Arcadia firefighters fights third fire in three days

ARCADIA — For the third time in as many days, firefighters have had to douse flames at an Arcadia home, authorities said.
A fire broke out just before 11 a.m. Wednesday inside an apartment in the 1100 block of Arcadia Avenue, Arcadia Fire Department spokeswoman Beth Stogner said.
The blaze, which was initially believed to have been sparked by clothing or towels left too close to a wall heater, was confined to a bathroom, Stogner said.
The occupants got themselves out of the apartment before firefighters arrived, and no injuries were reported, she said.
A dollar-value estimate of the damage was not available Wednesday afternoon.
Another fire caused about $150,000 worth of damage to a garage and two cars parked inside it about 7:20 a.m. Tuesday, officials said.
No one was hurt in the blaze, Stogner said.
Investigators could not isolate a definite cause, but could not rule out the possibility a pile of rags contaminated with a volatile chemical left in the garage spontaneously ignited.
Firefighters responded to another blaze about 2:50 a.m. Monday, where a house was badly damaged in the 200 block of West Camino Real, Stogner said.
Officials arrived to find the home well-involved with fire, but the residents had evacuated themselves, she said.
Firefighters extinguished the fire in about 20 minutes, Stogner said. One resident who declined to be hospitalized via ambulance was later taken to a hospital by a private car for treatment of smoke inhalation.
Monday’s fire caused an estimated $250,000 worth of damage to the home and items inside of it, Stogner said.
The cause was found to be someone smoking in bed, she said.

Doctor accused of molesting patients in Whittier, La Mirada appears in court

NORWALK — A doctor accused of molesting five patients during gynecological exams at offices in Whittier and La Mirada pleaded not guilty in court Wednesday, authorities said.
Dr. Steve Vouis, 65, is charged with six counts of sexual battery by fraud for alleged incident that took place between 2007 and 2009.
Vouis, who is free pending trial after posting $125,000 bail, was ordered to return to Norwalk Superior court Dec. 13 for a pretrial hearing, court officials said.

Police to collect unwanted precription drugs in Azusa, El Monte, Whittier

Law enforcement agencies throughout the San Gabriel Valley and the nation will be partnering with the Drug Enforcement Administration Saturday to collect unwanted prescription drugs.
Started in September of last year, the program is designed to remove expired and unwanted medications from medicine cabinets so they don’t end up in the hand of abusers, or polluting the environment, Azusa police officials said in a written statement.
It us unsafe to simply throw unwanted drugs in the trash or flush them down the toilet, officials said.
Collections will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at police stations including the Azusa Police Department, 725 N. Alameda Ave., the El Monte Police Department, 11333 Valley Blvd. and the Whittier Police Department, 13200 Penn Street.
The service is free and anonymous, with no questions asked.

Meat salesmen suspected of possessing stolen property in Covina

COVINA — Police arrested three men who were selling meat door-to-door on suspicion of receiving stolen property Tuesday, police said.
Mustapha Math, 29, of Los Angeles, Stephen Hyman, 18, of Panorama City and Richard Olson, 52, of Sun Valley were all booked on suspicion of possession of stolen property, Covina police Lt. John Curley said.
Police received a call about 4:40 p.m. reporting suspicious people loitering in the 200 block of East Hurst Street, the lieutenant said.
Officers found Math, Hyman and Olson in the neighborhood, Curley said. They said they were there to selling meat products door-to-door,
Hyman showed signs of being under the influence of drugs and was detained, Curley said.
Upon further investigation, officers found newer-model computer equipment inside the men’s car, “and they could not provide an explanation of where these items came from,” Curley said.
All three men were arrested on suspicion of possessing stolen property, police said. Hyman was additionally booked on suspicion of being under the influence of drugs, and Olson was also booked on suspicion of possessing drugs — marijuana and cocaine.
According to county booking records, Math, a parolee, was being held without bail, Hyman was being held in lieu of $10,000 bail and Olson was being held on $20,000 bail. All three were due to appear in West Covina Superior Court Friday.

Man stabbed during fight at Pasadena apartment complex

PASADENA — One man was stabbed and several others injured during a fight at an apartment complex late Tuesday, authorities said.
Police jailed two men and sought a third in connection with the 11:45 p.m. attack in the 500 block of North Marengo Avenue, Pasadena police Lt. Tracey Ibarra said.
The stabbing victim suffered injuries that appeared, “serious but not life-threatening,” after being stabbed in the torso, the lieutenant said.
Two men became involved in a fight over a woman, and several other people joined in on both sides, Ibarra said.
During the fight, one man was stabbed and two other men were struck in the head with bottles, she said. The men who were hit with bottles were not hospitalized.
Govani Lopez, 21, and Victor Lopez, 41, both of Pasadena, were booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, Ibarra said. It was not clear if they were related. They were believed to have wielded the bottles.
A fourth man was hospitalized with a cut, Ibarra said. He was being investigated as a possible suspect in the attack as well.
The knife-wielding suspect remained at large, officials said. He was described only as a Latino man wearing dark clothing.
According to county booking records, Govani and Victor Lopez were being held in lieu of $30,000 each pending their initial court appearances.

