Brothers accused of trying to extort Alhambra auto dealerships

ALHAMBRA >> Police arrested two brothers Tuesday on suspicion of trying to extort an Alhambra-based chain of auto dealerships, officials said.
Mustafah Karriem Singletary and Malik Hakeem Singletary,both 23 and from Canyon Country, were arrested for attempted extortion, identity theft and possession of stolen property, Alhambra police Sgt. Jerry Johnson said. Mustafah Singletary was also found to have an outstanding drug-related warrant.
Representatives of the Wondries chain of car dealerships notified police Tuesday morning that they had received an email, followed by a phone call, attempting to extort the business, Johnson said.
The suspects claimed to have damaging information about the company and said they would release it publicly if not provided a large payment, the sergeant said.
The company notified police of the contacts, Johnson said. Detectives identified, found and arrested the two suspects Tuesday afternoon. Police found the brothers had credit cards and checkbooks belonging to other people.
The investigation continued Wednesday, Johnson said.
Police asked that anyone who may have been the target of a similar extortion attempt to report it to police.

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Two suspects jailed in Alhambra robbery, attempted robbery


ALHAMBRA >> Police Wednesday arrested two men Wednesday, and continued seeking a third, in connection the robbery of a woman and the attempted robbery of a man outside an Alhambra bank last week.
Tony Ruacho, 51, of Los Angeles, and Leonardo Alfaro, 52, a transient known to frequent Alhambra, were arrested Wednesday afternoon in the El Sereno area of Los Angeles in connection with the incidents, according to Alhambra police officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
The crimes took place June 20 outside a Wells Fargo bank branch at 1910 West Main Street, Alhambra police Sgt. Tai Seki said.
A man was using an ATM when a robber approached, brandished a knife and demanded his money, the sergeant said.
The victim ran inside the bank to seek help instead.
The robber then turned his attention to a woman who had just exited the bank, Seki said. He snatched the woman’s purse, then ran to a getaway car parked nearby with a driver waiting at the wheel.
A third accomplice accompanied the robber and driver, Seki said. Neither victim was hurt.
A witness was able to provide police with the license plate number of the getaway car, Seki said.
Detectives found the car parked in El Sereno Wednesday afternoon and arrested Ruacho and Alfaro after they got into it, he said.
Police were still working to determined which suspect played what role in the crimes, Seki added.
The third suspect remained at large Thursday.
He was described as a Latino man, 40 to 50 years old, 5 feet 6 inches to 5 feet 9 inches tall, of heavy build, with black hair.
Ruacho and Alfaro were being held in lieu of $100,000 bail each pending their initial court appearances, scheduled Friday in the Alhambra branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court, records show.

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Police dog attacked with chair while helping apprehend Alhambra burglary suspects

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ALHAMBRA >> Police arrested three burglary suspect late Thursday after one of them attacked and injured a police dog with a metal folding chair, authorities said.
Taveonne Davenport, 20, Deonte Jerome Pinkney, 18 and Keith Vincent Wickware, 21, all of Los Angeles, were booked on suspicion of burglary, Alhambra police officials said.
The incident began about 10:30 p.m. when a resident of the 1800 block of Geranio Drive called police to report that he was watching three unknown intruders inside his home via a remote security camera, Alhambra police Sgt. Jerry Johnson said.
Officers arrived within 30 seconds and surrounded the home, police said in a written statement. Three burglars fled from the back door of the home and began running through residential yards.
Police quickly found one of the three fleeing suspects — later identified as Davenport — hiding in a nearby garage, police said. He refused orders to surrender, and Alhambra police K-9 “Harm” was sent in.
“(Davenport) then attacked the K-9 with a metal folding chair,” according to the police statement.
The handler called the dog back. Harm was bleeding from the mouth, but is expected to be OK.
A second K-9 from the Whittier Police Department was then sent in and apprehended Davenport, Johnson said.
Alhambra police, with help from other area police agencies, continued searching the neighborhood into the early-morning hours.
Officers found and arrested Pinkney and Wickware about 3 a.m. in a backyard near Geranio Drive and Shorb Street, police said.
Davenport was treated for dog bites, and one of the other two suspects suffered a twisted ankle while fleeing police, Johnson said.
No human officers were hurt during the incident.
“The dog wasn’t badly hurt,” Johnson said. Harm, an 8-year-old Belgian Malinois, is expected to make a full recovery.
In addition to burglary, Davenport was also expected to face charges of assault on a police animal, Johnson said.
Police recovered security cameras and other items stolen from the home which the burglars discarded while fleeing, Johnson added. Police were also trying to find the owners of other suspected stolen property found in the suspects’ possession which did not belong to the Geranio Drive resident.
Police have been seeking a crew of burglars who have broken into more than ten Alhambra homes and businesses since April.
No concrete link had been established Thursday between the string of burglaries and the three suspects in the Geranio Drive break-in, however police were looking into a possible connection, the sergeant said.
In the recent spate of burglaries, the intruders often disabled or stole home security systems, as was done in Wednesday’s caper, Johnson said.
And police noted that Davenport bears a striking resemblance to one of three burglars captured on surveillance camera video during an April 27 burglary in the 100 block of South Meridian Avenue.
The investigation was ongoing.
Pinkney was being held without bail pending his initial court appearance, according to county booking records. Wickware was being held in lieu of $50,000, while Davenport’s booking information was not immediately available.
Anyone with information can reach Arcadia police at 626-570-5151. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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PHOTOS: [TOP} – Alhambra police K-9 “Harm.” (Courtesy, Alhambra Police Department) [BELOW] – (Left to right) Taveonne Davenport, 20, of Los Angeles; Deonte Jerome Pinkney, 18, of Los Angeles; and Keith Vincent Wickware, 21, of Los Angeles. (Courtesy, Alhambra Police Department)

