PASADENA >> Police are seeking a man who attacked and robbed another man in a Pasadena neighborhood early Friday.
The crime took place about 9:20 a.m. as the victim, an 18-year-old Pasadena man, was getting into his car in the 1300 block of N. Raymond Avenue, Pasadena police Lt. Mark Goodman said.
“He was approached from behind by the suspect,” he said.
“The suspect pushed a hard object into his back,” Goodman said. The victim did not get a look at the object.
“The suspect demanded money and then rifled through the victim’s pockets,” the lieutenant said.
After obtaining about $600 in cash, the robber tripped the man, then kicked him in the upper body once he fell to the ground before fleeing, Goodman said. The robber was last seen running south along Raymond Avenue.
Goodman said the victim declined to be taken to a hospital for treatment.
Police described the robber as a black man, about 5 feet 2 inches tall and 140 pounds, wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, black pants and black tennis shoes.
Anyone with information can reach Pasadena police at 626-744-4241.
COVINA >> Coroner’s officials have identified a 19-year-old man who was fatally shot by an off-duty reserve Los Angeles police officer during an alleged armed robbery attempt at a Covina Carl’s Jr. restaurant last week.
Victor Vidal Sigala died at the scene of the shooting, which took place just before 3:15 p.m. on July 6 at the restaurant at 573 N. Azusa Ave., Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner Investigator Mario Sainz said. His city of residence was unclear.
The off-duty LAPD officer was having lunch when Sigala approached him and brandished a handgun an apparent robbery attempt, Covina police Sgt. Gregg Peterson said.
The officer drew his own weapon and shot Sigala, mortally wounding him, police said.
The suspect’s gun was recovered at the scene, LAPD officials said. The identity of the involved officer was not released.
There was no indication the officer and Sigala knew one another prior to the shooting, Peterson said.
Covina and Los Angeles police are working together to investigate the shooting.
Anyone with information can reach the Covina Police Department’s Detective Bureau at 626-384-5628.
SAN DIMAS >> Homicide detectives have identified a man already in custody for a custody in connection with armored car robberies and the shooting of an armored car driver as the alleged gunman in the fatal shooting of a San Dimas sandwich shop owner in San Dimas last year, authorities announced Friday.
Sergey Gutsu, 24, is suspected in the June 2, 2015, slaying of Pravin “Peter” Patel during a robbery at the Quiznos shop Patel owned and operated at 1034 W. Arrow Highway in San Dimas, Lt. John Corina of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said.
He is already in custody in Sonoma County, where he and alleged accomplice Ivan Morales, 24, are accused of shooting an armored car driver during a robbery in Windsor on Tuesday, then fired shots at deputies during a chase that preceded their ultimate arrests, according to Sonoma and Los Angeles county sheriff’s officials.
“During the course of the investigation, “(Violent Crimes Investigation Unit) detectives developed information that Gutsu and Morales were likely involved in other crimes throughout the state,” Sonoma County sheriff’s Sgt. Cecile Focha said in a written statement.
“Although we cannot divulge specific details of the investigations, we are confident that one or both are responsible for an armored car robbery in Granada Hills and a robbery/homicide in San Dimas.”
Los Angeles County homicide detectives met with Gutsu in Santa Rosa on Wednesday, officials said.
“During the interview, the suspect admitted to being involved in the murder of victim Patel,” Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
Morales had not been linked to the San Dimas slaying, Corina said.
In the San Dimas case, Patel was working behind the counter when a gunman robbed the sandwich shop, Lt. David Coleman of Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said at the time.
Patel turned over the money from the register, amounting to no more than a few hundred dollars, when the robber threatened to shoot two customers inside the store, officials said.
But once the robber left, Patel followed him outside and became involved in a struggle with the robber, Corina said. The gunman opened fire, mortally wounding Patel.
Patel, 62, described by Coleman as a “loving, kind man,” worked alongside his wife at the family restaurant.
Authorities released a composite sketch of the killer and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors authorized a $20,000 reward for information leading to the capture and conviction of Patel’s killer. But the gunman remained elusive, and unidentified, until he implicated himself in the slaying on Tuesday, Corina said.
