SAN DIMAS >> Deputies arrested a man Tuesday after a bizarre incident in which he entered a bank branch on roller blades and asked to “borrow” money before being subdued by deputies and diners at a nearby restaurant, officials said.
Scott Baertich, 24, was booked on suspicion of robbery, though the ultimate decision as to what charge or charges he may face will be made by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Tonya Edward said.
The unusual incident began shortly before 11 a.m. at the U.S. Bank, 165 E. Bonita Ave., the lieutenant said.
Baertich rolled into the branch on skates and “asked for theme to let him borrow $20,” Edwards said.
A clerk handed the man a $20 out of fear and he left the bank, she said. Deputies responding to reports of a bank robbery suspect on roller blades spotted a pair of skates sitting in front of nearby Roady’s Restaurant, 160 W. Bonita Ave., Edwards said.
Deputies — aided by customers of the restaurant, which included an off-duty deputy and a retired deputy, wrestled Baertich into custody, she said. Deputies used a Taser to subdue the man. No significant injuries were reported.
It was uncertain with prosectors would file a robbery charge against Baertich, as he made no direct threat or demand while inside the bank, Edwards said. He was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail pending a scheduled appearance Thursday in Pomona Superior Court, records show.
IOWA >> A heavily-armed serial bank robber known as the “AK-47 Bandit,” who shot and wounded a Chino police officer during a bank robbery three years ago at the outset of a nationwide crime spree, struck again Tuesday in Iowa, according to the FBI.
The bandit showed up at the Heartland Community Credit Union in Mason City, Iowa, Tuesday morning, armed with his usual AK-47-style rifle fitted with a large-capacity drum magazine, FBI officials said in a written statement.
“ Based on witness descriptions, surveillance photos and other indicators, agents and detectives jointly investigating this case in multiple jurisdictions (and) states believe the Mason City suspect is the same individual linked to the violent series of bank robberies attributed to the ‘AK-47 Bandit,’ which brings the total number of linked robberies to seven,” FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said.
The spree of bank heists began on Feb. 29, 2012, when the bandit robbed the California Bank and Trust, 5455 Riverside Drive, and shot a Chino police officer while making his getaway.
Robberies and attempted robberies throughout California and the nation have since been linked to the bank robbery.
He’s believed to be responsible for crimes in Chino, Vacaville, Sacramento, Washington, Idaho, Nebraska, and now Iowa, according to the FBI.
$100,000 in reward money has been offered for information leading to the capture and conviction of the AK-47 bandit. The FBI has offered $75,000 in reward money, Eimileer said, while other parties have added an additional $25,000.
Officials have described the robber as a white in his 20s to 40s, 5 feet 9 inches to 6 feet tall, of medium build, woith possibly blue eyes. He generally wears a black ski mask and gloves and carries the assault rifle which gave him his moniker.
Anyone with information can reach the FBI in Los Angeles at 310-477-6565.
NORWALK >> Deputies are seeking an exceptionally tall man who robbed a Norwalk Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant Saturday afternoon, officials said.
The crime took place about 12:30 p.m. at the eatery, 10905 Imperial Highway, just west of Studebaker Road, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Jack Jordan said.
A robber entered the restaurant and gestured as if he had a handgun, though none was seen, the sergeant said.
After obtaining an unknown amount of cash from the restaurant’s cash register, the robber was last seen running west along Imperial Highway, then sough along Hoxie Avenue toward the nearby Metro station.
Deputies described the suspect as a black man in his mid-30s, about 6 feet 5 inches tall, wearing a black baseball cap, black pants and a black T-shirt.
MONTEBELLO >> Prosecutors charged a woman with two counts of murder and one county of robbery in connection with the robbery of a Montebello restaurant in which her two alleged accomplices were fatally shot by the business owner, who was also wounded in the shoot-out.
Toni Danielle Lopez, 21, of Los Angeles entered no plea when she appeared in Los Angeles Superior Court, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokesman Greg Risling said. Her arraignment hearing was postponed to Aug. 6.
She’s charged with the murders of Kevin Fierro, 23, and Roger Soriano, 21, who died in a botched robbery shortly after midnight Saturday at a restaurant in the 2100 block of West Whittier Boulevard, according to prosecutors and Montebello police officials.
She served as a getaway driver in the restaurant robbery, in which the business owner exchanged gunfire with Fierro and Soriano, killing them both, district attorney’s officials said in a written statement. The victim suffered a non-life-threatening gunshot wound during the gunfight.
Additionally, detectives suspect Lopez also accompanied Fierro and Soriano when they carjacked a Toyota Camry in East Los Angeles, then robbed man of his wallet, cellphone and headphones in the minutes prior to the Montebello robbery and fatal shooting, Montebello police Lt. Andy Vuncannon said.
Investigators found and arrested Lopez Tuesday afternoon, still in the carjacked Camry believed.
Lopez’s bail was set at $2 million, Risling said.
AZUSA >> A knife-wielding man robbed a liquor store Sunday, police said.
The crime took place about 11:20 a.m. at Canyon City Liquor & Deli, 424 W. Foothill Blvd., Azusa police Cpl. Nick Covarrubias said.
The robber approached a lone female clerk, brandished a knife and demanded money from the register, the corporal said.
He fled with an unknown amount of cash, as well as the clerk’s cell phone, which was found outside the store, Covarrubias said. The clerk suffered no injuries.
