warrant for his role in a pawn-shop burglary June 13 in Van Nuys,
said Rick Lutz, a Sheriff's Department detective working out of the
Crescenta Valley Station.
Karapetian, who lives in the 3300 block of Barnes Circle near
Oakmont County Club, also has homes in Las Vegas, Armenia and the
United Arab Emirates, authorities said. He owns two clothing stores
and a money-transfer business that allows local Armenians to send
money to relatives in their home country, authorities said.
Police have been in contact with Karapetian through his attorney,
but he has refused to turn himself in, Lutz said.
"Through his attorney, we have pleaded for him to turn himself
in," Lutz said. "But so far he has refused to do so."
In early June, surveillance cameras recorded the crew allegedly
attempting to take a safe from a jewelry store in La Crescenta,
police said. After a multi-agency investigation, five men were
arrested June 13 for allegedly trying to steal another safe from a
Van Nuys pawn shop, Lutz said, adding that Karapetian left behind his
The men arrested are Suren Melkonyan, 46, of Glendale; Ashot
Avoyan, 42, of Hollywood; Andranik Grigoryan, 29, of Van Nuys; Arsak
Grigoryan, 36, of North Hollywood; and John Nazarian, 32, of
Hollywood, authorities said.
Their preliminary hearing Monday in Los Angeles Criminal Court was
postponed to Sept. 9, said Deputy Dist. Atty. Ronald Goudy. They are
all being held in Los Angeles County Jail.
"They've been involved in welfare fraud, selling untaxed
cigarettes, tax evasion, burglary of jewelry stores -- they were
involved in many things," Goudy said. "We've easily recovered over a
million dollars [in property]."
Karapetian's adult son, Ghor Karapetian, has also been arrested on
suspicion of burglary, said Lutz, who was unable to give more
Ara Karapetian is described as white with brown hair and brown
eyes. He is 5 feet 9 and weighs 200 pounds. Anyone with information
is asked to contact Lutz at 236-4015.