Pasadena police to hold checkpoint Friday

Police in Pasadena are planning to hold a sobriety and driver licence checkpoint, as well as keep an extra eye out for red light violations, on Friday, ahead of the Labor Day weekend, authorities said.
The checkpoint will be held from 7 p.m. Friday to 3 a.m. Saturday and an undisclosed spot within the city, Pasadena police Lt. Diego Torres said in a written statement.
Additionally, Pasadena police also plan special enforcement throughout the day, with an emphasis on red light violators, according to Torres.
Funding for both operations is being provided by a grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, through the California Office of Traffic Safety.

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UPDATED: ‘Yu-Gi-Oh’ trading card leads to arrest of Covina burglary suspect in Pomona

A suspect in a Covina burglary was arrested in Pomona Thursday after the victim spotted one of the items stolen from her home — a rare card from the collectible trading card game Yu-Gi-Oh which she designed — for sale online, authorities said.
Officers carried out a search warrant at around 10 a.m. at a home in the 500 block of East Pasadena Street in Pomona. They arrested Jennifer Gomez, 23, of Pomona, on suspicion of burglary and receiving stolen property, according to Covina police officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
Gomez was taken into custody without a struggle, Covina police Lt. Ric Walczak said.
The burglary was first discovered on Oct. 25, 2016, when the victim returned home from a vacation and found her apartment in the 1100 block of N. Conwell Avenue had been broken into, according to the lieutenant.
Jewelry and various valuables were stolen from the apartment, including a rare, autographed, framed trading card from the popular Japanese card came Yu-Gi-Oh, Walczak said. The card, described as a “Gagaga Cowboy”card, is valued at about $500.
But the sentimental value attached to the cars was invaluable, Covina police Detective Ivan Ostarcevic said. The victim, a successful artist and graphic designer, had personally designed the card.
“Our victim is actually the person who designed the card. She drew it,” the detective said.
The card was autographed by voice actor Steve Blum, who voiced a character on a Yu-Gi-Oh television series, Ostarcevic explained.\
A break in the case arose recently when the victim spotted the rare collectible card listed for sale on the online marketplace, OfferUp, Walczak said.
“Detectives were able to establish that the seller of the stolen property had been a neighbor of the victim at the time of the crime,” police said in a written statement.
Investigators went to the suspect’s home in Pomona on Thursday, armed with a search warrant.
“Items stolen during the burglary were recovered during the search warrant service included jewelry and (the) trading card,” according to the statement.
Of an estimated $4,000 worth of goods stolen in the October break-in, police recovered about $1,000 worth of items from suspect’s home, Walczak said. The remainder of the victim’s property remained unaccounted for.
Adding insult to injury, the victim had shown significant generosity to the alleged burglar, Ostarcevic said.
When she moved out of state, in part because of the break-in, she gifted her neighbors about $1,000 worth of housewares, such as bedding and plates, the detective said.
Months later, she would learn the same neighbors were allegedly responsible for the burglary.
Gomez was being held in on $50,000 bail pending her initial court appearance, scheduled Tuesday in the West Covina branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court.

PHOTOS: [ABOVE] Covina police recovered jewelry and a valuable “Yu-Gi-Oh” trading card stolen from a Covina home while carrying out a search warrant in Pomona on Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017. A woman was arrested on suspicion of burglary and receiving stolen property. (Courtesy, Covina Police Department) [BELOW] Jennifer Gomez, 23, of Pomona. (Courtesy, Covina Police Department)

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Suicide suspected after man found dead in Pasadena

PASADENA >> Police did not suspect foul play after the body of a man was found hanging from a tree along Euclid Avenue in Pasadena in an apparent suicide early Sunday, authorities said.
The body was first discovered about 5:45 a.m., hanging from a tree in on a parkway in the 200 block of South Euclid Avenue, near Cordova Street, Pasadena police Lt. Jesse Aguilar said.
It was believed the man, estimated to his late-20s or early-30s, had taken his own life, Aguilar said.
Coroner’s officials took possession of the remains and will conduct an autopsy.