Police described the robber as a Latino man in 20s, 5 feet 6 inches to 5 feet 7 inches tall and 150 pounds. He wore a black hooded sweat shirt, dark basketball shorts, dark high-top sneakers and a dark baseball cap with a letter “A” emblazoned on the front.
MONTEBELLO >> A Montebello restaurant owner shot during a robbery along Whittier Boulevard shot back at his two assailants, fatally wounding both early Saturday, police said.
Montebello police said the robbery and shooting unfolded about 12:15 a.m. at a restaurant in the 2100 block of West Whittier Boulevard, which had already closed for the night.
“The preliminary investigation has determined both suspects were armed with handguns attempted to rob the victim,” police said in a written statement.“During the robbery, one of the suspects fired multiple shots at the victim, striking the victim once. The victim, a local business owner, returned fire striking both suspects.”
The business owner, a man estimated to be in his 30s, was expected to survive his injuries, Lt. Michael Bergman said.
Officers found one of the wounded suspects at the scene suffering from multiple gunshot wounds, according to the statement. The second suspect was found around the corner in the 100 block of North Wilcox Avenue suffering from a single gunshot wound.
Both suspects died from their injuries at the scene, Bergman said.
The names of the suspects had not been released Saturday pending notification of their family members, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Investigator Joyce Kato said. Both were initially described as men in their 20s.
The business owner’s identity was being withheld due to concerns for his safety, police said.
Anyone with information was asked to contact Montebello police Detective C. Adams or Detective P. Antista at 323-887-1313.
Police jailed a Pasadena man Wednesday in connection with their investigation into the violent home-invasion robbery of an elderly Burbank woman last week, officials said.
Lonnie Garcia, 27, is accused of robbery and attempted murder Friday’s 8:22 p.m. home invasion targeting an 89-year-old woman in the 1000 block of Cornell Drive, Burbank police officials said in a written statement.
The investigation also led to the arrest of a second suspect, 40-year-old Eddie Baca, on suspicion of evading police and drug sales following a car chase Wendnesday afternoon, according to Pasadena and Burbank police.
While following up in the investigation into the home-invasion robbery, “Investigators developed leads which led them to the City of Pasadena,” according to the Burnank police statement. “The leads and investigatory work resulted in the arrest of a suspect in the home invasion robbery.”
Garcia was arrested about 5 p.m. and was being held without bail pending his initial court appearance, Los Angeles County booking records show.
(Garcia) was recently released from prison and is currently supervised as part of California’s Realignment Program, known as AB109,” according to the Burbank police statement.
Pasadena police officers joined their counterparts from Burnank to carry out surveillance of the suspect, Pasadena police Lt. John Luna said.
Baca led officers on a chase when they tried to pull him over, the lieutenant said.
The chase led to Del Mar Boulevard and Madre Street, where Baca was apprehended after crashing into another car at about 5 p.m. No significant injuries were reported as a result of the crash.
Baca was booked at the Burbank jail for evading police and drug sales, officials said. He was being held in lieu of $75,000 bail pending his initial court appearance, records show.
In Friday’s home-invasion robbery, the elderly victim answered a knock at her door when the suspect — later identified as Baca — forced his way into her home, Burbank police said in a written statement.
“A struggle ensued, and the victim received some injuries, including abrasions and lacerations,” according to the statement. It was unclear what, if anything, was stolen in the crime.
The woman summoned help via her medical alert system, police added.
*This story has been updated from a previous version to reflect that Lonnie Garcia is accused of robbery and attempted murder, while Eddie Baca is accused of evading police and drug sales.
MONROVIA >> Two young men attacked a passing driver in a failed robbery Tuesday afternoon, police said.
A man in his 40s was making a turn onto a side street from the 1300 block of South Myrtle Avenue about 6:10 p.m. when he stopped for a young man of 17 to 19 years old who was crossing the street on a skateboard, Monrovia police Sgt. Dan Verna said.
As the skateboarder passed by, a second young man approached the driver and demanded money, telling the driver that he almost struck his friend, Verna said.
The driver refused and the would-be robber punched him in the face and again demanded money, the sergeant said. The driver sped away.
Police searched the area but did not find the suspect, Verna said.
ALHAMBRA >> Police arrested a teenage boy on suspicion of robbing a teenage girl of her purse late Wednesday, authorities said.
The crime took place about 9:20 p.m. at Electric Avenue and Shorb Street, Alhambra police Sgt. Tai Seki said.
The 17-year-old suspect told the girl he had a knife, though none was seen, as he demanded her purse, the sergeant said. The girl handed over her purse and the robber ran off. She suffered no injuries.
Police found and arrested the suspect several blocks away, Seki said. Some items from the purse were recovered, including the victim’s wallet, but the purse itself was not found.
Police took the teen boy to Central Juvenile Hall in Los Angeles, Seki said.
PASADENA >> Police are seeking a gunman who robbed two other men of their gold necklaces in a Pasadena alley Wednesday.
Two coworkers, ages 21 and 40, were walking through Herr Alley, just north of the 100 block of Palmetto Drive, about 6:45 p.m. when the robber approached, Pasadena police Lt. John Luna said.
The robber brandished a semi-automatic handgun and demanded the victims turn over gold necklaces they were wearing, the lieutenant said. The victims complied, and the robber was last seen fleeing west on Waverly Drive.
Police searched the area but did not find the suspect, Luna said.