South Gate man charged with stealing cars, hit-and-run after getting re-arrested and released over 2-month span

Local news

A South Gate man has been charged in four felony cases over a two-month span after getting re-arrested and released for allegedly stealing cars and for a hit-and-run resulting in injury, officials said Friday.

Ismael Lopez, 23, was charged with seven felony counts, including two counts each of fleeing a pursuing peace officer’s vehicle, driving or taking a vehicle without consent, and receiving a stolen vehicle, and one count of hit-and-run driving resulting in injury, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release. All of the incidents occurred in South Gate.

On June 29, Lopez was arrested for allegedly being in the driver’s seat of a stolen van. He was subsequently released from jail due to the COVID-19 emergency bail system, the DA’s office said.

Bail was set to $0 for most misdemeanors and low-level felonies in L.A. County to reduce the local prison population amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

Then on July 1, Lopez allegedly took someone’s car without their consent and fled a pursing police officer.

After being released again, Lopez allegedly received a stolen vehicle on July 10 and then again on July 20, officials said. In the latter case, he is accused of stealing a vehicle, leading police on a pursuit and colliding in the side of another vehicle, injuring the driver. He eventually lost control of the car, fled on foot and was arrested.

Lopez was scheduled to be arraigned Friday in Los Angeles. If convicted as charged, Lopez faces a possible maximum sentence of 12 years in state prison, the DA’s office said.

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