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Man accused of intentionally striking woman with SUV in Pico Rivera

A man intentionally struck his girlfriend with an SUV in Pico Rivera late Saturday, shattering her leg, before being arrested at his South Gate home, according to officials and witnesses.
Daniel Lopez, 25, was ultimately found and arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon following the alleged 11:50 p.m. alleged automotive attack in the 9700 block of Woodford Street, near San Gabriel River Parkway, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Ann Devane said.
The couple became involved in an argument when Lopez accelerated his SUV forward, briefly pinning the woman between his SUV and a parked van before speeding away, the lieutenant said.
Paul Michael Flores, 18, of Whittier said he was passing by the area with his mother when they noticed a man and woman arguing. The man was seated in the driver seat of a Ford Explorer SUV, and the woman was standing outside the vehicle.
As the dispute continued, the SUV began inching toward the woman, who began shouting, “No, no! Stop!,” Flores said.
“That’s when he hit the gas and ran into her,” the witness said. The woman was briefly pinned between the SUV and parked van before the driver fled, and the woman fell to the ground.
“I called 911, made a U-turn, came back,” Flores said. The young man and his mother did their best to comfort and call the injured woman while relaying the information she told them to sheriff’s dispatchers via cell phone.
“She was conscious,” Flores said of the victim. “She was very shaken up, hysterical, crying.”
Deputies and paramedics soon arrived, he said. The woman was taken to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center in Los Angeles for treatment as deputies investigated the incident, according to Devane.
Upon learning the suspect’s identity, deputies asked South Gate police to check Lopez’s home, Devane said. Officers found him sitting in his parked SUV in front of his home and took him into custody without a struggle.
According to county booking records, Lopez was being held in lieu of $80,000 bail pending his initial court appearance.

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Mother awakens to find burglar at her bedside in Pasadena

PASADENA >> A Pasadena woman asleep at home with her children awoke to find a burglar inside her bedroom on Saturday night, police said.
The break-in was reported about 10:30 p.m. at a home in the 500 block of North Rosemead Boulevard, Pasadena police Lt. William Grisafe said.
A woman in her early-40s as asleep in bed when she was awakened by some noises, he said.
“She got up to check on her children, at which point a suspect stood up from the ground at her bedside and ran out of the room,” the lieutenant said.
The woman did not get a clear view of the intruder, according to Grisafe. Several items were found to have been stolen from the home after the burglar fled.
Neither the woman nor her children were hurt during the burglary.
Anyone with information can reach Pasadena police at 626-744-4241. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Man killed in Mount Baldy Road crash

ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST >> A man was found dead inside his SUV following solo-vehicle crash along a winding mountain road in the Angeles National Forest just south of Mount Baldy, authorities said Saturday.
Ryan David Hines, 27, of Mount Baldy died in the crash, Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner Lt. Larry Smith said. CHP records listed Hines a resident of Fountain Hills, Arizona.
The wreckage was discovered Friday, though it was not clear what time, or even what day, the crash took place, Officer T. Brazier of the California Highway Patrol said in a written statement.
Paramedics pronounced the driver dead at 3:10 p.m., shortly after the crash scene was discovered, Smith said.
Hines was driving a 1988 Ford Bronco south on Mount Baldy Road near mile marker 2.16, just south of Glendora Ridge Road, at an unknown speed prior to the crash, according to Brazier.
“For reasons unknown, the driver allowed the vehicle to veer to the east and collide with a dirt and rock raised berm,” the officer said. “The vehicle became airborne and subsequently collided with the downhill embankment.”
The SUV came to a rest upside down on an adjacent access road, Brazier said.
The crash remains under investigation by the CHP’s Baldwin Park-area office. Anyone with information can reach the office during normal business hours at 626-338-1164.

