A La Crescenta man arrested Aug. 2 by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department for his suspected connection to a La Cañada burglary was arrested a second time two weeks later, after a subsequent search warrant uncovered several more items thought to be linked to other crimes, officials report.
Paul Armstrong, 36, was initially arrested for an alleged second-degree burglary after his personal information was found in a car stolen during a home-break on the 5100 block of Angeles Crest Highway reported in June, according to Sgt. Alan Chu, a detective with the Crescenta Valley Sheriff's Station.
The vehicle, a 1993 Chrysler Concorde, was abandoned after the suspected burglary and eventually impounded for having expired tags. It sat in a tow yard until it was reported stolen by an elderly woman who'd moved to a Burbank retirement facility but returned to her Angeles Crest home with her daughter on June 9 to find it had been broken into.
The woman's report triggered an investigation that led detectives to execute a search warrant for the stolen items at a home on the 2500 block of Harmony Place in La Crescenta. Armstrong was arrested and later released on bond. He was scheduled to appear in court on Aug. 23.
In an interview Monday, Chu said he was in the process of working with the victim to identify and recover her stolen property when she recognized additional stolen items in a video recorded tour of the property where Armstrong was arrested. That was sufficient for deputies to issue a second search warrant of the property on Aug. 17.
"When we matched up with the victim a video we'd taken, the victim recognized some things," Chu said.
A search of the Harmony Place home uncovered more items taken during the La Cañada burglary, as well as several more "new" items Chu says may be connected to other crimes.
"We found the original stuff we were looking for and new stuff — over 100 pieces of evidence were recovered," Chu said. "Now we have to locate the owner of these, and that's the hard part."
Armstrong was arrested and booked for receiving stolen goods and later bonded out pending another court date. Crescenta Valley Sheriff's detectives are communicating with other law enforcement agencies to see if the newly recovered items may be connected to other illegal activities.
If that's the case, Chu said, Armstrong could face additional charges.
An online search of criminal records show the La Crescenta man was arrested six more times, in incidents dating back to 2006, although some of the crimes were dismissed or not prosecuted.