Wanted Burglary Suspect in Custody

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Crime Jail

After a month long investigation, Long Beach Police Burglary detectives arrested a subject this week wanted in connection with several residential burglaries that occurred in Long Beach over the past several months.

In December of 2013, two separate residential burglaries occurred in the 4300 and 4500 blocks of Bellflower Boulevard, where the victims were home at the time. The victims described the suspect as an older male Hispanic with a ponytail, and wearing a blue work type uniform shirt. One of the victims described the suspect vehicle as an older model green Honda.

Using this description, along with forensic evidence collected from a third burglary that occurred in October of 2013 in the 4600 block of Bellflower Boulevard, helped detectives identify 53-year-old Epifanio Gonzalez of Long Beach, as a possible suspect. They also identified Gonzalez’s employer, and learned that the company’s employees wore blue work uniforms, similar to the ones described by the victims. Investigators also determined the suspect drove an older model green Honda.

On Tuesday, March 18, 2014, Suspect Gonzalez was arrested near Pacific Coast Highway and Cherry Avenue, and loss believed to be taken in the burglaries was recovered from his vehicle. Gonzalez was booked for residential burglary and is currently being held at the Long Beach City Jail, pending his arraignment.

This morning, the case was presented to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, and four counts of residential burglary were filed, along with an enhancement, due to residents being home at the time of two of the burglaries.

Anyone with information regarding these burglaries is asked to contact Long Beach Police Burglary Detective Jennifer Valenzuela at (562) 570-7351. Anonymous tips may be submitted by calling 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), texting TIPLA plus your tip to CRIMES (274637), or visiting www.lacrimestoppers.org.

Prevention Information

Below are burglary prevention tips we encourage the community to practice, which may reduce the chances of your home from being targeted:

  • Keep your doors and windows locked at all times.
  • Meet your neighbors, which makes it easier to recognize a person that doesn’t belong; neighbors that communicate are more likely to look out for one another.
  • Report loiterers – loitering is often a precursor activity for burglars, enabling them to case the area.
  • Immediately report suspicious activity by calling 9-1-1, and be sure to get a good description of any subjects or vehicles.
  • Keeps shrubbery trimmed down around your home to prevent hiding places.
  • Keep any gates to backyards locked at all times.
  • Request a free “vacation check” by contacting the Senior Police Partner volunteers at (562) 570-7212.
  • Be sure your house number is visible from the street so Police or emergency personnel can locate your residence quickly.
  • Keep porch lights on at night – this makes any suspicious persons visible, as well as your house number.
  • When away for extended periods, make sure your home has the “lived in” look – have lights on timers, ask a neighbor to park in your driveway, make arrangements for newspapers, mail, and fliers that may accumulate.
  • Install motion sensor lighting around your property, including on garages that may face alleyways.
  • Keep garage doors closed and locked at all times; open doors allow potential suspects to take inventory of the contents of your garage.

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