Toddler found wandering along in middle of Pasadena street overnight; father accused of child endangerment

PASADENA >> Police arrested a man Friday night after his 2-year-old daughter was found wandering along in the middle of a Pasadena street Friday night, officials said.
Lucas Scott Mark, 33, of Pasadena remained jailed in lieu of $100,000 bail Saturday after being booking on suspicion of felony child endangerment, according to Pasadena police officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
A good Samaritan called police to report finding the young girl wandering alone about 11:50 p.m., Pasadena police Lt. John Luna said.
“A motorist found a toddler in the middle of the roadway at Los Robles (Avenue) and Maple (Street),” Luna said.
Police arrived and picked up the child, who was unharmed, the lieutenant said. The child was, “very, very lucky,” not to have been struck by a car while wandering along in the dark street, he added.
About five minutes later, police received a report of a man in the area yelling and looking for his child.
Officers noted “unsafe and unfit” conditions at the man’s home and arrested Mark, Luna said. Police also summoned the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services.

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Police: South Pasadena suspicion person report leads to arrest of man with stolen items

SOUTH PASADENA — A report of a suspicious person in South Pasadena Friday led police to a theft suspect who was carrying stolen checks and credit cards, as well as a replica handgun, authorities said.
Officers used a Taser to subdue and arrest Domineke Ferguson, 23, of Alhambra, following the 1:40 p.m. incident that began in the 2000 block of Fletcher Avenue, near the Alhambra border, South Pasadena police Sgt. Matthew Ronnie said.
Officials took Ferguson to a hospital to be examined prior to booking him on suspicion of crimes expected to include receiving stolen property, Ronnie said. Ferguson also has outstanding arrest warrants, and additional charges were possible as well.
Ferguson knocked on the front door of a home, Ronnie said. A woman who lives there answered the door, and Ferguson told her he was looking for a friend named Mike before leaving.
The woman found the encounter suspicious and called police, Ronnie said. Police quickly arrived on scene and spotted a person matching the description given by the woman. The man ran when approached by police.
Officers chased down the man and ultimately used a Taser to take him into custody, the sergeant said.
Police found him in possession of checks and credit cards stolen believed to have been stolen from the area, as well as a replica handgun, Ronnie said. At least some of the items were taken in Alhambra.
The investigation was ongoing.

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Man grazed in chin in Pico Rivera shooting

PICO RIVERA >> A man suffered a graze wound to his chin in a shooting at a Beverly Boulevard gas station early Thursday, authorities said.
The injured man declined to be treated by paramedics for the superficial injury, which he suffered in a shooting about 2:15 a.m. outside a gas station at Beverly and Rosemead boulevards, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Jacqueline Sanchez said. He was believed to have been struck by shrapnel or a ricocheted bullet and not a direct hit.
Two men in their 20s or 30s were talking in the parking when a car described as possibly a Nissan approached, the sergeant said.
A passenger got out of the car and asked the men where they were “from,” referring to gang affiliation, she said.
The victims responded that they were not in a gang, and the former passenger opened fire with four shots from a handgun.
Detailed descriptions of the shooter and the getaway driver were not available Friday.

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UPDATED: Bronze statue stolen from San Dimas City Hall


