Bank robbed in Rosemead

ROSEMEAD — Two men fled with cash Thursday following a robbery at a bank branch Thursday afternoon, officials said.
The heist took place just after 12:30 p.m. at the Pacific Alliance Bank, 8400 Valley Blvd., Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Steven Ruiz said.
The robber demanded money from a teller and fled after obtaining an undisclosed amount, officials said. No weapons were seen during the crime, and no injuries were reported.
Officials described the robbers as two black men in their 20s, wearing black caps and blue jackets, Ruiz said.
No further details were available.

Suspect in La Crescent takeover robbery arrested after chase

Officials arrested a man sought on suspicion of a takeover robbery at a La Crescenta dental office following a chase that ended in Sunland Thursday, officials said.
Bryan Michael Mackey, 33, was booked on suspicion of crimes including robbery, assault on peace officers, making terrorist threats, evading police after he was taken into custody about 9 a.m. along Fenwick Avenue, west of Mt. Gleason Avenue in Sunland, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said.
In Wednesday’s robbery, Mackey is accused of tying up two women and a man inside a dental office in the 3900 block of Ocean View Boulevard, sheriff’s Sgt. Booker Hollis said.
After leaving the employees tied up inside the office, “It took four to five hours before they were able to free themselves,” Booker said. The robbery was reported about 5 p.m.
Mackey fled with the purse, cell phone, car keys and a Toyota Corolla of one of the victims, Hollis said.
Officials were hunting for Mackey and the stolen car when a deputy spotted him driving in the Sunland area, initiating a pursuit, Hollis said. The car had been fitted licenses plates from another car.
The pursuit headed to La Crescenta and reached high speeds before deputies called it off, but continued “surveillance” of the suspect, officials said.
California Highway Patrol officers again began pursuing the Corolla when it returned to Sunland, Hollis said. A CHP officer ultimately stopped the car with a PIT maneuver.
Mackey sat in his car and smoked a cigarette while CHP officers held him at gunpoint before deputies shot out the windows of the car with bean bag rounds, Hollis said. The suspect then exited the stolen car and surrendered.
According to county booking records, Mackey was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail pending his initial court appearance.

Montebello mayor’s husband charged with alleged methamphetamine sales

Prosecutors Thursday filed seven felony charges related to the sale of methamphetamine against the husband of Montebello’s mayor following his arrest earlier this month, authorities said.
Ruben Guerrero, 44, was arrested two weeks ago during an early-morning raid at the home he shares with Montebello Mayor Christina Cortez in the 1500 block of Los Angeles Avenue.
Sheriff’s officials have said Cortez is not a suspect in the investigation.
“Los Angeles County sheriff’s detectives arrested suspect Guerrero on Oct. 17, 2013, after he allegedly sold methamphetamine more than once during the previous weeks to an undercover sheriff’s detective, Capt. Mike Parker of the Sheriff’s Headquarter’s Bureau said in a written statement.
Guerrero sold drugs three times to an undercover investigator during the investigation, Los Angles County District Attorney’s officials said.
“The sales took place in a parking lot across the street from Montebello Intermediate School in the City of Montebello and were audio and video recorded by sheriff’s investigators,” Parker added.
He was charged Thursday in Los Angles Superior Court with three counts of felony sales of a controlled substance, three counts of transportation for sales of narcotics and one count of selling narcotics within 1,000 feet of a school.
Montebello Intermediate School is about a block away from the home of Guerrero and Cortez.
At the Oct. 25 city council meeting, Cortez thanked her supporters and said she had no plans of stepping down.
Guerrero was ordered back to court for an arraignment hearing Nov. 7, officials said. At the hearing, prosecutors were expected to ask that Guerrero’s bail be increased to $120,000.
He has remained free on $60,000 bail since the day of his arrest, according to county booking records.

