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Hate-crime suspect caught

LAPD arrests man suspected of four acts of vandalism in SFV; man person of interest in local crime

Posted: April 22, 2011 10:20 p.m.
Updated: April 22, 2011 10:20 p.m.
 

A Saugus hate crime that left two cars on fire and a racial slur sprawled on a nearby garage in March may be related to a string of similar crimes in the San Fernando Valley, detectives said Friday.

Los Angeles Police Department officers arrested a man this week who may be responsible for spraying graffiti on at least four separate garages in the San Fernando Valley. Meanwhile, the Saugus resident whose car was damaged in March is “on edge” after a second incident at the home earlier this month.

The man arrested this week is a person of interest in the Saugus hate crime and the strongest lead yet in possibly solving the crime, said Det. Christopher Keeling of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

All the reported vandalism, including the March 20-reported hate crime on the 20700 block of Satinwood Drive in Saugus, involved a similar red paint, Keeling said.

The Los Angeles Police Department did not release any information about the suspect it arrested, or the specific crimes he is suspected of committing, as of Friday.

“We can’t say definitively that (the incidents) are connected, but when you’re dealing with ... a vandal, you have to see a pattern,” Keeling said. “Hate crimes are difficult to investigate because they’re usually random. The victims truly don’t know who the suspects are.”

One of the victims of the Saugus crime, 31-year-old Anthony Bedgood, said he commutes to Northridge for work, but doesn’t know if anybody might have followed him back to Saugus and vandalized his home.

About 3:45 a.m. April 10, sheriff’s deputies were again called to the Satinwood home, Bedgood said. A neighbor called 911 after they saw three people standing in front of the home.

Bedgood, who was awake at the time, was alerted by the sound of deputies in his home. Someone had opened the doors to the house, but nothing was stolen.

After the second incident, the roommates installed security cameras around the home for protection, he said.

“It’s been difficult for me and my roommates to get a good night’s sleep these days,” Bedgood said. “We’re on edge.”

“I’m happy that (authorities) have a suspect.”

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