COVINA >> A judge sentenced a 38-year-old transient to 17 years in prison Wednesday for a breaking into a Covina family’s home and trying to stab a resident with a metal stake while hallucinating on methamphetamine last year, officials said.
Jeffrey Benjamin Jimenez pleaded “no contest” to charges of burglary with a person present and assault with a deadly weapon in connection with the bizarre crimes, which took place March 15 in the 1300 block of North Glenfinnan Avenue, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said in a written statement. He was immediately sentenced.
Police said they believed Jimenez was under the influence of methamphetamine and hallucinating when he walked into the family’s home and said he wanted to search it because he’d heard the voice of one of his family members calling out from inside.
The home was occupied by a man, a woman and their two sons, Covina police Lt. Rick Walczak said at the time.
“Jimenez reportedly tried to stab the homeowner with the metal rod, but the victim was able to distance himself with a table,” Ardalani said. “At some point, the defendant exited the home and then smashed the home’s windows before he ultimately left the scene.”
Police arrested Jimenez nearby.
HACIENDA HEIGHTS >> Officials arrested a mother and daughter from Pomona on Saturday in connection with a Hacienda Heights residential burglary earlier in the day.
Deana Stanley, 48, and daughter Maria Tucker, 30, were booked on suspicion of burglary, receiving stolen property, possession of burglary tools and conspiracy to commit burglary, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. John Gannon said. Ticker was additionally accused of possession of counterfeit credit or access cards.
A witness called deputies about 8:35 p.m. to report seeing intruders inside a neighbor’s home in the 1500 block of Flamstead Drive, Gannon said. The burglars were gone when deputies arrived, but the tipster was able to provide them with a description of the burglars’ car, the lieutenant said.
Pomona police found the car Saturday afternoon parked outside a home on Gordon Street in Pomona, Gannon said.
Deputies arrested the two women and served a search warrant at their home, he said. Officials recovered all of the jewelry and other items stolen in the Hacienda Heights break-in, and also seized a handgun.
HACIENDA HEIGHTS >> Tips from the public helped investigators identify and arrest a suspect they say has stolen more than $30,000 in collections from churches and a Buddhist temple in Hacienda Heights and Rowland Heights, officials said.
Deputies arrested Carolos Montiel, 36, of Hacienda Heights about 9 p.m. at a home in the 3400 block of Glenmark Drive, according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. David Infante.
Over a period spanning more than a year, he’s burglarized two churches and a Buddhist temple, making off with more than $30,000 from the collection boxes, Detective Charell Heard said.
Though he remained unidentified, investigators had his picture from surveillance cameras. Detectives released those imaged to the public Wednesday in hopes that someone would recognize and report the suspect.
Less than a day later, investigators had a name.
“Shortly after the interview and the suspect’s photograph were televised and posted on media web sites, anonymous community members identified the suspect as Hacienda Heights resident Carlos Montiel,” Infante said in a written statement.
After confirming Montiel as their suspect, deputies set up a surveillance and arrested him without a struggle Thursday evening, Infante said.
Detectives are asking the public’s help in identifying a serial burglary suspect they say has stolen more than $30,000 in collections from two churches and a Buddhist temple in Hacienda Heights and Rowland Heights over the past two years.
The burglar has targeted collection boxes in each of the capers, Detective Charell Heard. She declined to discuss the specific dates and locations of the crimes as the investigation continued, but said that more than $30,000 in cash had been stolen in all.
The burglaries took place during daytime hours while the houses of worship were open to the public, officials said.
Officials described the burglar as a Latino man with “tribal band” tattoos on both of his legs and large tattoos on both his arms.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Heard at 626-330-3322.
PHOTOS courtesy if the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department
Police arrested three Glendora burglary suspects Thursday following a pursuit that ended in Covina and a neighborhood search that lasted more than eight hours, authorities said.
Charter Oak High School and the school district office went on lockdown in response to the incident, which began about 10 a.m., Glendora police Lt. Matt Egan said.
Police received a report of a suspicious person entering the backyard at a house in the 600 block of East Kirkwall Road, Egan said.
When officers arrived, they spotted a 16-year-old boy exiting the home and took him into custody after a brief foot chase, the lieutenant said. Two additional suspects fled in a car, leading officers on a pursuit to the 4900 block of Mangrove Avenue in Covina, Lt. Scott Strong said. Both Suspects ran from the car in opposite directions, police said.
One of the fleeing men, later identified as 19-year-old Jabaree Williams of Los Angeles, was quickly apprehended, Strong said.
The third and final suspect, 34-year-old Jerad Chaney of Los Angeles, eluded police until officers, including a SWAT team and a police dog, found him hiding in a residential garage shortly after 6 p.m., Strong said.
Police recovered from the suspects items stolen in the Kirkwall Road break-in, as well as property taken during another Glendora burglary earlier in the day, Strong said.
Nearby Charter Oak High School at 1430 East Covina Blvd. and the Charter Oak Unified School District offices at 20240 East Cienega Ave. were placed on lock down as police hunted for the alleged burglars.
– Brian Day and Stephanie Baer
AZUSA >> A burglar or burglars broke into an Irish pub in Azusa overnight, causing significant damage to the bar before making off with cash registers and a safe, police said Thursday.
