SOUTH PASADENA >> A jury convicted a parolee Wednesday of kidnapping and other charges in connection with a home-invasion robbery and attack targeting an elderly South Pasadena woman in 2012, officials said.
An Los Angeles County Superior Court Jury in Alhambra deliberated for less than a day before finding Alonzo Bernard Johnson, 53, of Los Angeles guilty of robbery, kidnapping to commit robbery and burglary in connection with the Aug. 6, 2012, crime at the victim’s home in the 1000 block of Indiana Avenue, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said in a written statement. The jury also found true the special allegations that Johnson used a knife in the crime, and that he inflicted great bodily injury on his 79-year-old victim.
Johnson entered the victim’s home and asked if he could charge his cell phone, South Pasadena police Cpl. Matthew Ronnie said.
When the woman told Johnson to leave, he attacked the woman, breaking her nose, and pulled out a knife, according to police and district attorney’s officials.
“Johnson demanded money from the victim in her kitchen and then pulled her to the bedroom while using a knife, where he forced her to lay face down on her bed and attempted to tie her up with an electrical cord,” Ardalani said in the statement.
“Johnson repeatedly demanded that the victim give him jewelry as he continuously punched her in the head and face while threatening to kill her,” the statement continued The victim suffered brain bleed and a ruptured ear drum from the assault.”
As the victim continued struggling with Johnson, her 8- and 12-year-old grandchildren entered the house, and she called out for them to get help, Ardalani said. Johnson grabbed some jewelry and fled, but was soon apprehended across the city border in Los Angeles in the 5100 block of Huntington Drive, police said.
DNA evidence also led investigators to link Johnson to another home burglary that occurred in Pasadena on June 22, 2012, in which another elderly woman found Johnson rifling through her jewelry before he ran from her home, district attorney’s officials said..
Johnson had absconded from parole supervision for a previous robbery conviction at the time of the South Pasadena home invasion, and also had a prior burglary conviction, South Pasadena police Detective Bill Earley said.
Johnson faces the possibility of life in prison when he returns to court for sentencing June 17, officials said.
PASADENA >> Police jailed a San Fernando man Friday on suspicion of trying to break into cars outside the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, authorities said.
Jason Lamar Buchanan, 27, was booked on suspicion of attempted burglary after officers found him hiding beneath a blanket in a car parked at stadium, 1001 Rose Bowl Drive, according to Pasadena police officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
Officers responded to parking lot F of the Rose Bowl after a jogger called police about 8:40 a.m. to report seeing a man trying to break into cars, Pasadena police Lt. john Mercado said.
Officers found the suspect, later identified as Buchanan, hiding under a blanket inside a car parked in the lot, the lieutenant said.
Buchanan was parked next to a GMC SUV with its handle broken off, Mercado said. But the would-be burglar had not managed to get inside the car.
The suspect, who is already on felony probation under AB 109 guidelines, was being held without bail pending his initial court appearance, according to police and booking records.
WHITTIER >> Police jailed a Whittier burglary suspect Saturday after he escaped man and son who tried to capture him, then ran from officers and hid under a house, authorities said.
Jonathan Eugene Ramirez, 34, of Whittier was ultimately arrested on suspicion of burglary following the alleged break-in, which took place about 7:45 a.m. in the 8400 block of Davista Drive, Whittier police Lt. Bryan Ellis said.
A man and his son saw Ramirez outside their home, snatching objects through a window, the lieutenant said.
The man and son struggled with the suspect in an attempt to detain him, but the burglary managed to break free and run, Ellis said. The man suffered minor injuries in the scuffle.
A woman at the home called 911 and reported what was happening, Ellis said. Responding officers spotted Ramirez fleeing through the neighborhood and chased him for several blocks before he climbed into the crawl space of a house in the 14000 block of High Street, Ellis said. No one was inside the home.
After a brief standoff, a police K-9 was brought to the scene, he said. The dog’s barking was sufficient to persuade the suspect to give up.
“He wisely decided to come out,” Ellis said.
ROSEMEAD >> Two intruders pulled a gun on a woman and her adult son when they arrived home to interrupt a burglary in Rosemead Saturday afternoon, officials said.
The victims came home about 3:40 p.m. in the 4200 block of Walnut Grove Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Ernest Bille said.
“The residents stumbled upon a burglary at their residence,” Bille said.
One of the two intruders pointed a handgun at the two victims before both ran out of the home, the lieutenant said.
They were last seen fleeing the area in a brown Toyota van, possibly a Toyota Sienna, he said.
Deputies described both burglars as Latino men. One was in his mid-30s, with short, bushy hair, about 5 feet 10 inches tall, of medium build, wearing a black-and-white flannel shirt and dark pants. The second was in his mid-20s, also of medium build, with a black hooded sweat shirt pulled over his face and dark shorts.
It was not immediately clear whether the burglars managed to steal anything from the home.
Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s Temple Station at 626-285-7171. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
EL MONTE >> An alleged burglary at an El Monte warehouse Friday afternoon led police to discover more than 1,500 marijuana plants and nearly 250 pounds of processed pot inside, officials said.
Police received a report about 2:25 p.m. that two burglars had broken into a warehouse at 2646 Strozier Avenue through a glass door, according to El Monte police Sgt. Richard Luna.
Officer soon found and detained 43-year-old Gale Berry of El Monte at the scene, he said. Officers searched the warehouse but did not find the second reported intruder.
“Further investigation determined that the burglarized property had been converted into an illegal marijuana cultivation operation,” Luna said in a written statement.
