PROTIP: If you plan on committing a heinous act of cold blooded murder, it might not be the best decision to tattoo every last minute detail of your crime onto your chest.
This however is exactly what Rivera-13 gang member Anthony “Chopper” Garcia did. And now he’s in jail for first degree murder.
LA Times reports:
Inked on the pudgy chest of a young Pico Rivera gangster who had been picked up and released on a minor offense was the scene of a 2004 liquor store slaying that had stumped Lloyd for more than four years.
Each key detail was right there: the Christmas lights that lined the roof of the liquor store where 23-year-old John Juarez was gunned down, the direction his body fell, the bowed street lamp across the way and the street sign — all under the chilling banner of RIVERA KILLS, a reference to the gang Rivera-13.
Ouch. Convicted of murder is one thing. But being called pudgy by the Times? That’s harsh. No wonder our gang members have such image problems these days. But it’s true though. If you’re gonna get your murder ink done – you might wanna make sure you don’t have bitch tits first. To their defense the Times later went on to describe him as “delicate (and) doe-eyed.” So that’s nice.
Turns out that Garcia got caught when an officer who used to work in the Pico Rivera precinct where the murder took place stumbled across a recent photo of Garcia in a stack of gang member photos. ‘Chopper’ was recently busted during a routine traffic stop and LA makes a habit of taking topless candids of all suspected gang members (read: brown people) before releasing them back into the public. This is because most taggers will mark themselves with the same insignia they put on other people’s property and photos of distinctive tattoos can sometimes aid in eyewitness testimony. It’s not uncommon for gang members to get tatted up but this particular level of detail is unheard of. Homicide Lt. Dave Dolson said, “I haven’t seen it before, and I haven’t heard of anything like it either.”
After the officer recognized the crime scene police staged a detective posing as an LA gang member in Garcia’s cell. If you couldn’t already tell, he was pretty proud of what he did so he started bragging immediately and now he’s locked up for quite some time.
“Think about it. He tattooed his confession on his chest. You have a degree of fate with this,” Capt. Mike Parker said. “The detective who spotted it had been a Pico sergeant who went on to become a homicide sergeant. I never worked Pico station. I never would have recognized that Pico liquor store.”