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LA-area serial car burglary suspect arrested

January 3, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
A man suspected of several Los Angeles-area car burglaries has been arrested.

Police say they found everything from jewelry, electronics, clothing and even brass knuckles in Frank Chibbaro's 2007 Mercedes Benz when he was arrested Jan. 1.

Chibbaro, 38, of North Hollywood, has a history of burglarizing cars, police say. According to Rampart station detectives, Chibbaro began breaking into cars soon after he was released from prison in November 2011. Detectives say he's served time for past car burglaries.

According to detectives, Chibbaro would look for cars to break into in subterranean parking garages.

"He would walk up to locations where surveillance cameras were posted and he would spray out the lenses of the camera so that he could do his crime," said LAPD Lt. Joe Losorelli.

A security guard who police say spotted Chibbaro breaking into a car at an apartment complex near Downtown L.A. didn't want to speak to the media about what happened. But Losorelli said Chibbaro took off when he saw police cruisers approaching him before his arrest. After a five hour search, a police dog found Chibbaro hiding in a storage unit in an underground parking garage a few blocks away. Chibbaro left his Mercedes behind, parked at the apartment complex.

Residents say they are relieved that police have made an arrest.

"Personally, someone was parked in my spot one time and their car was broken into, the window was broken, and seeing something like that was pretty disturbing as a resident living in the area, so when you hear about someone getting caught you feel better but you still don't know if there will be a problem," said Cyrus Shahriari.

Police believe Chibbaro is linked to at least six car burglaries in the Rampart area and two in the San Fernando Valley. Detectives say there could be as many as 30 to 40 victims.