Police have busted a four-man crime ring in Los Angeles who had, for three years, been targeting the homes of Los Angeles Times subscribers while they were on vacation.

Police claim vacationing Los Angelenos were preyed upon by some criminals with an original idea and that can-do spirit. The alleged ringleader, 51-year-old Duane Van Tuinen, was contracted to repair equipment at a distributor of the Los Angeles Times. But police say he was also stealing lists of newspaper subscribers who'd requested their deliveries be held while they were on vacation, as a side project. Armed with the stolen lists, police believe three other men hit the homes, stealing $1 million worth of personal belongings over three years.

The Times insists none of its subscribers' financial information was compromised and tells CNN it will no longer share vacation information with distributors.

"Our customers can rest assured that no financial information was involved and that these robberies, while terribly unfortunate, are likely limited to a small section of the vast area we cover," Director of Communications Hillary Manning said in a statement.

Most of the stolen property has been recovered and been returned to its owners.

[Image via AP]