TOPANGA, Calif. -- Sean Harrington has been surfing in Topanga for 40 years, but last week, he experienced something that's never happened to him before - and it didn't happen out in the water.
"Parking my car in my usual spot and I hid my key in my usual spot. I've been doing it for years," he said. "My buddy put his key in the back of my car as well. We got back from surfing and I noticed my key was not there. My car was locked. I was able to borrow a phone and call my wife to bring a spare key not knowing I had been robbed."
Harrington and his friend had their cellphones and wallets stolen and the keys were nowhere to be found.
When they went to the Lost Hills Sheriff Station, they ran into two other surfers from the Topanga break who had the same thing happen to them.
"It's beautiful here and I've lost a lot of my photographs of my kids, my IDs, all my other cards. It rattled me," said Harrington.
He said he believes he was targeted because the suspects knew he would be in the water for a few hours.
Once he left his car to head to the water, they got inside and then rushed to as many stores as possible to spend as much money as they could before the cards were cancelled.
The suspects went to Beverly Hills and some charges were denied, but $37,000 was spent at Cartier, while thousands of dollars were spent at an Apple store. Plus, somehow some cash was able to be transferred.
Harrington's friend's credit card was used to purchase $40,000 worth of merchandise at The Grove.
"Nordstrom would not let them process the credit card, while Cartier processed my second credit card after the first card was declined at Cartier," said Harrington. "So, I'm a little frustrated that Cartier would allow that to happen, especially on a large purchase with someone who didn't look like me."
Surfer Jessica Monty told our sister station ABC7 in Los Angeles this happens to surfers all the time and her trick is paying extra to have a valet key made that she can have on her while out in the water.
"I use a Toyota with a valet key, so with an alarm and a valet key that I wrap around my neck, they can't break in my car unless they break the window," said Monty.
Anyone with information is urged to contact police.
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