Man robs Arcadia Walgreens of baby formula


ARCADIA >> A shoplifting turned into a robbery Sunday when a man stealing more than $100 worth of baby formula from an Arcadia Walgreens store threatened to shoot an employee who tried to intervene, authorities said.
The incident unfolded about 2:40 p.m. at Walgreens, 140 Live Oak Ave., Arcadia police Sgt. John Bonomo said.
A man left the store without paying for the baby formula and was confronted by a store employee, the sergeant said.
The robber threatened to retrieve a gun and fled, he said.
He was described as a black man, 20 to 30 years old, about 6 feet 1 inch tall and of thin build, Bonomo said.
He got into a green, four-door car believed to have a Nevada license plate, he said. It was driven by a black woman in her 20s or 30s heading south on Tyler Avenue.
Anyone with information can reach Arcadia police at 626-574-5151.

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Pasadena shopkeeper badly beaten by robber with declined debit card


PASADENA >> A man severely beat a Pasadena shopkeeper late Saturday after becoming enraged that his debit card was rejected, police said.
The clerk suffered injuries including a broken eye socket and a broken nose in the incident, which took place about 11:50 p.m. at a store in the 1300 block of North Lake Avenue, near Washington Boulevard, Pasadena police Lt. John Mercado said.
Two men entered the store and one tried to make a purchase with a debit card, he said.
“The suspect became angry when he was informed that his debit card was not good,” the lieutenant said. “He decided to walk out with the items without paying.”
When the shopkeeper, a Los Angeles man in his 60s, confronted the robber about the theft, he began punching the clerk repeatedly in the head and face before fleeing with the items, Mercado said.
Paramedics took the injured worker to a hospital for treatment. It was not clear Sunday what was stolen in the crime.
Police described the attacker as a black man in his 20s, about 5 feet 8 inches tall, 160 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes, wearing a blue and white hooded sweatshirt.
He was accompanied by a black man between 20 and 25 years old, about 5 feet 8 inches tall, 160 to 170 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes, wearing a baseball cap with white lettering on it and a black seater with white lettering on it.
Both were last seen fleeing the area on foot.
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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Masked gunman holds up West Covina gas station


WEST COVINA >> Police are seeking a masked gunman who robbed a West Covina gas station late Thursday, officials said.
The crime took place about 9:35 p.m. at a 76 Station at 2010 W. Pacific Ave., West Covina police Lt. Travis Tibbetts said.
A robber, initially described only as a man wearing a mask from the 1990s “Scream” film series, entered the store, brandished a revolver and demanded money from the clerk, the lieutenant said.
After obtaining about $200, the robber was last seen fleeing the area on foot, he said. No injuries were reported.
Anyone with information can reach West Covina police at 626-939-8500.

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Parolee convicted of home-invasion robbery, attack on elderly South Pasadena woman


SOUTH PASADENA >> A jury convicted a parolee Wednesday of kidnapping and other charges in connection with a home-invasion robbery and attack targeting an elderly South Pasadena woman in 2012, officials said.
An Los Angeles County Superior Court Jury in Alhambra deliberated for less than a day before finding Alonzo Bernard Johnson, 53, of Los Angeles guilty of robbery, kidnapping to commit robbery and burglary in connection with the Aug. 6, 2012, crime at the victim’s home in the 1000 block of Indiana Avenue, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said in a written statement. The jury also found true the special allegations that Johnson used a knife in the crime, and that he inflicted great bodily injury on his 79-year-old victim.
Johnson entered the victim’s home and asked if he could charge his cell phone, South Pasadena police Cpl. Matthew Ronnie said.
When the woman told Johnson to leave, he attacked the woman, breaking her nose, and pulled out a knife, according to police and district attorney’s officials.
“Johnson demanded money from the victim in her kitchen and then pulled her to the bedroom while using a knife, where he forced her to lay face down on her bed and attempted to tie her up with an electrical cord,” Ardalani said in the statement.
“Johnson repeatedly demanded that the victim give him jewelry as he continuously punched her in the head and face while threatening to kill her,” the statement continued The victim suffered brain bleed and a ruptured ear drum from the assault.”
As the victim continued struggling with Johnson, her 8- and 12-year-old grandchildren entered the house, and she called out for them to get help, Ardalani said. Johnson grabbed some jewelry and fled, but was soon apprehended across the city border in Los Angeles in the 5100 block of Huntington Drive, police said.
DNA evidence also led investigators to link Johnson to another home burglary that occurred in Pasadena on June 22, 2012, in which another elderly woman found Johnson rifling through her jewelry before he ran from her home, district attorney’s officials said..
Johnson had absconded from parole supervision for a previous robbery conviction at the time of the South Pasadena home invasion, and also had a prior burglary conviction, South Pasadena police Detective Bill Earley said.
Johnson faces the possibility of life in prison when he returns to court for sentencing June 17, officials said.

