GLENDORA — Police arrested four people Thursday for using fraudulent gift cars to make hundreds of dollars worth of purchases at Walmart, as well as possessing two loaded handguns, authorities said.
Arrested were Fernando Gonzales, 34, of Riverside; wanted parolee Desiree Gurba, 36, of La Puente; David Alvarez, 33, of Azusa; and Howard Reyes, 28, of Los Angeles, Glendora police Lt. Rob Lamborghini said.
All were booked on suspicion of burglary and other charges, the lieutenant said. Fraud-related charges were also likely to be added later.
Two loaded handguns were recovered from inside the suspects’ car, Lamborghini said. Gonzales was accused of possessing one of them, while police were still determining who was responsible for the other.
In addition to the fraudulent gift card they used to purchase more than $600 worth of merchandise from the store, 1950 Auto Centre Drive, “They were in possession of about two-dozen gift cards,” Lamborghini said. Police were looking into whether those cards were fraudulent as well.
The arrests occurred shortly after 7 a.m. when a Glendora police officers was flagged down by a Walmart employee in the parking lot and told that there was a forgery in progress, the lieutenant said.
The four suspects then exited the store and headed to their car, he said. Assisting officers arrived and the four were taken into custody without a struggle.
According to Los Angeles County booking records, Gonzalez and Reyes were being held in lieu of $20,000 bail, while Alvarez was being held in lieu of $30,000 bail and Gurba was being held without bail.
All four were scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday in West Covina Superior Court.
AZUSA — Officers checking out a security alarm at a pawnshop early Wednesday found the business had been burglarized then arrested a suspect as he tried to flee.
Azusa Police Sgt. John Madaloni said officers also recovered $7,972 worth of cameras, iPods, GPS devices, watches, jewelry and musical equipment taken from Azusa Mega Pawn at 1028 W. Gladstone St.
He estimated damages to the front door and smashed display cases at $3,100.
Police went to the business at 3:38 a.m. due to the alarm being activated.
Madaloni said the first officer at the scene saw the the business’ front glass door had been smashed and the security bars pried open.
Evidence suggested that once inside, he said the burglar used a blunt instrument to smash the glass display cases and gather up the merchandise.
As police secured the area around the pawnshop, the sergeant said a man suddenly sprinted out the front door carrying a bag.
The man was detained and the bag turned out to be full of stolen property, according to Madaloni. He added that several stolen items were also found in the man’s pockets.
Luis Rafael Puga,20, who lives in the unincorporated county area near Azusa, was arrested on suspicion of commercial burglary
He was being held at Azusa jail in lieu of $20,000 bail. Puga will be arraigned Friday at West Covina Superior Court.
- Ruby Gonzales
WEST COVINA — A man suspected of breaking into a house and a car allegedly barged his way into an apartment and hid under a bed to elude police Friday night.
He was found, arrested and treated at a hospital. The man was bitten by a police dog and got Tased by officers.
West Covina police Lt. Ken Plunkett said officers used a Taser on the suspect because he wouldn’t show his hands and kept them concealed under his body.
The residential burglary in the 2200 block of Francisquito Avenue was reported to police at 5 p.m.
While officers were checking the area, Plunkett said police got a call of someone breaking into a car in the 14000 block of Francisquito Avenue. He said the man ran when an officer arrived. The man then allegedly forced his way into an apartment in the 1500 block of Orange Avenue.
“He ran into a back bedroom and hid under a bed,” Plunkett said.
Officers recovered a wallet, credit cards plus the owner’s manual and insurance of the car that was burglarized.
Victor Pacheco, 23, of La Verne was arrested on suspicion of burglary and possession of stolen property.
Pacheco, whose bail is $50,000, is expected to be transferred from West Covina jail to county jail.
- Ruby Gonzales
GLENDORA — Three burglary suspects were arrested Friday when an off-duty deputy spotted them leaving a neighborhood and followed their car.
Glendora Police think the jewelry and electronics found in the rental car used by the suspects were stolen, according to Lt. James Demond. He said they don’t know yet where the items were taken.
The incident, which included a short pursuit, started at 1:47 p.m. in the 100 block of North Oak Tree Drive. Demond said there was an attempted burglary at a residence.
