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    Belmont Hts. Car Theft Becomes Alleged Murder, 200 Block Grand Ave.:

  • Car Owner Approaches As Alleged Car Thief Drives Off, Strikes Owner, Throws Him Onto Hood, Crashes Car, Killing Owner;
  • Alert LBPD Patrol Officer Provides Info Helping Investigators Find Suspect Within Hours

    (October 27, 2003) -- An elegant Belmont Heights neighborhood became a crime scene shortly after midnight on Sunday Oct. 26 after a suspect allegedly entered an unlocked car, prompting the owner to come outside as the suspect drove off, striking the owner, tossing him onto the car's hood...and crashing into a parked car, killing the owner. The suspect then fled on foot.

    In a written release, police say 22-year old Joel Hyde of Huntington Beach and two female friends went outside after a suspect entered Mr. Hyde's unlocked 1999 Nissan Maxima in an alley behind a residence in the 200 block of Grand Ave.

    The suspect struck Mr. Hyde and one of the females with the car as he fled, hoisting Mr. Hyde onto the car hood, then crashing into a parked car a short distance away, killing Mr. Hyde.

    One of the females, a LB resident, was also struck; she was transported to a local hospital for treatment.

    The suspect took off on foot...but an alert LBPD patrol officer working during the incident recognized the suspect description from an earlier call in the area.

    The patrol officer provided info to LBPD investigators and a possible suspect was identified as police worked throughout the morning to locate the suspect.

    At roughly 10 a.m., LBPD arrested 26-year old Jesus Soto of LB near Anaheim St. and Ohio Ave.

    LBPD detectives in charge of the investigation presented their evidence to the D.A.'s LB office today...and murder and attempted murder charges were filed.

    Anyone with further information about this crime is asked to contact LBPD Homicide Detectives Richard Birdsall or Scott Lasch at (562) 570-7244.

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