DNA Testing Leads to Arrest

On May 1, Glendale police officers responded to the 3100 block of Emerald Isle Drive regarding a catering van that was broken into overnight. An investigation into the break-in revealed the suspect had stolen fresh strawberries from the catering truck. The officers checked the area and found strawberry stems that were discarded by the suspect after eating. The stems were collected as evidence and submitted for DNA testing at the Verdugo Regional Crime Lab based at the Glendale Police Dept.

The suspect’s DNA was successfully collected from the stems and evidence samples submitted resulted in a match to Michael Ramirez Arriaga. Arriaga’s DNA was collected in 2017 involving an arrest for possession of brass knuckles.

A surveillance camera in the area showed the suspect had also entered the yard of a neighboring home. It was quickly discovered that the suspect had made entry into the neighbor’s home and had stolen a wallet.

On Oct. 10, detectives from the Glendale Police Burglary Detail served a search warrant at Arriaga’s home in Los Angeles. During the search, detectives located multiple items believed to have been stolen from several different burglaries. Detectives have been able to link the stolen merchandise to two burglaries in Los Angeles and one additional burglary in Glendale in which Arriaga stole a car after taking the keys from inside the home.

Arriaga was arrested for burglary of an occupied residential home.