Burglar Arrested after 5-month Crime Spree

October 28, 2010

Los Angeles:  Los Angeles police officers arrested David Wiggins, 51, October 27, 2010, after he broke into the Orchard to Orchard floral shop for the second time since August.

“Wiggins’ arrest ended a five-month crime spree, involving nearly two dozen burglaries,” said Lt. Paul Vernon, commanding officer of Central Detective Division.  “When officers booked Wiggins, they noticed he had chemically treated his hands in an apparent attempt to remove his finger and palm prints.”

The spree began in June with burglaries of five floral shops in the Flower Mart.  Police released video footage depicting a middle-aged Black man with a prominent bald spot and receding hair line.  “All he was interested in was the cash left in store registers,” Lt Vernon explained.  “He seemed to drop off the face of the earth after the June crime spree.  We knew he was still around when video captured him inside the Orchard to Orchard floral shop on August 27.”

Then between October 10 and 21, nine more businesses, some parking-lot kiosks, were broken into for the cash left in the tills.  Surveillance video affirmed the man was the same serial burglar from June and August.  

On October 26, officers received a radio call to investigate a break-in at the same Orchard to Orchard floral shop that had been hit in August.  Video again confirmed the burglar was the same man listed in the information flyer.  He had kicked in the back door, leaving the impression of his tennis shoe.  

Just over four hours later, patrol officers saw Wiggins walking on the sidewalk, wearing tennis shoes, matching the serial burglar’s description, and carrying a back pack.  When they stopped him, they quickly established probable cause to arrest him for the series of burglaries.

David Wiggins was booked for commercial burglary and bail was set at $20,000.   

“Wiggins made me a believer in the adage, ‘the crook always returns to the scene of the crime’,” Lt. Vernon added.

Anyone with information on these crimes is urged to call Detective Mike Mazzacano, Central Burglary Unit, at 213-972-1231.  Anonymous tips can be called into Crimestoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477), or by texting 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S) 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.

The video stills are available from Media Relation and Central Detective Division.