Police are seeking a portly predator who attempted rob a woman inside her Arcadia home early Friday , then carjacked another woman nearby, authorities said.
The crimes unfolded about 8:30 a.m. in a residential neighborhood in the 2300 block of South Second Avenue, Arcadia police officials said. The man gestured as if he had a gun, though none was seen.
“The suspect entered the victim’s residence (on) Second Avenue and demanded property,” Sgt. Dan Crowther said in a written statement. But he ultimately fled empty-handed.
He left the home and approached a woman sitting in her car outside, police said.
“The suspect simulated he had a weapon and demanded the victim’s vehicle,” according to Crowther. “The victim complied and the suspect drove away from the location.”
Neither victim was hurt.
The carjacker was initially described only as a “heavyset” Latino man, Crowther added.
The carjacked vehicle, a white 2015 Toyota RAV4 with a California license plate of 7RED948, was yet to be found Saturday morning, Lt. Tom Cullen said.
Anyone with information is urged to contact Arcadia police at 626-574-5151. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
Deputies searched a Valinda neighborhood for a group of three carjacking suspects on Wednesday, authorities said.
The manhunt began with a report of a carjacking just before 2 p.m. at Fairgrove and Aileron avenues in the unincorporated county area, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. David Cortinas said.
Three men took a man’s car by force, the sergeant said. No injuries were reported.
Deputies quickly responded and spotted the just-stolen car still within the same neighborhood, Cortinas said. The driver briefly led deputies on a chase before the suspects abandoned the Nissan Altima in the 1200 block of Bannon Avenue.
Officials cordoned off the neighborhood as they searched for the suspects, Cortinas said.
Deputies helped staff at nearby Fairgrove Academy, an elementary and middle school, to conduct a “controlled release” of students, Capt. Tim Murakami said via Twitter.
The suspects ultimately eluded capture, Cortinas said. Investigators were looking into the possibility they may have fled the area in a black Dodge Charger.
Authorities called off the search shortly after 5 p.m.
A man led deputies on a chase from West Whittier to South El Monte in a carjacked car before being captured by a sheriff’s SWAT team on Sunday morning, officials said.
Robert Larry Gutierrez, 34, was jailed following the pursuit, which began about 7:30 a.m., Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Alex Villanueva said. His hometown was not available.
Deputies patrolling over the unincorporated county area of West Whittier in a helicopter detected a signal from a LoJack vehicle tracker in the area of Washington and Norwalk boulevards, the lieutenant said. The vehicle had been reported carjacked in South Gate earlier in the morning.
“It looked like he was going to pull over initially, but then he took off,” Villanueva said.
Gutierrez led deputies on a 6-mile chase that ended when he abandoned his car along Peck Road at the 60 Freeway in South El Monte and fled into a nearby brush area, according to Villanueva.
Deputies summoned a sheriff’s Special Enforcement Bureau SWAT Team to track down the suspect in the dense vegetation. A sheriff’s helicopter landed on the freeway in order to rush deputies to the scene.
The SWAT deputies, aided by a K-9, soon found Gutierrez hiding in the brush and took him into custody.
He was being booked on suspicion of driving a car without the owner’s consent, felony evading and possession of cocaine, Villanueva said. The earlier carjacking was being investigated by the South Gate Police Department.
The westbound lanes of the 60 Freeway were closed down for nearly half-an-hour as deputies searched for and apprehended the suspect.
PHOTOS courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department
Coroner’s officials have identified a La Puente man who was fatally struck by a car on the 605 Freeway in Irwindale minutes after allegedly trying to carjack a driver in El Monte on Tuesday.
Louis Marcus Martinez, 27, died after he was struck by a car about 10:10 p.m. in the southbound lanes of the 605 Freeway, just north of Ramona Boulevard, Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner Chief of Operations Brian Elias said. An autopsy was yet to be completed.
The bizarre series of events began about 9:45 p.m. when El Monte police received a report of an attempted carjacking in the 4000 block of Gilman Road, according to El Monte police Lt. Pete Rasic.
A woman was entering her car when a man, later identified as Martinez, tried to force his way into her vehicle and grab her keys, police said.
