Burglars flee with $7 in Monrovia pet store burglary

MONROVIA >> Two “shadowy figures” escaped with $7 after breaking into a Monrovia pet shop early Thursday, authorities said.
The burglary took place about 1:30 a.m. at PetSmart, 745 W. Huntington Drive, Monrovia police Lt. Michael Lee said.
A witness reported hearing the front window of the store shattering, then two “shadowy figures” fleeing from the area, according to the lieutenant.
Police discovered the intruders had entered the store and gone through the cash registers, Lee said. They obtained $7 in the felony. No animals were taken or injured.
Detectives were checking area surveillance cameras for clues, he added.

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Man awakened by intruder inside Pasadena condominium

PASADENA — A man awoke in his Pasadena condominium early Sunday to find an intruder rifling through his belongings, police said.
The break-in took place about 3:20 a.m. as the victim and his roommate were asleep in their condo in the 1000 block of East Del Mar Avenue, near the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena police Lt. Jason Clawson said. It was not immediately clear if the roommates were students at the university.
“During the night, the victim woke up and saw that there was somebody in his residence,’ Clawson said. Upon being notives, the intruder fled. He was only described as a man between 5 feet 8 inches and 5 feet 10 inches tall.
The victim looked around and realized items within his home had been moved around, and a “small amount” of cash was missing from his wallet, the lieutenant said.
The burglar had gotten into the home through a door left open by the residents overnight, he added.

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Alhambra burglar sentenced for jail escape


LOS ANGELES >> A man who escaped from Los Angeles County jail in March after being sentenced for swiping computers from a San Gabriel Valley hospital chain received a new sentence Friday for the jail break, officials said.
Christopher Lee Brown, a 37-year-old transient, was sentenced to eight months in jail Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s officials said in a written statement.
The sentence will be added to four years and eight months in jail for a mid-October, 2013, burglary at an AHMC Healthcare Inc. facility in Alhambra, officials said.
“Brown will serve the entire 64-month sentence in state prison, rather than county jail,” according to the district attorney’s office statement.
In the burglary, two laptop computers containing personal information of as many as 729,000 patients were stolen. The theft prompted a security concerns and worries over potential identity theft, though no such incident have been reported in connection with the stolen computers. They were never recovered.
Brown was sentenced to jail March 12 after being convicted of two counts of burglary and one count of receiving stolen property.
But upon being transported back to the Inmate Reception Center for processing, Brown impersonated another inmate and managed to walk away, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said.
He remained a fugitive for three weeks until he was spotted and recaptured April 2 in Santa Monica.

PHOTOS of Christopher Lee Brown Courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department


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UPDATED — Walnut carjacking suspect arrested after hit-and-run, burglaries in West Covina

A Walnut carjacking suspect fleeing the scene of a crash broke into two homes, startling residents, and was trying to break into a third when police arrested him Thursday, authorities said.
Joseph Zavala, 24, of North Hollywood was ultimately arrested on suspicion of carjacking, felony hit-and-run, burglary and possession of stolen property, West Covina police Lt. Pat Cirrito said.
The incident kicked off about 2:40 p.m. when the suspect grabbed a set of keys from a woman at a gas station at Pierre Road and Valley Boulevard in Walnut, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. John Saleeby said. He fled with the woman’s Toyota sedan, he said. The woman was not injured.
About five minutes later, police in West Covina received a report of a hit-and-run car crash at Grand Avenue and Cortez street, West Covina police Lt. Dennis Patton said. A woman had suffered a minor injury in the collision when the suspect struck her vehicle, then ran from the scene.
Officials soon linked the car Zavala had been driving to the earlier carjacking, Patton said.
Zavala arrived at a home in the 500 block of Grand Avenue, the lieutenant said. “He removed the window screen and entered the residence, where he was confronted by the homeowners.” The residents managed to chase the intruder away, however further details of the encounter were not immediately available.
Patton said the fleeing suspect then showed up at a second home in the 600 block of Ferrari Way, “…where he broke a window of that residence. He entered into that structure, where he confronted the female resident, who feared for her safety and fled from her residence.”
Zavala helped himself to the woman’s refrigerator before continuing to run, Patton said.
Officers caught up with the man as he was breaking a window of a garage in the 600 block of Wrede Lane, Patton said. He was taken into custody without a struggle.
Officials took Zavala to a hospital for treatment of injuries suffered in the crash and the break-ins prior to booking him into jail, Patton said.
Investigators were also looking into the possibility the suspect was under the influence of methamphetamine during the incident.