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Two sought in Covina home-invasion robbery


COVINA >> A home burglary turned into a home-invasion robbery after two brothers interrupted two intruders inside their Covina home late Wednesday, police said.
The crime unfolded about 7:30 p.m. in the 800 block of North Citrus Avenue, Covina police Lt. Dave Foster said.
A man was asleep in his home when he was awakened by a noise in another room and went to investigate, the lieutenant said.
Two intruders confronted the man and ordered him into another bedroom, which was unoccupied, he said.
One of the robbers brandished a knife and demanded money from the man, Foster said. As the confrontation continued, the man’s adult brother arrived home and interrupted the crime.
The brother was also ordered into the bedroom and ordered to lie down, Foster said.
The robbers grabbed a jewelry box, containing about $400 worth of valuables, and fled from the home.
The victims, described as men in their late-20s and late-30s, suffered no injuries, Foster said.
Officials described the robbers as two black men, both of thin build. One was in his early-20s, stood 5 feet 11 inches tall and wore all-black clothing. The other robber was in his early-30s and wore all-dark clothing.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Covina police at 626-384-5595. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Man attacked, robbed at Pasadena ATM


PASADENA >> Police are seeking an attacker who punched and robbed a man as he withdrew cash from a Pasadena ATM Wednesday afternoon, authorities said.
A 30-year-old Pasadena man was using the ATM machine at the bank branch, 1739 E. Colorado Blvd., when the crime occurred, Pasadena police Lt. Mark Goodman said. The robber struck once the machine dispensed his money.
“(He) heard a noise and was punched in the face by the suspect,” Goodman said.
The victim fell to the ground, and the robber snatched $300 from the man’s hand and fled, the lieutenant said. He was last seen running west down Colorado Boulevard.
Officers searched the area but did not find the robber.
Goodman said the victim did not wish to be taken to a hospital.
Police described the robber as white or Latino man, about 5 feet 9 inches tall, of medium build, with brown hair. He wore a gray hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans.
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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Robbery suspect arrested in Pasadena after chase, standoff

PASADENA >> Police jailed a robbery suspect Sunday after he led officers on a car chase, then climbed onto the roof of an apartment building before ultimately surrendering, officials said.
Officers received a report of the “strong-arm” robbery of a woman about 10 a.m. in the 1500 block of West Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena police Lt. Jesse Carrillo said.
The woman’s purse and cell phone had been stolen, he said. It was determined that the robbery took place across the city border in the jurisdiction of the Los Angeles Police Department. Further details regarding the robbery were not immediately available.
Pasadena police spotted a car matching the description of the robber’s vehicle 10 to 15 minutes later in the area of Lincoln Avenue and Washington Boulevard, the lieutenant said. The driver refused to pull over, kicking off a pursuit.
Police chased the suspect to the 100 block of East Orange Grove Boulevard, where he abandoned the car and fled into an apartment complex and climbed onto the roof of a building.
After about an hour, officers persuaded the man to climb down and surrender, Carrillo said.
The suspect’s identity was not available pending the booking process.

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UPDATED: San Gabriel woman dragged by truck during robbery; police, firefighters and witnesses team up to help victim


