Two men beaten and robbed in Rosemead

ROSEMEAD — A group of seven men beat and robbed two other men along Walnut Grove early Saturday, police said.
The two victims, described as Rosemead men in their early 20s, were walking about 4:30 a.m. in the 1000 block of Walnut Grove Avenue, just north of San Gabriel Boulevard, when they were attacked, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Jorge Marchena said.
Seven robbers described as Latino men between 20 and 25 years old beat the victims and robbed them of their money and cell phones, the sergeant said. One of the robbers brandished a handgun during the crime.
The victims were treated at a hospital for apparently minor injuries, Marchena said.
Officials said the attackers were last seen leaving the area in two dark-colored sedans.
Detectives from the sheriff’s Temple Station are handling the investigation.

Fire scorches Monrovia home

MONROVIA — A large electrical fire gutted a home Friday but resulted in no injuries, authorities said.
The fire was reported about 3:30 p.m. in the 500 block of South 5th Avenue,just north of the Foothill (210) Freeway Monrovia Fire Department Chief Chris Donovan said.
“Upon arrival, the crews found a fully involved front of the house,” Donovan said. “It was a pretty significant fire.”
After dousing the flames, investigators determined the fire was sparked because of an electrical issue inside a closet of the home, the chief said. No injuries to civilians or firefighters were reported.
Officials estimated the fire caused about $250,000 worth of damage to the house and its contents, Donovan added. The house was red-tagged pending repairs.
The lone resident of the home, a woman, found her own temporary lodging, and Red Cross assistance was not needed, officials added.
She was not inside the home when the fire ignited because she had just left to chase after a pet dog that had run away, Monrovia police Lt. Nells Ortlund said.
Shortly after officials arrived at the flaming home, the woman returned with the missing dog, he said.
Donovan commended his firefighters for preventing the fire from becoming worse than it was.
“The guys did a great job in keeping the fire contained to the home,” Donovan said. “There was direct exposure to an RV parked out front and neighbors’ homes.”

PHOTO courtesy of the Monrovia Fire Department

Alhambra man accused of DUI following slow-speed chase through South Pasadena, Pasadena

SOUTH PASADENA — An Alhambra man allegedly led police on an intoxicated, slow-speed chase through South Pasadena and Pasadena late Friday and early Saturday before finally surrendering, authorities said.
Tim Neal Morgan, 35, was released from jail with a citation early Saturday after being booked on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and misdemeanor evading police, South Pasadena police Sgt. Tony Abdalla said.
The pursuit began about 11:45 p.m. when an officer patrolling in the 300 block of Garfield Avenue, which has had recent issues with burglaries and auto thefts, spotted Morgan sitting in a parked 1999 Ford Explorer and thought him suspicious, the sergeant said.
As the officer approached Morgan, he began driving away in the SUV with his headlights off, Abdalla said.
The officer tried to pull the Explorer over, but Morgan continued driving, he said.
“It was a slow-speed pursuit in the area of 20 to 30 mph, with the suspect stopping at red lights and stop signs,” Abdalla said.
After leading officers on a 50-minute chase on South Pasadena and Pasadena surface streets, Morgan pulled over and surrendered to police just inside the Alhambra city limit on Huntington Drive near Garfield Avenue, police said.

iPhone 5s targeted in Norwalk Radio Shack robbery

Three men fled with more than 10 iPhone 5 cell phones following a robbery at an electronics store early Saturday, authorities said.
The crime took place about 9:15 a.m. at a Radio Shack location on Rosecrans Avenue, just west of Pioneer Boulevard, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. James Franck said.
After entering the store and brandishing a handgun, the men stole more than 10 iPhone 5 phones, valued at about $800 each, the sergeant said.
Officials described the robbers as three black men in their 20s or 30s, wearing hooded sweat shirts.
No injuries were reported, and no getaway car was seen.

Six sought in takeover robbery at San Dimas jewelry store

SAN DIMAS — Five armed men and a woman smashed open display cases and helped themselves to a “large amount” of merchandise in a takeover robbery at an Arrow Highway jewelry store Friday afternoon, authorities said.
The crime was reported shortly after 2 p.m. at the San Dimas Jewelry Mart, 490 West Arrow Highway, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said.
The female robber entered the store first and held open a security door to allow the five armed men inside, according to Sgt. David Grall.
“Armed with blue steel handguns and wearing ski masks or bandannas to conceal their faces, the five suspects ordered the employees to the ground and began smashing display cases, removing items and placing them in backpacks and their pockets,” Grall said in a written statement.
All six were last seen driving off in an older model, gray, 4-door sedan — possibly a Toyota Camry — with paper license plates, Grall said. They were all described as black and in their 20s.
Investigators did not disclose the amount of jewelry taken in the heist.
No injuries were reported.
Anyone with information was asked to contact the sheriff’s San Dimas Station at 909-450-2700. Tips can also be submitted anonymously by contacting L.A. Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

