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News Release

Thursday, March 13, 2003

Media Relations

Brutal Home Invasion Case Solved by LAPD Detectives and Results in Arrest

"Brutal Home Invasion Case Solved by LAPD Detectives and Results in Arrest of Suspects"


What: Press Conference to Announce Arrest of Home Invasion Suspects

Who: LAPD Chief of Police William J. Bratton and Other LAPD Personnel

When: Thursday, March 13, 2003, at 2:00p.m.

Where: Parker Center (In Front) 150 North Los Angeles Street,
Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles: On Monday, March 10, 2003, at approximately 8:00 A.M., detectives from Robbery Homicide Division arrested six suspects responsible for committing a series of brutal home invasion robberies in the Van Nuys and North Hollywood Areas.

These suspects are believed to be responsible for a string of violent home invasion robberies since January 2, 2003. The suspects worked as a team posing as police officers, utilizing police type gear and equipment, including hand held radios. They targeted Armenians and pretended to have search warrants. While at the locations, they forced their way into the residences, while holding the victims at gunpoint. The suspects ransacked the premises and stole cash and jewelry. In many cases, they savagely beat the victims.

During the course of the investigation, RHD developed information that resulted in them identifying one of the suspects. On March 6th, RHD requested detectives from Detective Services Group to follow this suspect with the hope that he would lead them to the other suspects. He did. On March 7th, RHD developed information that the suspects were planning another home invasion robbery. The decision was made to arrest the suspects before they committed another violent crime, endangering the lives of other innocent victims. Six suspects were taken into custody.

At the time of their arrest, the suspects were dressed as detectives, wearing police badges, handcuffs and carrying handheld radios. They were all armed with handguns. A seventh suspect was later arrested.

All the arrestees are from El Salvador and Guatemala. The arrestees were booked at Jail Division for 212.5(a) PC-Robbery, with enhancements.

The seven arrestees were identified as follows:

Name, Booking#, Bail Amount:

  1. Orellana, Narciso Mejia, 7617237, $490,000
  2. Ruiz, Manuel, 7617157, $350,000
  3. Hernandez, Raul, 7617161, $360,000
  4. Gutierrez, Alberto, 7617210, $310,000
  5. Abarca, Pablo, 7617208, $260,000
  6. Palacios, Anibal, 7617277, $260,000
  7. Hernandez, Santiago, 7617294, $260,000

This release was prepared by Public Information Officer Grace Brady, Media Relations Section, 213-485-3586.