Off-duty LAPD officer killed in Diamond Bar crash

DIAMOND BAR — An off-duty Los Angeles police officer was killed and several other people were injured Thursday in a four-vehicle crash in Diamond Bar, authorities said.
The officer, a woman who appeared to be in her late 30s, was pronounced dead at the scene, Los Angeles County fire sheriff’s officials said.
The four-car crash was reported at Grand Avenue, just west of Longview Drive, sheriff’s and fire officials said.
The crash started as a head-on collision between two vehicles before the other two vehicles crashed into the wreckage, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. John Saleeby said.
“One vehicle was driving north (on Grand Avenue),” he said. “It collided with the vehicle traveling south.”
A man who was driving a small pickup truck was flown to Los Angeles County-USC Medical center in moderate-to-critical condition, Los Angeles County Fire Department Capt. Shawn Green said said.
Two adults and a teenager inside a larger pickup truck involved in the crash were hospitalized with minor injuries, he said.
No information about the fourth vehicle involved in the collision was available late Thursday, though fire officials did not report treating any injured people from a fourth vehicle.
The cause of the crash remained under investigation, Saleeby said, however no arrests or citations were made late Thursday.

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iPod Touch taken in Pasadena street robbery

This kind of stuff makes you wonder if the kids should be carrying around expensive phones:

PASADENA – Police believe robbers in an SUV robbed a man of his wallet and $110, then tried to rob another man less than an hour later.

At about 8:45 p.m. Tuesday, a passenger in the SUV robbed a 38-year-old Pasadena man at Fillmore Street and Los Robles Avenue, taking $110.

At about 9:12 p.m., a person in an SUV tried to rob a 33-year-old man walking on Fillmore near Oakland Avenue, said police Lt. Rodney D. Wallace.

“The victim turns out his pockets to show he didn’t have a wallet,” Wallace said, and the robber then got back into the vehicle and left.

In an earlier, unrelated incident, a man with a knife approached a teenage on Wright Avenue and Mountain Street at about 7:52 p.m. Tuesday and demanded money. Police said the robber took the teen’s iPod Touch and $20.

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Police seek missing La Habra man


 LA HABRA — A missing man La Habra police sought Wednesday retrned home Wednesday night, authorities said.
Wankeun Min, 64, disappeared from his family home Tuesday, and family members became concerned due pre-existing medical conditions, police said.
Late Wednesday, Min returned to his home, officials said. He was uninjured, except for a small cut.


38125-Wankeun Min-thumb-300x724-38124.jpgLA HABRA — Police asked the public’s help Wednesday finding a missing 64-year-old man who suffers from medical problems.
Wankeun Min was last seen Tuesday morning at his home in the 1200 block of S. Ironwood Street, La Habra police said in a written statement.
He recently had a stroke and has suffered some memory loss, and he requires anti-seizure medication, which he does not have with him.
He was reported missing by his family Tuesday evening, police said.
Min is known to take short walks around the block and shop along Imperial Highway, police said, but in the past he has always returned.
Min speaks Korean and limited English, officials added. He is 5 feet 6 inches tall, about 130 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes, police said. He was last seen wearing beige pants and a brown and orange striped shirt.
Anyone with information is asked to call the La Habra Police Department.

PHOTO courtesy of the La Habra Police Department

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Body of missing West Covina woman found in Castaic

CASTAIC — Coroner’s officials Wednesday identified a woman who apparently killed herself by mixing chemicals inside a car in Castaic as a 20-year-old West Covina resident who had been reported missing.
The cause of death remained under investigation by the Los Angeles County Department of Coroner, however the woman initial appeared to have committed suicide by mixing chemicals in her parked car to create a poisonous gas, Los Angeles County sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore said.
The woman’s body was discovered about 9:30 a.m. Tuesday in a field about 1,000 yards from Lake Hughes Road, near Dry Gulch Road, he said.
A patrol deputy spotted a blue Honda Civic that looked like it may have been abandoned and checked the license plate number, Whitmore said. The plate was listed as belonging to a missing person.
“As he walked up to the car, (the deputy) saw signs saying ‘stay away,’ and ‘suicide,'” and warning of poison gas in the car, he said. The deputy then saw the body of a woman slumped in the back seat of the car.
Sheriff’s arson officials and Los Angeles County Firefighters carefully opened the car, Whitmore said.
The woman had been reported missing by family members Sunday, West Covina police Sgt. Pat Benschop said.
“There was nothing suspicious other than she was not where she was supposed to be,” he said.
Police deferred all further questions to the sheriff’s department.
Though coroner’s officials said the woman was not of Asian descent, the method authorities suspect the woman used to kill herself Tuesday, hydrogen sulfide gas poisoning, originated as a trend in Japan.Hundreds of people reportedly killed themselves in Japan in a similar fashion during the first six months of 2008.
The apparent suicide in Castaic was not the first such incident in Los Angeles County.
A 23-year-old Pasadena man died in August, 2008, after apparently mixing chemicals in his car as it was parked in the 400 block of Rosemead Boulevard in Pasadena. According to coroner’s officials, he too was not of Asian or Japanese descent.

