By Edwin Folven, 8/09/2012
Two suspects are detained by WeHo sheriff’s deputy
Two suspects who allegedly burglarized five vehicles in Hollywood on Aug. 3 were arrested shortly after by a sheriff’s deputy who recognized them as they drove down Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood.
The suspects, Heathcliff Reyes and Terrell Whitehead, both 21 years old, were taken into custody around 12:30 a.m. in the 7300 block of Santa Monica Blvd. Lt. Lawrence Del Mese, with the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station, said the Los Angeles Police Department had broadcast information about the burglaries and a possible getaway vehicle. Both men were later handed over to officers at the LAPD’s Hollywood Division, and were booked for felony receiving stolen property. Del Mese said one of the suspects still had shards of glass on his clothing when they were pulled over, allegedly from a broken window on one of the vehicles that was burglarized.
“They were probably coming here to commit more burglaries,” Del Mese said. “He stopped them for a traffic violation and through the course of the investigation, realized these were the guys wanted for the burglaries in Hollywood.”
Lt. Marc Reina, with the LAPD’s Hollywood Division, said the vehicle burglaries occurred near the corner of Hawthorn Avenue and Orange Drive, just south of Hollywood Boulevard. Reina said the suspects smashed windows and stole items that were left in plain sight.
“This is a crime of opportunity,” Reina said. “We encourage people not to leave anything — from iPads to cellphones to jewelry and backpacks — in plain sight. They are taking anything that they can sell on the streets.”
Hollywood has experienced an increase in vehicle burglaries in 2012, with 992 break-ins reported through the beginning of August. Reina said the total for the same period last year was 832.
“Probably half of the victims in Hollywood are not Hollywood residents, and are not aware of the potential for a burglary,” Reina said. “Most of the time, they just break a window and take an item off the seat.”
Detectives are investigating whether Reyes and Whitehead are linked to any other vehicle burglaries in the area. Del Mese said there has been a similar increase in auto burglaries in West Hollywood, primarily from vehicles in underground parking structures.
“We think there may be a nexus between that group and the number of burglaries over the last month,” he added. “It’s something we are looking into.”