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Three Escondido residents were arrested yesterday (October 9) in connection with a string of “smash-and-grab” robberies taking place at the trailhead of the Monserate Mountain Preserve in Fallbrook between September 19 and October 4.

Bryan Hedden, age 46, Tina Vaught, age 42, and 21-year-old Meghan Moreno are facing charges related to a host of robberies in which a victim’s car window was smashed in and purses, wallets, credit cards and checks were stolen from hikers along the trail system beginning at Stewart Canyon and Panky Road. After the break-ins, the thieves would head to local supermarkets or department stores, purchasing food, clothing, and computers with the stolen cards and checkbooks.

Hedden and Vaught were eventually caught attempting to cash a payroll check stolen from one of their alleged victims, and a search warrant served on Moreno linked her to the burglary string as well.

All three face charges of vehicle burglary, forgery, commercial burglary, possession of stolen property, identity theft and conspiracy. Hedden and Vaught are also charged with additional burglary charges related to a recent San Marcos break-in.

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