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Police: Woman depicted in viral Alhambra package theft video in custody


ALHAMBRA >> One day after a viral cell phone video of an Alhambra man confronting a female package thief in front of his home made the suspect an overnight celebrity, police arrested the woman Friday afternoon, officials said.
Rianna Medina, 20, of Montebello was booked on suspicion of grand theft — a felony — after officers found her about 1 p.m. at a motel in Rosemead, according to Alhambra police Sgt. Jerry Johnson.
“The woman seen in the now-viral video stealing packages from the front porch of an Alhambra home last Tuesday has been arrested.
Video: Alhambra resident confronts package thief
0513_NWS_PSN-L-THEFTThe arrest was the result of “tips and social media messages and using what can only be described as ‘old-fashion police work,’ the sergeant said. “She was taken into custody without incident.”
Medina is accused of a package theft caught on camera Tuesday when the resident arrived home in the middle of the crime and confronted the suspect with a cell phone camera in-hand.
The video, which was released by police in hopes of generating clues, quickly spread across the nation via the internet.
“If I was you, I’d put those down,” the homeowner tells the woman, who tried to argue that her mother lived at the home, not the resdient.
But the woman dropped the packaged and walked away immediately once the man told her he was calling the police.
0514_NWS_PSN-L-VIDEO-ARRESTPolice thanked those who called in tips or provided information via social media, Johnson said.
“The public’s cooperation greatly assisted our detectives in identifying and locating this suspect,” he said. “It is often times difficult to find people who are willing to come forward and share information. We appreciate everyone’s contribution.”

VIDEO/PHOTO/BOOKING PHOTO courtesy of the Alhambra Police Department

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Video: Alhambra resident confronts package thief


ALHAMBRA >> Police are seeking a woman who stole packages from the porch of an Alhambra home Tuesday before being confronted by the homeowner, armed with a cell phone camera, officials said.
The crime took place about 4:40 p.m. at a home in the southeast portion of the city, near Valley Boulevard and New Avenue, according to Alhambra police Sgt. Jerry Johnson.
A man arrived home to see a woman snatching two packages that had just been delivered from his front porch, Johnson said in a written statement.
•Video: Homeowner confronts package thief in Alhambra
“The homeowner exited his car and started recording the suspect with his cell phone,” he said.
0513_NWS_PSN-L-THEFTAs depicted on the cell phone video, which was distributed by police in hoped of identifying the suspect, the woman tried to talk her way out of the situation.
“If I was you, I’d put those down,” the man tells the woman.
“Why?” She responded. “My mom lives here.”
“Because those are my stuff. I live here. This is my house,” the homeowner said.
But the woman continued arguing with the man, trying to persuade him the house was not his.
“You don’t live here. My mom lives here,” she said in an incredulous tone.
The homeowner was not persuaded. When he told the woman he was calling the police, she promptly dropped the packages and walked away.
Anyone who recognized the woman depicted in the video is asked to contact Alhambra police at 626-308-4875. Tips may be submitted anonymously.

VIDEO/PHOTO courtesy of the Alhambra Police Department

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Burglary crew sought in rash of Alhambra home break-ins


ALHAMBRA >> Police are seeking a crew of burglars responsible for a series of as many as 10 home burglaries since April, including one that was captured on video by a surveillance camera, officials said.
The city has seen 14 residential burglaries since April 1, Alhambra police Sgt. Jerry Johnson said in a written statement.
“Detectives believe that at least three and possibly as many as ten of these burglaries have been committed by the same individuals,” he said.
In one of the break-ins, which occurred on April 27 in the 100 block of South Meridian Avenue, the burglary was captured on video by a resident’s home-security cameras, police said.
•Video: Alhambra home burglary; 4-25-16
“What’s unique about these suspects is that they disable the security alarm systems,” Johnson said. Alarms were disabled in at least two of the break-ins, including the one captured on video.
0507_NWS_PSN-L-ALHBURG1“This burglary is similar to other burglaries in the area,” Johnson said. “The suspects are targeting single family homes in the late-afternoon and evening hours.”
Police described the suspect as three black men in their late-teens to early-20s, about 5 feet 9 inches to 5 feet 10 inches tall, all of thin build.
“One suspect is known to have a distinct goatee,” the sergeant said. The burglars used a dark-colored sedan, described as possibly an older-model Honda Accord.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Alhambra police Detective Jack Ng at 626-570-5187. Tips may be left anonymously, police said.