The woman managed to push the would-be carjacker away, lock her car doors and drive away, Rasic said. The suspect left behind personal items including a photo ID.
Police received a second report of the same man grabbing onto a van and hanging onto to briefly it as it drove away in the area of Gilman Road and Ramona Boulevard in El Monte, officials said.
The man was not found, but turned up minutes later, walking in traffic lanes of the 605 Freeway along the border between Baldwin Park and Irwindale.
A car traveling about 70 mph in the No. 2 lane struck Martinez, who was pronounced dead at the scene, according to California Highway Patrol Officer Rodrigo Jimenez. He was soon linked to the prior attempted carjacking in El Monte.
It was unclear why Martinez ended up walking on the freeway.
ROWLAND HEIGHTS >> A “heavily tattooed” knife-wielding carjacker forced a man to drive him a short distance before fleeing in the victim’s car in Rowland Heights on Thursday, officials said.
The unfolded about 7 a.m., Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. David Buckner said. The victim, a man in his mid-40s, was uncertain where exactly he was in Rowland Heights when the carjacker climbed into his car and brandished a knife, but it was in the vicinity of La Cueva Drive.
Buckner said the carjacker ordered the victim to drive to a residential neighborhood in the 1800 block of Camino Viejo in Rowland Heights.
Once there, the man ordered the victim out of the white, 2000 Mitsubishi Galant and drove away, Buckner said. No injuries were reported.
Officials described the carjacker as a Latino man of about 40 years old, “heavily tattooed,” of a heavy build, with a shaved head.
Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s Walnut-Diamond Bar Station at 626-913-1715. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
PASADENA >> A gunman carjacked a Fontana man of his rental car in a residential neighborhood in Pasadena on Friday afternoon, police said.
The victim, a 23-year-old man, was sitting in the rented car at Hurlbut Street and Jane Place about 4:25 p.m. when the carjacker approached on foot and brandished a handgun, Pasadena police Lt. Mark Goodman said.
“The suspect demanded the victim exit the vehicle. The victim got out of the vehicle, at which time the suspect got in and drove away,” according to Goodman.
The stolen car was a cream-colored, 2017 Hyundai Accent. Police described the carjacker as a black man of unknown age, about 6 feet tall, of thin build, with dreadlocks in his hair and wearing all black clothing.
Anyone with information is urged to contact Pasadena police at 626-744-4241. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
COVINA >> A man carjacked a woman and her passenger when they stopped to use an ATM in Covina on Thursday, officials said.
The crime took place about 11:55 a.m. after a woman arrived at an ATM in the 900 block of West San Bernardino Road, just west of Azusa Avenue, Covina police Lt. John Zumwalt said. Another woman was riding as a passenger in the car.
After the driver got out of her car and went to use the ATM, the carjacker jumped into the driver’s seat, the sergeant said.
He told the passenger, “Get out of the car or I’ll shoot you,” Zumwalt said. The passenger, a Corona woman, complied.
The man then drove off in the freshly-stolen gray, 2016 Honda Civic with a California license plate of 7RDZ780. The car was last seen heading west on San Bernardino Road. The car had not been found Thursday afternoon.
Zumwalt said the carjacker was described as a black man in his mid- to late-20s, between 5 feet 9 inches and 6 feet tall, about 170 pounds, wearing a dark blue shirt.
Anyone with information can reach Covina police at 626-384-5595. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
POMONA >> A group of men carjacked a big rig containing more than half a ton of marijuana late Friday before leading police to an illicit marijuana grow at a Pomona home, police said.
Three men were arrested in connection with the carjacking, as well as on suspicion of cultivating marijuana and possessing pot for sales, according to Pomona police Sgt. Dennis Cooper. The victims of the carjacking were also ultimately arrested on suspicion of possession of marijuana for sales.
“Although the investigation is still ongoing, it appears this was possibly a prearranged meeting between both parties and a drug deal gone wrong,” Cooper said in a written statement.
The armed carjacking unfolded about 11:45 p.m. at Mission Boulevard and Sorrento Drive, the sergeant said. Officers found the just-stolen truck and trailer a short time later in the 700 block of Washington Ave.
“The suspects were observed by the police helicopter unloading the trailer and throwing large bags into the backyard of the residence,” Cooper said. “When Officers arrived and detained the suspects, they found that the trailer and bags contained approximately 1,200 pounds of marijuana.”