A gun seized from Gutsu at the time of his arrest in Sonoma County is of the same caliber used in Patel’s killing, Corina said. Forensic testing was pending to determined whether the weapons were one and the same.
Gutsu grew up in Arcadia, and more recently split his time between southern and northern California, Corina said.
According to Sonoma County booking records, Gutsu remains in custody without bail on charges of robbery attempted murder, along with special allegations that he personally used a gun.
The investigation into his alleged crimes in Los Angeles County and elsewhere remained ongoing, officials said.
“We’re still working our case and putting it together,” Corina said.
PHOTO of victim Pravin Patel, below (courtesy)
SOUTH EL MONTE >> Prosecutors filed four felony charges against a woman they say carjacked another woman at knifepoint in South El Monte, then led police on a televised chase to Bell Gardens
The suspect, Kelsey Woods, also listed as Britany Woods, 26, rammed a CHP car during the chase. Woods was previously convicted of leading police on a chase and driving against traffic in 2015 when she embarked on the alleged series of crimes on Wednesday, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said in a written statement.
“Woods allegedly approached a woman with a knife in South El Monte and then took the victim’s truck,” Ardalani said.
The suspect was not immediately found following the morning carjacking, however deputies spotted the stolen truck later in the day, officials said. It was still being driven by the suspect, later identified as Woods.
Woods refused to pull over, initiating a pursuit, Ardalani said.
News helicopters broadcast live at the fleeing truck ran over a spike strip, but continued speeding. Sparks flew from the exposed tire rim as the suspect fled.
“During the pursuit, the defendant reportedly drove into oncoming traffic and did not stop at numerous stop lights,” according to Ardalani. “At one point, the defendant allegedly stopped the vehicle, went into reverse and hit the patrol vehicle before she fled the scene again.”
•Video: Raw CBS footage of pursuit
Prosectors charged Woods Friday with carjacking, two counts of assault on a peace officer and recklessly fleeing police, officials said.
Woods is also accused of the special allegation that she personally used a knife in the carjacking.
A scheduled arraignment hearing Friday in the El Monte branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court was continued to Monday, Ardalani said.
If convicted as charged, Ardalani said Woods could face up to 16 years and four months in state prison. Her hometown was unclear.
According to county booking records, Woods was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail.
WHITTIER >> An armed man tried to rob a bank branch inside a Whittier supermarket Wednesday, but ultimately fled empty-handed, authorities said.
The failed crime took place about 6:15 p.m. at a Wells Fargo branch inside of a Ralphs at Whittier Boulevard and Colima Road, Whittier police Lt. Jay Tatman said.
“The suspect came up posing as a customer, waited his turn, then passed a note demanding money,” the lieutenant said.
The would-be robber also brandished a handgun, which he carried inside a manila envelope.
But the gunman apparently became nervous and fled the bank without receiving any money, Tatman said. A bullet-proof barrier separates the bank tellers from the customer area at the bank branch.
Police described the gunman as about 35 years old, with a dark complexion, wearing a white canvas fisherman’s hat, sunglasses, a royal blue long-sleeve shirt and dark pants.
Detectives were looking into whether a getaway car was involved in the failed heist.
Anyone with information can reach Whittier police at 562-567-9200. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
LAKEWOOD >> A would-be robber attacked to men, pistol-whipping one of them, as the victims were out playing the popular new Pokemon Go mobile video game early Wednesday morning, authorities said.
The crime unfolded about 2:40 a.m. as two men were chasing after digital creatures in the augmented-reality video game at South Street and Clark Avenue, according to Deputy Trina Schrader of the Los Angeles County sheriff’s Information Bureau.
As the men played the game on their cell phones, a tan, four-door car described as possibly a Chevrolet Impala, pulled alongside them, she said. A man got out of the car with a handgun and demanded the victims’ property.
“One of the victims charged at the suspect and began to struggle with the suspect for the firearm,” Schrader said in a written statement.
