BALDWIN PARK >> A robbed a Baldwin Park bank branch Saturday before quickly being captured by police, officials said
Todd Edward Campbell, 48, of West Covina was arrested within minutes of the 11:14 a.m. bank robbery at a U.S. Bank branch inside a Walmart store, 3250 Big Dalton Avenue, Baldwin Park police Lt. Doug Parnell said.
Campbell approached a female teller at the bank and displayed a note demanding money, the lieutenant said. The teller handed over about $2,000 and the suspect fled, running north from the bank, Parnell said. A bank employee triggered a silent alarm during the robbery.
An officer rushing to the scene of the crime spotted Campbell, who matched the description of the robber, at Merced and Puente avenues, Parnell said.
Though he had discarded is shirt in an attempt to change his appearance, Campbell was found carrying a bag containing the stolen money, and the note used in the robbery was found in his pocket, Parnell said.
The suspect, who has a lengthy criminal history out of state,admitted to the robbery, Parnell said. Campbell told police he committed the robbery because he needed money for drugs.
The FBI was assisting Baldwin Park police in the investigation.
According to Los Angeles County Booking records, Campbell was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail pending his initial court appearance Tuesday in West Covina Superior Court.
PASADENA >> A first date turned into a carjacking early Saturday after an Argentina man visiting Southern California had his rental car stolen by a woman he had just met and an accomplice, police said.
The carjacking took place just after 3 a.m. at Allen Avenue and Corson Street, Pasadena police Lt. Ed Calatayud said.
But the incident began earlier in the night, when the 31-year-old victim met a woman at a Los Angeles bar, the lieutenant said.
The man was drunk when he agreed to go for a ride with the woman, Calatayud said. She drove, due to the man’s intoxication.
The woman pulled over in Pasadena and the two began talking when a carjacker approached the car from the passenger side, police said. The carjacker pulled the victim from the car and struck him in the head before climbing in to the passenger seat of the rented car.
Calatayud said the woman then drove off with her accomplice. In addition to the car, the carjackers also made off with the victim’s luggage.
The victim was taken to a hospital, where he was treated for moderate injuries and released later Saturday morning.
Police described the carjackers as a black woman, between 20 and 30 years old and of thin build, along with a heavyset black man between 20 and 30. The 2013 Toyota Corolla they were last seen in had a California license plate number of 6ZTK556. The color was not available.
NORWALK >> A Long Beach man attacked a sandwich shop employee after she caught him stealing items from her car Saturday morning, officials said.
Deputies arrested Jose Antonio Garcia, 19, on suspicion of robbery and drug possession following the incident, which was reported shortly after 7 a.m. in a parking lot in the 12300 block of Imperial Highway, just east of Norwalk Boulevard, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Eric Smitson said.
A woman working inside a Subway sandwich shop heard her car alarm sounding in the parking lot and went to see what was happening, Smitson said.
She encountered a man, later identified as Garcia, rummaging through her car, the lieutenant said.
The woman confronted Garcia, and the two briefly struggled before the robber punched the woman three times and ran off, Smitson said.
The woman was not seriously injured, the lieutenant said. Garcia stole items from the car such as headphones and a phone charger.
Deputies found Garcia in the area and arrested him in connection with the burglary-turned-robbery, Smitson said. He’s also accused of drug possession after deputies found a small amount of suspected methamphetamine on his person.
Garcia was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail pending a scheduled arraignment Tuesday in Bellflower Superior Court, according to Los Angeles County booking records.
LA MIRADA >> A man armed with a baseball bat robbed a La Mirada liquor store late Wednesday, authorities said.
The robber fled with several hundred dollars following the 8:30 p.m. robbery at Palisades Liquor, 15827 Imperial Highway, just east of Santa Gertrudes Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Stephen Moreno said.
He brandished a baseball bat and threatened the clerk while demanding cash, officials said. The clerk was not injured.
The robber was described as a Latino man, about 6 feet tall and 200 pounds, wearing a black hooded sweat shirt and blue jeans, Moreno said. He was last seen driving east on Imperial Highway in a black, four-door car similar to a Honda.
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.
HACIENDA HEIGHTS >> A masked man with a handgun robbed a cell phone store Saturday afternoon, officials said.
The heist was reported just before 6 p.m. at Bell Star Wireless, in the 16400 block of Colima Road, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Bob Boese said.
The robber entered the store and demanded money at gunpoint, Boese said. He fled with an undisclosed amount of cash, and was last seen running north on Punta Del Este Drive.
A man and woman working at the store were not injured, he added.
Deputies described the robber as a white or Latino man in his 20s, about 5 feet 5 inches tall and 130 pounds. He wore all-dark clothing and a mask.
The robbery was being investigated by detectives from the sheriff’s Industry Station.
PASADENA >> A would-be robber attacked a man along Fair Oaks Avenue before a good Samaritan intervened and fought the attacker off Saturday, police said.
Jaime Medina Ruiz, 28, of Pasadena was booked on suspicion of attempted robbery following the incident, which unfolded just after 7 p.m. along Fair Oaks Avenue, just south of Del Mar Boulevard, according to Pasadena police officials and Los Angeles County booking records. He was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail pending his initial court appearance.
