Hit-and-Run Suspect Leaves Imprint of His License Plate on Victim's Car, Cops Say
In the annals of dumb criminals, this story's a doozy. Allegedly. Cops say a suspect fled the scene of a collision — but not before leaving a license plate imprint on the victim's car.
It happened Aug. 21 at 9:25 p.m., but the Los Angeles Police Department this week decided to release the plate information in an effort to track down a suspect. Cops say the driver they're looking for was involved in a three-vehicle collision on La Brea Avenue north of Olympic Boulevard in the Miracle Mile area.
The suspect stopped to talk with the victim, but the alleged bad guy took off, police said. In the process of fleeing, the victim was seriously injured, cops said.
"While speaking with the driver, he accelerated away from the scene as the victim was holding onto the driver side window, causing her to fall onto the roadway hitting her head," according to the LAPD. "The driver of the vehicle failed to stop and render aid to the victim, or identify themselves, as required by law."
The woman was hospitalized with "severe traumatic head injury," the department stated.
But the suspect's part in the collision was recorded for posterity by his license plate number, which was impressed on the woman's vehicle.
"On August 31, 2016, while inspecting the victim's white Toyota Camry, an imprint of a license plate number 5TFY382 was obtained from the left rear corner bumper," according to the LAPD.
Now, they're not saying this is the suspect, but investigators say the plate is linked to a "person of interest" named Rene Milton Guzman Jr., pictured below. The vehicle it belongs to is a Mazda Tribute, police said. The victim identified the SUV involved as a Ford Escape. Both are essentially the same vehicle under the skin, developed jointly by Mazda and Ford.
Anyone who knows where authorities can find Guzman or the Mazda Tribute is urged to call detectives at 213-473-0234.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Los Angeles, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.