Detectives believe that whoever participated in the shocking Silver Lake murder of Joseph Gatto last month might have tried to pawn some of the custom jewelry Gatto crafted.
The LAPD is distributing a community alert asking for people to be on a lookout for the distinctive products that are often signed "J A Gatto."
The retired school teacher, 78, was reportedly found slumped over a desk in his home on the evening of Nov. 13. He was the victim of gunfire, cops said:
Gatto, a beloved former schoolteacher who was well-known in the top-of-Silver Lake neighborhood of million-dollar-plus homes, is the father of state Assemblyman Mike Gatto, who represents the area.
The jewelry is described as ornate rings, bracelets, pendants and necklaces made of precious metals, stones, bone, ivory, porcelain, glass, wood and Egyptian scarabs. The pieces are often engraved with a circular design, cops indicated.
Detectives are searching for any pieces that may have been purchased or sold by pawn shops.
It feels to us like police are low on leads.
On Nov. 19 detectives revealed their strongest hunch when they released a sketch of a man who'd been seen in the area the night before the murder brandishing a gun.
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In that incident, investigators said, a neighbor confronted a car burglary suspect in the 2300 block of Moreno Drive around the corner from the murder scene on Bright Lane:
... He pointed a gun and threatened to kill her. Another witness confronted the suspect at which point he repeated the threat. The suspect then fled on foot down public stairs on Tesla Avenue. This suspect may be connected to a homicide that occurred on the 2800 block of Bright Lane.
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If you know anything about this suspect, the jewelry, or the killer, call detectives at 213-486-6890.