Los Angeles: On January 2, 2002, Del Amo Chemical Company, located in the Southeast Area of Los Angeles, was the victim of a commercial burglary. The company’s flatbed utility truck was stolen from the location with five containers of "nitric acid" on board. The "nitric acid" was purported to be a possible highly explosive substance when mixed with other chemicals. A statewide law enforcement alert and large-scale news media blitz was broadcast due to the possible terrorist threat. A concerned East Los Angeles community member notified authorities of possible sighting at 422 Ferris Avenue. This was the residence of 33-year old David Allen Gonzales. Gonzales was a prime suspect in the burglary but was not charged due to a lack of admissible evidence.
Burglary Auto Theft Detectives responded and identified and recovered the flatbed truck and "nitric acid" containers. A subsequent five-month investigation led the detectives to the cities of Hacienda Heights, Diamond Bar, Chino, and eventually back to East Los Angeles where on June 8, 2002, a search warrant was served on Gonzales’ residence. Numerous stolen items were recovered from the property of Gonzales revealing his ongoing crime spree. The detectives have linked the stolen property to at least five commercial burglaries spanning four Southern California Counties.
On June 18, 2002, at approximately 7:30 a.m., Gonzales was taken into custody for burglary charges and was booked at LAPD Jail Division without bail, due to his parole status. Although Gonzales is suspected of being a career burglar, he does not appear to be linked to any terrorist activity.
This press release was prepared by Public Information Officer Jason Lee, Media Relations Section, 213-485-3586.