Stolen car catches fire near 91 Freeway in Bellflower; 2 suspects arrested

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Monday, April 18, 2016

BELLFLOWER, Calif. (KABC) -- Two men were arrested on suspicion of stealing a car that caught fire along the 91 Freeway in Bellflower Sunday afternoon.

A Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department sergeant with the special enforcement bureau was driving an unmarked department car eastbound on the 91 Freeway near the 605 Freeway when he spotted a burning car along the emergency lane.

When the sergeant stopped to help, he saw two men run from the car, heading east down the emergency lane. One of the men carried a large, nylon carrying sleeve. He looked in the direction of the sergeant and threw the sleeve to the ground, which contained a shotgun that fell out, according to authorities.

The sergeant detained the two men and then arrested the men with the help of Lakewood Station deputies.

Hawaiian Gardens residents Anthony Hernandez, 25, and Danny Cruz, 28, were taken to the Lakewood Station and booked on suspicion of driving a vehicle without owner's consent. Cruz was also booked on suspicion of a convicted felon in possession of a concealed firearm.

Hernandez remains in custody in lieu of $25,000 bail and Cruz has a bail amount of $35,000. Both men are suspected gang members, authorities said.

An unloaded shotgun was recovered at the scene. The burning car, a Honda Civic, was confirmed as a stolen vehicle out of the Norwalk area.

Anyone with information on the incident was asked to call the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Lakewood Station Detective Dumser at (562) 623-3500. Those wishing to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.