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Police continue search for suspect

Ryan Carter

Burbank Police, with assistance from other law-enforcement agencies,

continued late Tuesday to scour the area for David A. Garcia, the

suspected killer of one of their own.

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“We have not found him as of yet, but we’re still getting leads

and we are following up,” Burbank Police Sgt. William Berry said. “We

are going to turn over every rock until we find the one he is hiding

under.”

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Meanwhile, the Glendale City Council decided Tuesday night to

sweeten the reward for Garcia’s capture, agreeing to chip in $25,000.

“Officer [Matthew] Pavelka was a member of Burbank Police

Department, but to all in the Glendale Police Department, he was one

of our own,” Councilman Gus Gomez said. “It’s a good thing to do

this.”

That brings the total reward to $110,000, including $50,000

offered by Burbank and $25,000 offered by the city of Los Angeles.

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The L.A. County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday also voted to

contribute an additional $10,000 for Garcia’s capture.

Police believe Garcia, 19, and Ramon Aranda, 25, shot and killed

rookie Burbank Police Officer Matthew Pavelka, 26, and critically

wounded Officer Gregory Campbell on Nov. 15 during a traffic stop in

a parking lot at the Ramada Inn on North San Fernando Boulevard.

Campbell, who was shot in the neck and stomach in the gun battle, is

expected to live, but remains hospitalized. Aranda was killed in the

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shootout.

The search for Garcia, who fled after the shooting, has not let up

since the incident, and the bounty on him continues to grow while

authorities crack down on his alleged associates.

Since the shooting, police have served 50 search warrants and made

45 arrests, at least 26 for harboring, Berry said, adding that the

numbers will increase. About 23 people have been released, Berry

said.

“People are giving us tips, and we’re getting search warrants and

we’re going to the residence where the guy was seen,” Berry said.

“And while were in there, with the search warrant, if we see a crime

in progress, we can arrest for it.”

Berry said a task force of more than 150 officers from local,

state and federal agencies is working in shifts to bring Garcia to

justice.

Based on tips and because Garcia has family and gang ties in Sun

Valley, police believe he could still be in the northeast San

Fernando Valley.

In a related development, a Burbank Superior Court judge Monday

refused to lower the $600,000 bail set for Garcia’s twin brother,

James B. Garcia, who last week was charged along with Erwin DeLeon,

20, with being accessories after the fact, possessing a machine gun,

a silencer and assault weapons. They face up to six years in prison

if convicted.

“We have to send a message that we are not targets, that people

will not be able to shoot down police with impunity,” Berry said.

“They initiated the firing. They are the ones who came out firing at

police with two guns each.”


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