Fingerprints left on a mirror during a burglary eleven months ago in the home of boxing champion Jennifer “The Razor” Barber led Los Angeles police detectives to a convicted burglar who was about to be deported to Mexico and to the two championship belts stolen from her, a detective said today.
The fingerprint matched 20-year-old Jose Pedraza, who had just finished serving county jail time for two other local burglaries, said Det. William Cooper of the Mission Burglary Unit.
Pedraza had been transferred from jail to the custody of the U.S. Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and was awaiting deportation.
“Unlike the other burglaries, Pedraza was not copping out to this one, and it seemed like he was in a hurry to get out of the country, like he was trying to avoid something,” Cooper said.
“After I interviewed Pedraza, my gut told me he seemed like a guy that might hold onto the belts, rather than hawk them,” he said.
Cooper got an arrest warrant for Pedraza, based on the finger print, to stop the deportation, then conducted a probation search at his Sylmar home, the detective said.
Detectives found both belts at the bottom of a clothes hamper, but were not able to find Barber’s and her husband’s wedding rings, which were also taken in the break-in.
“The smile on Jennifer’s face says it all. We were glad we were able to get back her belts,” Cooper said.