Police today were investigating the theft of more than 300 recall election ballots that were found in a man’s parked car in Torrance, resulting in his arrest. Officers were called about 10:45 p.m. on Aug. 16 to a 7-Eleven located in the area of Emerald Street and Hawthorne Boulevard on reports of a man who was sleeping in his car in the parking lot.
Officers located the man and found in his vehicle a loaded gun, unspecified narcotics, and driver’s licenses and credit cards that belonged to other people, along with a box of mail in the backseat which contained the unopened and unmarked ballots, according to a Torrance Police Department statement. The man, whose name was withheld, was arrested for possession of the firearm and narcotics, as well as on suspicion of forgery, according to police. The Torrance Police Department’s Special Investigations Division, theU.S. Postal Service, and the Public Integrity Unit of the Los Angeles County
District Attorney’s Office is investigating “how the election ballots ended up in the suspect’s vehicle and what their intent was in having them,” according to a police department statement that says the case is not related to any other thefts of election ballots. Anyone whose ballot was taken will be sent a new one by the county registrar of voter’s office, according to police, who said suspicious activity surrounding an election should be reported to investigators by calling 310-328-3456.