Man Sentenced to Prison for Theft of Special-Needs Boy's Tricycle

A homeless man was sentenced Monday to four years in prison for stealing a tricycle custom made for a 13-year-old boy with special needs, officials said.

Carlos Andres Lopez, 47, pleaded no contest to a first-degree burglary charge stemming from the theft of a 13-year-old disabled boy's $5,300 tricycle from the parking garage of a Burbank apartment complex.

Lopez was immediately sentenced to four years in prison by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Stanley Blumenfeld. Two related counts were dismissed.

The criminal complaint alleged Lopez had prior convictions in nine cases
between 1991 and 2011 for offenses that include grand theft, first-degree
residential burglary and unlawful taking of a vehicle.

The gray-and-black tricycle was taken Jan. 23 from a secured garage in the  4500 block of Clybourn Ave., but was recovered five days later after a passerby -- who had seen news coverage of the theft -- spotted the specialized "Berkel'' brand bike, according to Burbank police.

The tricycle was custom-made for the teen, who has cerebral palsy, according to the district attorney's office.

Burbank police forensic specialists lifted evidence from the tricycle, leading detectives to Lopez, who then was arrested at a scheduled meeting with
his probation officer.

Police said Lopez admitted stealing the tricycle, along with a sewing machine from the bed of a pickup truck in the same parking garage.

"Lopez said he was planning to sell the bike, but after hearing about and seeing the media coverage, he knew he wouldn't be able to sell it, so he decided to dump it,'' Burbank police Sgt. Claudio Losacco said at the time.

City News Service contributed to this report.

Contact Us