Home-invasion robbery, kidnapping reported in San Marino, Arcadia

SAN MARINO >> A residential break-in turned into a home-invasion and kidnapping after a homeowner and a friend walked in on two burglars Wednesday, police said Sunday.
The series of crimes began about noon Wednesday when a resident arrived home and encountered two burglars who were already inside, San Marino police officials said in a written statement. Police declined to say where in the city the crime took place.
“The two men kept the resident at knife point as they continued to search the home for valuables,” according the police statement. Money was stolen.
When a friend of the victim arrived at the home a short time later, the robbers turned their attention to him, officials said.
“The two suspects kidnapped the family friend and forced him to take him to his house in Arcadia,” the police statement said.
The Arcadia home was in the 1000 block of South Sixth Street, according to Arcadia police Sgt. John Bonomo.
The robbers stole an undisclosed amount of cash before fleeing the Arcadia home, officials said.
No significant injuries were reported as a result of the crimes, police said.
A detailed suspect description was not available, and no further details were released.

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Rowland Heights woman rescued after being held by kidnappers for two days

ROWLAND HEIGHTS >> After spending two days bound and blindfolded in squalor inside a Rowland Heights garage,a 44-year-old woman grasped one of her rescuers in a firm hug when deputies freed her Wednesday from four suspects accused of kidnapping her for ransom.
Though terrified and weak from having been deprived food and water for two days, the Rowland Heights woman was expected to make a full recovery following her abduction Monday, Capt. Merrill Ladenheim of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Major Crimes Bureau said once the case was made public Friday.
Meanwhile, two men and two women pleaded not guilty Friday to charges of kidnapping for ransom and conspiracy in connection with the unusual crime, according to sheriff’s investigators and Los Angeles County District Attorney’s officials.
0809_NWS_SGT-L-KIDNAPhandin1All four suspects live in Rowland Heights, sheriff’s spokeswoman Nicole Nishida said.
“The victim was located in very squalid conditions in a cluttered garage, on the floor,” the captain said. “She was duct taped. Her hands were bound.” The woman had also been blindfolded with duct tape.
“She was not given food or water,” he said. “She was kept their for two full days, deprived of food and water.” The woman was also forced to relieve herself using a bucket.
The four suspects entered their pleas Friday during an arraignment hearing in Los Angeles Superior Court, district attorney’s officials said.
They are the victim’s former friend and longtime co-worker Judith Adriana Maldonado, 40; her boyfriend Francisco Inacua-Rosas, 34; Uziel Cuevas Figueroa, 32 and his girlfriend Rocio Inacua, 32, according to Los Angeles County District Attorney’s officials. Inacua-Rosas and Inacua are siblings.
0809_NWS_SGT-L-KIDNAPhandin3The suspects were being held in lieu of $2 million bail each, officials added. If convicted as charged, they could face life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Inacua-Rosas, Inacua and Figueroa were arrested Wednesday shortly after deputies rescued the kidnap victim, Ladenheim said. Maldonado was jailed Thursday.
Figueroa was guarding the victim in the filthy garage when deputies freed her Wednesday.
Ladenheim said the woman’s nightmare began Monday afternoon as she was heading home from work at a factory in Industry, where she had worked alongside Maldonado for “many years,” Ladenheim said.
One of the kidnappers, later identified as Inacua, called victim’s husband of two decades and demanded a $110,000 ransom, Ladenheim said. She threatened to kill or hurt the victim if the demand was not met.
0809_NWS_SGT-L-KIDNAPhandin2“The plot was purely for financial gain,” Ladenheim said.
Maldonado had heard the victim mention that she and her husband had saved up some money, but the family did not have access to the large sum of money demanded by the kidnappers, sheriff’s officials. The victim’s husband immediately notified authorities of the kidnapping and ransom call.
Inacua-Rosas offered the victim a ride as she was walking along Colima Road in Rowland Heights Monday afternoon, sheriff’s officials said. She had just missed her bus home. During the ride, he contacted his alleged co-conspirators via text messages.
Inacua-Rosas drove the woman to a restaurant where he told her he was going to get some food, Ladenheim said.
“Both Rocio Inacuna and Uziel Figueroa then, at gunpoint, forced the victim down the floorboard, bound, gagged and blindfolded her, and drove her to that garage in Rowland Heights,” the captain said. And for two days, she remained a captive.
He described a dramatic scene as deputies entered the garage where the woman had been held.
“Upon being rescued from those squalid conditions, she removed her blindfold, the duct tape, and immediately saw the lead detective, who happened to be in the door of the garage,” Ladenheim said.
“She immediately hugged the detective,” he said. “It was a very, very emotional rescue, and we are happy to report that she is safe and expected to make a full recovery.”
The captain described the kidnapping victim as “very hard-working” and “a very honest citizen.”
Officials said the suspects speak only Spanish, however their immigration status remained under investigation Friday.
Ladenheim said the suspects initially appeared unaware of the seriousness of their alleged offense, or the fact they face potential life sentences behind bars. They asked questions regarding what would happen once they were released from custody.
“While this is a frequent and common occurrence in other countries, we don’t deal with this very often here,” Ladenheim said.
But he added, “I believe it happens more often that is reported to law enforcement.”
Though ransomers generally threaten victims not to contact police, Ladenheim urged anyone who receives such a threat to report it immediately to law enforcement.

