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Gang of thieves disguised as construction workers ransack homes in Southern California

A group of Southern California thieves who disguised themselves as construction workers have been arrested for a series of robberies targeting exclusive neighborhoods.

The suspects were identified by the Los Angeles Police Department as:


  • Roderick Dennis, 39, of Los Angeles
  • Michael Mitchell, 21, from Ontario
  • Munya Jones, 21, from Los Angeles

The suspects, whom police call the “reflective vest crew,” are sometimes known to disguise themselves as construction workers by wearing reflective work vests.

Police said the group was responsible for a series of robberies in wealthier neighborhoods in Studio City, West Los Angeles and West Hollywood from March to June.

Typically, a suspect would approach the house he was looking for and knock on the front door. If the house appeared to be empty, the rest of the group would enter the house through the back entrance.

During the robberies, the team of thieves ransacked the homes and escaped with a large amount of valuable items, including designer handbags, jewellery, watches and cash.

The crew also used several rented vehicles and “sophisticated techniques to prevent detectives from discovering their identities,” the LAPD said.

The suspects are responsible for more than 30 residential burglaries so far, police said.

On June 27, the trio was caught and arrested during a robbery in Studio City. All three suspects were charged with multiple counts of residential burglary.

A search warrant led to the arrest of a fourth person, Ashely Ellison, 33. Ellison is the girlfriend of a suspect who had allegedly been renting the cars used in the robberies. Investigators also discovered that Ellison had been storing the stolen items at her home on behalf of the gang.

During a search of her home, detectives discovered two stolen firearms, jewelry appraisals, thousands of dollars in cash and additional evidence linking the suspects to the robberies. Ellison was arrested for receiving stolen property.

“Detectives are actively working to identify additional suspects and other potential crimes.
“This group committed a serious crime,” police said. “The case is being prosecuted by the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office.”

Anyone who may be a victim or has additional information about these crimes is asked to call the Los Angeles Police Department’s North Hollywood Robbery Detectives at 818-754-8410. The public can also call the Los Angeles Police Department at 1-877-527-3247.

Anonymous tips can be made to LA Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at lacrimestoppers.org.