Friday, November 16, 2012
A Study in How to Get Caught NR12520pvLos Angeles: Los Angeles Police Department Mission Detectives have identified Miguel Luna, 25, as the man who kicked in the front door of a home on Sharp Avenue in Arleta around noon on November 13, 2012. Police have released his photo, which was retrieved from an IPad left in Luna’s car at the crime scene, in the hopes that someone will alert police to Luna’s whereabouts.
“It’s often said in forensics that we always leave a little bit of ourselves behind anywhere we’ve been,” said Lt. Paul Vernon, Commanding Officer of Mission Detective Division. “But this guy must have set some record on the variety and amount of evidence he left.”
Luna chose this house despite the several signs posted, warning the premise is under camera surveillance. He kicked in the door of the home near high noon, leaving his footprint below the door knob. He began ransacking a bedroom, not realizing the owner was asleep in another room. When the owner confronted the burglar, Luna begged him not to call police then walked to his car, parked in the resident’s driveway. Luna couldn’t start the car, so we walked back into the home and begged the owner again not to call police, and claimed that he was a friend of the owner’s daughter.
The owner finally chased him out of the home, picked up a hoe from the yard, and hit Luna over the head. The owner’s wife called police while Luna lay unconscious for a short time, but he revived and walked away, leaving his car in the driveway, full of electronic items, probably stolen from other homes.
Detectives were in the neighborhood and arrived quickly, but Luna was able to duck away. “It was a treasure trove of evidence,” Lt. Vernon explained about the 1989 Honda. Detectives found several IPads and one with Luna’s pictures on it. They also found a traffic citation from the day before with Luna’s name on it.
“This crime scene was really a study in how to get caught,” Lt. Vernon explained. Every manner of evidence was present: video surveillance, blood DNA from the hoe, pictures on the IPad, footprint on the door, a traffic citation with signature, a car, finger prints, and eyewitness identification.
“This burglary is typical of drug addicts who are willing to do just about anything to get that next fix,” Lt. Vernon said. “Imagine how many crimes just one crook like this can do in a day; that’s why it’s so important they serve as much of their jail sentences as possible.”
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 Crimestoppers 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.