VIDEO from press conference: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

KIDNAP SUSPECTS PHOTOS of garage courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department

 

 

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UPDATED — Officials: Girls abducted by father at gunpoint in Pomona, found safe in Riverside County

ADAME_PETE
***UPDATE: California Highway Patrol officials deactivated the Amber Alert early Saturday morning after both children were found safe in Riverside County. Further details of the exactly where and how the girls were found were not immediately available. Los Angeles County booking records indicated Adame was arrested at 1:38 a.m. He was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail at the Pomona Police Department’s jail and was scheduled to appear for an arraignment Wednesday in Pomona Superior Court.
POMONA — Officials issued an Amber Alert late Friday after a man abducted his two young daughters at gunpoint, officials said.
Pete Valencia Adame, 43, kidnapped his ex-girlfriend along with their two daughters, ages 2 and 4, about 7 p.m. in Pomona, California Highway Patrol officials said in a written statement.
“Adame assaulted the former girlfriend before releasing her at an unknown location,” according to the statement. “Adame then fled with the two daughters.”
The potentially armed and dangerous suspect was believed to be driving a gray 2014 Jeep Patriot with California license plate No. 7CJF267, officials said. He was described as Latino, 5 feet 11 inches tall, 180 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing a white undershirt and light blue pants with a stripe.
2014 Jeep PatriotThe missing 2-year-old, Valarie Persaea Adame, was described as Latina about 2 feet tall, 30 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a white shirt with flowers on the shoulders and black pants.
The abducted 4-year-old, Aurora Akira Adame, was described as Latina, about 2 feet 6 inches tall and 35 pounds. She was last seen wearing a pink shirt with a heart design and cheetah print spandex pants.
Anyone with information was urged to contact the Pomona Police Department, or call 9-1-1.
PHOTO of kidnapping suspect Pete Adame courtesy of the Pomona Police Department.
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Nanny bound at knifepoint during San Marino home-invasion robbery; suspect jailed

SAN MARINO >> A San Gabriel man stormed into a San Marino home Friday and tied up a woman at knifepoint during a daytime home-invasion robbery, authorities said.
Yongheng Huang, 24, was arrested on suspicion of charges including robbery, kidnapping and false imprisonment shortly after the incident, which was reported just before 1 p.m. at a home in the 2500 block of Lombardy Road, San Marino police officials said in a written statement.
A woman who was working as a nanny at the home told police that a man, clad in a black jacket and mask, had entered the home through a back door and demanded money, San Marino Police Sgt. Robert Matthews said. But no money was found.
“The victim was threatened with a knife and tied,” according to the police statement. “(Huang) detained the victim until the homeowner arrived. Upon arrival, the suspect confronted the homeowner and again demanded money.
Police said the homeowner complied, and Huang fled with both U.S. and Chinese currency.
The woman was bound for more than an hour before the homeowner arrived home, Matthews said. Neither victim was hurt.
A San Marino police officer searching the area spotted Huang on foot just around the corner at California Boulevard and Alegria Place, officials said. He was detained and ultimately identified as the suspect in the home-invasion robbery.
Huang had a fixed-blade knife with him when arrested, as well as the money believed to have been stolen in the crime, police said.
The amount of money stolen was not available Friday.
Police had not discovered any link between the suspect and victims or a reason he may have targeted the Lombardy Road home, Matthews said, however detectives continued interviewing Huang Friday night.
Huang was booked on suspicion of robbery, kidnapping, false imprisonment, brandishing a knife, burglary, receiving stolen property, providing false information to a peace police officer and wearing a mask during the commission of a crime.
According to Los Angeles County booking records, Huang was being held in lieu of $1 million bail at the Alhambra Police Department’s jail pending his initial court appearance, scheduled Tuesday in Alhambra Superior Court.