SAN DIMAS >> A “beloved” bronze statue valued at $25,000 that has adorned the fountain in front of San Dimas City Hall for more than 15 years disappeared overnight in an apparent theft, officials said Friday.
A City Employee discovered shortly after 7 a.m. Friday morning at the fountain in front of 1018_NWS_SGT-L-SDFROG3San Dimas City Hall, 245 E. Bonita Ave., Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Andy Berg said.
Titled, “Catching Frogs,” the sculpture by renowned artist Vic Riesau was first dedicated in 1998 after being donated by former San Dimas city manager Robert Poff, according to the San Dimas Festival of Arts . The organization coincidentally was setting up for this weekend’s Wildlife and Landscape Art Show\ in the Robert L. Poff Gallery in the Community Building at city hall.
Shantel Baez of San Dimas immediately noticed the statue missing when she arrived at city hall. Two of her daughters played in front of the fountain as two of her sons took part in a karate class at the civic center.
“It’s terrible,” Baez said of the theft. “My kids love that statue. They played on it. They sat on it.”
1018_NWS_SGT-L-SDFROG5“I feel so bad for the person who made it,” said Baez’s 9-year-old daughter, Giselle.
The motive for the theft is unknown, but the “beloved” sculpture may have been stolen merely for the value of the bronze it is made of, sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
“The artwork is very valuable, but may have been stolen for the value of the materials as scrap metal,” the statement said.
A thief or thieves stole a much smaller portion of the statue, a frog, the previous night, sheriff’s officials said. It was discovered missing Wednesday morning.
Investigators found no tire tracks near the fountain Friday, “but there’s a presumption of a vehicle,” Berg said.
The statue stood three feet tall and was made of solid bronze, he added. “Bolts were cut or broken with brute force.”
Maribel Gershman said she last sat the statue Thursday. When she found it missing Friday, she thought perhaps it was being cleaned or polished ahead of the Wildlife and Landscape Art Show.
“It’s really surprising,” she said upon learning the sculpture had been stolen. “It’s sad. It’s depressing. I feel kind of invaded.”
Gershman said her children also had spent lots of time playing around the fountain.
“We have several photos of the kids tossing their pennies in,” she said.
1018_NWS_SGT-L-SDFROG4Both Gershman and Shantel Baez said they were taken aback by the boldness of the theft, which took place in an open courtyard in front of city hall.
“You don’t hear a lot of crime that goes on around here,” Baez said.
Anyone with information was asked to call the sheriff’s San Dimas Station at 909-450-2700.


PHOTOS by Brian Day and courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

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Community invited to visit Pico Rivera’s ‘Haunted Jail’

Haunted Jail

PICO RIVERA >> Families are invited the Los Angeles County sheriff’s Pico Rivera Station Saturday as officials once again host their “Haunted Jail” and open house.
The free event will take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the station, 6631 Passons Blvd., sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
A “scary and fun-filled day” is in store for guests, complete with lots of decorations along with treats and goodies, according to the statement.
Guests are encouraged to support the station’s holiday food drive by bringing canned goods and other non-perishable items to donate.
The event is being hosted in conjunction with the Pico Rivera Parks and Recreation.
For more information, contact the sheriff’s Pico Rivera Station at 562-949-2421.

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Suspicious package found at arboretum in Arcadia determined to be harmless

ARCADIA >> A suspicious package caused a stir at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden in Arcadia Thursday afternoon before officials ultimately found to be harmless box of equipment left behind by an electrical contractor, authorities said.
The box was first reported to officials about 3:30 p.m. at the arboretum, 301 N. Baldwin Avenue, Deputy Johnny Jones of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Parks Bureau said.
Officials cordoned off the area and shut down nearby roads, including Baldwin Avenue, with help from Arcadia police, Jones said.
Officials determined the item was a box with wires protruding from it that had been left behind by a contractor who recently made electrical repairs, Jones said.
Officials sounded the all-clear about 5:20 p.m.

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Suspect identified in Pasadena auto body shop arson