Men suspected of auto break-ins; owners of stolen property sought

PICO RIVERA — Sheriff’s deputies jailed two men suspected of at least five car break-ins after catching them in the act late Tuesday, authorities said.
Servando Villalobos, 34, and Rodolfo Lemus, 25, were booked on suspicion of auto burglary, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Robert Smith said. Their cities of residence were not available.
They were being held in lieu of $40,000 bail each pending their initial court appearances, according to county booking records.
Sgt. Joe Van Damme was on patrol about 7:50 p.m. in the parking lot of L.A. Fitness, 8909 Washington Blvd., when he spotted a man breaking into a car, then getting into a Chevy Tahoe which drove away, the lieutenant said.
Van Damme followed the Tahoe and called for backup before deputies stopped the car and detained Villalobos and Lemus, Smith said.
Inside the Tahoe, he added, deputies found four third-row seats stolen from SUVs, ID cards, cell phones and other stolen items.
Items taken from the L.A. Fitness car break-in were returned to their owner, as well as items stolen in a car burglary at Target, 8800 Whittier Blvd., and one of the third-row seats, which was found to have been stolen from a car parked at Chuck E. Cheese’s restaurant, 6005 Rosemead Blvd., Smith said.
Investigators were still trying to find the owners of the other three third-row seats Wednesday, Smith said. It was not known where they had been stolen.
Anyone who recently had an SUV third-row seat stolen in the area recently is advised to call the sheriff’s Pico Rivera Station at 562-949-2421.

Arraignment postponed for Diamond Bar teacher accused of molestation

DIAMOND BAR — Arraignment was postponed Tuesday for a Diamond Bar teacher who authorities allege was having a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old student.
Steven Shane Andrews, 41, was scheduled to be arraigned in Pomona Superior Court, but the proceedings were postponed, court officials said.
Andrews, a teacher at Lorbeer Middle School, faces 18 felony counts stemming from an alleged relationship with the girl from May through September, according to a criminal complaint filed in Superior Court by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Andrews is scheduled to return to court Nov. 1 for arraignment on the charges, officials said.
The defendant is being held at Twin Towers Correctional Facility in Los Angeles in lieu of $450,000 bail.
The girl told investigators that she had a sexual relationship with Andrews while she was in the eighth grade at Lorbeer, in the 2010-2011 school year, sheriff’s officials said.
The school is in the Pomona Unified School District.
The defendant surrendered to deputies on Sept. 30 at a sheriff’s station in Walnut.
Andrews faces six counts each of sexual penetration with a foreign object and unlawful sexual intercourse with a child, three counts of lewd acts with a child, two counts of oral copulation with a child under 16 and one count of first-degree residential burglary, according to the criminal complaint.

Anonymos tip leads to Pomona marijuana grow

POMONA — We-Tip information led police to a large-scale marijuana grow operation in Pomona.
Police officers received anonymous information that two men were cultivating marijuana inside a business at 2720 Pomona Blvd., which is in an industrial area of the city.
When officers arrived on Monday they talked to Van Quang Nguyen, 50, of Westminster who said he was the renter of the property and in charge of what was inside the building, Pomona police Sgt. Jaime Gutierrez said in a written statement.
More than 2,800 plants in various stages of growth were found inside, he said.
Follow-up searches at the Westminster homes of the suspects yielded an additional 30 pounds of harvested marijuana, police said. The estimated street value of the pot was more than $1.5 million.
Nguyen, along with Thanh Van Lee, 40, of Westminster were arrested and booked at Pomona City Jail on suspicion of possessing and cultivating marijuana for sale, officials said. Their bail was set at $100,000.
Police said the suspects also stole electricity from Southern California Edison to set up the operation.
LA IMPACT, a regional narcotics unit, was called to the scene for assistance.

Two plead not guilty in Pasadena barbershop owner’s killing

PASADENA — A man and woman accused of murdering a Pasadena barbershop owner pleaded not guilty Tuesday, officials.
Devon Westley Moore, 22, of Los Angeles, and Sabrina King, 18, of Compton, are due back in Pasadena Superior Court for a preliminary hearing setting on Dec. 14, court officials said.
King E. King, 43, of Pasadena was found stabbed to death Sept. 21 in a shared parking lot behind his barbershop on the 900 block of East Washington Avenue, investigators said.
Prosecutors have also accused Sabrina King, who is not related to the victim, and Moore with the special circumstance that the murder was done during a robbery, making them potentially eligible for the death penalty.
Prosecutors have not yet determined whether to seek capital punishment in the case.

Young boy killed in back yard accident in South San Gabriel

SOUTH SAN GABRIEL — A 6-year-old boy died over the weekend after a large bird bath fell on him as he played in a back yard, authorities said.
Hunter Thomas Mason Brule of Lake Arrowhead died at a hospital several hours after the accident, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner’s Lt. Fred Corral said.
The incident was reported about 5 p.m. Saturday at a home in the 1700 block of Eckhart Avenue in the unincorporated county area known as South San Gabriel, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Tom McNeal said.
The boy was playing in the back yard with a dog when a large concrete bird feeder fell over and landed on his chest, sheriff’s and coroner’s officials said.
An autopsy performed Tuesday concluded the boy died from blunt force trauma to his chest and the death was ruled accidental, Corral said.
Rescuers initially found the boy not breathing, but revived him and rushed him to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, McNeal said. He died from his injuries about 11:30 p.m.
Nothing criminal was initially suspected, he said.
Sheriff’s chaplains were summoned to counsel both the family of the boy, as well as deputies who responded to the scene.