WHITTIER >> A man beat a senior citizen unconscious and stole the victim’s car at knifepoint early Wednesday in the parking lot of a Whittier 99 Cents Only Store before being captured, police said.
Michael Echavarria, 27, of Whittier is accused of carjacking in connection with the 7:55 a.m. crime outside the store, 15345 Whittier Boulevard, Whittier police Officer Bradley White said.
A 67-year-old Whittier man arrived in the parking lot of the store and was exiting his car when Echavarria approached, White said.
“The victim said the suspect brandished a knife and then began to strike him in his head with his fist until he lost consciousness,” police said in a written statement. “When the victim came to, he noticed his vehicle — 2011 Toyota Yaris, red in color — was missing.”
Paramedics took the victim to a hospital where he was treated for non-life-threatening injuries and released by medical staff, White said.
The suspect and the victim’s car were gone when police responded to what was initially reported as fight, White said.
But an officers spotted the stolen Toyota about two hours later at Whittier Boulevard and Painter Avenue, he said.
Officers cautiously pulled over the car and took the driver, later identified as Echavarria, into custody, police said.
Police recovered a pocket knife from the suspect and were trying to confirm it was the same blade brandished at the carjacking victim, White said.
Echavarria was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail pending his initial court appearance, officials said.
HACIENDA HEIGHTS >> A man fled with an undisclosed amount of cash after robbing a Hacienda Heights bank Saturday, officials said.
The robber showed up about 1:45 p.m. at Chase bank, 17160 Colima Road, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Bob Boese said.
He handed a female teller a note demanding money, the sergeant said. No weapon was seen.
The robber obtained some cash and fled, Boese said. No getaway car was seen in connection with the crime.
Deputies described the robber as a black man between 25 and 40, about 6 feet 2 inches tall and 160 pounds. He wore white sunglasses, a navy blue jumpsuit with writing on it and a dark-colored hooded sweatshirt.
ROWLAND HEIGHTS >> Three masked robbers forced their way into a home and pepper sprayed one of two brothers inside before fleeing with valuables late Friday, authorities said.
The three robbers smashed a rear sliding-glass door about 7:40 p.m. to get into the home in the 17800 block of Calle Barcelona, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Steven Tousey said.
The home-invasion robbers encountered a 21-year-old man and his teenage brother, who were upstairs when the intruders broke in, the sergeant said.
A robber pepper-sprayed one of the brothers before the three bandits fled with cash, jewelry and an iPhone, Tousey said. No other injuries were reported.
A detailed description of the robbers was not available, Tousey said. All three wore ski-masks during the crime.
Tousey said the robbers were last seen running from the home. It was unclear if a getaway car was involved.
Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s Walnut-Diamond Bar Station at 909-595-2264.
PASADENA >> Two robbers held up a Lake Avenue market at gunpoint late Saturday, Pasadena police officials said.
The 7:40 p.m. robbery unfolded at a market in the 1500 block of North Lake Avenue, Pasadena police Lt. Vasken Gourdikian said.
One of the two robbers was armed with a handgun and pointed it at the clerk, a 55-year-old man, while demanding money, the lieutenant said. They fled on foot after receiving an undisclosed amount of cash from the store’s register.
Police described the robbers as two black men, both between 19 and 25 years old, about 5 feet 10 inches tall and of thin build.
The clerk was not injured during the crime, unlike a worker at another Pasadena store who was shot and wounded during a robbery Friday evening.
In Friday’s 7 p.m. robbery at Pepe’s Video & Wireless, less than two miles away at 313 E. Orange Grove Blvd., a man in his 50s who was working as an attendant suffered a gunshot wound to his shoulder while two men robbed the business, Lt. Ed Calatayud said. No other injuries were reported.
The robbers in the Orange Grove Boulevard crime were described as two black men wearing all black clothing. One was about 300 pounds, while the other was thin, police said.
It was not clear Sunday if there was a connection between the two armed robberies.
PASADENA >> A man lost his bicycle in a knifepoint robbery late Friday, police said.
The crime took place about 11 p.m. at Orange Grove Boulevard and Marengo Avenue, Pasadena police Lt. Ed Calatayud said.
A 31-year-old local man was riding his bike when a car pulled in front of him, forcing him to stop, the lieutenant said.
A passenger exited the car, brandished a knife and demanded the man’s bike, Calatayud said.
The victim complied, and the suspect fled in the car with the bicycle and a driver.
A detailed suspect description was not available.
PASADENA >> A convenience store clerk is recovering from a gunshot wound this weekend as police continued seeking two men who shot him during a robbery late Friday.