San Dimas man arrested in connection with alleged 1974 rape of disabled girl in Canada

1101_NWS_SGT-L-MACLEODDeputies Thursday announced the arrest of a San Dimas man who fled Canada in 1980 pending his re-trial for the alleged rape of disabled child in 1974.
Raymond Douglas MacLeod, 71, was being held on immigration violation and weapons charges as he awaited deportation back to Canada to face charges there, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
The fugitive, who officials said had been using a dead person’s social security number, was arrested Monday at his home at the East Shore Recreational Vehicle Park, 1440 Camper View Road in San Dimas, near Frank G. Bonelli Regional Park, authorities said. The mobile home park is home to many children.
He had allegedly been hiding from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for more than 33 years.
“They’e eager to get him back in Canada,” Deputy Johnny Jones said, adding that the victim in the 1974 rape case had been informed of his recapture.
Deputy Dan Whitten, who identified MacLeod as a Canadian fugitive, said two rifles and 1101_NWS_SGT-L-MACLEOD2several high-capacity magazines, including a 100-round drum, from an AK-47 rifle that was not found were seized from MacLeod’s mobile home when he was arrested without a struggle. McLeod is a convicted felon due to drunken driving and hit-and-run case stemming from the 1980s and is barred from possessing weapons.
He has been arrested several times in the United States over the past three decades, but not linked by law enforcement to the Canadian case.
Though MacLeod was expected to be charged with weapons violations in Los Angeles County, local officials planned to let the Canadian case be handled first.
“We’re going to go ahead and let (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) deport him,” Whitten said. Weapons charged will likely be filed later, generating an arrest warrant should MacLeod ever return to the United States.
MacLeod’s then-5-year-old victim is now married with a family and expressed relief that MacLeod was in custody, Whitten said.
“In 1974, Mr. MacLeod was arrested in Canada by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for the rape of a 5 year-old who suffered with cerebral palsy,” officials from the Sheriff’s Parks Bureau said in a written statement.
As he was free on bail pending his trial in Canada, he twice attempted to flee Canada to the U.S. but was stopped, officials said.
1101_NWS_SGT-L-MACLEOD3“He was tried, and in four days was acquitted due to an error made by the judge,” the statement said. An appeals court ordered a new trial in January of 1980, however MacLeod was not present in court during the appeals process.
“MacLeod was ultimately found to have fled Canada, and a warrant was issued for his arrest by the RCMP,” according to the sheriff’s statement.
The case went cold for more than three decades until January, when Deputy Dan Whitten of the Sheriff’s Parks Bureau became aware of MacLeod’s possible connection to the Canadian case.
After running McLeod’s information in January, Whitten said he noticed a “very vague” entry listed in connection with his name in a national crime database. After three or four hours of research and a call to Canadian investigators, Whitten confirmed MacLeod was the fugitive rape suspect.
Canadian authorities immediately began the lengthy process of extraditing MacLeod back to Canada.
But the deputy said he discovered that MacLeod was using a fraudulent social security number and was living in the U.S. illegally, speeding up MacLeod’s return to a Canadian courthouse.
“Due to the seriousness of the crime he was accused of, Deputy Whitten contacted ICE and the United States Marshals Office,” according to the sheriff’s statement. “Following a 10-month investigation, ICE confirmed Mr. MacLeod’s Canadian Citizenship, which led to his arrest and detention pending deportation.”
Investigators were cautious not to tip MacLeod off to his pending arrest as they continued their investigation. “I was very careful to watch my footsteps,” Whitten said.
MacLeod was believed to have been living the mobile home park for at least eight years.
It was unclear how long the deportation process would take.

