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Glendale PD Catches Strawberry Bandit

Don’t steal fresh fruits or litter folks; in Glendale, it will just lead to your arrest.

On May 1, 2018, Glendale Police Officers responded to the 3100 block of Emerald Isle Drive in regards to a catering van that was broken into overnight. An investigation into the break-in revealed the suspect had stolen fresh strawberries from the catering truck. The officers checked the area and found strawberry stems which were discarded by the suspect after eating. The stems were collected as evidence and submitted for DNA testing at the Verdugo Regional Crime located at the Glendale Police Department.

The suspect’s DNA was successfully collected from the stems and resulted in a match to Michael Ramirez Arriaga. Mr. Arriaga’s DNA was collected in 2017 involving an arrest for possession of brass knuckles.

A surveillance camera in the area showed the suspect had also entered the yard of a neighboring home. It was quickly discovered that the suspect had made entry into the neighbor’s home and stolen a wallet.

On October 10, 2018, detectives from the Glendale Police Burglary Detail served a search warrant at Mr. Arriaga’s home in Los Angeles. During the search, detectives located multiple items believed to have been stolen from several different burglaries. Detectives have been able to link the stolen merchandise to two burglaries in Los Angeles and one additional burglary in Glendale in which Arriaga stole a car after taking the keys from inside the home.

Mr. Arriaga was arrested for burglary of an occupied residential home.


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