Pasadena Police Detectives Take “Guitar Bandit” Off the Streets

Arrested: Enrique Jason Velasco, Male, 38 years old

Published : Tuesday, November 7, 2017 | 2:02 PM

Guitar Bandit

SURVEILLANCE PHOTOGRAPH from LAPD case

On Wednesday, November 1, 2017, Pasadena Police Detectives arrested a man suspected of being the “Guitar Bandit” in Sun Valley, CA. Enrique Velasco, a parolee-at-large and career criminal, was wanted in connection with a string of expensive guitar thefts from guitar stores in Pasadena and the San Fernando Valley. In these cases, Velasco is suspected of brazenly walking out without paying for the guitars and later pawning them for cash.

Detectives from Pasadena PD, LAPD North Hollywood and LAPD Topanga Division had suspected Velasco since September, when the guitar thefts first landed on their radar. With the help of store owners, who exchanged surveillance photos of Velasco and his getaway car with each other and the police, a break in the case came when a camera caught his full license plate number. The license plate came back to an acquaintance of Velasco’s in North Hollywood.

Pasadena PD Detective Victor Cass, along with his partner, Detective Kourtney Zilbert, took the initiative in writing two search warrants and leading a team of Detectives from Pasadena PD in the search for Velasco. They hit locations in North Hollywood and a motel in Sun Valley, where they took Velasco and a female accomplice into custody. A cache of evidence was recovered, including a guitar, drugs, and money.

Detective Cass put the cases together, including the two from LAPD, and on Friday, November 3, 2017, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office filed six felony counts against Velasco, including Grand Theft, Identity Theft, and Identity Theft w/ “Ten or more Victims.” Velasco’s bail has been set at $120,000.00.

Anyone with information about this case is encouraged to call Pasadena Police at (626)- 744-4241 or you may report information anonymously by calling “Crime Stoppers” by dialing (800) 222-TIPS (8477), use your smartphone by downloading the “P3 Tips” Mobile APP on Google play or the Apple App Store or by using the website http://lacrimestoppers.org.

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