Cremated remains stolen in Arcadia home burglary


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

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Police: Burglar rams victim’s car after being caught in midst of El Monte break-in

EL MONTE >> An alleged burglar rammed the car of a resident who arrived home to interrupt a break-in at his home last week, police said Sunday.
Adan Ramirez Vega, 19, of El Monte is accused of burglary and assault with a deadly weapon following the incident, which began about 11 a.m. Tuesday at a home in the 4000 block of Shirley Avenue, El Monte police Sgt. Jason Chao said in a written statement.
“The victim returned home and discovered the suspect, Adan Vega, walking out of the residence,” Chao said. The resident retreated back to his car upon seeing the intruder.
Unbeknown to the resident, Vega gad already loaded up items and more than $6,000 in cash from the house into a car parked at the home, which belongs to the victim’s daughter, Chao said. Vega had also taken the keys to the car from inside the home, which he used to flee.
A driveway gate, as well as the victim’s car, blocked the burglars escape route, police said.
“Vega rammed he gate at the apron of the driveway and the victim’s car,” Chao said. The fleeing suspect rammed the victim’s car three times to make his getaway.
The fleeing, stolen car struck the resident as it fled, inflicting a minor injury, police said.
Police spotted Vega in the stolen car a short time later, Chao said. He crashed the car and continued fleeing on foot before being captured. All of the stolen property was recovered.

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Three suspects arrested following Arcadia home break-in

ARCADIA >> Police arrested two men and a woman Thursday in connection with a residential burglary in Arcadia, officials said.
Officers responded about 11:15 a.m. to the area of Altura Road and Monte Verde Drive after a witness called police to report two suspicious men, Arcadia police officials said in a written statement. The men left drove away in a car after several minutes.
“An Officer responded to the area in less than a minute and detained the vehicle and its occupants,” according to the statement. “An investigation was conducted and officers determined that the two males and a female driver had burglarized a home in the area.
Arrested were Robbie Montero Ross, 21, of Gardena, Daymeon Willis, 29, of Los Angeles and Tyeara Renne Pettus, 21, of Los Angeles, officials said. All three were booked for residential burglary.
According to county booing records, Ross and Willis were being held in lieu of $50,000 bail pending their initial court appearance. Pettus, who has a pre-existing criminal case, was being held in lieu of $76,000 bail.

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Family seeks Shih Tzu puppy, named Bandit, stolen in Avocado Heights burglary


AVOCADO HEIGHTS >> After a burglary this week at their, there’s just one stolen item an Avocado Heights family is desperate to have returned: their 7-year-old daughter’s teacup Shih Tzu puppy.
The 12-week-old male puppy, coincidentally named Bandit, was stolen Thursday during a break-in at the Rangel family’s home in the 600 block of Reburn Avenue, in the unincorporated county area of Avocado Heights, homeowner Roman Rangel said. The burglary took place sometime between 10:30 a.m. and 3 p.m.
While the burglar or burglars made off with various items from the home, including jewelry and cash, ““We don’t care as much about the and stuff as we do about the dog,” Rangel said.
“It just blew my mind,” he added. “Really? Take the dog?”
Sgt. Rico Sandoval of the sheriff’s Industry Station confirmed deputies responded the home Thursday and took a residential burglary report. The investigation was ongoing, he said, and no suspects were in custody.
The intruders broke into the home through a bathroom window, Rangel said.
0329_NWS_SGT-L-DOGTHEFT2The dog belonged to Rangel’s 7-year-old daughter, Mariah, he said. “It was a reward for doing well in school.”
The family adopted Bandit four or five weeks ago, Rangel said. “In just a few weeks, we grew really attached to it.”
Rangel asked that anyone who sees Bandit contact the sheriff’s Industry Station at 626-330-3322.
“We’d just really like to get the dog back,” he said. “No questions asked.”

PHOTOS of teacup S

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Band instruments stolen from Pasadena high school recovered

PASADENA >> Musical instruments recovered by sheriff’s deputies Tuesday night are believed to be at least some of those stolen from John Marshall High School in Pasadena last weekend, officials said late Friday.
Burglars stole more than $10,000 worth of musical instruments and equipment from the band room high school, 990 North Allen Ave., late Feb. 28, police and school officials said.
The stolen gear included flutes, trumpets, trombones, saxophones, guitars, amplifiers, sound-mixing equipment and a flat-screen television, Pasadena police Lt. Diego Torres said. The theft was discovered Monday. No arrests have been made.
Sheriff’s deputies patrolling in the 2800 block of East Colorado Boulevard late Tuesday encountered a “suspicious” man rummaging through a 2001 Mercedes-Benz station wagon, according to Lt. Cruz Solis of the sheriff’s Altadena Station.
The man ran as deputies approached, the lieutenant said. He was not found.
“When the deputies looked inside the station wagon, they saw several musical cases and electronic equipment marked ‘Property of Pasadena School District.’” Solis said in a written statement. The deputies impounded the car and detectives are currently working the case.
Sheriff’s officials contacted Pasadena police Friday regarding the recovered instruments, officials said.
Though the instruments were believed to be at least some of those stolen in the high school break-in, school officials had not yet taken a look at them Friday night to confirm it, Pasadena police Lt. Jesse Carrillo said.
A fundraiser website set up by the band to help cover the cost of the stolen instruments garnered more than $12,000 as of Friday night.

