Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Huge Stash of Stolen Goods Uncovered Long after Prolific Thief Is ApprehendedLos Angeles: On Feb. 25, 2008, LAPD Burglary Special Section detectives received a map leading to stolen goods buried in the ground near the 118 Freeway at White Oak Avenue. The unearthed treasure may be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars and is yet another chapter in the arrest and conviction of Roberto Caveda.
The Caveda story began when LAPD West Valley patrol officers arrested him leaving the scene of a local burglary in February 2006. A follow-up investigation lead to a North Hollywood storage facility filled with jewelry, coins, tools and fine art. The value of the jewelry was estimated to be approximately $2 million, and the fine art pieces included a Degas painting valued at $10 million. A public showing of the goods identified many residential burglary victims throughout the San Fernando Valley, Glendale and Pasadena.
On Dec. 18, 2007, Caveda was convicted of six felony counts for first-degree residential burglary, nine counts of receiving stolen property and one count of attempted escape…resulting in a sentence of eight to 10 years in state prison.
Recently, the case resurfaced with the discovery of the buried treasure, based on information Caveda relayed through his attorney. To safeguard it, Caveda stuffed it into a plastic pipe and placed it in the ground on a 118 Freeway right-of-way. As before, when detectives sorted through the stolen material, they discovered a lot of jewelry.
Burglary victims from the latest discovery have yet to be identified, but detectives are scheduled to conduct a detailed inventory of the stolen material today. They will then initiate contact with victims of reported burglaries within the time-frame of Caveda’s crimes, and consequently may be able to return at least some of the stolen property to the rightful owners.
Questions may be directed to Detective III Dan Schultz after 2:00 p.m. today, Burglary Special Section, 213-485-2524.