Los Angeles: Two LAPD patrol officers, answering a radio call about a car burglary in Panorama early Saturday morning, realized they had a double murder suspect in their grasp. Detectives issued a want on Edwin Lugo earlier in the week after serving three search warrants on July 24th in connection with a double homicide on June 2, 2012.
Lugo, 19, is suspected of killing two men in a Panorama City apartment on June 2, 2012.
“We served search warrants at Lugo’s mother’s home, his father’s home, and the home of a female acquaintance,” said Lt. Paul Vernon, who heads up detectives at LAPD’s Mission Detective Division. “We found some evidence and the girlfriend, whom we arrested for an unrelated charge of intimidating a witness.”
As a result of the search warrants, detectives developed information that pointed to Lugo as a principle in the shooting deaths of 35-year-old Mario Martinez and 26-year-old Jaime Polino, whose bodies were found inside Martinez’s Brimfield Avenue apartment.
Lugo was detained with another man around 2:40 a.m. on Saturday morning after police received a report of two suspicious men lurking around a black car. “The two officers didn’t find the black car, but noticed two men making furtive movements in a white car,” Lt. Vernon explained. The officers detained the men and realized they had a very important suspect.
Lugo was booked for murder at the Van Nuys jail and his bail was set at $1 million.
This arrest highlights the results of heads-up police work by some very astute patrol officers. The officers who were briefed on the information about the double homicide quickly realized that the would-be burglar was in-fact, a prime suspect wanted in connection with the heinous murders last month.
Anyone with information on this crime is urged to call Detective Ryan Verna, Mission Homicide Unit, at 818-838-9976. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (1-877-527-3247). Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477). Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone. All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.” Tipsters may also go to www.lapdonline.org, and click on "Anonymous Web Tips.”