Alhambra burglar sentenced for jail escape

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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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Police talk suicidal woman down from ledge in Alhambra

ALHAMBRA — An Alhambra police officer persuaded a suicidal woman to climb down from a 40-foot-high ledge which she had threatened to jump from Sunday, authorities said.
The incident, which was captured on a police car dashboard camera, unfolded about noon at Campbell Avenue and Front Street, Alhambra police officials said in a written statement.
“A woman had climbed over a retaining wall and fence and was threatening to kill herself by jumping the 40 feet down onto railroad tracks, according to the police statement.
“A female officer calmly built a rapport with the distraught woman,” the statement continued. “The officer convinced the woman not to jump and helped the woman back over the fence.”
The woman, an Alhambra resident in her mid-40s, was taken to a hospital for psychiatric evaluation, officials said.

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Four arrested during Alhambra police checkpoint

ALHAMBRA >> Police arrested two people on suspicion of intoxicated driving and another two on outstanding warrants during a checkpoint late Saturday and early Sunday, officials said.
The checkpoint was held from 7 p.m. Saturday to 3 a.m. Sunday at Atlantic Boulevard and Beacon Street, Alhambra police officials said in a written statement.
In addition to the four arrests, police issued 38 citations for various violations, Sgt. Tai Seki said.
Additional statistics, such as data regarding vehicle impounds and the total number of vehicles screened during the checkpoint, were not available Sunday, Seki said.

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Crash involving fire trucks and restaurant in Monterey Park injures 15, one critically

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MONTEREY PARK >> Six firefighters and nine civilians were injured, one of them critically, Wednesday after two fire engines collided in a Monterey Park intersection, sending one of them careening into a dim sum restaurant, authorities said.
The crash, which involved a Monterey Park Fire Department fire engine and an Alhambra Fire Department ladder truck, was first reported about 3:15 p.m. at the Lu Dumpling House, at the southeast corner of Garfield and Emerson avenues, according to Monterey Park police and fire officials.
The critically injured civilians was taken to a trauma center, Monterey Park Fire Department Chief Jim Birrell said. The other eight civilians’ injuries were believed to be minor.
Three Alhambra firefighters and two Monterey Park firefighters suffered minor injuries in the crash, while another Monterey Park firefighter suffered injuries described as moderate, Monterey Park fire Capt. Matt Hallock said.
Both vehicles were rushing to the scene of a house fire toward the southern end of Monterey Park when the crash occurred, officials said. The East Los Angeles office of California Highway Patrol is investigating the collision.
The Monterey Park engine was eastbound on Emerson Avenue just prior to the crash, and the Alhambra Fire Department ladder truck was southbound on Garfield Avenue, CHP Officer Doris Peniche said.
“They both had their full lights and sirens on as they approached the intersection,” Peniche said. “They collided, causing one of the engines to crash into the building.
The critically injured man was believed to be inside the restaurant when it was struck, authorities said. A further description was not available.
It was unclear whether the other eight civilians who were hurt were inside the restaurant.
The firefighter who suffered moderate injuries had been driving the Monterey Park fire engine, Hallock said.
Firefighters involved in the crash hopped off the damaged trucks and began tending to injured, he added.
The vehicles easily weigh more than 70,000 pounds each, Hallock said.
The fire truck remained lodged halfway into the restaurant late Wednesday afternoon, and it was not immediately clear if the restaurant had sustained structural damage.
A Los Angeles County Fire Department urban search and rescue team assisted their counterparts from the Monterey Park, Alhambra, Pasadena, San Gabriel, Burbank and Glendale fire departments at the scene.
Though the involved trucks came from different agencies, they often work together under a regional assistance plan and are dispatched by the same Glendale-based center.
Hallock described Wednesday’s collision as “highly unusual” and “highly unfortunate.”
While firefighters often rush to emergency calls, “we train to drive cautiously and arrive at the scene safely,” he said.
When a fire department emergency vehicle is en route to a call with emergency lights and sirens activated, procedure is to enter the intersection at a safe speed and make sure the intersection is clear before proceeding, Birrell said.
“This is the first time in my career — 30 years — that I’ve witnessed an accident like this,” the chief said.

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17 dogs, one cat seized from Alhambra home

