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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
COVINA — A man believed to be hallucinating under the influence of methamphetamine terrorized a Covina family and attempted to stab a man with a metal stake Saturday, police said.
Jeffrey Benjamin Jimenez, a 37-year-old transient, was ultimately booked on suspicion of attempted murder and burglary in connection with the bizarre incident, which unfolded shortly before 10 a.m. at a home in the 1300 block of North Glenfinnan Avenue, according to Covina police officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
Jimenez, who later admitted to police to using methamphetamine earlier in the day, was walking in the neighborhood when he apparently began hallucinating, Covina police Lt. Ric Walczak said.
“He believed that he heard the voice of a family member coming from inside a home,” the lieutenant said.
The home in question was occupied by a man, woman and their two sons, Walczak said.
“He walked into their home and asked to search their home,” he said. “He began looking around. Then he left for a short period of time.”
The startled family locked their doors when Jimenez left.
“He came back,” Walczak said. “He kicked in the front door. He had armed himself with a metal garage sale sign stake. He began chasing the father around the inside of the residence, attempting to stab him with the stake.”
Jimenez ultimately smashed several windows at the home before leaving, police said. No injuries were reported.
Responding officers detained Jimenez nearby and ultimately arrested him.
According to county booking records, Jimenez was being held in lieu of $1.05 million bail pending his scheduled arraignment Tuesday in West Covina Superior Court.
ALHAMBRA >> Police jailed three alleged burglars Friday with help from several tipsters, authorities said.
Tristan Alex Morris, 23, of Ladera, Kenny Xaver Warren, 27, of Los Angeles and Kendal Rayshaun Calloway, 24, of Los Angeles were booked on suspicion of burglary following their arrests, which took place shortly after 6 p.m. in the area of the 2300 block of Midwick Drive, according to Alhambra police officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
Police first responded to the 200 block of West Ross Avenue after a woman called police to report several would-be intruders had just tried to enter her home before fleeing, Alhambra police Sgt. Jim Hammond said.
“A short time later, dispatch received a second call from a driver of a parcel delivery company, who advised he saw a suspicious vehicle in the area of the 2300 Block of Midwick (Drive),” Hammond said. “Officers located the vehicle in the area and detained the two occupants of the vehicle. The third subject fled on foot.”
After several hours of searching, police found and arrested the third suspect after a resident called police to report seeing a man running through a backyard, police said.
Investigators recovered property from the suspects believed to have been stolen from an earlier break-in in the 1600 block of South Date Avenue, Hammond said.
Morris was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail and Calloway was being held in lieu of $55.629 bail, while Warren, who had pre-existing cases, was being held without bail, according to booking records.
PHOTOS: (Top to bottom) Tristan Alex Morris, 23, of Ladera, Kenny Xaver Warren, 27, of Los Angeles and Kendal Rayshaun Calloway, 24.
ARCADIA — Police jailed one alleged burglar and sought two more after a witness reported seeing the intruders in the backyard of a neighbor’s Foothill Boulevard home, officials said.
Kenneth Wayne James, 19, of Altadena was booked on suspicion of burglary following a neighborhood search, which kicked off shortly after noon in the 1100 block of west Foothill Boulevard, according to Arcadia police Lt. Bob Anderson.
The witness called police to report seeing three men he did not recognize in a neighbor’s backyard.
“Upon arrival, three male suspects ran from officers,” Anderson said. Their car was found in the driveway of the burglary victim’s home and seized as evidence.
James was found and arrested during a search of the area, Anderson said. The other two men remained at-large.
“Investigation reveals the suspects had forced a hole in the back door, however, no entry was made to the home because of the keen observations and action by the neighbor,” Anderson said.
James was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail pending his initial court appearance, officials added.