Man Killed Over Stolen Aluminum Cans

September 5, 2004

Los Angeles: On Saturday, September 4, 2004, at 8:30 a.m., 65-year-old Sheng Zhang and his wife Lan Zhang, went to the recycling center at 7000 De Soto Avenue in Winnetka to exchange some aluminum cans. Mr. Zheng put the bag of cans on the ground as they waited for the center to open. A suspect, described as a male Hispanic or Caucasian, 30-35 years old, approached them and took the bag of cans. The suspect then took the cans and threw them into the back of his vehicle. As the suspect began to drive away, Mr. Zheng attempted to open the driver’s door to stop the suspect from escaping and to retrieve his property. The suspect drove onto De Soto Avenue with the victim hanging on by the outside driver’s side mirror. The victim held on for a short distance, then fell to the street. The vehicle’s wheels ran over the victim. The suspect did not stop and was last seen northbound on De Soto Avenue from Hart Street.
The victim was transported to Northridge Hospital in critical condition. He died from his injuries at 3:40 p.m. on the same day.
The suspect’s vehicle is described as a 1974 Chevrolet van, white in color, with a luggage rack ladder on the back door. The vehicle has a California license plate number of 1EJL623.
Anyone with information regarding this crime is asked to contact the West Valley Homicide Detectives at 818-756-8591. On weekends and during off-hours, call the 24-hour toll free number at the Detective Information Desk, at 1-877-LAWFULL (1-877-529-3855).
This news release was prepared by the Los Angeles Police Department’s Media Relations Section, 213-485-3586.