Unpaid cab fare leads to arrests for drug possession, receiving stolen property

An unpaid taxicab fare led police to a motel room where they arrested two men and recovered multiple stolen items, officials said this week.

The men — Hmayak Kurazyan, 27, of Glendale, and 31-year-old transient Michael Medina — pleaded not guilty Tuesday to separate charges stemming from their Jan. 13 arrest, according to Jane Robison, spokeswoman of the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.

Kurazyan faces three felony counts of second-degree vehicle burglary, a felony count of receiving stolen property, a felony count of possessing methamphetamine, a misdemeanor count of possessing burglary tools and one misdemeanor count of petty theft, according to a Los Angeles County Superior Court criminal complaint.

Officers said they saw Kurazyan running through traffic near Allen Avenue and Victory Boulevard, so they stopped him and discovered a taxi driver was also following him. Officers also said they saw him toss a piece of foil containing methamphetamine.

The driver told police that Kurazyan fled from his cab after he tried to pay his fare with a gift card that was declined, according to Glendale police.

Kurazyan allowed officers to search his clothing, where they found several pairs of latex gloves, an envelope opener, a small flashlight, a glass pipe, a cellphone, an iPod, and keys to a car and motel room, police said.

Soon after, police discovered the iPod was stolen from a woman’s vehicle.

Police went to Kurazyan’s room at Victory Motel Inn in the 1700 block of Victory Boulevard, where Michael Medina, who went by “Mishel,” was staying. Medina allegedly told police he was a prostitute and earning up to $500 a day.

Inside the motel, police allegedly found more methamphetamine, another glass pipe, a laptop bag containing art supplies, iPads, a camera and a purse.

Medina was arrested and charged with receiving stolen property and possessing methamphetamine, according to the criminal complaint.

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