Ruiz confronted the victim, a 24-year-old Pasadena man, and demanded money, Pasadena police Lt. John Luna said.
“When the victim told him he had nothing to give him, the suspect punched him in the face,” he said.
But a 27-year-old Pasadena man who witnessed the crime rushed to help the victim, Luna said.
“He fought with and attempted to restrain the suspect,” Luna said. The failed robber managed to flee.
Police, aided by officers hovering overhead in a helicopter, soon found and arrested Ruiz in connection with the crime, Luna said.
PASADENA >> Five home-invasion robbers shot a Temple City man inside a Pasadena apartment before fleeing with watches late Saturday, authorities said.
The wounded man was shot in the arm and grazed in the torso during the crime, which took place shortly after 10 p.m. at an apartment in the 600 block of East Union Street, Pasadena police Lt. John Luna said. He was taken to a hospital where he was listed in stable condition.
A second victim of the robbery, described as a 17-year-old Pasadena boy, suffered abrasions to his arm during the home invasion, Luna said.
Police described the armed intruders as an Asian woman in her 20s, and four men of unknown race between 25 and 30 years old.
“The suspects entered the apartment and demanded jewelry at gunpoint,” Luna said. “A physical struggle ensued, and one of the suspects fired at the victim.”
The robbers fled with watches, he said, though the number or value of the watches was not clear.
Officers discovered the crime scene after responding to a report of gunfire, Luna added.
No further details were available Sunday.
For the second time in two weeks, Arcadia residents found themselves face to face with armed robbers inside their homes.
Three robbers forced their way into a home in the 1000 block North First Avenue about noon Tuesday.
Home-invasion robbers barged into another home shortly before 11 p.m. Aug. 15 about three miles away in the 600 block of West Lemon Avenue. The frightened family members climbed out a second-floor window of their home and jumped from the roof to escape the robbers.
Three robbers were believed to be involved in both crimes, however their descriptions differed.
Both cases are being investigated by the Arcadia Police Department.
ARCADIA >> A family of three escaped from a home-invasion robbery late Friday by jumping from the roof of their Arcadia home, officials said.
A man and wife estimated to be in their 50s and their son, estimated to be in his 20s, were inside a home in the 600 block of West Lemon Avenue when three robbers broke into the home through an unlocked rear window shortly before 11 p.m., according to Arcadia police Lt. Mike Castro.
The victims saw two of the robbers, but only heard the third, he said. One of the robbers brandished a dark-colored handgun.
“The suspects took the victims to an upstairs bedroom where they were forced to lie face down on the floor,” Castro said. “One of the suspects held the victims at gunpoint while the other two ransacked the house.”
But the gunman became distracted while talking to his accomplices, and the family saw their opportunity to escape, Castro said.
“When the suspect was not watching, the victims got up, raced to the window, pushed out the screen and jumped onto the roof. The victims then jumped from the roof to the front yard where they were screaming for help.”
Neighbors called 9-1-1 after hearing the screams, Castro said. Police searched the area but did not find the robbers, who were believed to have fled out of the back of the home, Castro said.
Two of the victims were hurt jumping from the roof, Castro said. The husband suffered an injury to his leg and possibly a broken bone, while his wife suffered apparently minor injuries, the lieutenant said.
The son suffered injuries described as bumps and bruises.
The two robbers who were seen by the victims were described only as two black men, one wearing a red hooded sweatshirt and the other wearing a black hooded sweatshirt.
Because the home was ransacked and the homeowners were hospitalized, it was not clear what the robbers stole during the break-in, Castro said.
No one appeared to be home at the house Saturday afternoon.
There was no apparent reason the robbers targeted the family, Castro said.
A sign on the front lawn indicated the home is protected by a burglar alarm.
A married couple that lives nearby, who asked that their names not be published for fear of retaliation, said they were watching TV when the robbery occurred and heard nothing out of the ordinary until they noticed police outside.
“We locked the doors and set the alarm,” the wife said.
The couple said they only knew the residents of the home from brief greetings in the neighborhood.
“It’s terrible,” the wife said. After two decades of relative tranquility in the area, the woman said it seemed crime has been creeping closer and closer over the past two to three years.
“We’re thinking about installing metal bars on our windows,” the husband said.
Jose Antonio Parra, a 35-year-old father of three, died after he was shot during a Dec. 12. 2011, home-invasion robbery about two miles away, in the in the 11000 block of Kristi Court. A robber or robbers confronted Parra and his family when they arrived home and robbed them of their rent money, investigators said. The robber then forced Parra’s girlfriend and three children into a bedroom before fatally shooting Parra.
Most recently in the San Gabriel Valley, a West Covina woman and her elderly mother became the victims of a home-invasion robbery July 6 in the 3000 block of Larkwood Street, according to West Covina police officials. The daughter was struck in the head during the crime and suffered a minor injury. The two robbers fled with cash, jewelry, electronics and a safe.
Anyone with information on Friday’s robbery in Arcadia was asked to contact Arcadia police at 626-574-5150. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.