Car burglary suspect arrested

A Panorama City man who investigators believe may have committed numerous vehicle burglaries earlier this year along Foothill Boulevard was arrested last week by Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies.

Fingerprint evidence from at least one vehicle burglary in April led to the Dec. 8 arrest of 21-year-old Nshan Darbinyan following a search of his home, said Det. Todd Sams of the Crescenta Valley Sheriff's Station.

While Darbinyan is currently charged with just the one count of felony burglary, more charges are expected to follow pending completion of the department's investigation.

"I'm confident [Darbinyan could be charged] for several burglaries, and possibly there are more," Sams said.

Investigators are looking closely at a spree of brazen daytime vehicle break ins that occurred in March, April and May — the bulk of them along Foothill Boulevard in La Cañada Flintridge, said Sheriff's Sgt. Ray Harley.

"As far as what was taken, it varied. Generally electronics, computers, iPods, GPS systems, and some people lost wallets with IDs and credit cards in them," explained Sams.

No property known to belong to any of the burglary victims was immediately located during the search of Darbinyan's home.

Investigators declined to say whether the more than six-month wait for a break in the case was due to lags in evidence processing time or new information coming into the department's fingerprint database.

The Los Angeles Times reported in June that budget-related cuts to crime lab hours have delayed the collection and processing of evidence, with burglary victims waiting up to a week for the department to gather fingerprints from their homes or vehicles and analysis of that evidence slowed by a significant backlog of cases.

"Right now, we're estimating two to three months" to process fingerprint evidence from burglary crime scenes, said Capt. David Walters of the department's Scientific Services Bureau.

Previously, forensics experts were receiving overtime to better keep up with caseloads.

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