UPDATED: Charges filed in Pasadena shotgun slaying, additional suspects sought

PASADENA — Charges were filed and new information released Friday in the shotgun slaying of a Pasadena man during a robbery earlier this month.
Prosecutors filed charges against three alleged killers in the Jan. 15 fatal shooting of 21-year-old Zane Goldstein of Pasadena at Chester Avenue and Maple Street.
Two of the suspects, Peter Parra, 35, of Pasadena and Kevin Jessie Cabrera, 25, of North Hollywood, were arrested earlier this week and remain in custody, Pasadena police Lt. Tracey Ibarra said.
A third suspect, identified as Raymond Frank Conchas Jr., 23, was also charged with Goldstein’s murder Friday, though he remained at large, according to police and Los Angeles County District Attorney’s officials.
Police were also seeking Stephanie Urias Jacquez, 20, for questining in the case. She may be travelling with Conchas.
Parra, Caberera and Conchas face charges of murder, with the special circumstance of robbery and the allegation that the crime was gang-related, according to district attorney’s officials. They are also accused of attempted second-degree robbery with the allegation the crime was gang-related, as well as the allegation that a firearm was used.
“Although filed as a capital case, a decision will not be made on whether to seek the death penalty until after the defendants are ordered to stand trial,” district attorney’s officials said in a written statement.
An arraignment scheduled for Friday in Pasadena Superior Court was postponed until Feb. 7, district attorney’s office spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons said.
A 17-year-old Pasadena boy arrested the day after the shooting remained in custody Friday at a juvenile facility due to an alleged probation violation, however it was not yet clear whether he would face charges in the homicide case, officials said.
A man and two women previously arrested in connection with the slaying were released without charges pending further investigation, Ibarra said.
Goldstein died at a hospital two days after the shooting, which Ibarra said was believed to have stemmed from a business transaction-turned-robbery.
He and his 24-year-old brother met the suspects near a Holliston Avenue apartment complex around the corner from where the fatal shooting took place, Ibarra said.
“The victims had gone over to meet the suspects to sell an item,” the lieutenant said. “In the process of that, the suspects decided to rob the victims, and ultimately one of the victims was shot.”
The older brother suffered a minor injury to an “extremity” in the incident, though it remained unclear Friday how the injury occurred.
Ibarra declined to discuss what the item the brothers were selling.
The brothers had just driven away from the meeting place when they were followed by the suspects in a tan vehicle, police said. The older brother called police a short time later to report his brother had been wounded.
The investigation is ongoing, and Ibarra said police continue seeking additional persons of interest.
According to county booking records, Parra, a parolee, was being held without bail, while Cabrera was being held in lieu of $1 million bail.

PHOTOS of Raymond Conchas and Stephanie Jacquez courtesy of the Pasadena Police Department.

1,000 Ecstasy capsules seized, 3 arrested in bust

Gang investigators arrested three suspects, seized 1,000 Ecstasy capsules and uprooted a small indoor marijuana grow in busts linked to Asian organized crime in Rowland Heights and Arcadia earlier this week, authorities said.
Denis Lam, 20, and Ruoyo Mike Dong, 22, both Arcadia residents and members of an Asian street gang, were arrested along with Juan Carlos Cabrales, 23, of Azusa, in the operation, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
The arrests took place late Wednesday at a strip mall in the 18900 block of Gale Avenue in Rowland Heights.
Lam and Dong had hired Cabrales to deliver 1,000 capsules containing a powder form of the drug Ecstasy to a buyer at the strip mall, officials said. The capsules were expected to fetch $5,000.
“Cabrales was arrested by investigators before the transaction was completed,” according to the sheriff’s statement. “Lam and Dong, who were monitoring the transaction nearby, were located by the investigators and arrested as well.”
Detectives then obtained a search warrant for the Arcadia homes of Lam and Dong in an unincorporated county area near Arcadia, where they discovered a “small but functional” indoor marijuana grow, sheriff’s officials said.
All three suspects were booked on suspicion of drug charges and released Thursday pending their initial court appearances after posting $30,000 bail each, according to officials and Los Angeles County booking records.