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Burglars flee empty-handed after breaking into Arcadia Nordstrom

ARCADIA >> Three burglars broke into an Arcadia Nordstrom store early Saturday and headed for the jewelry case, but fled empty-handed, police said.
The 4:07 a.m. break-in at the store in the Westfield Santa Anita shopping mall, 400 S. Baldwin Avenue, was the second similar crime reported at the retailer in recent months, Arcadia police Sgt. Vaughn Whalen said.
Three burglars forced their way into the same store just after 4 a.m. Dec. 31, escaping with as much as $230,000 worth of jewelry and purses, Lt. Mike Castro said at the time.
But the store no longer stores jewelry in display cases overnight, Whalen said. Surveillance footage of the burglary shows the intruders going over to the jewelry display cases, then fleeing after finding it empty.
They had pried open a door to get into the Nordstrom store, Whalen added. The burglars were initially described only as three people, two of them wearing black ski masks.
Investigators had yet to determined whether Saturday morning’s break-in was related to the previous Nordstrom burglary on New Year’s Eve.
“Our detectives will be looking into all aspects of it,” Whalen said.
In the December crime, three burglars entered the store through a window before helping themselves to between $100,000 and $200,000 worth of jewelry, as well as $20,000 to $30,000 worth of purses, Castro said. A detailed description of the three burglars was not available.

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K-9 helps police nab Pasadena burglary suspect

PASADENA — Police, aided by a K-9, found and arrested a burglary suspect hiding in a residential garage Saturday afternoon, officials said.
Vincent Acero Diaz, a 42-year-old transient known to frequent the Pasadena area, was arrested on suspicion of residential burglary following the incident, which kicked off about 5 p.m. Saturday in the 600 block of Busch Garden Drive, according to Pasadena police officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
Police were first summoned to the neighborhood by a witness who reported seeing a window open at a neighbor’s house, which he knew to be unoccupied, Pasadena police Lt. Jason Clawson said. The window closed when the witness approached, leading him to believe an intruder was still inside.
Officers arrived and set up a search perimeter, Clawson said. A short time later, a neighbor told police that she believed someone was hiding in her garage.
After ordering anyone inside to come out with no response, police sent in a K-9, which quickly found Diaz hiding underneath a car, the lieutenant said. “The suspect was armed with a large saw.”
The dog bit Diaz in the arm, causing him to drop the saw, Clawson said. Officers then took him into custody.
After being treated for dog bite injuries, Diaz was booked on suspicion of burglary, officials said.
According to county booking records, he was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail pending his initial court appearance.

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Woman startled by would-be burglar in Pasadena

PASADENA — A woman was startled by the sound of breaking glass late Thursday before police responded and confirmed an intruder had tried to force his way into her home.
A woman in her 40s heard the noise shortly before midnight at a home in the 600 block of South Grand Avenue, Pasadena police Lt. Jason Clawson said.
She immediately called the police, who responded and searched the home, he said. Officers found that a window on the house’s rear door had been smashed.
Nothing was found missing, and it did not appear the would-be burglar made it into the home, Clawson said. Police searched the area with the help of a helicopter, however no suspect was found.

