Lompoc police made four arrests Thursday — and an additional arrest Friday — in an ongoing investigation into a string of burglaries and thefts and the pawning of large amounts of stolen property.
Detectives and officers served three search warrants Thursday evening — in the 200 block of South Seventh Street, the 1500 block of North H Street and the 300 block of East Locust Avenue, according to Sgt. Nate Flint.
Flint said some stolen property already had been identified and returned to the rightful owners.
Detectives also recovered more than 7 grams of heroin, in addition to a large amount of cash, scales and cell phones, according to Flint.
According to police, those arrested Thursday were 29-year-old Thomas Steinke, 31-year-old Thomas Evans, 46-year-old Kevin Hutton and 37-year-old Joseph Montano, all of Lompoc.
Arrested shortly before 8 p.m. Friday was Luis Lopez Sr., 42, of Lompoc.
Flint said more arrests are expected.
He said Steinke faces charges of possession of heroin for sale, possession of stolen property, being under the influence and possession of paraphernalia. Evans faces charges of possession for sale of heroin, possession of paraphernalia and being under the influence.
Hutton faces charges of possession of heroin, possession of stolen property, obstructing a police officer and flash incarceration. Montano faces charges of possession of drug paraphernalia, being under the influence and revocation of incarceration terms.
Lopez is facing charges of possession of stolen property, and was being held on a felony no-bail warrant.
Flint said there has been a substantial increase in residential burglaries in the past month, with more than 100 items valued at more than $30,000 recovered.
Those items include electronic equipment, cellular phones, music equipment, jewelry, coins, motorcycles and power tools, along with other miscellaneous property.
Lompoc residents who have been victimized are invited to a public viewing of the stolen merchandise from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday.