Men suspected of using torch to steal from coin-operated car wash in Azusa

AZUSA — Police arrested two men late Monday on suspicion of using a torch to steal change from a coin-operated car wash, officials said.
Craig Kemppainen, 47, of Upland and Thomas Lawyer, 50, of San Bernardino were booked on suspicion of possession of stolen property, possession of burglary tools and possession of drug paraphernalia, Azusa police Lt. Steve Hunt said.
The alleged theft was reported about 10 p.m. at the Azusa Car Wash, 514 N. Azusa Avenue, police said.
Two males were seen using a torch to cut the locks of coin machines,” Hunt said.
Officers found the men and their vehicle nearby, and recovered more than $300 worth of coins, the lieutenant said, as well as other evidence linking them to the crime.
According to county booking records, Kemppainen and Lawyer were being held in lieu of $20,000 bail each and were due for arraignment Wednesday in West Covina Superior Court.

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Norwalk man suspected of break-in at counseling center

NORWALK — A man was arrested on suspicion of burglary burglary and other crimes after breaking into a youth counseling facility and stealing computers early Tuesday, authorities said.
John Rodriguez, 44, of Norwalk was being held without bail at the Inmate Reception Center in Los Angeles, according to county booking records.
The Helpline Youth Counseling center, 12440 E. Firestone Blvd., Ste. 1000, had been broken into twice in the past month, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Brian Doyle.
“A deputy happened to be nearby when the alarm call came out (about 2 a.m.),” the sergeant said. “He dashed over there and caught the guy.”
Rodriguez was trying to flee the area in a stolen car when he was stopped, officials added. Several computers and other items believed to be stolen were found in the car.
Rodriguez also had an outstanding warrant for his arrest, Doyle said.
Detectives were looking into whether Rodriguez was involved in the previous burglaries at the counseling center.
According to county booking records, he was due for arraignment Wednesday in Bellflower Superior Court.

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Adult business executives admit filing false tax returns

LOS ANGELES — Two executives of an adult entertainment company with offices in Santa Fe Springs and Cerritos have pleaded guilty to charges of falsifying tax returns, authorities announced Tuesday.
Oscar Macias, 36, of Anaheim pleaded guilty Monday in federal court to a county of filing a false individual tax return, U.S. Department of the Treasury Special Agent Linda Lowery said.
His former business associate, 34-year-old Catherine Shihad, pleaded guilty Sept. 20 to a charge of filing a false tax return on behalf of the business she and Macias worked for — Universal Media Management, officials said.
“During the 2003-2005 tax years, UMM’s business consisted of providing live, adult entertainment to adult customers for which the customers made cash payments to UMM,” Lowery said.
“Macias received income from UMM that he did not report on his federal income tax returns,” she added. The estimated lost tax revenue totaled about $33,000.
In Shihad’s case, “Shihad caused the tax preparer to prepare a federal corporate income tax return for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2004 which was false,” Lowery said. “UMM’s net income was substantially more than the amounts reported on the 2004 tax return. The estimated lost tax revenue totalled about $140,000.
As part of their plea agreements, Macias and Shihad both agreed to file amended returns, correctly reporting previously omitted income, officials said.
Macias and Shihad each face a maximum of three years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000 at sentencing. Macias is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 9, while Shihad is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 28.
The investigation was carried out by the IRS – Criminal Investigation, along with the United States Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.

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La Mirada hit-and-run suspect appears in court

LA MIRADA — A man accused of fleeing the scene after fatally striking a 72-year-old La Mirada man pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Downey Superior Court.
Geoffrey Rocha, 27, of La Mirada is accused of vehicular manslaughter, hit-and-run and driving without a valid license in connection with the fatal Sept. 20 hit-and-run of Raul Quintanilla on Santa Gertrudes Avenue at Lawnhill Drive, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Shiara Davila-Morales said.
He’s due back in court for a hearing Oct. 21, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Shiara Davila-Morales said.
Rocha’s brother, 30-year-old Gregory Rocha, died March 5 crash at the same intersection when the pickup truck he was a passenger in crashed.
Services for Quintanilla, an entrepreneur and chef for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, had not been scheduled Tuesday.

