Friday, 01 June 2012 09:15

Stolen Iguana Reunited with Owner at Bellflower Auto Body Shop

A man and his pet iguana were reunited and a suspected thief was behind bars today, nearly six months after the 4-1/2-foot  long, 30-pound reptile was stolen from a Bellflower auto body shop. The 30-pound reptile was taken during a burglary that occurred at the shop in early December last year.

Sheriff's deputies returned the iguana name Lizard to its owner of 17 years on Thursday.

The lucky lizard was taken on Dec. 9 or 10 after someone forced his way into the Performance 4-Wheel Auto shop at 9817 Park Street in Bellflower, said Lt. Steve Sciacca of the Los Angeles County sheriff's Lakewood Station. The iguana was the only thing taken during the burglary, he said.

Investigators used "advanced investigative techniques" and identified a suspect, 19-year-old Jesus Alcaraz of Downey, who they knew from previous contacts, Sciacca said.

Blood found at the crime scene was matched to Alcaraz, and a search warrant was served on his residence, where investigators found the iguana, along with a loaded handgun, marijuana, hash oil and gang paraphernalia, Sciacca said.

Alcaraz was booked on suspicion of burglary, illegal possession of a firearm, cultivation of marijuana and possession of hash oil, according to Sciacca.

He was being held at the Lakewood Station jail in lieu of $35,000 bail, according to sheriff's online booking records.