A man’s short-lived suspected crime spree in Burbank came to an end late last month after police said he got into two hit-and-run collisions while driving a car he allegedly stole.
The Burbank Police Department received word of a hit-and-run in the 600 block of North Screenland Drive around 11:15 p.m. on March 31. Sometime after arriving on the scene, officers were informed about a second collision that occurred nearby on Pass Avenue near Verdugo Boulevard.
Sgt. Derek Green, a department spokesman, said both incidents involved a white SUV.
Officers arriving at the second collision site found a white Mazda CZ9 in the middle of the street with its driver’s-side door open. A man had reportedly run from the vehicle after getting into the collision, Green said.
Authorities were able to spot a man running nearby and chased after him. He was arrested after trying to run through the parking lot of a Smart & Final grocery store.
He was identified as 30-year-old Rene Ortiz from Boyle Heights.
Green said officers discovered the car was reported stolen earlier in the evening from a home in the 600 block of Kenwood Street. He added that Ortiz was also wanted in connection with a window-smash burglary that occurred the same night at Fiesta Taco on Hollywood Way.
Ortiz was charged by the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office with one count each of burglary and grand theft as well as two counts of hit and run. He is currently being held without bail.