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Pasadena police, K-9 arrest teenage burglary suspect

PASADENA >> Pasadena police arrested a teenage burglary suspect from Rancho Cucamonga Tuesday with help from a police dog, authorities said.
A witness called police about 1:18 p.m. after seeing a young man trying to force his way into a neighbor’s house in the 2500 block of Monte Vista Street, just west of Altadena Drive, Pasadena police Lt. Mark Goodman said.
The teenage burglar ran from responding officers when they arrived, he said. Police set up a search perimeter.
An officer spotted the teen running south across Villa Street, Goodman said.
“The suspect refused to comply with the officers,” he said. a police canine was deployed, at which time the suspect was taken into custody.”
Goodman said the teen was treated for a dog bite to his arm and abrasions to his back before his arrest. He was not believed to have removed anything from the home he’s accused of burglarizing.

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Police: Auto burglar caught napping in stolen car in Pasadena

PASADENA >> Police arrested an alleged burglar and auto thief after he fell asleep in a stolen car early Wednesday, officials said.
Samuel Stokes, 34, of Pasadena is accused of auto theft, auto burglary and receiving stolen property, after being arrested shortly after 3:45 a.m. in the 400 block of South Mentor Avenue, Pasadena police Lt. Mark Goodman said.
Police responded to the street after neighbors complained that a Mercedes-Benz was parked and idling loudly, he said.
Officers arrived and contacted the suspect, who was asleep inside the vehicle,” Goodman said. Officers soon realized the car had been reported stolen out of Van Nuys.
“Further investigation revealed the suspect was in possession of additional stolen property, some of that was taken from a vehicle that was burglarized in the area prior to officers’ arrival,” the lieutenant said.
Stokes was being held in lieu of $35,000 bail pending his initial court appearance, according to Los Angeles County booking records.

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Teens arrested in Diamond Bar home burglary

DIAMOND BAR >> Deputies arrested three teenage burglary suspects Sunday afternoon after they broke into a Diamond Bar home occupied by another teenager, officials said.
The break-in occurred about 12:10 p.m. in the 800 block of Leyland Drive, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. David Buckner said.
A teenage boy was home alone when the burglars knocked at the door, then forced their way into the house after receiving no response, the lieutenant said.
The victim called 9-1-1 to report the burglary while the teenage suspects were still inside the home, Buckner said. They had fled in a blue Honda Civic before deputies arrived, however.
A neighbor managed to take down the license plate number of the car, and deputies soon found it nearby and pulled it over, Buckner said.
Deputies arrested the three teens of about 17 years old and recovered several hundred dollars believed to have been stolen in the break-in, he said.

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UPDATED: Police shoot dog during search for San Marino home-invasion robber


SAN MARINO >> Police shot a dog in a residential backyard while searching for a home-invasion robber in San Marino early Thursday, officials said.
The robber also stole the victim’s SUV in the 7:45 a.m. incident in the 900 block of Winston Avenue, according to San Marino police officials.
A woman estimated to be in her 30s working as a nanny at the home had just returned to the house after dropping children off at school, Police Chief John Incontro said.
“The suspect had ransacked the home and made additional demands for property,” police said in a written statement. “The victim then ran to the second floor where she locked herself in a room and called 9-1-1. The victim could hear the suspect yelling at her to get off the phone.”
Officers rushing to help made their way through the backyard of a home facing Sierra Madre Boulevard when they were confronted by a large dog, police said.
“One officer shot two rounds, one striking the dog.”
Police did not identify the involved officer.
0220_NWS_PSN-L-SMSEARCH2Officers found the frightened victim still hiding upstairs, Incontro said. The woman’s Mercedes-Benz SUV was gone. It was unclear what was stolen from the house.
Investigators found the SUV abandoned on a Ventura Boulevard offramp of the 405 Freeway in Los Angeles, Incontro said. The suspect remained at-large.
The chief added that the city has offered to pay the veterinary bills for the wounded dog.
After two surgeries and the successful removal of a bullet, the 6-year-old pit bull-terrier-boxer mix, named “Wheezy,” was expected to recover, said Rana Abdelal, a member of the family that owns the animal. One of the bullets grazed the dog in the head, while the other struck Wheezy in the chest.
Though saddened by the dog’s injury, Abdelal said they were not angry with the police.
“Because of the circumstances, we understand,” she said.
“They came, they apologized and they said they’d take care of it,” Abdelal said.
Authorities described the intruder as a black man, 28 to 30 years old, wearing a blue and black shirt and dark pants. He also wore a fanny pack.

PHOTOS: (Above) Photo of Wheezy the dog – courtesy. (Below) A San Marino police officer talks to neighborhood residents after an officer shot and wounded a family dog while responding to a home-invasion robbery in the 900 block of Winston Avenue early Thursday, Feb, 19, 2015.

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Remote camera system helps capture Pasadena burglary suspect

PASADENA >> Police arrested a burglary suspect Saturday after a homeowner spotted the man inside his home via a remote camera system, authorities said.
Joseph Anthony Scorza, a 25-year-old homeless man who is already on probation for felony theft, is accused of residential burglary, according to Pasadena police officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
The homeowner called police about 9:45 a.m. after he saw an intruder inside his home in the 2900 block of East Del Mar Boulevard while monitoring a remote camera system from a different location, Pasadena police Lt. John Luna said.
Officers arrived to find the suspect riding away from the burglarized home on a bicycle, Luna said.
After detaining Scorza, officers found him in possession of camera parts from the victim’s home, Luna said. Police jailed him on suspicion of burglary after confirming he was the same man pictured in the home surveillance video.
Scorza was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail pending his initial court appearance, according to booking records.

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