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Los Angeles: Police arrested the man, dubbed the Red-car Flasher, on Friday, March 29, 2013, after obtaining an arrest warrant for indecent exposure, child annoying, lewd conduct, and sexual battery. Officers booked 24-year-old Luis Bucio-Cedeno for 19 criminal counts against 11 victims. His bail was set at $110,000, but a no-bail federal immigration hold was obtained due to Bucio-Cedeno’s immigration status.
“This was truly a team effort among detectives and police officers across three San Fernando Valley police divisions,” said Lt. Paul Vernon, commanding officer of the Mission Detective Division. “After two years, dozens of sightings, several composite sketches, we got a break in February when a female jogger wrote down a license plate for the van of a man who had exposed himself to her.”
During that same exposure incident, a red Toyota was parked in front of the van. The victim remembered seeing the Toyota’s driver speaking to the van’s driver, but when the van left, she was astounded to see the Toyota’s driver also expose himself to her.
The van’s license plate set detectives on a trail that led to identifying several other cars, one of which was registered to Bucio-Cedeno in North Hills. Eleven separate exposure victims identified Bucio-Cedeno from photo line-ups.
“We followed Bucio-Cedeno for a couple weeks, hoping to corroborate the identifications by catching him in the red car, but he never drove one,” Lt. Vernon explained. “We decided we had enough for a warrant so detectives presented the case to the City Attorney’s office and got a warrant.”
Police officers went to Bucio-Cedeno’s house Friday evening and used a ruse to get residents to come outside. When Bucio-Cedeno walked out, he was arrested. It was a Bucio-Cedeno’s aunt who unraveled the mystery of the missing red car: She indeed has owned a red Camry. Her nephew had borrowed it from her for several months in the past, but she had recently sold it to someone in Santa Clarita.
“We’re sure now that Bucio-Cedeno is our Red-car Flasher,” Lt. Vernon added. “We think he’s responsible for far more cases than we’ve been able to make, and what’s worse, this case has shown us there are many more of these types of suspects than we ever realized.”
Anyone with information on this crime is urged to call LAPD Mission Detectives, at 818-838-9975. Anonymous tips can be called into Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477), or by texting 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) 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.