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Police: Arcadia burglary dismantled after early-morning raids in Pasadena, Altadena


Investigators following up on a burglary arrest from earlier this month carried out early-morning search warrants Thursday, arresting two more members of an alleged burglary ring, authorities said.
The multi-agency West San Gabriel Valley Anti-Crime Task Force and A.B. 109 Team arrested Shawn Ashton Sykes, 21, of Altadena and Koreana Channise Muhammad, 19, of Altadena early Thursday as they performed searched at five locations within Altadena and Pasadena, according to Arcadia police officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
Sykes was booked on suspicion of residential burglary, while Muhammad was booked on suspicion of possession of stolen property and being an accessory to burglary, Arcadia police officials said in a written statement.
Thursday morning’s searches followed the arrest of Kenneth Wayne James, 21, of Altadena at the scene of March 13 residential break-in in the 1100 block of West Foothill Boulevard.
Three suspects were seen fleeing from the burglarized home, but only James was captured, Arcadia police Lt. Bob Anderson said at the time. But the suspects’ car was found abandoned in the area.
The car was found to belong to Muhammad, officials said. She reported it stolen shortly after the bungled burglary on March 13.
“Through investigation, the task force Detectives were able to identify all of the suspects, including the female who owns the suspect vehicle, as Pasadena/Altadena Blood gang members,” according tot he police statement. “The Task Force Detectives also uncovered that they were a burglary crew that is suspected of targeting several Arcadia homes in the past year.”
Further details of the alleged Arcadia burglaries were not available Thursday.
Property recovered during Thursday-morning’s searches yielded suspected stolen property, including a big screen TV reported stolen in a burglary in Los Angeles, police added.
James pleaded “no contest” to a charge of residential burglary during his initial appearance in Pasadena Superior Court on March 17, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokesman Ricardo Santiago said.
He received a two-year prison sentenced, which was suspended, along with 90 days in jail, three years of probation and 300 hours of community service, Santiago said.
James was released from custody March 19, six days after his arrest, according to Los Angeles County booking records.
Sykes, who was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail, and Muhammad, who was being held in lieu of $20,000 bail, were both scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday in Pasadena Superior Court, according to booking records.

PHOTO courtesy of the Arcadia Police Department

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VIDEO: Pasadena police seek serial pharmacy burglars

PASADENA >> Police released video footage of two burglars believed to be responsible for half a dozen pharmacy break-ins and attempted break-ins in Pasadena over the past six months.
The series of pharmacy burglaries began in September, with the most recent crime reported March 8, Pasadena police Lt. Tracey Ibarra said.
All of the pharmacies linked to the series occurred near Huntington Hospital, near the intersection of Fair Oaks Avenue and California Boulevard, Ibarra said. All of the break-ins took place during overnight hours while the businesses were closed.
The burglars successfully forced their way into four of the businesses, while they apparently abandoned attempts to burglarize two other nearby pharmacies, the lieutenant said.
Each of the pharmacies was equipped with an alarm, and the intruders spent only a short time in each one, Ibarra said.
“Various” medications were taken in the burglaries, Ibarra said. An accounting of what types of drugs and how many had been stolen was not available.
“They’re opportunists,” Ibarra said. “They grab what they can.”
In at least some of the cases, the burglars targeted medications that had been left unlocked for the following day’s customers, Lt. John Dewar said. And in at least one of the break-ins, the burglars fled empty-handed.
Dewar advised pharmacies to always leave all medications locked up overnight.
Police described one of the burglars as a white man of about 30 years old, 6 feet tall and 200 pounds. The second burglar was described as a Latino man in his mid-20s, about 5 feet 10 inches tall and 180 pounds.
Anyone with information was asked to contact Pasadena police Detective Robin Stinson at 626-744-7097, or police dispatch at 626-744-4241. Tips may also be submitted anonymously by contacting L.A. Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Two teens accused of Pasadena daytime burglary

PASADENA — Police arrested two teenage boys Saturday afternoon after finding them in the midst of a home burglary, authorities said.
The suspects — a 15-year-old Pasadena boy and a 16-year-old Rancho Cucamonga boy — were taken to juvenile hall following the 2:15 p.m. break-in at a house in the 100 block of South Craig Avenue, Pasadena police Lt. Jason Clawson said.
A witness called police to report seeing two intruders breaking into the home, Clawson said. Officers arrived to find “what appeared to be a kicked-in front door” and immediately surrounded the home.
Officers ordered anyone inside the home to surrender, and one of the teens complied, the lieutenant said. But the second teen ran from the home.
Police caught up with the fleeing teen and arrested him in a nearby yard, Clawson said.
The home had been ransacked, but it did not appear anything had yet been stolen, he added.

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