By Edwin Folven, 4/19/2012
Auto Burglary Suspect Targeted Vehicles in Hollywood, Wilshire Areas
If your vehicle was recently burglarized in the Hollywood or Wilshire areas and cameras, computer equipment, iPods, cell phones, stereos or jewelry was stolen, authorities in Hollywood may have your property.
Police held a press conference outside the Los Angeles Police Department’s Hollywood Division Wednesday and displayed dozens of items recovered at the residence of an auto burglary suspect who was arrested on April 17. The suspect, Sean Ray, 35, was taken into custody at his apartment in the 100 block of S. Virgil Avenue and has since been booked for receiving stolen property. Police have linked Ray to nine alleged auto break-ins, but believe he is responsible for a rash of car burglaries in the Hollywood, Wilshire Divisions, as well as in North Hollywood and Burbank. Authorities are hoping victims of the burglaries will come forward and identify the property.
“You have to think, ‘why would he have all this stuff?’” LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith said. “He could have started his own Samy’s Cameras, it looks like.”
Det. James Hayes, of the LAPD’s Hollywood Division, said police received assistance from the public in capturing Ray. He was identified through surveillance camera footage of a vehicle burglary on April 10 in the 900 block of Seward Avenue in Hollywood. The victim, who worked at a nearby production studio, reviewed surveillance footage on his own, and distributed the footage to his friends. On April 15, one of the victim’s friends saw an individual who looked like the suspect in the surveillance camera footage driving a Mercedes, and followed the driver to the corner of Las Palmas Avenue and Romaine Street. The witness saw the driver get out of his car with a crowbar in his hand and approach a parked Porsche. The suspect fled without breaking into the Porsche, apparently because he was startled, but the witness recorded the man’s license plate number and reported it to police. Investigators with the Hollywood Division learned the Mercedes had been rented by Ray, and served a search warrant at his residence on April 17. They found more than $24,000 in cash, as well as dozens of cameras, laptop and tablet computers, stereos, cell phones, jewelry, watches and electronic devices. Ray, who has previously twice served prison time for theft, auto burglary and grand theft auto, remains in custody. Hayes said he did not know when Ray was last released from prison, but the burglaries date back to May, 2010.
Police are asking anyone who believes they may have been a victim, or may be able to identify their property, to contact Offier Michael Klee, of the Hollywood Division, at (213)972-2947.