Atascadero police crack $100,000 burglary case
A local couple was arrested this month after Atascadero police detectives solved a burglary case in which residents lost over $100,000. Ashlee Sylvester and Cecil Yahtin, both 22, were arrested on charges of possession of stolen property and conspiracy.
The case began when police noticed that four burglaries that occurred last year between August and December had similarities. The burglars targeted electronics and jewelry, and all of the burglaries occurred at night when the residents were home asleep. On one occasion suspects entered a bedroom where residents were sleeping.
Detectives got a break in the case early this February when they learned a second hand dealer in Santa Maria may have unknowingly purchased property that might be related to our burglaries. The items purchased by the second hand dealer were later confirmed as stolen from one of the above residential burglaries.
Sylvester had sold the items to the second hand dealer. Investigators say they established Sylvester was the girlfriend of Yahtin. He is on parole for several residential burglaries from 2010 which occurred in and around North County. The 2010 burglaries had similarities to the burglaries currently being investigated.
On Feb. 10, members of the Atascadero Police Investigations Unit conducted surveillance on Yahtin in an attempt to confirm a residence for him and to contact Yahtin and Sylvester. Yahtin and Sylvester were located together in a vehicle in San Luis Obispo and a traffic stop was conducted. Numerous items of evidence linking Yahtin and Sylvester to the burglaries were located in the vehicle. Sylvester and Yahtin were taken into custody.
Following the arrests of Yahtin and Sylvester police continued the investigation and recovered additional stolen items from pawn shops and second hand dealers throughout San Luis Obispo County. This evidence further linked Yahtin and Sylvester to the burglaries, police say.
Yahtin has been charged with three counts of first degree burglary, conspiracy to commit a crime, and numerous counts of second degree burglary. Sylvester has been charged with numerous counts of second degree burglary, conspiracy to commit a crime and possession of stolen property.