Man Arrested Over Slashing of Clothes

A man arrested in a department store with a razor in his hand is being investigated in a series of incidents in which clothes on racks at stores were slashed and damaged, Los Angeles police reported Wednesday.

Augusto Guzman, 38, was arrested Saturday on suspicion of felony vandalism after a security officer at Robinson's department store in Northridge Fashion Center watched him walk through the store with a razor blade in his hand and cut several items of clothing, Detective Cecil Mixon said.

Mixon said 42 items, including dresses, jackets, shirts and suits worth $8,400, were found damaged by razor slashes.

Managers at the Broadway department store in the same mall at Tampa Avenue and Nordhoff Street reported that 29 men's suits and 18 leather jackets worth $16,622 were slashed with razors, also Saturday, Mixon said. He said he is investigating Guzman's possible involvement in similar incidents at the Broadway in the Topanga Plaza shopping center in Canoga Park and clothing stores in North Hollywood.

Mixon said the motive for the vandalism is unknown. He said Guzman refused to talk to police, give his home address or say whether he is employed. He posted $5,000 bail after his arrest and remains free.

Mixon said he will take evidence in the case to the Los Angeles County district attorney's office today or Friday for the possible filing of charges.

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