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2 DUI suspects arrested during checkpoints in Whittier, La Habra

Overnight police checkpoints in Whittier and La Habra late Friday into early Saturday netted two DUI arrests, 2 warrant arrests and 18 citations, authorities said.
In Whittier, police set up their checkpoint at Colima Road and Whittier Boulevard, Whittier police Lt. Bryan Ellis said.
Officers screened more than 1,000 cars, he said. Two drivers were given field-sobriety tests, but not ultimately arrested for DUI.
Police arrested one person for an outstanding warrant, issued three tickets for unlicensed drivers and wrote 10 “miscellaneous” traffic citations, according to the lieutenant.
No vehicles were impounded.
To the east in La Habra, officers screened more than 500 cars during their checkpoint at Lambert Road and Cypress Street, La Habra police officials said in a written statement.
Three drivers were investigated for possible DUI, with two of them ultimately arrested, police said.
Officers also made one warrant arrest and issued seven citations for driving without a license or driving on a suspended license.
Police stored or impounded five vehicles during the checkpoint, and another four were released at the scene to authorized, licensed drivers.

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Three sought in armed robbery at Duarte IHOP

  • DUARTE >> Deputies are seeking a trio of armed robbers who held up an IHOP restaurant in Duarte on Friday night.
    The crime unfolded about midnight at the restaurant, 988 Hamilton Road, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Frank Ruiz said.
    Two men wearing masks, accompanied by a woman, entered the store and ordered three employees to the ground, sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
    At least one of the robbers carried a gun, Ruiz said.
    Apparently unable to find cash inside the store, the robbers ultimately fled with only an employee’s backpack, which contained “miscellaneous items,” and a VISA gift card from the cash register, according to the lieutenant.
    Detailed suspect descriptions were not available, and no getaway car was seen, officials said.
    Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s Temple Station at 626-285-7171. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
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Fallen Marine from West Covina escorted to final resting place with honors

WHITTIER >> A massive convoy of law enforcement officers from throughout Southern California escorted the flag-draped casket of U.S. Marine Ruben Velasco of West Covina to his final resting place on Friday night.
Velasco, a 19-year-old private first class and lifelong San Gabriel Valley resident, perished along with two fellow Marines on Aug. 5 in an MV-22 Osprey tilrotor aircraft crash off the coast of Australia.
His devastated family met the airplane carrying Velasco’s body at LAX before a sea of law enforcement officers from throughout the region, joined by Patriot Riders and elected officials, accompanied the family in a silent tribute to Rose Hills Memorial Park and Mortuary in Whittier.
West Covina police, Covina police, South Pasadena Police, Santa Ana police, Los Angeles police, Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies, California Highway Patrol officers and federal agents were among those taking part in the escort.
Grateful Americans and fellow military veterans lined the route outside the cemetery with flags and saluted the young warrior’s casket as it passed.
A memorial service will be held at 5 p.m. Wednesday in the SkyRose Chapel at Rose Hills, 3888 Workman Mill Road., followed by a funeral Thursday at 11 a.m.

PHOTOS/VIDEO of escort courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. PHOTOS of Ruben Velasco courtesy of family.


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UPDATED: Man wounded in Bassett machete attack

A man was wounded but expected to survive in a machete attack late Friday in the unincorporated county area of Bassett, authorities said.
Deputies first received to a report about 6:50 p.m. of an “assault with a deadly weapon” at Valley Boulevard and Temple Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Ruben Macias said.
They found a man who had been stabbed with a machete, he said.
Paramedics took him to a hospital where he was in serious-but-stable condition, Sgt. William Kitchin said. He had suffered numerous injuries, including defensive wounds to his arms.
No further details regarding the circumstances of the stabbing, including a suspect description, were available.
Two men were seen fleeing the area in a vehicle following the stabbing, Kitchin said. But investigators received conflicting descriptions of what type of vehicle they were in.
Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s Industry Station at 626-330-3322. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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