PHOTOS courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department

Convicted felon accused of shooting at deputies during 60 Freeway chase

A driver allegedly shot at two sheriff’s deputies on the westbound 60 Freeway Wednesday night.
The deputies weren’t injured.
Previously convicted felon Jesus Navarro, 20, was being held in lieu of $1.07 million bail Thursday at the sheriff’s Industry Station, according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials and county booking records. His city of residence was not available.
Lt. Ray Enriquez said the deputies saw a pickup truck speeding on Fairway Drive in Industry at 10:22 p.m. The patrol car followed the vehicle to the 60 Freeway.
He said the deputies tried to pull over the driver on the westbound 60 near the Azusa Avenue off-ramp. The driver fired at the patrol car and took off.
The pickup, described as a silver or gray Toyota Tacoma, was later spotted by the California Highway Patrol. It was stopped on the 91 Freeway near the 605 Freeway, Enriquez said.
Enriquez said the driver was arrested for attempted murder of peace officers and felony evading.
Deputies also recovered a weapon believed used in the shooting.
The westbound 60 Freeway was shut down from Azusa Avenue to Fairway Drive while deputies looked for evidence.
According to Los Angeles Superior Court records, Navarro was convicted in December of 2012 of possession of an assault weapon in Compton Superior Court.

- Staff report

Four accused of helping El Monte rape suspect hide

Four people are accused of helping hide a gang member wanted for raping an El Monte convenience store employee.
El Monte Police Sgt. Roger Cobian said felony charges were filed Tuesday in El Monte Superior Court against Charlene Godinez, 39, of La Puente, John Godinez, 41, of La Puente, Lisa Beserra, 45, of El Monte and Mario Chavez, 43, Rowland Heights for allegedly assisting Joseph Amaya to evade capture and prosecution.
Booking records show the four suspects were arrested Saturday by El Monte police. Charlene and John Godinez are out on bond. Beserra is being held at the Century Regional Detention Facility in Lynwood on a $90,751 bail which includes bail for two other unrelated cases. The three have a Nov. 5 court date.
Chavez is in custody at the Inmate Reception Center in Los Angeles and his bail is $50,000. His booking slip doesn’t show the date for his next court appearance.
Detectives may seek charges against others believed to have helped hide Amaya for the week following the Oct. 19 rape of a 19-year-old woman in El Monte, according to Cobian.
Prosecutors alleged Amaya was at the mini mart in the 4100 block of Peck Road earlier and left. He returned while the employee was getting ready to close the store.
The woman tried to lock the doors but he allegedly forced his way in. Amaya allegedly barricaded the doors, dragged the woman to the back of the business and sexually assaulted her, authorities said.
Detectives searched for the 18-year-old suspect.
“Amaya had been hiding with family and friends moving from El Monte to La Puente and Hacienda Heights,” Cobian said.
He was arrested in West Covina on Saturday after a traffic stop. Cobian said Amaya was in a vehicle with six adults and one minor.
Amaya remains in custody on $5 million bail. His Wednesday arraignment at Pomona Superior Court was continued to Nov. 13, court officials said.

- Ruby Gonzales

Cars struck by gunfire in Pasadena shooting

PASADENA – Two gunmen opened fire in a neighborhood Wednesday night and damaged three vehicles.
Pasadena Police didn’t find anyone injured in the shooting. Officers also checked at hospitals,
Gunfire erupted on Tremont Street and Navarro Avenue at 11:11 p.m.
Sgt. Greg Afsharian said two men were seen shooting in the street. The suspects then got into a waiting dark-colored vehicle and left.
Officers found a lot of bullet casings and three parked cars that had been hit by rounds, according to the sergeant.
The suspects were only described a two black men in their early 20s.
“It’s unknown who their target was,” Afsharian said.