A deputy saw a man jump over a wall of a property and get into a car with two other people, according to the lieutenant.
The deputy followed the car and called Glendora police.
Officers tried to stop the car but the driver refused to yield.
The chase ended when the car drove to a dead end and was blocked by police cars on Stonehedge Drive, Demond said.
One man got out of the car and ran. He was caught by officers. Two other people in the car were detained.
Guy Blaylock, 30, was arrested on suspicion of attempted burglary, evading police, possession of stolen property, obstruction of an officer.
His brother, 24-year-old Deveon Blaylock, was arrested on suspicion of attempted burglary, evading and possession of stolen property.
Leldon Caldwell Jr, 24, was arrested on suspicion of attempted burglary, evading, possession of stolen property and parole violation.
The Pasadena men were being held at Glendora Jail. Demond said the Blaylocks were being held in lieu of $1 million bail while Caldwell, who is on parole, was being held without bail.
Booking records show a Tuesday arraignment at West Covina Superior Court for Caldwell and Deveon Blaylock.
- Ruby Gonzales
A fleeing burglary suspect tried to climb a fence but fell about 30 feet into a flood control wash Thursday night, deputies said.
Mark Spencer, 38, of Lake Elsinore was hospitalized for treatement of apparently non-life-threatening injuries suffered in the fall pending booking, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Greg Arnold said.
Authorities rescued the injured suspect, hoisting him out of the wash in a basket, officials said.
Sgt. Rob Jones of the sheriff’s Norwalk Station said witnesses saw a man breaking into a couple of vehicles in the 16800 block of Trojan Way at 9:43 p.m. They called the station.
Jones said witnesses tried to confront the man who ran and attempted to jump a fence. Instead, the man tumbled down a flood control channel at Trojan Way and Firestone Boulevard.
Jones said Buena Park police also responded since it is a border area.
Two officers qualified to do rescues went down the wash and handcuffed the suspect who was then hoisted up in a basket, according to Jones.
A woman was arrested Friday night on suspicion of trying to steal $5,000 worth of tequila and other liquor from a local Costco.
Starlet Casimiro, 25, was booked on suspicion of burglary in connection with the incident, according to Los Angeles county sheriff’s officials and county booking records.
Two men believed to be accomplices eluded capture.
Sgt. David Buckner of the sheriff’s San Dimas station said deputies became aware a burglary just occurred at the Costco, 520 N. Lone Hill Ave. around 8 p.m.
A deputy who was already in the store parking lot on routine patrol noticed a commotion.
A woman hastily parked a car, jumped out and tried to get away, according to Buckner. At the same time, employees ran out of the store.
The woman was detained.
Buckner said bottles of Patron tequila worth about $3,000 were discovered in the car.
A shopping cart with approximately $2,000 worth of liquor was also found by a side door. Employees were alerted when an alarm on the door went off, Buckner said.
He said two other possible suspects fled from the store. One ran east while the other headed north.
Deputies searched for the duo but didn’t find them. They were only described as black men about 25.
According to county booking records, Casimiro was released from jail Saturday after posting $20,000 bail and was due for an arraignment Jan. 22 in Pomona Superior Court.
- Staff report
WHITTIER — Police arrested one man Sunday and sought another after a break-in at a Whittier Boulevard car stereo store.
Following the arrest of Arthur Morales, 25, of Commerce in connection with a 7:50 a.m. burglary at the Stereo Super Stores, 14249 Whittier Blvd., he was linked to another burglary at an El Monte business, Whittier police Lt. Randy Inman said.
Officers responded to a burglary alarm at the Whittier stereo store when they encountered two men fleeing from the business, the lieutenant said. A lock had been cut and the exterior door opened, however the burglars had not yet gotten through an interior security door.
Officers arrested Morales during a search of the area, Inman said. A second suspect, described only as a Latino man wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, escaped.
Items found inside the suspects vehicle were found to have been stolen from an El Monte business earlier in the day, Inman said. Further details of the El Monte crime were not available lae Sunday.
Investigators were also looking into possible links between Sunday’s stereo shop break-in and at least one additional burglary in Whittier.
AZUSA — Police Friday announced the arrest of three West Covina residents in connection with the theft of about $60,000 worth of paintings from a storage locker.
