Investigation continues into violent robbery of elderly couple

ARCADIA — The violent robbery of two elderly Arcadia residents outside their home earlier this week remained largely a mystery Friday, authorities said.
Two teenagers attacked the couple Wednesday, stole the man’s wallet as well as the woman’s wedding ring and watch and tried unsuccessfully to tie the couple up before running off, police said.
The robbers were male teenagers of medium build who wore dark clothing, Arcadia police Sgt. Stan Flores said. The victims were unable to provide a further description.
“It’s one of those things where you just scratch your head,” he said. “It raises a ton of questions. Unfortunately, I don’t have the answers right now.”
The investigation continues, he said, however police did not initially believe the couple — a 70-year-old man and a 67-year-old woman — were specifically targeted in the crime.
“There’s nothing at this point that leads us to believe that,” Flores said.
Other than the victims themselves, he added, no witnesses to the crime had come forward Friday.
The incident did not appear similar to any other robberies Arcadia police have seen, he added.
The robbery occurred about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday after the couple had just returned to their house in the 300 block of West Duarte Road, Arcadia police Lt. Colleen Flores said.
The man was unloading groceries from his car when the robbers punched him in the face several times and stole his wallet, which contained more than $1,000, the lieutenant said.
When the man’s wife heard her husband calling for help and came outside, police said, the robbers pushed her down and took her wedding ring and watch.
“One of the suspects put packing tape on the elderly female’s mouth while both suspects attempted to use zip-ties around the couple’s wrists,” Lt. Flores said in a written statement.
The plastic bindings were apparently too small, police said, and the robbers ran away. The elderly couple suffered minor injuries in the incident and did not wish to be hospitalized.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Arcadia Police Department.

Woman suspected of torching home in La Habra

LA HABRA – A woman was jailed Friday after she allegedly burned and destroyed a La Habra house, authorities said.
Lynne Barton, a 54-year-old La Habra woman, was booked on suspicion of arson, La Habra police Lt. Jerry Price said.
The blaze was first reported about 12:15 p.m. at a house at 509 South Fonda Street, Los Angeles County Fire Department Dispatch Supervisor Melanie Flores said.
The fire initially “fully engulfed” the home, Price said.
Firefighters extinguished the flames in about 20 minutes, Flores added.
The house, which was largely vacant except for some simple bedding in one bedroom, was completely destroyed by the fire, officials said.
Arson investigators continued working well into the evening searching for the cause of the blaze.
No one besides Barton was believed to be at the home when the fire started, Price said. She herself suffered minor burns in the incident but refused hospitalization.
She was at a neighbor’s home when rescuers arrived, officials said.
A motive in the alleged arson was unclear Friday afternoon, Price said, as well as whether the woman lived at the home.

Man stabbed to death near Whittier

WHITTIER – A man was fatally stabbed early Friday.
His name and city of residence were not immediately released.
Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials released little information about the stabbing, which was reported about 3:50 a.m. in the 14300 block of Mulberry Drive in an unincorporated county area near Whittier.
Los Angeles County Fire officials said they were told by the sheriff’s department about a stabbing and took one person to a hospital.
The man was pronounced dead at the hospital, according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s Deputy Guillermina Saldana.
Sheriff’s officials released no further information about the slaying Friday, and the handling homicide detectives could not be reached for comment.

Detectives investigate man’s death near Whittier

Sheriff’s homicide investigators are looking into the death of a man whose body was found early Friday.
The dead man’s name was not released pending notification of his family members, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Lt. David Smith said. He was 54 years old.
He was pronounced dead after being discovered about 9:09 a.m. in his home in the 7000 block of Norwalk Boulevard, in an unincorporated county area near Whittier, Los Angeles County sheriff’s and coroner’s officials said.
“There were no signs of foul play,” sheriff’s Lt. Margarito Robles said, and detectives were called in because the man’s cause of death was not immediately clear.
Coroner’s officials will perform an autopsy to determined the man’s officials cause of death.

Firefighters douse small brush fire in Glendora

GLENDORA — Firefighters made quick work of a quarter-acre brush fire Wednesday that burned near Glendora Mountain Road, authorities said.
The blaze was first reported by a Pomona police helicopter just after 9 p.m. near mile-marker 11 of Glendora Mountain Road, Los Angeles County Fire Department Dispatch Supervisor Ed Pickett said.
Seven fire engines, several ground crews and three water-dropping helicopters snuffed out the fire within 30 minuted, he added.
The cause of the fire was under investigation.

