Officers booked 24-year-old Luis Bucio-Cedeno for 19 criminal counts against 11 victims after obtaining an arrest warrant for indecent exposure, child annoying, lewd conduct, and sexual battery.
"This was truly a team effort among detectives and police officers across three San Fernando Valley police divisions," Lt. Paul Vernon, commanding officer of the Mission Detective Division, said in a statement.
Vernon said it took two years to track down a suspect. Police got their break in the case in February when a female jogger was flashed twice by two different people in two different cars. The first flasher was driving a van, and the jogger was able to jot down the van's license plate. The second flasher was in a red Toyota that was parked in front of the van. According to police, the driver of the Toyota briefly spoke to the driver in the van before they too exposed themselves to the jogger.
The license plate helped put police on the suspect's trail, leading them to identify several other cars, one of which was registered to Bucio-Cedeno in North Hills.
Vernon said after following Bucio-Cedeno for about two weeks, they had enough information to make an arrest. Bucio-Cedeno was arrested Friday after police showed up at his house and used a ruse to get everyone inside to come out.
As far as the red Toyota goes, Bucio-Cedeno's aunt said she had a red Camry that she let her nephew borrow for several months before she recently sold it to someone in Santa Clarita.
Many other incidents with the Red Car Flasher had been reported near schools in the Panorama City and Arleta area, and police say 11 separate exposure victims identified Bucio-Cedeno from photo line-ups.
"We're sure now that Bucio-Cedeno is our Red Car Flasher," Vernon said. "We think he's responsible for far more cases than we've been able to make, and what's worse, this case has shown us there are many more of these types of suspects than we ever realized."
Bucio-Cedeno's bail was set at $110,000, but a no-bail federal immigration hold was obtained due to his immigration status.
Anyone with information on these crimes is urged to call LAPD Mission Detectives at (818) 838-9975.