Harbor City

Arrest Made in Rolling Hills Robberies

A man wanted in connection with a string of burglaries in ultra-exclusive and gated Rolling Hills was arrested Thursday after a professional photographer tracked him down, police said Thursday.

Charles Eugene Vaca, 62, was arrested near 162nd and Van Ness streets om Gardena Thursday afternoon. A $1,050,000 warrant had been issued for his arrest.

The photographer said he helped track down the robbery suspect after seeing a report about the robberies in NBC4. He called police after recognizing a man who matched the description of the suspect seated in a sport utility vehicle in the Gardena area, then shot video of the arrest.

The Lomita Station said Vaca was linked to a series of home burglaries, and his DNA was found at two homes. Deputies said Vaca, who sometimes goes by the alias "Ryan Baca," is a transient who travels from Harbor City to Palos Verdes Estates.

Deputies also said he has an "extensive" history of thefts.

The city of Rolling Hills, the target of burglaries, sits behind a security gate.

Investigators surmise that Vaca has been getting into the neighborhood via the horse trails.


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Vaca was expected to be arraigned Friday in Torrance.

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