Los Angeles police say they have arrested two North Hollywood men in connection to thefts of over 100 tires and rims from vehicles in the Los Angeles area, including Marina del Rey and Santa Monica.
Vasiliy Polyak, 18, and Arsen Ovsepyan, 20, were arrested Thursday, August 7th, as they left their vehicles near Coldwater Canyon Avenue and Magnolia Boulevard in Van Nuys, police said. Officers with the Efforts to Combat Auto Theft Unit were notified by Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Van Nuys division detectives and recognized the suspects from photographs captured on surveillance cameras, police said.
The suspects were taken into custody without incident and booked for burglary. The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office filed 18 counts of burglary and grand theft charges against Polyak and Ovsepyan Monday, August 11th, police said.
Police allege that the two men were involved in thefts of tires and rims from newer model Mercedes-Benzes and BMWs beginning in May. The alleged thefts occurred during early morning hours in four LAPD division areas — Van Nuys, North Hollywood, West Valley and Pacific.
Further investigation revealed that the suspects were also allegedly targeting vehicles in Marina del Rey and Santa Monica, police said.
As the incidents continued, the suspects and their vehicles were eventually captured on video surveillance cameras. The photographs from the cameras were used on an Internal Crime Alert Notification that was distributed citywide. Police say the video surveillance photographs played an integral part in identifying the suspects.
Police served several search warrants and recovered over 100 tires and rims. The items were being sold on the Web site craigslist.com, and after being purchased from the site, were being sold again on eBay, police said.
Anyone with additional information regarding these incidents or those who believe they may have been a victim are asked to contact LAPD Van Nuys Detective Stilz or Detective Juarez at (818) 374-0020, or (877) 529-3855 (877-LAWFULL) on weekends and during off-hours.