Bank robberies galore

Local bank have experienced a wave of unauthorized withdrawls in recent days, as banks in Alhambra, San Marino and La Canada Flintridge were robbed Thursday and Friday.

In the case of Alhambra, it was the third robbery of the month.  A serial robber known as the Grizzly Adams Bandit visited a local bank twice on Jan. 6 and Jan. 26.

In San Marino, the bank robbed Friday shared a driveway with the San Marino Police Department.

In La Canada Flintridge, after robbing a bank, the same robber is believed to have robbed a pharmacy of prescription drugs about an hour later.

 

 

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Sierra Madre officer involved shooting

Sheriff’s homicide detectives are in Sierra Madre this evening to investigate an officer involved shooting that resulted in a man being seriously wounded, officials said.

The shooting occurred in the 200 block of West Sierra Madre Boulevard at 3:36 this morning.

According to the sheriff’s department a Sierra Madre police officer on patrol early Friday recovered a stolen Nissan Murano. it had been reported missing in Pacifica, a town in Northern California.

The officer had the vehicle towed to a garage at the police department. When the officeer opened the locked car, he was confronted by a suspect who had been hiding under a blanket in the rear of the Murano.

The cop fired and shot and wounded the suspect.

The suspect was only identified as a 46-year-old man. He was struck in the upper body and taken to the hospital, officials said.

The officer was not injured, officials said.

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Anaheim cops catch La Puente crooks

From the Anaheim PD:

On January 8th, the Anaheim Police Department asked for the public’s help in identifying and locating 2 males responsible for commercial robberies. Surveillance photos and video were distributed to the media.

Both subjects were believed to be responsible for 7 robberies that occurred in Anaheim since December 3, 2008. In these seperates cases, one or both men enter a commercial businesses acting as if they were customers or clients. A handgun was produced, money demanded and the robbery completed. One of the males has a 5-pointed star tattoo on his right elbow.

As a result of the media exposure, information was received from the public identifying the subjects. On Thursday evening, January 29th, robbery detectives arrested Jose Angel Rodriguez and Roberto Antonio Ruiz for these robberies. They were arrested near the 800 block of Dade Avenue in the city of La Puente, where they reside.( They were out in a public near near their residence). They have been booked in the Anaheim Detention Facility for the robberies.

The Anaheim Police Department extends their appreciation to the public for their

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Fishwrap Friday

A report in USA Today notes that the FBI claims criminal gangs are responsible for 80 percent of our nation’s crime. Here’s the story.

No Chargers in Industry this year, at least that’s a what a report in the San Diego Business Journal claims.

Local soldier Sgt. Hy Thai, of Monterey Park is profiled on News Blaze, for his work in Iraq.

Detroit cops slow to respond to reports of frozen body in abandoned warehouse, according to the Detroit News and the Associated Press, which cites the indifference of cops there as part of the city’s overall problem.

LASO unveils new technology in the pursuit of criminals.

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Kidnapping attempts on the rise, authorities claim

Hacienda Heights, West Covina, Covina, Whittier and Pasadena have all experienced kidnapping attempts in recent days. Now a sergeant attached to the Sheriff’s Special Victims Unit acknowledges there’s been a rash of such attempts.

We’re writing the story now. Not sure how significant it will be. Its doubtful that the “rash” has a common thread, but as yet that is mroe speculation than anything.

Following one such attempt in Hacienda Heights earlier this week, deputies have taken to stepping up enforcement in the neighborhood. Here’s the story:

HACIENDA HEIGHTS – Industry Sheriff’s deputies are out in force patrolling after a bold kidnapping attempt Wednesday morning.

A man driving a gray Honda Civic pulled up alongside and tried to grab an 8-year-old boy as he walked to Palm Elementary in the 14000 block of Palm Avenue at about 8 a.m. Wednesday.

The man fled when the child’s mother, who was walking about 15 feet behind the boy, screamed, authorities said.

“We’re doing saturation patrol and being highly visible,” said Industry Sheriff’s Lt. John McBride. “The manner in which he did it was pretty overt.”

He said authorities will be patrolling area schools with “no end in sight, hopefully until we catch this guy.”

The attempted kidnapper is a male Hispanic standing about 5 feet 4 inches and weighing about 200 pounds, authorities said. He is about 50 years old with a thin mustache and a V-shaped scar under his left eye.

