Los Angeles: A number of arrests have been made in connection with residential burglaries that occurred recently in the Van Nuys and West Valley areas of the San Fernando Valley.
In June, detectives from the LAPD Commercial Crimes, Division Field Enforcement Element (FEE) learned of the burglaries. Area detectives developed information indicating that gang members from South Los Angeles were committing the crimes.
The suspects' willingness to employ violence became evident on June 27, 2006, when a Van Nuys burglary escalated to robbery/home invasion, during which a 94-year-old blind man was physically assaulted and injured by the burglars.
As part of the investigation, FEE members met with officers from the Southwest Area, Gang Impact Team and learned that gang members were involved in a wide assortment of crimes, including residential burglaries.
On July 5, 2006, their efforts paid off, when an individual under surveillance drove a rental vehicle to the intersection of 38th Street and Gramercy Place, in the Exposition Park area of South
Los Angeles, and was seen placing paper plates over the real license tags. Officers followed the driver as he picked up two other young males in a known gang neighborhood. Detectives followed the suspects from Southwest Los Angeles to the community of Reseda, in West Valley Area. Officers witnessed the suspects select a residence at which no one was home; then two of them went to the rear of the residence. The suspects made entry into the home, but soon exited and fled away when they realized they had been seen by a neighbor.
With the assistance of LAPD patrol units, detectives detained the vehicle. Inside the car were an adult male, two male juveniles, burglar tools and the property taken from the just burglarized home.
Darnell Martin, 23, of Los Angeles, was arrested and charged with one count of residential burglary. The two juveniles, both 17, were taken to Sylmar Juvenile Hall where petitions were filed against them. Investigators are reviewing other burglary cases for probable links to these suspects.
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