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After botched robbery, a trail of evidence left behind

Los Angeles police released photos Friday of a man who allegedly kicked open the front door of an Arleta home during a botched burglary attempt. 

Police were searching for Miguel Luna, 25, who allegedly ransacked a bedroom of the home on Sharp Avenue. When confronted by the owner, the would-be burglar begged him not to call police, police said.

Then the man fled on foot, leaving his vehicle behind and a trove of evidence.

“It’s often said in forensics that we always leave a little bit of ourselves behind anywhere we’ve been,” said Lt. Paul Vernon, commanding officer of the LAPD's Mission detective division. “But this guy must have set some record on the variety and amount of evidence he left.”

Police said that around noon Tuesday, Luna kicked in the front door of the home, leaving a footprint below the doorknob, and began ransacking a bedroom.

After begging the homeowner not to call police, Luna walked to his car, police said. Unable to start it, he returned to the home and again begged the owner not to call police, according to the LAPD.

The owner then chased the would-be burglar from the home and struck him over the head with a gardening hoe while his wife called police. The man lay unconscious for a short time but revived a few minutes later and fled on foot, police said.

Police said they recovered photos of Luna from several iPads in his 1989 Honda, which was left in the home's driveway. According to police, the vehicle also included a signed traffic ticket issued to Luna the previous day. The entire attempted burglary was also captured on the home's video surveillance system. 

“This crime scene was really a study in how to get caught,” Vernon said. "Every manner of evidence was present: Video surveillance, blood DNA from the hoe, pictures on the iPad, footprint on the door, a traffic citation with signature, a car, fingerprints and eyewitness identification."

Anyone with information on the crime or Luna's whereabouts is asked to call Det. William Cooper at (818) 838-9866. Anonymous tips can be called in to Crimestoppers at (800) 222-TIPS (8477).

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-- Wesley Lowery

Follow Wesley Lowery on Twitter and Google+.

 
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