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Southlake party-goers arrested in car burglaries

SOUTHLAKE -- This was no way to party.

Two men who were attending a party are accused of breaking into 13 vehicles early Monday after they excused themselves from the get-together to go to a store.

Police identified the suspects as Christopher Rivera, 30, and Dustin James, 18, both of Forest Hill. They were in the Keller Jail Wednesday afternoon on suspicion of burglary of a motor vehicle.

Police arrested Rivera after a brief pursuit early Monday. James was taken into custody after hiding in a neighborhood for about five hours.

According to police reports, Rivera and James were at a party late Sunday when they asked a woman if they could borrow her car. The report does not indicate where the party was being held.

“They told her that they were just going to the store,” Southlake police Officer Roderick Page said Wednesday afternoon. “She had known them for some time, so she let them have it.”

About 2 a.m. Monday, police found an abandoned car with the windows down in the 1000 block of Turnberry Lane. Officers observed electronic equipment and other items in the car.

Within minutes after searching the neighborhood, police observed two men near a house, Page said. Rivera was arrested within minutes while it took officers five hours to find James.

In and around the neighborhood, police also found that vehicles in streets and driveways had been burglarized. All the vehicles were unlocked, police said.

In at least one case, burglars went in through an unlocked garage and burglarized a vehicle, police said.