Texas teens allegedly lead West Covina police on chase in stolen car

WEST COVINA — Four teenagers from Texas were arrested Tuesday after allegedly leading police on a chase in a stolen car, authorities said.
Four boys and one girl, who ranged in age from 15 to 16, were booked on suspicion of auto theft, evading police and resisting arrest, West Covina police Lt. Joseph Sevilla said. All were from Frisco, Texas, and two were reported runaways.
The incident began about 11:30 p.m. at Orange and Merced avenues, he said.
Officers noticed a Honda Accord with Texas license plates and five teenagers inside was reported stolen and tried to pull it over, the lieutenant said.
The Honda led officers on a chase until it crashed into a parked car in the 14000 block of Dillerdale Street in an unincorporated county area near Baldwin Park, he said.
The driver, a 15-year-old boy, and another teenage boy were arrested at the car, Sevilla said, while the other three teens were captured during a search of the surrounding area.
The five teens were being held at Los Padrinos Juvenile Hall in Downey.

Covina woman suspected in West Covina break-in

WEST COVINA — A woman was arrested Wednesday after allegedly participating in a burglary, then returning to the scene as police investigated.
Jennifer Alderete, 29, of Covina was booked on suspicion of residential burglary, West Covina police Lt. Joseph Sevilla said.
The incident began shortly before 11 a.m. when a resident of the 1000 block of East Harvest Moon Street discovered an intruder in his garage, the lieutenant said.
After hearing a strange noise, the resident found a burglar sitting in his vehicle inside his garage, police said.
The startled man immediately shut the door between himself and the intruder, Sevilla said, and hit the panic button on his house alarm.
He then noticed Alderete standing near a gray Toyota Camry parked outside, and saw both the male burglar and Alderete jump into the Camry and drive off, Sevilla said.
The resident was able to memorize the license plate number, and police saw the Camry drive back into the neighborhood as they were investigating the break-in, the lieutenant said.
Alderete was arrested, however the male suspect and another woman the resident believed was involved remained outstanding, he added.
The male burglar was described as a Latino man, about 5 feet 10 inches tall, of medium build with brown hair. The other woman who may have been involved was described as a Latino woman, about 5 feet 4 inches tall, of thin build with brown hair.
According to court records, Alderete is being held in lieu of $50,000 bail and is due for arraignment in West Covina Superior Court Tuesday.

Pasadena police to beef up patrols near shopping centers

PASADENA — Starting Friday, Pasadena Police Department volunteers will be out in force at the city’s busiest shopping centers, authorities said.
The volunteers will be keeping police visibility high and working to cut down on crime at local shopping centers throughout the busy holiday shopping season, Pasadena police said in a written statement.
Incidents of break-ins and other crimes tend to increase during the holiday season, police said.
With the volunteers helping regular officers during their annual “Safe Shopping Detail,” police said they hope to reduce the number of opportunities for thieves in Pasadena.

Man wounded in Rosemead drive-by shooting

ROSEMEAD — A young man was shot and wounded Wednesday in a drive-by shooting, authorities said.
The attack was reported about 4:45 p.m. in the 2600 block of Pine Street, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Jeff Walker said.
A 19-year-old man was wounded in the arm in the shooting, the sergeants said. The wound did not appear to be life-threatening.
The victim had just walked out of a house when he was approached by four attackers described as four male Asians in a silver, newer-model Acura, Walker said.
Someone opened fire from inside the car, striking the victim one, he said.
A motive in the shooting was unknown Wednesday, Walker said, however sheriff’s gang investigators were handling the case.

Pasadena house fire displaced two

PASADENA — A fire Wednesday displaced a mother and daughter from their home the night before Thanksgiving, officials said.
The blaze was first reported about 4:20 p.m. at a two-story house in the 700 block of Prospect Boulevard, Pasadena Fire Department spokeswoman Lisa Derderian said.
Firefighters extinguished the fire in about 10 minutes, she said.
The fire caused about $70,000 worth of damage to the house and its contents, Derderian added.
The homes two residents — a mother and daughter — were not home during the fire, she said.
Derderian said the displaced residents told officials they had a place to stay while their house was being repaired.
The cause of the fire remained under investigation, she said.