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News Release

Monday, February 18, 2013

Media Relations

Detectives Return Champ’s Belts, Taken in Burglary NR13051pv

Mission Hill: Fingerprints left on a mirror in the burglarized home of boxing champion Jennifer “The Razor” Barber were the knockout punch that clinched it for detectives in the case of the missing championship belts.

“The smile on Jennifer’s face says it all,” said Det. William Cooper, who investigated the burglary.  “We were glad we were able to get her back her belts.”

The two belts were found inside the home of convicted burglar, 20-year-old Jose Pedraza, who had just finished serving time in county jail for two other local burglaries.  Pedraza has been transferred from jail to ICE custody, pending an uncontested deportation to Mexico.

“When the print report came in, we had to act fast,” Det. Cooper explained.  “Unlike the other burglaries, Pedraza was not copping out to this one, and it seemed like he was in a hurry to get out of the country, like he was trying to avoid something.”

Det. Cooper got an arrest warrant for Pedraza, based on the positive print identification, which was the only way to stop the deportation.  Then detectives went to Pedraza’s home in Sylmar and conducted a probation search.

“After I interviewed Pedraza, my gut told me he seemed like a guy that might hold onto the belts, rather than hawk them,” Cooper said.

Detectives found both belts at the bottom of a clothes hamper in Pedraza’s home.  Unfortunately, detectives were not able to find Barber and her husband’s wedding rings, which had also been taken in the March 20, 2012 break-in.

Pedraza’s deportation has been delayed as he faces this latest count of burglary, his third in one year.  Interestingly, Pedraza was also made by his prints on the two earlier burglaries, also committed in Mission Hills, dating back to December 2011.  When detectives caught up to him for those two cases, he was working off community service at the Mission Police Station for a DUI conviction.

Anyone with information on this crime is urged to call Detective William Cooper, Mission Burglary Unit, at 818-838-9866.  Anonymous tips can be called into Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477), or by texting 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone.  All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.”  Online tips may be placed at www.LAPDOnline.org, click on “webtips” and follow the prompts.

Jennifer Barber is available for comment to media on this release.  Please call LAPD Media Relations to obtain contact number.