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ALHAMBRA >> Authorities armed with a warrant forced their way into the Alhambra home of an animal care advocate Wednesday, seizing 17 dogs and a cat.
Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control officials and Alhambra police had an inspection warrant in-hand when they arrived shortly before 11 a.m. at the single-story home in the 100 block of S. Meridian Avenue, according to Alhambra police and DACC officials.
They encountered a variety of breeds of dogs of all sizes, along with a single calico cat, all living in “deplorable,” conditions, Alhambra police officials said in a written statement.
The resident was not home when officials showed up at the home and forced their way into the house with a battering ram, according to police and neighbors.
A notice left on the front door of the home was directed to Claudia Angel. She could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
It noted “unsanitary conditions,” and mentioned that some of the animals suffered from skin problems.
Officials were still assessing the medical condition of the animals Wednesday afternoon, however none of them appeared emaciated when collected from inside the home, DACC Deputy Director Derek Brown said.
Neighbor Irene Romero said she was aware there were several dogs at the home, but she did not realize how many.
Barking at the home had not been a problem, though the smell of animal waste could be very strong at times, according to Romero and another neighbor.
Romero said she didn’t believe her neighbor, intended to harm the animals.
“She’s a nice lady,” Romero said. “She has a big heart.”
Angel’s Facebook profile is filled with messages urging responsible animal care.
Her contact information was listed, along with animals available for adoption, on Facebook page posts of the Montrose Pet Hospital as recently as March 17.
And although Angel’s online profile indicated she “worked” at the pet hospital, owner and veterinarian Ben Sures said in an email that she has never been employee of the hospital, though she was a client.
Angel is also described online as a past member of several other animal care-related organizations.
The Alhambra Municipal Code sets a limit of two dogs per residence.
Officials obtained an inspection warrant for the home after receiving, “concerns about the animals’ welfare from the public,” Brown said.
“We do that only if we don’t have any other choice,” Brown said, adding that the resident had failed to cooperate with less-intrusive efforts to perform an inspection at the home.
An investigation remained ongoing, and it was unclear what, if any, legal consequences Angel may face, officials said. If only found responsible for having too many dogs, a citation could be the result. If the investigation should turn up evidence of abuse or neglect, criminal charges could become a possibility.
“Our primary focus (Wednesday) was on the animals’ welfare,” Brown said.
The ultimate fate of the 17 dogs and one cat seized from the Meridian Avenue home was also yet to be determined, Brown said.
“In some cases, the animals are mandated to the department,” he said. In that event, the animals are generally made available for adoption eventually, though the process can take several months.
In some cases, however, the owner is able to retrieve their animals after proving they can provide proper care, Brown said.
In the meantime, the dogs and cat were being housed at the DACC’s Baldwin Park and Downey shelters.
Police and animal care officials said they were already receiving many calls Wednesday from people interested in adopting the animals seized in Alhambra Wednesday.

PHOTO courtesy of the Alhambra Police Department

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UPDATED: Driver arrested after chase from Alhambra to Monterey Park

ALHAMBRA — A reckless and intoxicated driver led Alhambra police on a chase Wednesday, turning donuts in a major intersection before ultimately being arrested in Monterey park, police said.
Daniel Thach, 32, if Monterey Park was ultimately arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs, felony evading of police and assault with deadly weapon following the wild chase, Alhambra police Sgt. Eddie Elizalde said.
A witness called police at 3:08 p.m. to report seeing an apparently intoxicated driver, Sgt. Jerry Johnson said. Officers spotted the car about a minute later, driving recklessly along Atlantic Boulevard near Mission Road.
The white Toyota Tacoma pickup truck sped away when the officers tried to pull it over, officials said. As officers chased the car, the driver began spinning donuts in the car in the intersection of Atlantic Boulevard and Main Street.
Police continued following the car until the driver finally pulled over at 3:18 p.m. in the 400 block of South McPherrin Avenue in Monterey Park, Johnson said.
Thach’s alleged reckless driving led to the accusation of assault with a deadly weapon, Elizalde said, though it was not clear late Wednesday exactly when during the chase the alleged assault took place, or against who.
According to county booking records, Thach was being held in lieu of $75,000 bail pending a scheduled arraignment Friday in Alhambra Superior Court.

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UPDATED: Alhambra pilot, passenger okay following ‘miraculous’ glider crash landing near Wrightwood

WRIGHTWOOD >> A glider pilot from Alhambra and his passenger “miraculously” escaped serious injury Saturday in an emergency crash landing in the Angeles National Forest near Wrightwood, authorities said.
The incident unfolded shortly before 11 a.m., Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
The glider pilot, a 57-year-old Alhambra man, and his passenger, a 53-year-old Beverly Hills man, suffered only minor injuries in the incident. Lt. Darren Harris of the sheriff’s Palmdale Station said.
The unpowered aircraft had been towed into the sky by an airplane from the Crystal Airport in Llano prior to the mishap.
“At some point after being released from the powered aircraft, the glider lost altitude quickly, forcing the pilot to make an emergency crash landing,” Harris said.
The glider, described as a DG Flugzeugbau DG100S, “reportedly crashed in rugged terrain 5.6 miles north of Wrightwood under unknown circumstances,” FAA spokesman Allen Kenitzer said. “The aircraft sustained substantial damage.”
A sheriff’s department helicopter located the crash scene in a mountainous section of the forest, landed and flew the pilot and passenger to safety, officials said.
“Miraculously, the pilot sustained only minor injuries and was treated at the hospital,” Harris said. “The passenger also sustained minor injuries and declined medical treatment.”
The cause of the emergency crash landing was being investigated by both the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Boar, FAA spokesman Allen Kenitzer said. “The NTSB is the lead investigative agency.
According to an FAA database, the glider is registered to Southern California Soaring Academy Inc. in Valencia.
The NTSB generally publishes a preliminary report on aviation mishaps within a week or two of the incident, Kenitzer said.
“However, it typically take the NTSB months to come up with a probable cause for accidents.”