Evelyn Siu, 31, was arrested Friday, while Louie Hernandez, 38, and Arthur Lopez, 48, were arrested Monday after being found in possession of 57 paintings stolen Nov. 2 from an Azusa storage locker in the 1000 block of West Gladstone Street, Azusa police Sgt. Tim Harrington said.
Each was arrested on suspicion of possession of stolen property following the service of search warrants at their respective homes, police said.
The paintings were being stored at the Azusa storage facility following the closure of a Los Angeles art gallery when they were stolen in a burglary, the sergeant said.
Detectives investigating the break-in developed information that Hernandez and Lopez were trying to sell the paintings and launched an investigation into them, according to Harrington.
Officers served search warrants Monday at the men’s West Covina homes, recovering the majority of the pilfered artwork, police said. Most of them were found in Lopez’s house.
Further investigation led officers to the home of Siu, where more paintings were found, Harrington said.
Detectives believed they’d recovered most, if not all, of the missing paintings, he added.
According to county booking records, all three suspects were released from jail pending trial after posting $20,000 bail each.
GLENDORA — Police Thursday announced the arrest of the last of three suspects linked to a series of more than a dozen auto burglaries in which car windows were shattered with pellet guns over the past two weeks, authorities said.
Detectives were led to the suspects after one of them came to the attention of law enforcement for allegedly shooting a homeless man in the back with a pellet gun during a dispute, according to Glendora police.
Through a week-long investigation, investigators arrested Jeremiah Weiden, 27, of Covina, Timothy Ingles, 26, of Glendora and James Graffius, 36, of Covina, police said in a written statement.
“The suspects used pellet guns to shoot out vehicle windows and steal property from the vehicles,” according to the statement.
Weiden was arrested at his home Nov. 2 and has since been charged with assault with a deadly weapon, vehicle burglary, possession of stolen property, commercial burglary and being a felon in possession of ammunition, police said.
Officers arrested Ingles Nov. 3 after spotting him and pulling over his car in Glendora and he has been charged with six counts of vehicle burglary and possession of stolen property.
Graffius was arrested at his home Nov. 7 in connection with the string of car break-ins, however he was transferred from a jail to a hospital due to a medical condition, according to Glendora police. Charges against him were pending.
Police began investigating Weiden after he allegedly shot a homeless man in the back with a pellet gun Oct. 26 during an argument at South Hills Park in Glendora, Summers said.
The alleged victim suffered a superficial wound to his back, and investigators soon identified Weiden as a suspect in the assault, according to the police statement.
During a Nov. 2 search of Weiden’s home in the 200 block of North Darfield Avenue in Covina, officers found pellet guns, bullets and property reported stolen from recent area auto burglaries, officials said.
Evidence was also recovered from Weiden’s home that implicated the other two suspects in the series of auto burglaries.
Ingles was arrested without incident after officers stopped his car in the 500 block of West Baseline Road and found a pellet gun, along with items stolen in recent burglaries, police said.
A Nov. 7 search of Graffius’ home in the 1900 block of East Tudor Street yielded numerous pellet guns, more stolen property and other evidence linking him to the vehicle burglaries, officials added. He was then arrested.
According to county booking records, Weiden was being held in lieu of $125,000 bail, while Ingles was being held in lieu of $195,000 bail. Both have pleaded not guilty to their charges and were scheduled to appear in West Covina Superior Court Nov. 29. Due to his hospitalization, an update on Graffius’ case was not available Thursday.
PHOTOS: (Top to bottom) Jeremiah Weiden, Timothy Ingles, James Graffius, evidence seized from Graffius’ home. (courtesy of the Glendora Police Department)
COVINA — An unknown burglar or burglars made off with jewelry, computers and two guns following a break-in late Tuesday, police said.
A resident reported arriving home about 9:45 p.m. to find a home in the 21300 block of E. Benbow Street in an unincorporated county area near Covina had been burglarized, Lt. Andy Berg of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said. The break-in was believed to have occurred after 8 p.m.
The door of the home’s attached garage had been pried open, giving the crook or crooks access to the home, officials said.
Stolen were two laptop computers, jewelry including a Northview High School class ring, Berg said. No suspect description was available.