News ReleaseCity of Irvine
Public Information Office

1 Civic Center Plaza
Irvine, CA 92606


Subject :

Irvine Police Recognized Internationally for Investigation Tactics
Contact :Rick Handfield, Lieutenant    (949) 724-7112
Irvine, CA (October 18, 2006):  Irvine Police Chief Dave Maggard returned from the annual International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Conference today with a little more luggage.  The Chief and members of the Irvine PD investigative team returned from Boston to California in possession of the most prestigious award given by the IACP – the ChoicePoint Award for Excellence in Criminal Investigation. This is the first time the honor has been awarded to a municipal police department. 

The Irvine Police Department was recognized by the world’s largest organization of police executives for its investigation of the so-called “Chair Burglar” who is believed to be responsible for as many as 500 residential burglaries over the past 20 years.  Police arrested and charged Ray Lopez.  They believe Lopez stole more than $2.5 million in property.  Comparing statistics six months before and after the November 2005 arrest, residential burglaries in Irvine dropped almost 40%.

“This award not only recognizes the expert use of technology in crime-solving, but how simple strong police work, coupled with the latest crime-fighting technology, is a one-two punch that can have a significant effect on crime on a neighborhood level,” said Maggard.  “The hard work of our crime analysts complimented our detectives’ dogged investigation and led to this arrest.  I am extremely proud of our IPD team.”

The investigation utilized different strategies including computer analysis of the geographic location of the crime scenes, global positioning satellite (GPS) technology and DNA testing.  The ChoicePoint Excellence in Criminal Investigation Award recognizes the use of exceptional innovation and outstanding achievement by law enforcement in conducting investigations.

Since its incorporation in 1971, Irvine has become a nationally recognized city, with a population of 250,384, spans 66 square miles and is recognized as one of America’s safest and most successful master-planned urban communities. Top-rated educational institutions, an enterprising business atmosphere, sound environmental stewardship, and respect for diversity all contribute to Irvine’s enviable quality of life. This family-friendly city features more than 16,000 acres of parks, sports fields and dedicated open space and is the home of the Orange County Great Park – the first great metropolitan park of the 21st century.  For more information, please visit