Well, it’s been an interesting 10 years, but it looks like it’s time for the CrimeScene Blog to go the way of the dodo.
I’ll continue cranking out the crime news on Twitter (@sgvcrime) and Facebook (/sgvcrime), as well as in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star-News and Whittier Daily News print and web editions.
Thanks for riding along this past decade. Stay safe out there.
The Whittier Police Department’s first female K-9 and handler team is due to hit the streets for patrol next week, officials said.
K-9 Nala recently graduated training, along with handler Officer Angela Balzano, Whittier police Lt. Bryan Ellis said. The team is expected to hit the streets next week.
Balzano is the department’s first female K-9 handler, Officer John Scoggins said. Nala is an 18-month-old Belgian Malinois.
Nala is trained for patrol operations, and is expected to undergo drug detection training soon, police said.
She will become the Whittier Police Department’s second K-9, officials added. “Max,” a 3-year-old German shepherd, began patrolling with Officer Jeremy Rounds last month.
Max is also trained for patrol duties, but expected to be trained to sniff out drugs in the near future,
Prior to that, the department had gone more than a year without a K-9 on duty.
Max was funded by the police department, while Nala was funded by support from the community, Scoggins said.
PHOTOS courtesy of the Whittier Police Department.
Arcadia’s newest police officer hit the streets this week to patrol by paw and sniff out crime.
Kota, a 3-year-old Dutch shepherd, is the Arcadia Police Department’s new K-9, department spokesman Tom LeVeque said in a written statement.
He began duty on Monday, handled by Officer Travis Sargent, a law enforcement veteran of more than a decade, according to Sgt. Luis Juarez.
“He is a confident K-9 with strong drive and hunt, and a balanced temperament,” LeVeque said. “Kota is trained as a dual-purpose K-9 in both patrol duties and explosives detection.”
Kota hails from Eastern Europe and recently completed the Gold Coast K9 Academy in Moorpark, along with his handler, police added.
He joins Arcadia’s other police dog, Zoli, who joined the police department late last year, becoming Arcadia’s first police K-9 in 12 years.
Zoli is trained for both patrol and narcotics detection duties, officials said.
Both K-9s were purchased and trained with funds raised by the Arcadia Police Foundation.
PHOTO courtesy of the Arcadia Police Department
BALDWIN PARK >> A man with a pistol robbed a Baldwin Park market on Wednesday evening, authorities said.
The heist took place about 7 p.m. at Frank’s Market, 5026 Main Ave., Baldwin Park police Sgt. Jorge Huerta said.
A robber entered the store, brandished a semi-automatic handgun and demanded cash, the sergeant said. The clerk complied and was not injured.
The gunman fled with an undetermined amount of money, Huerta said. He was described a white man, about 5 feet 8 inches tall, 165 pounds, with tattoos on the back of his neck. He wore a black shirt and blue pants.
Police said the robber was last seen running north along Main Ave., toward Arrow Highway.
Anyone with information can reach Baldwin Park police at 626-960-1955. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
Investigators checking the validity of Disabled Persons Parking Placards on vehicle parked outside the L.A. County Fair last weekend issued 71 tickets for fraudulently using the parking passes, authorities said.
California Department of Motor Vehicle investigators conducted the enforcement crackdown on Sunday outside the Fairplex at Pomona, 1101 W. McKinley Ave., aided by Pomona police and Fairplex administrators, DMV officials said in a written statement.
Of more than 371 placards examined, more than 300 of them, or 81 percent, were found to be valid, officials said. By 71 of them were being used fraudulently, resulting in citations.
“We want to make sure drivers who are parking in blue disabled parking spots are doing so legally,” according to DMV Investigations Chief Frank Alvarez. “We are constantly carrying out enforcement efforts throughout
the state to deter people from breaking the law and improve access for those with limited mobility.”
Pomona Police Chief Paul Capraro echoed the sentiment, adding that it benefits those who truly need to use Disabled Persons Parking Placards.
“I know for a fact that individuals who need designated disabled parking spots appreciate this effort,” the chief said. “We recognize the importance of making disabled parking available to those with valid placards and the Pomona Police Department plans to collaborate with the DMV on future enforcement efforts.”
Those caught using the placards fraudulently face fines ranging from $250 to $1,000, and will have the violation noted on their driving records.
DMV officials pointed out that not all disabilities are visible, and allegations of improper use of Disables Persons Parking Placards could ultimately found to be unfounded.
“The majority of Californians who apply for one have legitimate reasons for doing so, according to the statement.
“The level of reported or observed misuse of disabled parking placards varies from area to area,” the statement continued. “Most violations involve people using disabled parking placards issued to family or friends to avoid paying parking fees, as well as obtaining convenient and/or unrestricted parking.”
DMV investigators have issued 1,062 citations between April 1 and Aug. 31 during similar crackdowns state-wide, officials added.
Sheriff’s deputies are seeking the public’s help in finding a man suspected of exposing himself to a woman at a swimming pool in San Dimas, officials said.