“During the struggle, the victim was hit multiple times in the face with the handgun by the suspect,” the deputy said. “The suspect ran back to the tan vehicle, which then sped toward the victims and attempted to run over them. The victims were able to get out of the way before being struck by the vehicle.”
The beating victim suffered a broken nose and a cut to his lip, Schrader said.
Officials described the gunman as a black man, between 18 and 25 years old, 5 feet 10 inches tall, of thin build, with short hair. A description of the driver was not available.
The suspects’ car was last seen speeding west on South Street, officials added.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Borges of the sheriff’s Lakewood Station at 562-623-3500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
EAST PASADENA >> A woman arrived home this week in East Pasadena to find to be confronted by two gunman who demanded her valuables, officials said.
The crime took place about 12:25 a.m. Tuesday in front of a home in the 100 block of Madre Street in the unincorporated county area, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Tom McNeal said.
A woman in her 30s pulled in to her driveway, the lieutenant said. Before she got out of her car, two men approached her from both the driver-side and passenger-side of her car.
Both men brandished handguns and demanded her valuables, McNeal said. The woman handed her wallet and cell phone through a partially opened car window and the suspect fled.
The robbers wore hooded sweat shirts and dark clothing, he said. A detailed description was not available.
They got into a small, green, four-door compact car, which sped north on Madre Street, then got onto the eastbound 210 Freeway, McNeal said. Deputies searched the area, but did not find the robbers.
Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s Temple Station at 626-448-9861. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
PICO RIVERA >> A man with a handgun robbed a Rosemead Boulevard convenience store early Saturday morning, officials said.
The crime took place about 3:30 a.m. at 7-Eleven, at Rosemead Boulevard and Telegraph Road, Sgt. B. Creta of the sheriff’s Pico Rivera Station said.
A man entered the store and demanded money from the clerk, she said. The employee hesitated at first, but complied when the robber displayed a handgun tucked into his waistband.
The robber fled with about $400, Creta said. The clerk was not injured.
Officials described the robber as a Latino man between 25 and 30, wearing a black jacket, a hooded sweatshirt and black pants. He fled the areas in a gray sedan fitted with paper license plates.
Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s Pico Rivera Station at 562-949-2421. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
ARCADIA >> A burglary turned into a robbery late Tuesday after an elderly couple awoke to find three intruders in their bedroom demanding valuables, police said.
The crime took place about 10:55 p.m. in the 500 block of West Live Oak Avenue, Arcadia police Sgt. Kirk Pedersen said in a written statement.
Two elderly victims were home sleeping when they awoke to three suspects in their bedroom,” Pederson said. “The suspects demanded cash and jewelry.”
No weapons were seen.
The intruders fled the home with an undetermined amount of money and jewelry, Lt. Colleen Flores said. It was determined they had entered the home through an unlocked rear sliding door.
The victims, who were in there 70s and 80s, suffered “minor injuries” during the incident, though it was not initially clear how they were hurt, officials added.
Police described the robbers as three men between 20 and 30 years old.
One had a dark complexion, stood about 5 feet 5 inches tall, was of thin build, and wore a hooded sweat shirt. The two additional robbers were further described as wearing dark clothing.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Arcadia police as 626-574-5151 in reference to case 1603602. Tips may also be subm9itted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
LA MIRADA >> A group of at least three robbers fled with electronics including cell phones and tablet computers, as well as employees’ wallets, following a takeover robbery at a La Mirada cell phone store Sunday afternoon, officials said.
The heist unfolded about 1:30 p.m. at a Sprint wireless store at La Mirada Boulevard and Telegraph Road, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Hank Ortega said.
Two men armed with handguns entered the store and demanded electronic items, such as cell phones, tablet computers and wireless internet hotspots, the sergeant said. They also demanded cell phones and wallets from the four employees working at the store.
The robbers placed the stolen merchandise into plastic trash bags and fled, Ortega said.
They got into a black pickup truck with a waiting driver, and possibly a fourth accomplice riding as a passenger, which sped away. The robbers ordered the employees into a room at the business before fleeing.
No injuries were reported. The value of the stolen goods was not immediately available.
Detailed suspect descriptions were not available.
Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s Norwalk Station at 562-863-8711. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.