- Ruby Gonzales

UPDATED: Blocks of wiring stolen from street light system in Alhambra

ALHAMBRA — A thief or thieves have stolen several blocks worth wiring from Alhambra’s street light system since the weekend, authorities said.
The thefts, which were initially believed to have caused more than $20,000 worth of damage, took place between Saturday and Tuesday, Alhambra police Sgt. Jerry Johnson said.
The first was discovered Sunday afternoon after resident reported the street lights in a neighborhood along the 1300 block of South Westminster Avenue and the 2800 block of Shorb Street, after residents contacted officials Sunday to report the street lights in front of their home never came on Saturday night, the sergeant said.
Police and work crews soon realized the outage was not a mechanical failure, but the result of about 2,000 feet of wire being stripped from the system, Johnson said. The wire was believed to have been taken sometime between Saturday morning and Sunday.
An even larger wire theft was discovered Tuesday, police said.
“The wires were removed on the east and west sides of Winthrop (Drive) between Poplar Boulevard and Conchord (Avenue),” Johnson said. The theft apparently occurred sometime between Sunday and Tuesday.
Wiring had also been stripped in the same area along Commonwealth Avenue between Winthrop Drive and Westmont Drive.
While no witnesses had come forward to provide a concrete link between the two wire theft incidents, though based on the close proximity and time frame of the crimes, “It’s certainly something our detectives are looking into,” Johnson said.
Police asked anyone who sees a suspicious person tampering with wiring to notify authorities immediately. In general, city work crews do not work after 3 p.m.
Additionally, police expressed concern over the possibility that wires left exposed by the thief or thieves could be energized and pose a danger. Anyone who sees exposed wires is urged not to touch them and contact police immediately.
As two unfortunate alleged would-be thieves demonstrated earlier this month, electrical wiring theft can be a dangerous endeavor.
A man was badly shocked Oct. 19 while attempting to steal wire from the abandoned Fred C. Nelles facility in Whittier, according to California Highway Patrol Sgt. Charles Quijada.
The previous weekend, another man suffered severe burns and was hospitalized in critical condition after he received a 12,000-volt jolt while trying to steal wiring from a Southern California Edison facility in the 9900 block of Beverly Boulevard in Pico Rivera on Oct. 13, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Robert Smith said.
But rising metal prices provide an incentive for thieves to cash in on ill-gotten copper.
According to Kitco, a Canadian precious metals company that charts the price of metals, copper was selling Wednesday for $3.30 per pound, up from about $3.05 as recently as August.
The price of copper has more than doubled over the past five years, according to Kitco data. Copper could be purchased in late 2008 for well under $1.50 per pound.

Armed, wanted man arrested after chase from Pico Rivera to Montebello

PICO RIVERA — Deputies arrested wanted suspected gang member and recovered a gun following a pursuit that led from Pico Rivera to Montebello late Tuesday, authorities said.
Rojelio Jimenez, 21, was accused of evading a police, being a convicted felon in possession of a gun, reckless driving following the incident, which began about 11:20 p.m. when a deputy spotted Jimenez driving recklessly in the area of Whittier Boulevard and Paramount Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Robert Smith said. Jimenez was also being held on two outstanding felony arrest warrants.
A deputy tried to pull over Jimenez for driving erratically, but he refused to pull over and instead lead deputies on a chase north and west into Montebello, Smith said.
He abandoned his car and continued fleeing on foot on Madison Avenue near Poplar Avenue, officials said. He was found hiding in a nearby yard and surrendered once a sheriff’s K-9 started barking at him.
A magazine loaded with ammunition was found in Jimenez’s car, and a handgun was found discarded nearby, Smith said. “There was a live round in the chamber.”
According to county booking records, Jimenez was being held without bail pending a scheduled arraignment Friday in Downey Superior Court.

Fire scorches Rosemead apartment

ROSEMEAD — A fire blamed on discarded matches scorched a third-floor apartment Tuesday, however firefighters doused the flames before they spread to any other units, officials said.
The fire was reported shortly before 6 p.m. at a large apartment complex in the 6300 block of Rosemead Boulevard, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Anthony Haynes said.
The resident of the apartment got out unharmed, and firefighters extinguished the fire before it could damage other apartments, Los Angeles County Fire Department Capt. Richard Johnson said.
The fire was believed to have been caused by matches that had been left on a bed before completely extinguished, Johnson said. A dollar-vale estimate of the damage caused by the fire was not available.