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San Gabriel man accused of trying to kidnap boy in Rosemead

ROSEMEAD — Deputies jailed a San Gabriel man Sunday on suspicion of trying to kidnap an 11-year-old boy from a Rosemead sidewalk last month, officials said.
Bin Zhang, 44, was booked on suspicion of attempted kidnapping following his arrest, which took place about 10 a.m. in the 2700 block of Del Mar Avenue in Rosemead, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Phillip Marquez said in a written statement.
The alleged kidnapping attempt took place in January, but went unreported until after sheriff’s officials issued a public alert Feb. 12 regarding a separate Jan. 30 incident in which a man grabbed onto a young girl on the campus of Arlene Bitely Elementary School, on Fern Avenue just west of Jackson Street.
“As a result of the press release, Temple Sheriff’s Station investigators learned that in early January, an 11-year-old male was accosted near Del Mar Avenue and Emerson Place, Rosemead, and the incident went unreported. An investigation was launched,” Marquez said. “It is alleged the suspect attempted to kidnap the 11-year-old male from a public sidewalk in January of 2014.”
Deputies Sunday morning spotted a man matching the description of the man who tried to kidnap the boy and arrested him without a struggle, Marquez said.
According to county booking records, Zhang was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail pending his initial court appearance, scheduled for Wednesday in El Monte Superior Court.
The investigation was ongoing, Marquez said, and it was not clear Sunday if the suspect arrested for attempting to kidnap the boy was the same man who accosted the young girl.
Anyone with information was asked to contact Detective S. Gibson of the sheriff’s Temple Station at 626-285-7171.

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2nd UPDATE — Officials: Walnut woman escapes kidnapper after abduction from store parking lot

WALNUT — A woman escaped a parolee who carjacked and kidnapped her from the parking lot of a Walnut store late Thursday, though his ultimate intentions remained a mystery, authorities said.
The strange and brazen crime took place about 2 p.m. as Walnut woman was carjacked and abducted in the parking lot of T.J. Maxx at Grand Avenue and Valley Boulevard, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. John Saleeby said.
The woman, a Walnut resident in her late-30s who was a stranger to the suspect, left the store and was getting into her car when she was confronted by a man holding what was later found to be a realistic-looking BB gun, Detective Joseph Sanchez said. The man blocked her from closing her car door once she got in, Detective Joseph Sanchez said.
“He forced himself into her car,” the detective said. “He climbed over her, got into the passenger seat and told her to just drive.”
The woman resisted at first, but ultimately relented to the man’s demand, he said.
“He had her basically drive around aimlessly for an hour and a half,” Sanchez said.
As the suspect forced the woman to drive through South Los Angeles, she spotted a police car along Wall Street in South Los Angeles and saw an opportunity to escape, officials said.
“She saw a black-and-white and decided to get out of the car and run and ask for help,” Sanchez said.
Los Angeles police detained the suspect without a struggle and turned him over to sheriff’s deputies, he added. A BB gun that resembled a Beretta 9mm handgun was seized from the suspect during his arrest.
Deputies first responded to the Walnut T.J. Maxx store after witnesses reported seeing the alleged abduction, Lt. John Saleeby said.
“A woman was heard saying she needed help and witnesses said her and a male drove off in a car,” Saleeby said. “The impression was he forced her to drive off.”
Investigators withheld the alleged kidnapper’s name Friday as they continued seeking witnesses, as well as any other potential victims who may have had suspicious encounter with the suspect, Lt. Anthony Tachias said. He was described as a San Gabriel Valley man in his mid-30s.
The suspect was already on parole for carjacking and was being held without bail pending a scheduled arraignment Monday in Pomona Superior Court, officials said.
The motive in the kidnapping and carjacking, as well as the suspect’s ultimate intentions, were unclear, investigators said. Nothing was stolen from the woman, and she was not assaulted while in the suspect’s custody
“That’s an unknown factor here,” Tachias said. “He won’t talk to us. He never any indication to the victim as to what his intentions were.”
“He committed this act with no rhyme or reason,” the lieutenant added. “I’m just glad we got her back safely.”