The crime took place about 12:40 p.m. on Aug. 2, at a townhome complex in the 1200 block of Tarryglen Lane, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
“A male intentionally exposed his genitals to a woman who was sunbathing in the pool area of townhomes,” according to the statement. “Once the woman alerted her brother, who was in the area, the suspect fled on foot, northbound toward Foothill Boulevard and out of view.”
Deputies described the man as white or Latino, between 50 and 70 years old, about 6 feet tall, with mixed dark-and-gray hair.
Investigators have released photographs obtained of a person they want to question in connection with the incident.
Anyone with information is urged to contact the sheriff’s San Dimas Station at 909-450-2700. Tups may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
PHOTOS courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department
A man and woman who robbed a La Mirada convenience store of $700 worth of Red Bull energy along with their two young children in a brazen crime caught on camera have admitted to robbery and child abuse charges, authorities said.
Elizabeth Kathy Larez, 27, of La Puente and Bryan Gary Corona, 27, of Whittier, were immediately sentenced to jail and prison, respectively, during their court appearances on Friday, according to Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani.
Larez pleaded “no contest” to two counts of robbery and one count of child abuse, while Corona pleaded “no contest” to two counts of robbery and one count of child abuse, Ardalani said in an email.
Lares was sentenced to 365 days in county jail and three years of formal probation, she said. A three-year state prison sentence was suspended, but could be reimposed if Larez violates her probation. She was also ordered to attend 52 weeks of parenting classes and barred from possessing any dangerous weapons.
Corona received a sentence of three years in state prison, Ardlani said.
The charges stem from a June 10 robbery at an ampm minimart at 13550 Beach Blvd., just south of Imperial Highway. The heist was captured on video by store surveillance cameras.
•Video: Surveillance camera footage of La Mirada Red Bull robbery
Larez and Corona entered the store about 11:30 p.m., accompanied by their two sons, ages 9 and 10, as depicted in the video.
The man and woman first distract their clerk while the two boys leave the store carrying cases of Red Bull, the video shows. When the clerk tried to stop the theft, Larez and Corona pelted him with cans of the beverage before also grabbing cases of Red Bull and running out the door.
Investigators released the video in hopes of generating clues, and anonymous tipsters soon helped police identify Larez and Corona as the robbers, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Detective David Sotomayor said at the time.
Deputies and Buena Park police found and arrested the suspects July 14 at the Portola Inn and Suites, 7921 Orangethorpe Ave. in Buena Park, officials said. The children were placed in the custody of family members.
Sotomayor said Corona admitted he had sold the drinks.
A mother and her three sons who disappeared from New Mexico, triggering a multi-state Amber Alert, were found safe in the Lancaster area Sunday night, hours after the car the were driving in was found abandoned in La Verne, authorities said.
The three boys, ages 6, 8 and 9, were believed to have been taken in Albuquerque, New Mexico during the early morning hours and driven to California by their 28-year-old mother, Laria Walker-Anderson, according to an Amber Alert issued by the California Highway Patrol.
They were last seen in a silver, 2009 Kia Spectra, according to the CHP.
According to CHP logs, authorities learned of an electronic “ping” indicating the car had been on the 210 Freeway near Foothill Boulevard, just east of the 57 Freeway, in La Verne at 2:28 p.m.
A witness called police shortly after 5 p.m. to report seeing the car listed in the Amber Alert parked at Foothill Boulevard and Ramona Avenue with no one inside, La Verne police said in a written statement.
Officers responded and confirmed the car was the one being sought. The woman and children were no where to be found.
The family turned up safe in the Lancaster area shortly before 10 p.m., according to La Verne police Lt. Monica Schusse. Further details were not immediately available.
Walker-Anderson was not formally accused of any crime on Sunday afternoon, Bernalillo County sheriff’s officials said during a news conference broadcast on the department’s Facebook page. She has legal custody of the children, and no arrest warrant has been issued.
But the woman had made threats of possible self harm, or harm against her children, to the children’s father via a phone conversation, and there was believed to be a .45-caliber handgun in the car she had been driving, according to deputies. Due to the circumstances, officials said they wanted to make sure both the children and their mother were OK.
PHOTOS courtesy of the CHP
A man escaped serious injury thanks to family members who pulled him from the San Gabriel River following a near-drowning in Azusa on Saturday afternoon, officials said.
The mishap took place about 5:15 p.m. as the man was swimming with his family in the river along San Gabriel Canyon Road, near the bicycle trail, at the northern end of the city, according to Azusa police Sgt. Jorge Sandoval.
The victim, described as a Los Angeles man in his early-20s, went into the water on an inflatable raft, police said.
“The male subject fell off the raft and was submerged under water for a short period of time,” Sandoval said in a written statement. “Family members were eventually able to assist the male subject out of the water.”
Paramedics took the man to a hospital for evaluation, Sandoval said. He was conscious and alert.
Sandoval said the police department reminds the public that swimming in that portion of the river, which is private property, is both prohibited and perilous.
“Trespassers are subject to arrest,” he said. “Additionally, the water currents within this area of the riverbed are extremely dangerous and not designated for swimming or water sports.”