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Police say paper license plates led them to uncover drugs, stolen ID, stun gun

A car in Burbank with paper plates aroused the suspicion of police officers who uncovered drugs, burglary tools and a stun gun. The driver was also allegedly in possession of stolen personal information.
(Burbank Leader)

Paper license plates on a car led Burbank police to arrest a man for allegedly possessing a stun gun, burglary tools and various drugs, according to authorities.

Officers checked on a van in the parking lot of a Jack in the Box along San Fernando Boulevard around 8:10 p.m. on April 2 after noticing it still had paper license plates.

A law that went into effect Jan. 1 states newly purchased vehicles are required to display temporary license plates that contain a unique alpha/numeric configuration and are valid for 90 days.

While standing next to the vehicle, officers reportedly saw a used meth pipe on the front passenger seat.


Sgt. Derek Green, a spokesman for the Burbank Police Department, said the officers located the van’s owner in the fast-food restaurant and found him in possession of personal identification and credit cards belonging to someone else.

The man was eventually identified as Mario Gamez, a 44-year-old from Los Angeles. Authorities also found out he was on probation for a prior drug-related conviction.

During a search of his vehicle, police allegedly found lock picks, prescription drugs in another person’s name, methamphetamine and heroin. Green said officers also found a stun gun, which Gamez is not allowed to own because of his prior felony conviction.

He has since been charged by the Burbank City Attorney’s Office with narcotics possession, possession and theft of access-card information, possession of a prohibited weapon, possession of burglary tools, illegal possession of prescription medication and possession of narcotics paraphernalia.


Gamez is currently being held without bail.

Twitter: @Andy_Truc