A Cathedral City man pleaded guilty Tuesday to a string of break-ins at apartment complex laundry rooms in Palm Springs and Cathedral City, where he stole thousands of dollars in quarters from machines.
Brian Ramirez, 28, admitted multiple counts of burglary and vandalism for breaking into laundry rooms at the Palm Springs Villas and San Jacinto Village Apartments in September, as well as a Cathedral City apartment complex in October. A judge ruled that Ramirez will have to complete a substance abuse treatment program while in county jail awaiting his June 27 sentencing date.
Ramirez's crime spree began in the early morning hours Sept. 6, when he broke into machines at both Palm Springs apartment complexes, netting about $3,000 in quarters. He struck again at the Palm Springs Villas two weeks later, getting around $400 that time. He also caused $9,000 in damage to the machines in four separate burglaries, according to an arrest warrant declaration that says police identified him through fingerprints gathered at the crime scenes.
Ramirez ended up in custody a few weeks later for a similar break-in at a Cathedral City apartment complex in the 68600 block of Corral Road, where police said he used a crowbar to force open several coin-operated laundry machines on Oct. 12. According to Cathedral City Cmdr. Julio Luna, Ramirez admitted previously burglarizing that apartment complex.
Ramirez barricaded himself inside the laundry room after police were alerted to the burglary. Officers forceed the door open and arrested him, Luna said.
In addition to burglary, Ramirez was also charged with misdemeanor counts of possession of burglary tools and contributing to the delinquency of a minor for using an underage girl as a lookout.
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