PASADENA >> DNA evidence links a suspect to the arson of a Pasadena auto body shop last month that caused $375,000 worth of damage, officials announced Thursday.
Jesse Cole Nicholas, 30, was already in jail on unrelated cases when he was linked by DNA Wednesday to the Sept. 27 fire, according to Pasadena fire officials and arrest records.
The 7:20 a.m. blaze badly damaged a rear building used for detailing and prep work at Alliance Auto Body, 826 S. Arroyo Parkway, and destroyed two cars that were parked inside, Pasadena Fire Department spokeswoman Lisa Derderian said.
“Believing that the fire was suspicious in nature, a fire investigator was summoned to the scene,” Pasadena fire officials said in a statement. “The investigator was able to determine that the fire was an intentional act and initiated an arson investigation.”
Surveillance footage from the business shows a man hopping a fence and breaking into cars at Alliance Auto Body hours before the fire ignited, officials said. He then stole a car and fled.
But the burglar returned several hours later, broke into several more vehicles and set fire to a car parked in the rear building, authorities said.
1017_NWS_PSN-L-ARSONSUSPECT2Pasadena fire investigators teamed with Pasadena police detectives and distributed a suspect flyer seeking information. “As a result of viewing the video, (the fire investigator) believed the suspect may possibly be transient and began canvasing the areas of the city frequented by the homeless.”
The fire investigator found a man matching the description at Pasadena’s Central Park on Sept. 29, according to the statement. Police helped arrest the suspect on an outstanding felony warrant as the investigation into the arson continued.
Nicholas received a 60-day jail sentence for the unrelated warrant on Oct. 1 at Los Angeles Superior Court, according to Los Angeles County records. He remained in custody Thursday at the Pitchess Detention Center in Castaic.
Records show he was also sentenced to 10 days for violating the terms of Post-Release Community Supervision stemming from a prior conviction.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Crime Lab notified Pasadena investigators Tuesday that DNA collected from one of the burglarized vehicles matched Nicholas, officials said.
A fire investigator interviewed Nicholas in jail Wednesday.
“Although the suspect denied knowledge and involvement in the break-in, auto theft and arson, he did provide the approximate location of the stolen vehicle, which was recovered,” according to the department statement.
Investigators planned to file their case with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office next week.

PHOTOS courtesy of the Pasadena Fire Department

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Man with Samurai swords subdued with Taser in Duarte

DUARTE >> Deputies used a Taser to subdue a fleeing suspect armed with two Samurai swords in Duarte Thursday, officials said.
The bizarre incident began about 10:30 a.m. when the suspect’s mother called deputies to report that her 38-year-old son had swung a sword at her at her home in the 2000 block of Royal Oaks Drive, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Ismael Chavez said. The woman, who was in her 50s, was not injured.
Following the alleged assault, the suspect fled from the home with two Samurai swords, Chavez said. Deputies encountered Andrew Kao about 10 minutes later several blocks to the south along Huntington Drive.
“He had the two swords on him in his waistband,” Chavez said. “He was refusing to cooperate with deputies. He ended up trying to grab the weapons and they Tased him.”
Officials took Kao to a hospital to be examined and treated prior to booking him on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, Chavez said.
Kao stays with her intermittently, Chavez said.

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Man with hatchet robs Industry DVD rental business

INDUSTRY >> A hatchet-wielding robber held up an Industry video rental business Wednesday before fleeing on a bicycle, officials said.
The crime took place about 5:45 p.m. at A+ DVD Rental on Amar Road, just west of Echelon Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Rick Thurlo said.
“(The robber) went into the store, pulled the hatchet from his waistband and demanded the employee open the cash register,” Thurlo said. The man working the register at the family business complied, and the robber helped himself to about $200.
But he wasn’t satisfied.
“He went into the back of the store, Thurlo said. “There was a female there. He demanded more money.”
The woman turned over her purse, which contained about $600 in cash, along with other personal items, Thurlo said.
Officials described the robber as a Latino man between 20 and 25 years old, of thin build, wearing a yellow long-sleeve shirt and black pants. He was last seen heading west on Amar Road toward Hacienda Boulevard on a bicycle.

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Suspect jailed in Pasadena ‘hot prowl’ burglary

PASADENA >> A Pasadena man awoke to fund an intruder in his house and chased him from the home before police arrested the alleged burglar Wednesday, officials said.
Police jailed Gary Jones, 21, of Compton on suspicion of residential burglary following the 10:20 a.m. break-in at a home in the 300 block of South Marengo Avenue, Pasadena police Lt. Ed Calatayud said. Police described the victim as a man in his 30s.
“The victim was sleeping in a bedroom when he was startled by a noise,” the lieutenant said.
Upon investigating the noise, the resident encountered an intruder in his home, he said.
Calatayud said the burglar ran from the home once confronted by the resident. The burglar grabbed a small bag containing dog treats as he fled.
The resident chased the burglar briefly, then called the police, Calatayud said. Officers found Jones nearby and ultimately arrested him in connection with the break-in.
He got into the home through an unlocked, second-floor sliding glass window, Calatayud said.
Jones was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail pending his initial court appearance, according to Los Angeles County booking records.

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