Ringleader Arrested in Fashion District Burglary Spree

August 10, 2007

Los Angeles: Twenty-four hours after seizing $50,000 worth of stolen clothing, Los Angeles Police detectives arrested 39-year-old Jose Luis Del Rincon near the same North Hollywood apartment complex where the property had been stored.

Detectives from the Central Police Station received a reliable tip that Rincon, known as " Chuy," had returned this afternoon to the one-bedroom apartment in the 7300 block of Lankershim Boulevard. He had another large load of new clothing he wanted to store at the location.

"Coincidentally, two more large-take break-ins occurred last night in the Fashion District, after business hours," said the head of Central Detectives, Lieutenant Paul Vernon. "Some of the items seized today are similar to the property stolen last night. We think we have our ring leader."

After comparing dozens of recent property crimes, detectives booked Rincon on a charge of car burglary, and they believe they can support additional charges of car stealing and grand theft. Rincon’s bail was set at $20,000.

Detectives seized another $5,000 worth of stolen clothing from among Rincon’s delivery to North Hollywood. Like last night’s stash, today’s items were children’s clothing, T-shirts, and women’s lingerie.

"Arresting Rincon should have an immediate and significant impact on the loss of merchants’ property in the LA Fashion District," Vernon added. "Now the fun comes, bagging and tagging it all, but it will be nice to return most of the items to their rightful owners."

Rincon is only one in a group of three or four men responsible for dozens of thefts over the last ten weeks. Rincon claimed to be homeless, living out of the truck he used to transport his loot. Detectives estimated recent burglaries totaled over $500,000 in stolen merchandise.

Upon hearing the news this morning of last night’s seizure, Kent Smith, executive director of the Los Angeles Fashion District Business Improvement District, expressed his gratitude for the detectives’ hard work, in particular Detective Supervisor ET Gibson and Detective Steve Stranak.

Lieutenant Paul Vernon can be reached at 213-972-1203 on Monday. Over the weekend, make media inquiries to Media Relations Section at 213-485-3586.