The clerk, a man in his 50s, suffered a gunshot wound to his shoulder and was hospitalized in stable condition following the 7 p.m. crime at Pepe’s Video & Wireless, 313 E. Orange Grove Blvd., Pasadena police officials said.
He had been released from a hospital by Saturday morning, Lt. Ed Calatayud said.
“(Two robbers) entered the store and attempted to rob the location,” Pasadena police Lt. Art Chute said. “A clerk intervened, one gunshot was fired.”
No other employees or customers were hurt, Chute said.
The robbers fled with an undisclosed amount of cash, Calatayud said.
Officials described the gunman as a black man of about 300 pounds wearing all black clothing. His accomplice was described as a black man of thin build, also wearing all black clothing. No getaway car was seen.
Police shut down Orange Grove Boulevard between Los Robles and Marengo Avenues for more than an hour as they investigated the scene.
ALHAMBRA >> A judge sentenced a Chino man to 374 years to life in prison Thursday for a spree of follow-home robberies targeting lone Asian women throughout the San Gabriel Valley in 2011, officials said.
An Alhambra Superior Court convicted Jose Lewis Avila, 33, of nine counts of robbery, one count of assault with a deadly weapon, one count of dissuading a witness from reporting a crime and one count of child abuse. The 12 charges stem from a eight incidents in March and April of 2011, investigators said.
Three robberies, one of which involved two victims, occurred in Alhambra, officials said. Three of he robberies occurred in San Gabriel, one occurred in Arcadia and one took place in Monterey Park.
“The defendant targeted women driving alone,” according to the district attorney’s office statement. “Once the victims arrived at their homes, Avila accosted them and demanded their money and property. During each robbery, the defendant used a BB gun and covered his face with a bandana or mask.
But detectives managed to identify Avila the culprit in the crimes through surveillance video and credit card charges, officials said.
Additionally, Avila’s “unique” and “pretty” eyes helped victims point him out as their attacker, said Deputy District Attorney David Ayvazian, who prosecuted the case with Deputy District Attorney Gabriel Kim.
Avila was convicted of a similar string of crimes in 2005, Ayvazian said.
The assault with a deadly weapon charge was the result of Avila shooting one of his victims in the face with a BB gun during a robbery in Arcadia, officials said. He also threatened a witness not to contact the police, leading to the charge of dissuading a witness. And one of the robbery victims was holding a child in her arms during the crime, resulting in the charge of child abuse.
According to district attorney’s officials, the jury also found true special allegations that Avila used a deadly and dangerous weapon, the BB gun, in his crimes, and that he inflicted great bodily injury.
PHOTO of Jose Avila, 33, of Chino, courtesy of the Alhambra Police Department.
PASADENA >> Three teenagers robbed a water vending business of its tip jar Friday, police said. The felony netted them $7.
The crime took place about 10:10 a.m. at a business in the 1200 block of North Lake Avenue, Pasadena police Lt. John Luna said.
A woman working at the store suffered minor injuries to her hand while scuffling with one of the young robbers, he said.
“They intimidated the clerk and attempted to steal the tip jar,” Luna said.
The woman struggled with one of the teens before he ultimately managed to flee with the tip jar, along with his two accomplices, the lieutenant said.
The woman suffered a small cut and abrasions to her hand during the scuffle, he added.
The tip jar contained about $7, Luna said.
Police searched the area but did not find the robbers, described as three black teens of 15 or 16 years old, of thin build, standing 5 feet 8 inches to 5 feet 9 inches tall.
SOUTH EL MONTE >> A man armed with a handgun robbed a South El Monte convenience store early Wednesday, officials said.
The crime took place about 2 a.m. at 7-Eleven, at Rush Street and Tyler Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Ismael Chavez said.
The robber entered the store while brandishing a handgun and demanded money from the clerk, the lieutenant said. The clerk handed over an undetermined amount of cash, and the robber ran east down Rush Street. The clerk was not injured.
A detailed suspect description was not available.
INDUSTRY >> A masked man with a handgun robbed a sandwich shop on Holloween, officials said.
The crime took place about 8:40 p.m. Friday at Subway, on 7th Avenue, just south of Valley Boulevard, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Desiree Campuzano said.
The robber entered the store, brandished a handgun and demanded money, the sergeant said.
A woman working at the store told the gunman to take the money as she fled to the back of the store, Campuzano said.
The robber grabbed the entire cash register and fled. The amount of money inside the register was not available.
Deputies described the robber as a white man, wearing all-dark clothing and a mask. He was last seen leaving the area in a newer-model, gold minivan. It was unclear if he was alone or accompanied by a getaway driver.