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Hit and run ends in fatal collision *UPDATED

*The California Highway Patrol originally reported incorrect information regarding this story. It has been updated below.

From the SGV Tribune:

WEST COVINA – A man was killed in a fatal crash Monday, California Highway Patrol officials said Tuesday.

Gustavo Cesena, of West Covina, was killed about 10:30 p.m. Monday, said Officer Heather Hoglund. Cesena was not wearing his seat belt, Hoglund said.

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Suspected Altadena child molester pleads guilty

Mark Walter Sonnenburg of Altadena will be sentenced on April 19, officials said. He was picked up by LAPD in 2008.

Here’s the story:
A former teacher pleaded no contest today to charges he molested two 9-year-old girls in 1988, including one who attended the school where he worked.

Mark Walter Sonnenburg, 55, pleaded no contest to two counts of lewd act with a child, according to Deputy District Attorney Ann Marie Wise.

He is due back in Los Angeles Superior Court on April 19, when the victims are expected to speak and Sonnenburg is scheduled to be taken into custody to begin serving a six-month jail term, the prosecutor said.

Sonnenburg will serve the jail time before he returns to court for sentencing.

Along with the jail term, Sonnenburg is expected to be ordered to serve five years’ probation, register as a sex offender for life, undergo sex offender counseling and not be alone with minor children, according to Wise.

He will be barred from teaching, the prosecutor said.

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Plea deal for La Puente’s Mayor Lujan in the works

Louie Lujan allegedly failed to report some campaign cash and faces a lifetime out of politics. 

Here’s the latest from reporter James Wagner:

LA PUENTE – Prosecutors have offered Mayor Louie Lujan a plea deal in a perjury case against him.

Lujan, who faces one felony count of perjury for filing an allegedly false campaign finance report, will appear Thursday in a court that officials said handles cases before they enter the traditional criminal court process.

“If he enters a plea on this count as charged, then that will end the case,” said Deputy District Attorney Max Huntsman of the Public Integrity Division.

The plea offer consists of three years probation and a $1,000 fine, Huntsman said.

Thursday’s court date in Superior Court is for an early disposition hearing, where it is determined if a case can be “disposed of early,” Deputy Clerk Lorraine Valdez said.

There is no testimony or witnesses, she said.

The prosecution and defense must both agree to enter the early disposition hearing, Huntsman said.

A judge would have to sign off on an agreed plea deal, officials said.

Lujan and his attorney, Glen Jonas, did not return repeated calls Monday for comment.

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Sandwich shop robbed in San Dimas

SAN DIMAS — A man pretended to have a gun and robbed a San Dimas sandwich shop Sunday, officials said.
The robbery was reported about 6:40 p.m. at the Subway restaurant in the 1000 block of West Arrow Highway, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Craig Boyett said.
A robber described as a Latino man with a thin mustache, unshaven, wearing a grey hooded sweat shirt, blue jeans and aviator-style sunglasses entered the store and demanded cash, officials said.
No gun was seen, though he motioned as if he had one underneath his sweat shirt, authorities said. The robber was last seen running north on Lone Hill Avenue with about $100 in stolen cash.

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Man suspected of kidnapping 6-year-old girl from bus in L.A.

From the Associated Press:

LOS ANGELES — Authorities say a 60-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of kidnapping a 6-year-old girl on a Los Angeles bus.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Capt. Mike Parker says a homeless woman reported her daughter missing early Sunday. The woman told authorities she fell asleep on a bus near downtown and when she awoke the girl was gone.
About two hours later the driver of another bus reported seeing the girl board his vehicle accompanied by a male suspect.
Deputies responded and arrested the man, identified as John Thomas.
The girl was unhurt and taken into protective custody.

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