“Punch Crew” Burglars Arrested NR24131ma

April 23, 2024

North Hollywood: From March 2023 through June 2023, North Hollywood Division experienced several commercial burglaries targeted towards smaller, often family-owned, independent restaurants. Many of these restaurants were focused on Asian and Eastern food. North Hollywood Detectives coined the suspects the “Punch Crew” for their use of a sharp punch tool to break the glass of the door or window before entering the business establishment. Once in the business, the suspects removed cash registers, currency, and electronic tablets. By June 2023, North Hollywood Detectives discovered the “Punch Crew” had burglarized approximately 131 businesses throughout Los Angeles County, causing significant financial losses and damage to these businesses.

On multiple dates from March of 2023 to June of 2023, three suspects, later identified as 19-year-old Jacob Pugh of Lawndale, 25-year-old Kewon Stevenson of Los Angeles, and a juvenile suspect, were identified in this string of commercial burglaries at closed businesses throughout the San Fernando Valley and neighboring cities. The defendants utilized multiple vehicles identified by investigators throughout this time, rented from different companies, both general car rental companies and peer-to-peer car-sharing platforms. From records obtained through search warrants, the suspects had a consistent pattern of burglarizing several ethnic restaurants at a time in one area before moving to another part of the City. In the burglaries identified by investigators, the defendants have stolen approximately $80,000 from the various victims and caused roughly $160,000 in damage to the various establishments. In recent weeks, investigators were able to locate sufficient evidence and submit the case to the District Attorney’s office for filing.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office – (Organized Crimes Division) filed 19 counts of 459 PC – Commercial Burglary against Pugh and Stevenson; both were given a bail of $975,000. The suspects were ordered out of custody from North County Correctional Facility, where they are being held on an unrelated case, and were arraigned on this case in Van Nuys Courthouse, Dept. 100 (case no. 24VWCF00755). Investigators are still working with the Juvenile DA’s office regarding the filing status of the third known subject. Pugh’s booking number is 6693940. Stevenson’s booking number is 6693969.