SAN GABRIEL >> Police, firefighters, emergency medical technicians and witnesses took up a collection to help a single mother who was dragged 20 feet by a pickup truck while being robbed of her purse in San Gabriel Saturday, officials said.
The crime took place about 10:45 a.m. outside a dry cleaning business in the 400 block of West Las Tunas Drive, San Gabriel police Lt. Riki Nakamura said.
A 36-year-old woman stopped into the dry cleaning shop as her 7-year-old son waited in the back seat of her car. The boy was dressed in a costume, as the mother and son were planning a trip to the movies to see The Jungle Book before heading to lunch.
The woman saw a man approach her car and open a door, the lieutenant said. Fearing her son was in danger, the woman ran out to confront the man, he said.
The robber grabbed the woman’s purse from the front passenger seat of her car and fled to his own vehicle, a pickup truck.
Nakamura said the victim clung to the truck as the robber accelerated.
“He heads north on Ardmore (Drive), while she’s clinging on the driver-side door,” he said. “She’s asking for help and pleading with him to stop.”
The woman fell from the vehicle, tumbling in the roadway, before the suspect sped away, Nakamura said.
“I don’t know what possessed me. I guess it was just adrenaline,” said the mother, who asked her name be withheld due to safety concerns.”
She suffered injuries to her arms and legs, but declined to be taken to a hospital.
Despite her injuries, and the loss of her money and other personal belongings, including their movie tickets and Souplantation gift card, “She was more worried about breaking a promise to take her son to the movies,” the lieutenant said.
Touched by the scene, police officers, firefighters, EMTs and passers-by who witnessed the incident took up a collection to present to the woman, Nakamura said. They presented the mother and son with tickets to the same theater they were planning to attend, as well as extra money for popcorn or lunch.
Though sore and healing from deep abrasions and an injured knee, the mother said she was recuperating well Sunday.
Her son was also doing well, though she said the incident left him a bit nervous.
“He’s a little afraid now where he’ll stay with me. He doesn’t want to leave me,” she said. She planned to seek counseling for him.
The youngster also told his mother he was worried because he feared the “bad guy” now knows their home address from the items stolen from his mother’s purse.
But despite Saturday’s ordeal, the mother and son made it to the movies as planned, the grateful mother said.
With her family in Northern California, and while dealing with financial challenges, the woman said the kindness of strangers made her not feel alone following the frightening incident.
“I couldn’t believe it. What started off as a really dark, horrible situation ended up being jut an uplifting situation,” she said. “Complete strangers filled us with love and comfort and made us feel so secure.”
Police and the victim described the robber as a Latino man in his 40s, about 5 feet 6 inches tall, 130 pounds, with a dark complexion. He drove a lowered, orange or copper pickup truck, possibly a Chevrolet Silverado, with dark tint on the windows. The truck’s paint was very shiny and clean.
Anyone with information is asked to contact San Gabriel police at 626-308-2828.

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Tipster helps deputies nab Puente Hills Mall robbery suspect

0422_NWS_SGT-L-SEARSFOLO

INDUSTRY >> A tip from the public helped deputies arrest a suspect who pulled a gun on a female security guard while stealing a pair of work boots from a Sears store at the Puente Hills Mall in Industry in February, officials said.
Investigators jailed Gerardo Garcia, 28, late Tuesday on suspicion of robbery in connection with the Feb. 23 incident at the mall, 1600 S. Azusa Ave., Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said in a written statement. His city of residence was not available, however officials described him as a San Gabriel Valley resident.
Garcia left the store without paying for a pair of work boots about 1:30 p.m. A woman working as a loss prevention officer confronted him in the parking lot.
“As the victim attempted to detain the suspect for shoplifting, the suspect produced a firearm from his pants pocket, pointed it at the victim, and cocked the hammer,” according the statement. The suspect fled in a black car.
Deputies on Tuesday released surveillance camera photos of the suspect in hopes of generating tips from the public.
The plan worked.
0422_NWS_SGT-L-SEARSFOLO1Within hours of the release of the surveillance camera images, “an anonymous caller provided information leading to the identification, and later arrest of Suspect Gerardo Garcia,” according to the sheriff’s department statement.
Deputies found and arrested Garcia in connection with the crime about 11:15 p.m. Tuesday, according to Los Angeles County booking records. Investigators also recovered the stolen boots, and the revolver believed to have been used in the crime.
Garcia was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail pending his initial court appearance, records show.

PHOTOS courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

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Man suspected of striking another man with chain during San Dimas robbery


SAN DIMAS >> Deputies arrested a homeless man after he whacked another man with a chain and robbed him of his backpack, officials said.
Jason Nicks, 37, was booked on suspicion robbery in connection with the incident, which unfolded about 1:15 p.m. along Arrow Highway, just east of Valley Center Avenue, according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials and booking records.
Nicks struck the victim, another homeless man with whom he was acquainted, with a chain and stole the victim’s backpack, sheriff’s Lt. Tonya Edwards said. The victim was treated for injuries believed to be minor.
Deputies searched the area and soon found Nicks nearby. He was detained without a struggle and ultimately arrested in connection with the robbery, the lieutenant said.
Nicks was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail pending a scheduled arraignment hearing Friday in Pomona Superior Court, records show.

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