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PHOTOS/VIDEO courtesy of the Alhambra Police Department.

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Alhambra woman arrested for fatally striking, dragging elderly man with minivan in Monterey Park

MONTEREY PARK >> Police on Wednesday arrested an Alhambra woman who fatally struck an elderly man with her minivan in Monterey Park in January, then dragged him half-a-mile to her home, officials said.
Police jailed Cecilia Morales DeToledo, 33, without incident about 8:50 a.m. on an arrest warrant issued by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, according to Monterey Park city officials and Los Angeles County booking records. She faces charges of felony hit-and-run, as well as misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter and misdemeanor driving without a license.
She was at the wheel of Kia Sedona that struck 82-year-old Kwailing Hong of Alhambra about 3:30 p.m. on Jan. 7 on Hathaway Avenue, just south of Hellman Avenue, Monterey Park police Lt. Tina Montoya said at the time. The collision has remained under investigation ever since.
Morales DeToledo, who had children with her in the minivan, continued driving following the initial impact, police said. She stopped and called 911 upon reaching her home in the 2400 block of Wetherhead Drive, about half a mile away.
Police found the collision scene by following a trail of blood that ended at her home, authorities said.
Police initially said it appeared the driver was unaware she had struck anyone until she arrived home.
According to booking records, DeToledo was released from jail Wednesday afternoon after posting $50,000 bail, pending her initial appearance in Alhambra Superior Court.

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Bicyclist fatally struck by bus on 10 Freeway in Alhambra identified


ALHAMBRA >> Coroner’s officials Thursday released the name of a 40-year-old man fatally struck by a bus while riding his bike in the carpool lane of the 10 Freeway in Alhambra over the weekend.
Eduardo Castillo died at the scene of the collision, which took place about 4:30 a.m. Sunday on the eastbound 10 Freeway, just west of Garfield Avenue, Los Angeles County Department of Medical-Examiner officials said. He was listed as transient, and no hometown was known.
For unknown reasons, Castillo was riding a bicycle in the carpool lane of the freeway when he was struck by a Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority Bus, according to Officer I. Vivas of the California Highway Patrol’s East Los Angeles area office.
No other injuries were reported, officials said.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the CHP’s East Los Angeles area office at 323-980-4600.

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Bicyclist fatally struck by bus on 10 Freeway in Alhambra


ALHAMBRA >> A bicyclist died early Sunday after he was struck by a bus while riding a bike in the carpool lane of the 10 Freeway in Alhambra, authorities said.
The fatal collision too place about 4:30 a.m. on the eastbound 10 Freeway, just west of Garfield Avenue, Officer I. Vivas of the California Highway Patrol’s East Los Angeles area office said in a written statement.
A Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority bus was heading east on the freeway in the carpool, with a 44-year-old man at the wheel, the officer said. The bicyclist, estimated to be 40 years old, was also riding east in the carpool lane.
“The (MTA) bus suddenly collided with the bicyclist,” Vivas said. “As a result of the impact, the bicyclist was thrown into the train track.”
Paramedics pronounced the man dead at the scene, officials said.
No additional injuries were reported, CHP Officer Alex Rubio said. It was not clear Sunday whether the bus was carrying any passengers.
The identity of the bicyclist was not released pending positive identification and notification of family.
No further details were available. It was unclear why the bicyclist was on the freeway.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the CHP’s East Los Angeles area office at 323-980-4600.

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Traffic stop in San Marino nets stolen car, drugs, gun, two arrests

SAN MARINO >> Police jailed a wanted Alhambra man and his girlfriend after the man fled from a stolen car, which contained drugs and a gun, in San Marino early Sunday, police said.
The series of events began when police in San Marino pulled over a car in their city, according to Alhambra police officials, who assisted San Marino police.
“The male driver fled on foot, leaving his girlfriend behind inside the car,” Alhambra police officials said in a written statement. “Unfortunately for the fleeing suspect, he left his driver license in the car.”
Officers detained the female suspect and discovered a gun and drugs inside the car, which had been reported stolen, officials said. It was also determined that the fleeing man had several outstanding warrants for his arrest.
Police began keeping watch over the male suspect’s home in Alhambra, suspecting he may be trying to make his way there. An officer spotted the man walking down the street.
“The officer was able to sneak up on the subject and detain him,” according to the Alhambra police statement. “The subject was identified as the same person who fled from the San Marino officer.”
The suspects identities were not available Sunday. San Marino police, who are handling the investigation, could not be reached for comment.

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