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Man exposes self, tries to kidnap woman in Rosemead

ROSEMEAD — Authorities Thursday sought the public’s help in tracking down a man who exposed himself and tried to kidnap a woman earlier this week.
The attack occurred shortly after midnight Tuesday as the woman, was walking at San Gabriel Boulevard and Fern Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Ignacio Somoano said in a written statement.
“She saw a male suspect masturbating while standing next to a vehicle,” the lieutenant said.
The woman, whose age was not available, continued walking along Fern Avenue and the suspect began following her, he said.
“Subsequently, the suspect ran up to her and grabbed her and tried to pull her away,” Somoano said. “The victim struggled with the suspect while telling for help. The suspect fled on foot and the victim escaped his grasp uninjured.”
Investigators described the attacker as a Latino man between 20 and 25 years old, about 5 feet 5 inches tall and 140 pounds. He had dark hair and wore black shorts and a gray shirt. His vehicles was described as a gray sedan.
Anyone with information was asked to contact the sheriff’s Temple Station at 626-285-7171. Tips may also be submitted anonymously by calling L.A. Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477, or online at www.lacrimestoppers.com.

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UPDATED: Woman found safe after possible kidnapping, carjacking at Walnut shopping center

WALNUT — A woman was found safe and a man was in custody Thursday after witnesses reported seeing what appeared to be an armed kidnapping and carjacking, officials said.
The incident was first reported about 2 p.m. in a parking lot outside a T.J. Maxx store at Grand Avenue and Valley Boulevard, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. John Saleeby said.
“A woman was heard saying she needed help and witnesses said her and a male drove off in a car,” the lieutenant said.
Witnesses reported the man was armed with a handgun, he said.
“The impression was he forced her to drive off,” Saleeby said.
The man was described only as Latino and wearing dark clothes, and the vehicle the man and woman were seen in was described only as a dark-colored car.
Officials at the sheriff’s Walnut-Diamond Bar Station, which was handling the investigation, notified other area law enforcement agencies of the possible kidnapping and carjacking.
The man and woman were found shortly after 7 p.m. within the jurisdiction of the Los Angeles Police Department, sheriff’s Sgt. William Sanders said. The woman was unharmed and the man was being taken to the sheriff’s Walnut-Diamond Bar Station for questioning and potential booking.
Detectives continued investigating the incident late Thursday, and officials released no further details.

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Man with knife grabs child during failed heist at Rosemead beauty salon

ROSEMEAD — A knife-wielding man grabbed a hold of a 5-year-old child and demanded money before fleeing empty-handed from a Rosemead beauty salon Sunday afternoon, authorities said.
The brazen crime took place about 2:45 p.m. at a salon in the 3100 block of San Gabriel Boulevard, just north of Garvey Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. James Long said.
The suspect entered the store armed with a knife, Lt. Ismael Chavez said.
“He demanded money and then grabbed the child by the arm,” Chavez said. “As he reached and retrieved a knife from his pocket, the (child’s) uncle intervened and grabbed the child from him and pulled him away.”
The would-be robber then ran from the store empty handed, the lieutenant said. He was last seen headed south on San Gabriel Boulevard.
The child was shaken but not injured, officials said.
Deputies described the suspect as a Latino man between 20 and 30 years old, about 5 feet 8 inches tall, of thin build, with a tattoo on his left forearm. He had brown hair and brown eyes and wore dark blue jeans, as well as a black and white bandana over his face.
Deputies searched the area with help from witnesses who pointed out where the man had run, but he was not found, Long said. Deputies continued hunting for him late Sunday.
Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s Temple Station at 626-285-7171.

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UPDATED: Report of carjacking victim found in trunk of car in ANF believed unfounded

UPDATE: Investigators determined the report of a kidnapping was false. The involved person may have psychiatric trouble, per officials.

A man was rescued from the trunk of his car near Crystal Lake early Sunday after being carjacked and kidnapped in Chino, authorities said.
U.S. Forest Service officials discovered the man, estimated to be about 30 years old, about 9:30 a.m. in the trunk of his car which was parked along San Gabriel Canyon Road near Crystal Lake, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Deputy Rob Upham said. He was taken to a hospital with unknown injuries, though he was conscious and able to speak with investigators.
The investigation into the incident remained in it’s early stages, however the man indicated he was carjacked in the area of Riverside Drive and Central Avenue some time after 8 p.m. Saturday night, Upham said.
Sheriff’s deputies secured the scene in the forest and turned over the investigation to Chino police.

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