LOS ANGELES — Authorities have arrested a man accused of swiping a piece of the wrecked sports car that “Fast & Furious” star Paul Walker was riding in when he died in a fiery crash Saturday.
The theft occurred at a stop light as the charred 2005 Porsche Carrera GT was being removed from the accident scene on a flat-bed tow truck late Saturday, according to the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department.
“A witness saw a male exit a vehicle that was following the tow truck,” the sheriff’s department said Friday. “The male grabbed a piece of the wrecked Porsche off the tow truck bed.”
Authorities later arrested 18-year-old Jameson Witty in Tujunga, California. A red T-top roof panel was recovered from a residence in Canyon Country. Both are in the Santa Clarita area, where the accident happened.
A second suspect has also be identified and is making arrangements to surrender himself, the sheriff’s department said.
Investigators have asked the district attorney to consider charges of felony grand theft and tampering with evidence against both men.
The crash took place on a wide street in a business park in Santa Clarita, about 30 miles north of Hollywood. Walker was attending a holiday toy donation event for his charity, Reach Out WorldWide, when he hopped into the car, witnesses said.
The Porsche, which was one of only a few hundred made, was on display at the event, which was held at a high-performance car shop owned by Roger Rodas, who was driving the car.
Minutes after the two men drove away, people at the event heard the crash about 500 yards away, witnesses said.
A one-page preliminary autopsy report released by the Los Angeles County coroner’s office Wednesday listed the cause of the actor’s death as the “combined effects of traumatic and thermal injuries.”
An autopsy concluded that Rodas, who was driving the red Porsche Carrera GT, suffered “multiple traumatic injuries,” but it was not clear in the report if he was still alive when the car burst into flames soon after the wreck.