SOUTH GLENDALE — An 18-year-old Glendale man was charged Thursday in connection with breaking into numerous cars in the city to possibly pawn stolen items, officials said.
Julio Morales faces two felony counts of second-degree burglary of a vehicle and a misdemeanor count of vandalism under $400 in damages, said Jane Robison, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.
Prosecutors requested that Morales’ bail, which is set at $20,000, to be increased to $40,000, she added.
“He was like a one-man crime wave,” Glendale Police Sgt. Tom Lorenz said.
While Morales was charged with only two burglaries, he allegedly admitted to burglarizing his South Glendale neighborhood for several months, Glendale Police Det. Robert William said in an email.
Morales estimated that he broke into more than 10 vehicles, William said.
Detectives are still trying to identify the other vehicles that Morales claimed to burglarize.
“Question is: did every victim report them?” William said.
Police were able to identify Morales through fingerprints lifted from evidence at one of the auto burglaries, Lorenz said.
Detectives obtained a warrant Aug. 23 and searched Morales’ apartment in the 400 block of East Palmer Avenue.
Inside his apartment, Lorenz said they found numerous valuables consistent with items that are commonly stolen in auto burglaries, Lorenz said.
Thieves typically seek out navigation systems, laptops, cell phones and iPods that are left in plain sight in vehicles.
Detectives also found pawn shop receipts inside the apartment, Lorenz said. The receipts, he said, could indicate that Morales sold the valuables to a pawn shop in exchange for cash.
Residents have reported at least 26 auto burglaries to police since Aug. 1, according to a department database.
Of the 26 auto burglaries, 13 occurred in South Glendale.
Most thefts occurred in the early morning hours of Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Still, auto burglaries dropped from 458 for January to July in 2010 to 383 for the same time this year, according to the department.