Detectives obtained a search warrant and ultimately seized more than 1,500 marijuana plants, “in various stages of growth,” along with 247 pounds of harvested pot, Luna said.
Berry was booked on suspicion of burglary, possession of burglary tools and possession of a controlled substance.
“It was determined that 2646 Strozier had been sub-let, and the responsible party is still to be determined,” Luna said.
According to Los Angeles County booking records, Berry was being held in lieu of $105,000 bail pending his initial court appearance.
Anyone with information is asked to contact El Monte police at 626-580-2114, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SCENE PHTOO/BOOKING PHOTO of Gale Berry, 43, of El Monte courtesy of the El Monte Police Department
INDUSTRY >> Detectives are asking the public’s help in tracking down two men they say stole about $10,000 worth of gold rings from a Jewelry shop inside the Puente Hills Mall shop on St. Patrick’s Day earlier this month.
The crime took place about 4:15 p.m. on march 17 at C & L Jewelry Repair, inside the Puente Hills Mall at 1600 Azusa Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Detective Anthony Peraita said.
One of the two suspect jimmied open the display case with some type of small tool, the detective said. The second suspect tried to keep the store owner distracted as the first suspect prepared to steal the 18 gold rings, some of which contained diamonds, which were valued at about $10,000.
“Suspect No. 1 asked the owner of he could so some cleaning of his personal jewelry,” Peraita said.
“And while (the owner was) doing so, the suspect proceeded to test the display case glass with a pry tool or a coin to see if it would lift up,” the detective said.
Meanwhile, a second suspect entered the store and tried to distract the store owner as the first suspect continued working to pry open the jewelry display case, Peraita said.
The accomplice eventually left the store, and the first suspect asks the owner to clean another piece of jewelry, Peraita said.
“While the owner was in the back of the store, he actually lifted the display case and stole an allotment of jewelry from the store. He then proceeded to put the stolen goods down the front of his pants and exited the store, into the interior of the mall,” he said.
Investigators described the first suspect as a black man between 25 and 30 years old, with black hair with two thick braids, wearing a black or brown button-up shirt and black or dark-colored jeans.
His accomplice was also a black man between 35 and 40, wearing a white T-shirt, a tan hat, tan short and black backpack.
Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s Industry Station at 626-33-3322. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
*Surveillance video courtesy of the LASD.
ARCADIA >> An alleged burglar with a police radio scanner in his car led police and CHP officers on a high-speed chase that ended with his arrest in Westmont following a residential break-in in Arcadia late Friday, authorities said.
Arcadia police had received a report shortly before 9 p.m. of a suspicious person and vehicle in the driveway of a home in the 200 block of Monte Place, Arcadia police officials said in a written statement. The car drove away, and it was later determined a the home had been burglarized, and items stolen.
Police spotted the Nissan Altima as it got onto the 210 Freeway and tried to pull it over, but the driver sped away instead, officials said.
Arcadia officers gave chase as the Nissan sped down the southbound 605 and westbound 105 freeways at speeds reaching 100 mph.
Arcadia officers eventually turned the pursuit over to California Highway Patrol officers, who ultimately took the driver into custody when he came to a stop along 102nd Street in Westmont.
Officials recovered items taken during the Arcadia break-in inside the suspect’s car, along with a radio scanner programmed with the frequency of the Arcadia Police Department, allowing him to monitor police radio traffic, Arcadia police Sgt. Dan Crowther said.
Steve Gainer, 32, of Paramount was booked on suspicion of residential burglary and evading police, both felonies, police said.
According to Los Angeles County booking records, Gainer was being held in lieu of $125,000 bail pending a scheduled arraignment Tuesday in Pasadena Superior Court.
PHOTOS: Steve Gainer, 32, of Paramount [TOP], police scanner recovered from car [BELOW], courtesy of the Arcadia Police Department.
MONTEREY PARK >> Police jailed a parolee from Alhambra and a second man from Los Angeles in connection with a Saturday break-in at a Monterey Park home, officials said.
Christopher Molina, 23, of Alhambra and Trayvon Watson, 21, of Los Angeles are accused of residential burglary following their arrests about 1:20 p.m. in connection with a burglary at a home in the 1000 block of Hillvale Drive, Monterey Park police officials said in a written statement.
One of them waited outside in a getaway car as the other went into the backyard of the home and smashed the rear sliding window, police said. But the suspects fled after an alarm system startled them.
“Shortly after the burglary an officer located the vehicle and the two suspects in the area of Ramona (Avenue) and Garvey (Avenue). A traffic stop was initiated and an investigation was conducted,” according to the statement. “After the investigation was concluded, both suspects in the vehicle were arrested for residential burglary.”
According to Los Angeles County booking records, Watson was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail pending a scheduled arraignment Wednesday in Alhambra Superior Court.
Molina, who is on parole following a January, 2015, conviction for vandalism, was being held without bail pending his initial court appearance, also scheduled Wednesday in Alhambra Superior Court, according to police and records.
MONTEREY PARK >> Police arrested two Pico Rivera teens Saturday in connection with an attempted break-in at a Monterey Park home the day before, officials said.
The failed burglary took place about 6:30 p.m. Friday in the 1000 block of East West Crest Way, Monterey Park police officials said in a written statement.
Two intruders got into the home’s backyard and tried to pry open a bedroom window, she said. But the would-be burglars fled when confronted by the homeowner.
Investigators obtained surveillance camera images of the suspect and soon identified them.
Monterey Park police arrested both suspects Saturday at their homes in Pico Rivera, officials said. Both were booked on suspicion of residential burglary.