SANTA ANA (CBSLA.com) — Investigators were asking for the public’s help Thursday after an Orange County man who lost his left leg in a gang-related incident had his artificial limb stolen from an amusement park.
Juan Hernandez, of Santa Ana, took his family to Knott’s Berry Farm on May 26 and elected to utilize a wheelchair, leaving his prosthetic leg in his truck in the Knott’s Berry Farm’s parking lot, according to Santa Ana Police.
Sometime during that day, Hernandez’s truck was stolen, along with his custom designed and fitted C Brace Orthotronic Mobility System, police said.
Hernandez lost his leg in November 2010 as a result of what police described as “violent gang crime”.
After receiving the artificial limb, Hernandez received training which allowed him to re-assume a “near normal lifestyle,” according to police.
Investigators identified the suspect in that crime as Jose Luis Berruette, whom police believe fled Santa Ana immediately thereafter.
Berruette has been living in Mexicalli, Baja Mexico. The Santa Ana Police Department’s Gang Detail is holding an active Felony Warrant of Arrest for Jose Berruette’s apprehension.
The Buena Park and Santa Ana Police Departments are seeking assistance from the public for any information on the current whereabouts of Berruette, Hernandez’s pickup truck and/or his Orthotronic leg.
The Santa Ana Police Department is also offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of Berruette, whom police may have assumed the name of Luis Avila or another identity and may possess legitimate identification under his assumed identity.
Anyone with information is urged to contact Orange County Crime Stoppers anonymously at 855-TIP-OCCS or 1-855-847-6227 or visit OCCrimeStoppers.org.