Making Your Luck Catching a Thief

January 31, 2008

Los Angeles: Two Los Angeles police officers arrested two men yesterday who are suspected in a spree of burglaries since last August. The burglars had been breaking into apartments at the Orsini, located at 550 N. Figueroa in China Town.

Senior Lead Officers Ken Lew and Tim Nambu went to the apartments on January 30, 2008, to inspect the security systems there and determine how one or more suspects were getting into the building.

Nine different apartments had been broken into since last August, six in the Orsini I building, and three more in the Orsini II, across the street. The last burglary had occurred earlier that day, before the officers arrived.

“While we were looking things over, we heard a car crash outside,” said Officer Ken Lew, who is one of two Senior Lead Officers in China Town. “When Tim and I went to help at the accident, we noticed all this furniture in one car. It looked odd, and resembled the same stuff taken from the apartments.”

Lew and Nambu detained two men, Art Artanesyan, 22, and Joshua Carrillo, 30, at the scene. The officers verified the furniture had come from the Orsini burglary, then they realized Artanesyan actually lived in the Orsini. Carrillo was his friend and lives in El Monte.

“Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good,” said Lieutenant Paul Vernon, head of the Central Detective Division. “But in this case, Officers Lew and Nambu made their luck by doing their job and being in the right place at the right time.”

Detectives found dozens of stolen furnishings taken from model apartments in the Orsini. “Apparently, the suspects were ‘wannabe’ room designers, furnishing their own apartment with other persons’ lamps and sofas,” Vernon said.

Detectives encourage all property owners to invest in high-resolution security cameras, which are becoming less expensive and higher quality every day. While the Orsini had several cameras on the exterior, the suspects were able to act unseen because they had legitimate access to the building.

Artanesyan and Carrillo were booked for residential burglary. Their bail was set at $50,000. Detectives will work at returning the stolen items to their rightful owners.

Anyone with information related to this burglary spree should call Detective Hyung Cho at 213-972-1230, or call the LAPD Hotline any time at 1-877-LAWFULL (529-3855).

Photographs of some of the stolen furnishings are available from Media Relations Section.