compelling narrative of the crime wave plaguing the region.

One incident involved a college student in Irvine who was confronted by two masked men while she was showering.

The suspects ordered her to dress and escorted her through every room of the house, stealing valuable jewelry and cash.

Another case involved suspected robbers posing with a safe they had stolen from a residence.

During the news conference, District Attorney Todd Spitzer discussed the efforts being made to prosecute these cases and unveiled a new approach.

He revealed that seven newly charged defendants are facing hate crime charges related to burglary.

This unique legal theory aims to address cases where burglars specifically target Asians, highlighting the need for specialized prosecution strategies.

However, Spitzer also expressed frustration with the lack of criminal background information on individuals involved in these burglary crews.

The government does not provide the necessary criminal histories for many of the individuals his office prosecutes, creating obstacles to effective prosecution.

Spitzer emphasized the importance of understanding a suspect’s criminal background in determining appropriate charges and sentencing.

To tackle this issue, Spitzer stated that he intends to seek assistance from the Chilean government to gather criminal histories of suspects who may be part of Chilean burglary crews.

Furthermore, he voiced concerns about certain judges issuing lenient sentences and expressed his plan to publicly identify those judges in the future.

The situation remains a significant challenge for law enforcement and prosecutors, requiring innovative approaches to address the increasing number of burglaries and robberies in Orange County.

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