The break-in took place between 11:30 p.m. Wednesday and 9 a.m. Thursday, Azusa police Sgt. Andy Sutcliffe said.
The thief or thieves tried unsuccessfully to pry open an ATM machine, but managed to steal two cash registers and a safe, the sergeant said. About $2,000 was stolen in all.
But the bar also sustained an estimated $2,000 worth of damage as the crook or crooks bashed their way through a wall to get to access a safe and otherwise “trashed” the establishment, Sutcliffe said.
No suspect description was available.
In a Facebook post, Callahan’s representatives said the “mom and pop” business was struggling to cope with the loss, but remained open for business.
“They got it all except for the pictures on the wall!” according to the social media post.
To help the bar get back on its feet, “We’re asking everyone to come by and show some love and grab that beer and bite to eat so we can get things rolling again,” the post stated. “We may bend, but we don’t break. Callahan’s is open for business!”
SIERRA MADRE >> A Sierra Madre man confronted a trio of burglars in front of his home early Wednesday, chasing them off before police arrested the suspects, officials said.
A man heard noises about 4 a.m. coming from the front of his Grove Lane home, Sierra Madre police officials said in a written statement. He looked out his window to see someone breaking into his car.
“The resident went outside and confronted the suspect, who was now inside his vehicle, and a brief struggle ensued,” according to the statement. “The suspect had a large silver object in his hand which the resident felt was a gun. Fearing for his safety the resident backed away from the suspect allowing the suspect flee southbound to a dark-colored SUV.
Another suspect ran out from another nearby home and jumped into the SUV, which sped away, police.
Police quickly found and stopped a vehicle matching the reported description and arrested three suspects after finding them in possession of suspected stolen property and drugs, according to the police statement. Police were still looking for the rightful owners of some of the property.
“We discourage residents from confronting suspects for their safety but are glad the victim is okay,” Sierra Madre Police Larry Giannone said.
Jesus Rojas, 20, Geovany Martinez, 19, and Aaron Vazquez, 33, all of El Monte, were booked on suspicion of attempted robbery and possession of stolen property, police said. They were being held in lieu of $50,000 each pending their initial court appearances.
PHOTOS [top to bottom]: Jesus Rojas, 20, Geovany Martinez, 19, and Aaron Vazquez, 33, all of El Monte. (Courtesy of the Sierra Madre Police Department)
SOUTH WHITTIER >> An Azusa man accused of violating a restraining order, breaking into his ex-girlfriend’s South Whittier home and trying to set it on fire pleaded not guilty to a string of charges in connection with the alleged crimes.
Joshua Diaz, 28, appeared in Downey Superior Court to answer to charges of burglary with a person present, attempted arson of inhabited structure, stalking and two counts of violating a restraining order, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said.
Though also initially arrested on suspicion of trying to kidnap the former couple’s child, no kidnapping charge was filed Friday.
Diaz showed up the home of his former girlfriend 10700 block of Inez Street early Wednesday morning, Los Angeles County sheriff’s and district attorney’s officials said. The couple had been separated for about a year.
The woman fled from the home after Diaz grabbed a knife and threatened to kill himself, Ardalani said. Diaz was already gone when deputies arrived at the home.
But he returned about two hours later, doused the woman’s car and air-conditioning unit with gasoline, and tried, unsuccessfully, to light a fire, officials said. Diaz again fled, but was apprehended and arrested Wednesday afternoon.
Diaz is also accused of violating the restraining order on April 25, less than two weeks to the alleged break-in and arson, Ardalani said. “Diaz reportedly went to the victim’s home in violation of the restraining order, tapped on her window and told the victim he loved her,” she said.
Diaz was scheduled to appear in Norwalk Superior Court May 15 for a hearing, Ardalani said. According to county booking records, he was being held in lieu of $250,000 bail.
PHOTO of Joshua Diaz: Courtesy
AZUSA >> An intruder broke into a woman’s home, snatched her car keys from inside and drove off in her SUV Friday afternoon, police said.
A woman of about 20 years old was home alone about 2:30 p.m. at a house on Azalea Way, just north of Ruby Lace Way, when she heard her garage door open, Azusa police Sgt. Rick Hayden said.
She went downstairs and discovered someone had forced their way into her home through a window, the sergeant said.
Missing was the woman’s keys, along with her black, 2015 Honda CRV with a California license plate of 7MHC57.
ARCADIA >> Arcadia police detectives are investigating a distraction burglary that resulted in the theft of jewelry, cash and cremated human remains.
A man posing as a utility worker entered the home of an 81-year-old woman at 10:25 a.m. Tuesday in the 1100 block of Valencia Way and took the items, which included the victim’s husband’s remains, Arcadia police Lt. Roy Nakamura said.
“The ashes were kept in a paper bag in the box,” Nakamura said. “I think the thieves thought that, because of the weight, it contained something valuable.”
People should verify who they are talking to if they are approached by anyone wishing to enter their property, Nakamura advised. Ask for identification and call the police if the person does not provide identification.
Arcadia police can be reached at the non-emergency line at 626-574-5123 or by dialing 9-1-1.
– By Melissa Masatani
SKETCH courtesy of the Arcadia Police Department