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Three burglary suspects jailed in Alhambra

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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. 0316_NWS_PSN-L-BURGLARS2The 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 0316_NWS_PSN-L-BURGLARS3Kendal Rayshaun Calloway, 24.

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UPDATED: Alhambra hospital facility burglar escapes from Los Angeles jail

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LOS ANGELES >> A man escaped from a Los Angeles jail facility following his sentencing for stealing laptop computers laden with sensitive data from an Alhambra-based hospital chain, officials announced Thursday.
Christopher Lee Brown, a 37-year-old transient known to frequent the Alhambra area, walked out of the Inmate Reception Center, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said.
“As a result of the inmate’s actions, and that it appears that mandated security practices may have not been followed, the inmate was able to escape through the jail Inmate Reception Center release door,” Los Angeles County sheriff’s Capt. Mike Parker said in a written statement. “Identified security concerns were immediately remedied.”
Brown was believed to have impersonated another inmate to slip past his guards, officials said. He was found missing during an inmate count overnight.
“This led to a search of the jail and ultimately the discovery of jail CCTV video showing the inmate leaving through the release area at 10 p.m. Wednesday, which confirmed the inmate had escaped,” according to a statement issued Thursday afternoon by the Sheriff’s Headquarter’s Bureau.
Brown was sentenced to 4 years and 8 months in prison Wednesday for stealing two laptop computers and three flash drives laden with the personal information of 729,000 patients from an AHMC Healthcare Inc. facility in Alhambra in October, according to Los Angeles County District Attorney’s officials. The laptops were never recovered, however no identity theft issues related to the computer theft have been reported.
A jury convicted Brown in march of burglary and receiving stolen property.
In addition to the crimes he’s already convicted of, Brown is now also accused of felony escape from jail, sheriff’s officials said.
He is described as 6 feet 3 inches tall and 200 pounds.
He has numerous theft-related convictions and has been tied to areas including El Monte and Newport Beach, sheriff’s officials said. Brown was arrested in 1997 and later convicted of assault with a deadly weapon in the San Luis Obispo area.
As officials reviewed the possible errors that led to Brown’s escape, the IRC was placed on lockdown Thursday, along with the Men’s Central Jail and the Twin Tower Correctional Facility, sheriff’s officials said. Medical and mental health services continued.
“A comprehensive review of jail systems, especially related to releases are continuing,” Parker said.
Anyone who spots Brown was advised not to approach him and to contact law enforcement immediately.
Wednesday’s incident was not the first time an inmate supposed to be in the custody of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department had walked through the release doors at the Inmate Reception Center in Los Angeles, where inmates are processed and held before transfer to other facilities.
Deputies continue seeking murder suspect Johnny Mata, 33, who was accidentally released at the IRC on April 4, 2013.
Mata was awaiting trial for the fatal shooting of David Anthony Deandrea on Christmas Eve of 2010 in Baldwin Park. After more than a year on the run, he was arrested by El Monte police in late May of 2012.
Officials released Mata to due to a clerical error, sheriff’s officials said. Though a murder charge had been filed against him, a clerk had not yet entered a “hold” on Mata to prevent his release from custody.

PHOTOS courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

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Transient sentenced for theft of computers containing patient data from Alhambra hospital facility

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ALHAMBRA — A transient who sparked a security scare when he stole two laptop computers containing private patient information from a regional hospital chain was sentenced to prison Wednesday, officials said.
Christopher Lee Brown, 37, received a sentence of 4 years and 8 months from Judge Jared Moses in the Alhambra branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s officials said in a written statement. He was convicted of second-degree burglary and one count of receiving stolen property March 6.
He broke into the AHMC Healthcare Inc. facility in Alhambra in mid-October, stealing two laptop computers and three flash drives, officials said.
As a result, 729,000 patients of Garfield Medical Center, Monterey Park Hospital, Whittier Hospital Medical Center, Greater El Monte Community Hospital, San Gabriel Valley Medical Center and Anaheim Regional Medical Center had their personal data jeopardized.
Those affected patients using Medicare, which amounted to about 10 percent of the affected patients, had their social security numbers potentially compromised, along with other medical and billing information.
Affected patients were notified and AHMC set up an informational hotline for concerned patients to call, officials said. No incidents of identity theft related to the computer theft were reported. The computers were not recovered.
Alhambra police investigators identified Brown as a suspect through surveillance camera footage and arrested him Oct. 23 at a homeless near the 710 Freeway and Valley Boulevard, according to Alhambra police Sgt. Jerry Johnson.

PHOTO – courtesy

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