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Paul Walker crash: Men accused of stealing Porsche rooftop charged

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Two men accused of stealing part of the wrecked Porsche in which "Fast and Furious" actor Paul Walker died have been charged with felony grand theft, prosecutors announced Monday.

Jameson Witty, 18, and Anthony Janow, 25, each face one felony count of grand theft of personal property, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office said. They each also face misdemeanor counts of destroying evidence and resisting, obstructing and delaying a peace officer.

Janow was expected to surrender to authorities Tuesday at the L.A. County courthouse in San Fernando, prosecutors said. Witty was arrested last week and released from custody after posting $20,000 bail.

If convicted of the charges, the men each face a maximum sentence of four years and six months in county jail, prosecutors said.

Authorities allege that on the night of Nov. 30, the pair stole a roof panel from a tow truck carrying the destroyed Porsche Carrera GT away from the Valencia crash site.

Witty and Janow took the panel after a sheriff's deputy told them they couldn't take any vehicle parts, prosecutors alleged.

The tow truck driver -- who had been stopped at a red light when the theft occurred -- reported it to authorities, officials said. Search warrants were served, and investigators found some of the parts at a home in Canyon Country.

A photo posted to an Instagram account for @jamesonwhitty showed what the user claimed to be a piece of the Porsche from the crash: “Piece of Paul walkers car, took it off a tow truck at a stop light…#paulwalker” #rip #comeup.”

A second message posted on the same account offered an apology, in which the car enthusiast said he took the roof to make a memorial out of it.

“Paul was a childhood idol to me and many. At the time I was not thinking about the consequences it could have, I never wanted it to be like this I wasn’t going to sell the piece to make a profit,” the message reads. “Nobody in this world is perfect, we all make mistakes. Some bigger than others.”

Los Angeles County sheriff's officials said they were aware of photos posted online but would not confirm whether they belonged to the two suspects.

Walker, 40, died Nov. 30 from a combination of traumatic injuries and burns after the Porsche crashed into a light pole in Santa Clarita and erupted in flames, the county coroner's office reported last week.

Roger Rodas, 38, Walker's financial advisor and friend, was behind the wheel of the high-performance 2005 Porsche when it crashed. He was killed by the impact alone, a medical examiner concluded.

On Sunday, hundreds of fans rallied at the crash site.

When Walker died, the cast of "Fast & Furious 7" was on a brief Thanksgiving break from filming in Atlanta. Last week, Universal Pictures officially put the film on hiatus.

The studio also announced this week that it would donate a percentage of proceeds from the home entertainment sales of "Fast & Furious 6" to Walker's charity Reach Out Worldwide. Walker and Rodas had attended a fundraiser for the nonprofit just before the crash.

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kate.mather@latimes.com

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