Police got a search warrant for the home and soon discovered 240 marijuana plants growing inside, he said.
Arrested on suspicion of carjacking and possession of marijuana for sales were Tyler Brian Holthouser, 25, of Pomona and Xavier Leroy Blackmon, 26, of Victorville, according to police and Los Angeles County booking records. James Holthouser, 34, of Pomona is accused of conspiracy to commit carjacking and possession of marijuana for sales.
The two carjacking victims — Timothy Alan Frerich, 39, of Redding and Dennis Young, 40, of Redding — were booked on suspicion of possession of marijuana for sales.
Tyler Holthouser, James Holthouser, Frerich and Young were being held in lieu of $100,000 bail each pending their initial court appearances, records show. Blackmon was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail.
Anyone with information can reach Pomona police at 909-620-2085. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
LA PUENTE >> Deputies arrested six suspects in a series of San Gabriel Valley robberies and carjackings after they crashed a just-stolen car in Chino late Tuesday, authorities said.
The incident began just after 9:10 p.m. when a woman was carjacked in front of a home in the 800 block of Greycliff Avenue, according to Deputy Juanita Navarro-Suarez of the Los Angeles County sheriff’s Information Bureau.
The woman told deputies she had just arrived home when she was confronted by a group of carjackers, “one of whom was armed with a baseball bat,” Navarro-Suarez said in a written statement.
The carjackers threatened to retrieve a handgun if the woman refused to turn over her vehicle, and she complied out of fear for her safety, the deputy said. The group of carjackers then fled in her car.
Deputies spotted the carjacked vehicle moments later in the area of the 60 Freeway and Fullerton Road in Industry, she said. They initially gave chase on the 60 Freeway, but soon cancelled the chase and followed the fleeing vehicle via helicopter only “due to excessive speeds,” Navarro-Suarez said.
The vehicle continued speeding east before ultimately crashing at Euclid and Merrill avenues in Chino. All six suspects ran from the crashed car but were soon apprehended by deputies during a search of the area.
Brian Mendez, a 20 year-old national of El Salvador and Christian Lucero, an 18 year-old national of Honduras, were booked on suspicion of carjacking, officials said. They were being held in lieu of $100,000 bail each.
Four juvenile suspects, two boys and two girls, were also arrested and taken to a juvenile hall, Navarro-Suarez said. They were described as nationals of El Salvador, Mexico and Honduras.
While continuing their investigation, deputies noticed a second car parked near the scene of the La Puente carjacking which had been reported stolen in Texas, where all six suspects are believed to live, according to Navarro-Suarez.
“It is believed that the six suspects abandoned the stolen vehicle during the time of the carjacking,” she added.
The stolen car from Texas matched the description of one used in a series of recent robberies in the La Puente and Rowland Heights areas, officials said.
Further details regarding the spate of robberies were not available late Wednesday.
The investigation was ongoing.
ALHAMBRA >> Two Pico Rivera men robbed and tried to carjack a man and woman at gunpoint when they caught them burglarizing her car in Alhambra before police found and arrested them nearby early Saturday, authorities said.
The crime took place about 12:30 a.m. in the 500 block of South Almansor Street, Alhambra police Sgt. Ruben Soriano said.
A woman and man saw two men rifling through the woman’s car, the sergeant said.
“Then the victims confronted the suspects, one suspect brandished a handgun and the other suspect brandished a knife,” police said in a written statement.
“They stole one victim’s purse and tried to take the victims’ car keys,” according to the statement.
The suspects then fled the scene on foot.
Police found the two suspects about 45 minutes later, two blocks away, after a resident called police to report two suspicious men in a backyard in the 400 block of South Cordova Avenue, police said.
Steven Perez, 21, and Anthony Bruno, 19, both of Pico Rivera, were booked on suspicion of robbery and attempted carjacking.
A search of the area during daylight hours turned up a replica handgun with its orange tip removed, which police said they believed was the gun seen by the victims.
According to county booking records, Perez and Bruno were being held in lieu of $100,000 bail each pending their initial court appearances, scheduled Wednesday in the Alhambra branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court.