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Los Angeles man killed in Alhambra motorcycle crash

ALHAMBRA — A Los Angeles man died Friday after his motorcycle collided with a big rig on the 10 Freeway, officials said.
The name of the motorcyclist was not released Saturday pending notification of his family members, coroner’s officials said. California Highway Patrol officials initially described him as a 51-year-old Los Angeles man.
The crash occurred about 4:30 p.m. on the Garfield Avenue onramp to the westbound 10 Freeway, CHP officials said in a written statement.
“For unknown reasons, (the motorcyclist) was unable to negotiate a right turn to enter the normal lanes of traffic,” the statement said.
The rider then lost control of his 2008 Harley-Davidson Road King, which struck the right, rear portion of a big rig being driven by a 51-year-old Fontana man, according to the CHP.
The rider was then thrown from his motorcycle and was struck by the truck in the right lane of the Freeway, the statement said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

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Glendora video game store robbed

GLENDORA — A robber fled with an unknown amount of cash Friday after giving a video game store employee a note demanding cash and claiming he was armed, authorities said.
The crime was reported just after 9 p.m. at GameStop, on Lonehill Avenue at Gladstone Street, Glendora police Lt. Rob Lamborghini said.
In addition to the money, the robber also stole a video game, officials said.
Though the note he passed stated that he had a gun, no weapon was seen, the lieutenant said.
Police described him as a white man in his mid-20s, wearing a baseball cap, a gray hooded sweat shirt and blue jeans. He was last seen fleeing in a silver, boxy-shaped Scion.

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Minnesota police fatally shot Altadena woman

From the Associated Press:

GOLDEN VALLEY, MINNESOTA — A woman shot and killed by police on Interstate 394 was identified late Friday as Katherine Marie Gordon of Altadena.
Golden Valley police officer tried to stop the white Honda Civic that Gordon, 58, was driving near U.S. 169 around 1 p.m. Thursday, authorities said.
Gordon continued driving for half a mile before finally pulling over to the left side of the freeway just past the Hopkins Crossroad overpass. Authorities said Gordon had a handgun, though it is unclear if she fired.
Gordon died of multiple gunshot wounds, according to the Hennepin County Medical Examiner Office. The office called the manner of death a homicide. No further information is currently available.
The Golden Valley officer involved in Thursday’s shooting was not injured. The officer was to be placed on administrative leave while the incident is under investigation. The Hennepin County sheriff’s office is investigating.

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Two charged in Pasadena killing

PASADENA — Prosecutors have filed murder charges Friday against two of the four people arrested this week in connection with the slaying of a Pasadena barbershop owner, while the other two persons are being released, police said.
King E. King, 43, of Pasadena was found dead early Wednesday in a shared parking lot behind his barbershop on the 900 block of East Washington Avenue.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office filed murder charges with special circumstances involving robbery against Devon Westley Moore, 22, of Los Angeles, and Sabrina King, 18, of Compton, Lt. Phlunte Riddle said.
The D.A.’s office rejected filing charges against the other two individuals, Alfred Mayes, 22, of Pasadena and Michelle McGowan, 23, of Pasadena, citing insufficient evidence, she said. Mayes and McGowan are being released and are no longer considered persons of interest, she said.
King was killed during the course of a robbery, police said.
The special allegation of killing for the purpose of robbery potentially makes Moore and Sabrina King eligible for the death penalty, officials said. Prosecutors will decide at a later date whether to pursue the death penalty.
King King died from “multiple stab wounds of the neck,” according to Lt. Larry Dietz of the Los Angeles County Department of Coroner.
Moore was identified incorrectly Thursday in a police press release as Devon Wesley.
Moore and Sabrina King were being held without bail.

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Computers stolen in Rowland Heights school burglary

ROWLAND HEIGHTS — An elementary school was found burglarized and several computers stolen early Friday, officials said.
The break-in took place in the early-morning hours at Killian Elementary School, 19100 Killian Ave., Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. John Saleeby said.
Officials discovered a window broken at a building on the campus, and several computers were taken, he said.
Further details were not available.

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Man robbed in front of aquatics center in Pasadena

PASADENA — A man was robbed at gunpoint Thursday while sitting in his car in front of the Rose Bowl Aquatics Center.
The crime took place about 7:30 p.m. in the parking lot, 360 N. Arroyo Blvd., Pasadena police Lt. Diego Torres said.
A 29-year-old Pasadena man was sitting in his car when he was approached by a Latino man in his early 20s, about 5 feet 5 inches tall, 130 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes, the lieutenant said.
The robber brandished a handgun and demanded property from the victim, Torres said. He stole the victim’s wallet and iPod and jumped into the passenger seat of a white or silver, late-model, small imported SUV.

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