PHOTO of Ecstasy capsules courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department

UPDATED: Woman’s body found in Angeles National Forest

ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST — Investigators have a mystery on their hands after hikers discovered the body of a woman, apparently stabbed to death, along a hiking trail in the forest north of the eastern San Gabriel Valley.
The body, initially described as that of a woman who appeared to be in her 20s or 30s, was found shortly after 2 p.m. Thursday alongside a hiking trail at the east end of East Fork Road, according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s and coroner’s officials.
Rescuers responded to the scene and pronounced the woman dead at 2:33 p.m., coroner’s Assistant Chief of Operations Ed Winter said.
She appeared to have suffered “sharp trauma” inflicted by a “stabbing implement,” said Lt. David Coleman of the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau, however he declined describe the injuries or weapon involved in the killing, citing the ongoing investigation.
An autopsy will be conducted on the body.
It did not appear the body had been killed elsewhere and dropped of in the forest, the lieutenant added.
Based on evidence found at the scene, “We believe it happened there,” he said.
The body was found clothed and out in the open, with no signs of an attempt to bury it, Coleman said.
Investigators went through area missing persons cases for a possible connection to the body with no success, Coleman said.
“We’ve dismissed all the leads regarding missing persons,” he said.
Investigators were planning to create a composite drawing of the woman to release to the public in hopes of learning her identity, Coleman said.
Though the area where the body was found is in a remote part of the forest, it’s a popular spot for forest visitors such , officials said.
Thursday’s discovery was the second time in the past week human remains were found in the Angeles National Forest.
Detectives following up on the Jan. 8 discovery of a shallow grave containing animal remains, which was believed to be related to ritualistic animal sacrifice, discovered the remains of a person Saturday near mile marker 2.72 of Big Tujunga Canyon Road, north of Sunland, sheriff’s officials said.
“Due to the condition of the remains, age, gender, and identification is unknown at this time, pending the coroner’s investigation,” Deputy Don Walker of the Sheriff’s Headquarters Bureau said the day of the discovery.
Further details regarding the body or the circumstances in which it was found were being withheld Friday due to a security hold placed on the case by sheriff’s homicide detectives, Winter said.

New arrests announced in fatal Pasadena shooting

PASADENA — Police announced three new arrests Thursday in last week’s fatal shooting of a 24-year-old Pasadena man.
Kevin Jessie Cabrera, 25, of North Hollywood, his girlfriend Ashley Ceballos, 20, of North Hollywood and parolee Peter Parra, 35, of Pasadena were behind bars on suspicion of the fatal Jan. 15 shooting of Zane Goldstein, Pasadena police Lt. Tracey Ibarra said.
Meanwhile, a 17-year-old Pasadena boy previously arrested in connection with the shooting remained in custody, the lieutenant said.
Two other previously arrested suspects in the case, Raymond Ramirez, 23, of Pasadena and Ruby Conchas, 20, of Pasadena were released pending further investigation, Ibarra said.
Ramirez was initially booked on suspicion of murder, while Conchas was accused of acting as an accessory after the fact, police said. Though both were released from custody as the investigation continued. Detectives planned to present their finding regarding all six suspects to prosecutors Friday for consideration of charges.
Cabrera and Ceballos were arrested without a struggle Tuesday in North Hollywood, Ibarra said.
Police arrested Parra Wednesday without a fight after spotting him driving in Pasadena and pulling him over, she said.
And police continued seeking at least one more person of interest in the case, Ibarra said.
Ibarra described both Cabrera and Parra as gang members, though the shooting was not believed to be gang-related.
Parra is a parolee with previous convictions including assault with a deadly weapon, burglary and grand theft, officials said.
The shooting took place just after 2 p.m. after the brothers drove away from an apartment complex at Holliston Avenue and were followed by another car, police said.
The suspects and victims were not believed to have been acquainted with each other prior to the incident, Ibarra said.
Little information has been released about what took place next, but minutes later police received a call from Goldstein’s 21-year-old brother reporting Goldstein had been shot.
“I can’t comment on how they encountered each other at this point,” Ibarra said.
As the investigation continued, Ibarra said, detectives withheld the specific circumstances and suspected motive in the fatal shooting.
“I’m concerned about tainting any statements that we may get from witnesses,” she said.

UPDATED: Off-duty police officer stabbed during Whittier home invasion

WHITTIER — An off-duty police officer suffered stab wounds but was expected to survive following a home invasion on Pioneer Boulevard Thursday afternoon, authorities said.
The stabbing in the 5400 block of Pioneer Boulevard was reported about 3:20 p.m., Whittier police Officer Bradley White said.
The victim, described by Whittier police as an off-duty officer from another police agency, suffered injuries not believed to be life-threatening, White said.
“The victim was stabbed multiple times,”he said. It was unclear what type of weapon was used.
Police initially described the attacker only as a black man. He was last seen fleeing north on Pioneer Boulevard in a red sedan.
It was unclear whether the attacker was injured during the incident, White said.
Further details were not available as the investigation continued late Thursday.