Police Arrest Special Needs Bike Bandit

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Since January 23, 2016, Burbank Police Department Detectives have been investigating the theft of a specially designed three-wheel “Berkel” brand bicycle, which was stolen from a secured subterranean garage in the 4500 block of Clybourn Avenue. The bike, which belonged to a special needs child, was valued at about $5300.

BWP Drought

On January 27, the Burbank Police Department, along with the fervor of the local TV, radio, print and online media, made a public appeal for assistance in locating the bicycle and the person who stole it.

The very next day, Burbank Police Detectives received a call from a citizen who’d seen the media coverage. The citizen saw the bike on the side the road in Silverlake, picked it up and notified Burbank Police. The bike was returned to the family a few hours later!

Burbank Police Forensic Specialists lifted evidence from the recovered bicycle, leading detectives to Carlos Andres Lopez, a 47 year-old Los Angeles resident.

Detectives learned Lopez was on probation, and being supervised by the LA County Probation Department, per “AB 109,” California’s Public Safety Realignment Act. Lopez was arrested by Burbank Police Detectives on February 17, at a scheduled meeting with his probation officer.

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Lopez was booked into the Burbank City Jail for burglary and grand theft. He is also being held on an “AB 109 Probation Flash Hold,” thus he has no bail. Lopez is due to appear in the Burbank Branch of the Los Angeles Superior Court on Friday morning.

A check of Lopez’ criminal history reveals he has 25 prior felony arrests and 10 prior felony convictions, some of which resulted in state prison sentences. Those convictions include possession of a firearm, burglary, sales of drugs, vehicle theft and receiving stolen property.

Lopez admitted to stealing the bicycle and to stealing a sewing machine from the bed of a pickup truck in the same parking garage. Lopez said he was planning to sell the bike, but after hearing about and seeing the media coverage, he knew he wouldn’t be able to sell it, so he decided to “dump it.”