Upset parents want the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department to clear their son's name after they said a selfie making the rounds on social media and news reports connected the innocent man with a home burglary investigation.
Larry Beltran showed up to the Santa Clarita Valley station Wednesday with his son, Larry Beltran Jr., to speak with deputies about the apparently stolen cellphone, but was told to return Thursday because the detective on the case had already gone home.
"We are here trying to do the right thing," the father said. "I'm just upset that everybody is calling me saying 'Your son is on the news, your son did this.' Here I am at the station and they're telling me they don't know anything about it."
"I would like an apology for my son," Irene Cabrera said.
While Irene Cabrera said she hopes for an apology, Larry Beltran contacted NBC4 on Thursday to stress his concern over getting his son's name cleared.
Detectives identified Beltran Jr. and his girlfriend as "people of interest" in a news release containing the image. Detectives hoped that the photo would help lead them to the burglars who ransacked a Newhall home on July 30. Detectives said the selfie was discovered after the victim logged on to her online cloud account and realized some photos were uploaded of people she did not know.
"It's embarrassing," Larry Beltran Jr. said. "I had no idea it would be all over the news or anything. That was just between me and my girlfriend."
"I come in and they gave me the runaround," Beltran Jr. said.
His aunt, who also showed up to the station to help clear him from any wrongdoing, told deputies that she bought two phones for $80 from a man at a swap meet and gave one to her nephew.
"I thought I got a good deal but I didn't know I put my nephew in a bad situation," said the aunt, Angie Cabrera.
Deputies told NBC4 on Thursday the family was cooperating with deputies at the station.
Sheriff's officials declined to comment to NBC4 on whether he was still considered a person of interest.
Christina Cocca contributed to this report.
Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly identified the mother of Larry Beltran Jr. as Irene Beltran. Her name is Irene Cabrera.