One killed in firebombing of South El Monte tire shop


SOUTH EL MONTE >> Deputies are seeking three suspects who firebombed a South El Monte tire shop Saturday, killing one person and injuring a firefighter who responded to the fire, authorities said.
The alleged attack took place about 5:30 a.m. at Cheque Tires, 1252 Santa Anita Ave., Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said.
“We received a call from an informant that he saw three males throw a Molotov cocktail at a business,” Sgt. Jim Dexter said.
Deputies and firefighters found the building “fully engulfed” in flames, he said.
The victim, initially described only as male, was discovered lying in the driveway, badly burned, officials said. Paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene. The death was being investigated as a homicide.
A firefighter suffered second-degree burns to his face while battling the fire, Dexter said. The injury was not believed to be serious.
More than 65 firefighters worked for about 45 minutes to extinguish the flames, Los Angeles County Fire Department Capt. Brian Jordan said.
They also rescued a dog from the property, which was turned over to animal control officials, he said.
The suspects were last seen fleeing south on Santa Anita Avenue from the scene of the fire, Dexter said. Officials declined to disclose a description of the getaway car as they continued their investigation.
Santa Anita Avenue remained closed to traffic as sheriff’s and fire officials continued working at the scene.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Two sought in San Dimas bank robbery

SAN DIMAS >> Deputies are hunting for two men who robbed a Chase bank branch Friday afternoon, authorities said.
The crime took place about 5:30 p.m. at the bank, 1001 Arrow Highway, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Tonya Edwards said.
One robber entered the bank and handed a teller a note demanding cash as the second robber acted as a lookout, the lieutenant said.
After obtaining cash, both robbers were last seen fleeing from the bank on foot, she added. No injuries were reported.

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Suicide suspected after man found found fatally shot in West Covina

WEST COVINA >> The death of a man found fatally shot inside a car parked in a West Covina parking lot Thursday is being investigated as a suicide, police said.
Officials first received reports about 9 a.m. that a man was unresponsive inside a car parked in the 100 block of South Vincent Avenue, West Covina police Lt. Pat Cirrito said.
Officers found the man had suffered a gunshot wound to his head, the lieutenant said. Foul play was not suspected.

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Whittier man arrested following Santa Fe Springs motel robbery

SANTA FE SPRINGS >> Police arrested a man Thursday after he robbed a Firestone Boulevard motel, officials said.
Jason James Santoorjian, 29, of Whittier was jailed on suspicion of robbery, Whittier police Officer John Scoggins said.
The crime took place about 11:30 a.m. at a motel in the 13400 block of Firestone Boulevard, police officials said.
Shortly after robbing the motel, deputies a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department helicopter spotted the suspect near what was ultimately determined to be his car in the parking lot of a business several blocks away, Scoggins said. Officers arrested Santoorjian in connection with the reported robbery.
Inside Santoorjian’s car, police found an “airsoft” BB gun believed to have been used in the heist, along with cash believed to have been stolen during the crime, Scoggins said.
Santoorjian was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail pending his initial court appearance, records show.

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West Covina man accused of exposing self inside Glendora department store

GLENDORA >> Police arrested a man they say exposed himself inside a Khol’s store Thursday, authorities said.
A store employee called police about 2 p.m. and reported seeing a man exposing and touching himself inside of the department store, 1225 S. Lone Hill Ave., Glendora police Lt. Rob Lamborghini said.
“Essentially, he was walking around the store following female customers,” the lieutenant said. He allegedly carried on the inappropriate conduct while following at least two women inside the store, none of whom was aware he was following them,” Lamborghini said.
Police found Michael McClain, 27, of West Covina inside the store and arrested him for indecent exposure and committing lewd acts in public, both misdemeanors, Lamborghini said. He was expected be released with a citation later in the day.

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UPDATED: Stabbing reported in Pasadena

PASADENA >> A teenage boy was in stable condition Thursday as police investigated the circumstances surrounding how he was injured, police said.
The stabbing was first reported just after noon in the 900 block of East Orange Grove Boulevard, just east of Lake Avenue, Pasadena police Lt. John Luna said.
It was believed to have resulted from an argument between the victim and a companion and a group of five to six suspects, Lt. Mark Goodman said. Witnesses directed officers to a nearby pharmacy, where one of the alleged attackers was found and arrested.
The victim, a 17-year-old Pico Rivera boy, showed up at a local hospital with stab wounds to his leg, Goodman said. He did not appear to be cooperating with investigators.
Jailed in connection with the stabbing was Jose Martinez, 29, of Altadena, Goodman said. Police continued seeking four to five additional suspects.

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Community members believe subpoena power key to sheriff’s oversight committee

ARCADIA >> Community members sought subpoena power, transparency and accountability Wednesday during a town hall meeting to discuss the formation of a new citizen’s oversight committee to oversee the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
“Transparency shouldn’t be dependent on the sheriff’s cooperation,” Evan Bunch of Los Angeles told the working group. “Time and time again, we have seen that the sheriff’s cooperation does not mean transparency.”
Subpoena power would give the committee the right to obtain documents and other information from the sheriff’s department, even when department opposes disclosure.
Paul Jong, a staff attorney for Asian Americans Advancing Justice Los Angeles, agreed. “Subpoena power is something that is essential for true accountability and transparency,” he said.
The meeting at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden was the sixth in a planned series of nine town hall meetings for residents to offer suggestions on what their believe should be considered to help shape the oversight board, which the supervisors approved late last year in a 3-2 vote.

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Man on bike robs woman of purse in Pasadena

PASADENA >> A woman lost her purse to a robber on a bicycle Wednesday afternoon, police said.
The woman, 19, was walking at Oakland Avenue and Orange Grove Boulevard about 3:20 p.m. when the robber snatched her purse as he passed by on a bicycle, Pasadena police Lt. John Luna said. Inside the leather purse was $6, the victim’s ID and some credit cards.
Police searched the area but did not find the suspect, Luna said. The woman was not hurt.

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Baldwin Park man accused of Pasadena attempted bank robbery

PASADENA >> Police jailed a man Baldwin Park man Tuesday after he abandoned an attempted bank robbery in Pasadena and fled empty-handed, authorities said.
John Raymond Celaya, 55, was arrested in connection with the alleged failed heist and was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail pending his initial court appearance, according to Pasadena police officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
The crime took place just after 5:30 p.m. at a Chase branch at Colorado Boulevard and Arroyo Parkway, Pasadena police Lt. Kelly Evans said.
Celaya handed a teller a note demanding cash and stating that he had a gun, Evans said. But he apparently became nervous and fled from the bank without receiving any money.
Officers found Celaya nearby at Central Park and arrested him once he was identified via witnesses and surveillance footage as the suspect.

– Stephanie Baer and Brian Day

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Police: Arcadia man shot in gun-cleaning mishap

ARCADIA >> An Arcadia man accidentally shot himself in the leg while cleaning a gun Sunday, police said.
The mishap took place about 1 p.m. at a townhome in the 300 block of South Second Avenue, Arcadia police Lt. Mike Castro said.
A man in his mid-40s relayed to police that he had been cleaning his 9mm handgun gun, didn’t realize it was loaded and accidentally shot himself in the thigh, the lieutenant said.
He was taken to a hospital with a wound that was no considered life-threatening, Castro said. The incident appeared accidental, and no crime was suspected.

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