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Man acquitted in school molestation case

A man accused of molesting four girls at a San Gabriel elementary school was cleared of three of the accusations Thurssday. In the fourth charge, the jury could not reach a verdict. City News Service reports below:

ALHAMBRA – An outside contractor who had been accused of inappropriately touching three female students at an elementary school in San Gabriel was acquitted today of three charges, but jurors deadlocked on a count involving a fourth girl.
The Alhambra Superior Court jury deliberated just over a day before acquitting Daniel Roy Smith, 43, of Fullerton, of two felony counts of lewd act on a child and a misdemeanor
child annoying charge.
The panel deadlocked 9-3 in favor of acquittal on a third lewd act charge, according to defense
attorney Leonard Levine.
“We’re hopeful that the remaining count will be dismissed,” Smith’s attorney said.
The prosecution is expected to announce at the next hearing Feb. 13 whether it wants to retry Smith on the charge, which involves a girl who was 7 at the time.
“We’ll look at the decision on whether to retry him,” Deputy District Attorney Steven Ipson said this afternoon.
The other charges on which Smith was acquitted involved another 7-year- old girl, a 10-year-old girl and an 11-year-old girl, according to Ipson.
Smith was an outside contractor who was hired in connection with an astronomy presentation at Washington Elementary School.
“Our simple argument was that he didn’t commit any acts of molestation,” Levine said.
Smith had been jailed on $600,000 bail, but his bail was reduced to $75,000 following the jury’s verdict, according to his attorney.

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Gregory Serrano molestation trial set to begin

 

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PASADENA — The trial of a Monrovia man suspected of using the Internet to lure, molest and take pictures of 10 underage girls is scheduled to begin this month, officials said.
Gregory Scott Serrano, 34, is due to go on trial Feb. 9 at Pasadena Superior Court, court officials said.
Serrano has been charged with 20 counts of child molestation in the alleged crimes, which Los Angeles County District Attorney’s officials say date back to June of 2006, United States Attorney Joey Blanch said.
In addition to the local charges, Serrano has been indicted on 23 federal charges including using the Internet to entice minors, producing and possessing child pornography and destroying evidence, United States Attorney’s officials said.
Serrano was arrested March 12 after a 15-year-old girl reported the alleged molestation to her parents, officials said.
The alleged victims in the case range in age from 13 to 17, said Blanch.
If convicted on the federal charges alone, Serrano could face a sentence of life in prison, she added.

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Getting closer in Friendly Whittier

This comes from a story budget proposed for today’s Whittier Daily News:

City Council Tuesday approved new laws — one that sets standards for new cell towers and a second that rewrites the existing adult business ordinance. The rewrite of the adult business ordinance adds some new restrictions — less hours, but also will allow dancers to be closer to patrons. City officials say the changes are needed to make sure the law is legally defensible.

My question, “are there strip clubs in Whittier?”

 

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Seeking answers

Every now and then I’ll get mail asking if I remember a particular crime, or if I can find out some information about it. Usually I promise to get back to the author, but find myself swamped in the events of the day and put it aside.

I hoping that by sharing these two letters with Crime Scene readers, you all can help me provide some facts. Here’s the first:

How u doing Frank, Won’t take to much of your time. I grew up in Pico and graduated from EL RANCHO in 1979. As a kid I lived on Olympic blvd near North Ranchito. Address was 8726 Olympic blvd. I’m currently a 21 year LAPD police officer, I’m trying to find an old 1970′s murder/suicide case which occurred at my next door neighbors on Olympic. I believe it involved a police officer who lived there. I was only a kid maybe 3rd or 4th grade. Thanks for your time,

Anyone remember this?

Here’s the second letter, which I received earlier this week:

I have contacted you before on some of your stories/articles in the past.
The purpose of my email to you is due to a horrific event that occurred in
Whittier which I don’t think I will ever forget. Around 2000 or 2001 a
young lady was murdered by being set on fire in a Whittier alley behind a
auto shop. She was kidnapped by a father and his stepson after they robbed
her of her paycheck, tied her up and then set her on fire, alive. For some
reason I wish to remember her by her name and/or picture and not as a Jane
Doe.

So, can we help these guys?

Thanks.

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Man attempts to grab young boy off street — stopped by mom

Cops said this isn’t related to an incident that occurred in West Covina in early January, but the circumstances sure seem similar. Here’s the story:

HACIENDA HEIGHTS – A man jumped out of a car Wednesday and tried to grab an 8-year-old walking to school, but the attacker released the boy when he realized the child’s mother was following a mere 15 feet behind, officials said.
“The mother saw it and yelled at the guy to let go of the boy,” said Industry Sheriff’s Sgt. Tom Wilson. “He jumped back in the car and fled.”

The boy and his mother were on their way to Palm Elementary School in Hacienda Heights at about 8 a.m. when a gray car pulled up along side him. A man got out of the car and grabbed the boy, authorities said.

Wilson said the man was driving a gray two-door Honda Civic with a missing front bumper and tinted rear windows.

The man is described as a 49-to-50 year old Hispanic, standing about 5 feet 4 inches and weighing about 200 pounds, Wilson said. He has dark, short hair shaved on the sides, a thin mustache and a scar in the shape of a “V” under his left eye.

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