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Transient arrested for stealing $19,000 in eyewear

By Kelli Saam
Published On: Dec 18 2013 02:18:05 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 18 2013 04:09:42 PM CST
REDDING, Calif. -

Redding Police arrested a transient Wednesday morning, in connection with a burglary that happened six months earlier.

Michael Lopez, Jr., 30, was arrested at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, after investigators spotted Lopez drinking coffee inside the Starbucks at 1400 Eureka Way.  Lopez had been wanted since his fingerprint was matched to a burglary that happened in June.

According to a news release from Redding Police, on June 16, someone broke into the office of optometrist Thomas E. Ward, at 2134 Eureka Way.  

Someone had used a rock to smash out the front door glass of the business and stole more than $19,000 worth of merchandise.  The property mostly consisted of brand new sunglasses and eyeglasses.  Officers took fingerprints from the scene.

The fingerprints were submitted to a Redding Police crime scene technician, who successfully matched a fingerprint to Lopez, a local Redding transient.  Lopez has prior theft convictions and is currently on Shasta County felony probation for burglary.

After investigators detained him Wednesday morning he was transported to Redding Police Investigations for questioning.  During the investigation, police determined that Lopez also had a stolen credit card from another theft case, and a hypodermic syringe that he had previously used to inject methamphetamine.

Lopez said he was with another person when he committed the burglary at the optometrist office.

Lopez was booked at Shasta County Jail for commercial burglary, possession of stolen property, conspiracy to commit burglary, and a violation of probation.

The eyeglasses and sunglasses have not been recovered.  Anyone with information regarding this burglary is encouraged to call Investigator Bishop of the Redding Police Department at (530) 225-4214.