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.

Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email

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


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.

Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email

17 dogs, one cat seized from Alhambra home


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

Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email

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.

Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email

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.”

Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email

Three burglary suspects jailed in Alhambra


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.

Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email

UPDATED: Alhambra hospital facility burglar escapes from Los Angeles jail


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.

Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email

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


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

Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email

Wiring stolen from street lights in Alhambra

ALHAMBRA — Officials early Wednesday discovered copper thieves had stripped wiring from five street lights along Mission Road in Alhambra, police said.
City workers noticed street lights in the 3000 and 3100 blocks of Mission Road were not working, and soon realized the reason was that their wiring — about 800 feet worth — had been stolen, Alhambra police Sgt. Gary La Guard said.
The theft was believed to have taken place sometime between Monday and Wednesday morning, police added. No suspect information was available.
The dollar-value of the damage remained unclear Wednesday evening.
“If you may have witnessed any suspicious activity in that area over the last few days, or if you see non-city employees tampering with city lights, please call our dispatch center at 626 570-5168,” police said in a written statement.

Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email

Eleven robberies reported in Alhambra since January

Police are on alert in Alhambra, where 11 robberies and attempted robberies have been reported in just over a month.
The seemingly unrelated crimes, which have occurred since Jan. 2, varied greatly in type and involved a wide range of suspect descriptions, according to Alhambra police officials. Suspects have been arrested in connection with three of the crimes, and police said they had solid leads to follow on others.
“The robberies ranged from armed with a weapon (to) attempts, strong-arm, purse snatches, commercial and a carjacking,” police officials said in a written statement.
“The majority of the robberies have occurred in the southeast portion of the city,” according to the statement. “The suspects targeted victims on or near the main thoroughfares of the city, i.e., Atlantic Boulevard, Commonwealth Avenue, Garfield (Avenue), Main Street and Valley Boulevard.”
*The most recent incident Wednesday morning began as an attempted scam at a Khol’s store, 1201 S. Fremont Ave., but turned into a robbery when the suspect fought with a security guard who tried to sop him, Alhambra police Sgt. Brandon Black said.
Richard Raul Hurtado, 41, of Montebello, is accused of taking about $125 worth of merchandise from the store, then getting cash for it by presenting the items as returns in another part of the store, according to police and county booking records. A security guard tried to stop Hurtado, who initially cooperated, but then fought the security guard and fled. The security guard was not seriously injured.
A police dog led officers to Hurtado, who was found hiding across the street inside a car that had been left unlocked, Black said.
In addition to robbery and commercial burglary, Black said Hurtado was also accused of vandalism for causing about $600 worth of damage to the car as he allegedly tried to pry the rear seat down in an effort to climb into the trunk.
According to county booking records, he was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail pending his initial court appearance.
*A gunman Monday robbed both cash and cell phones from a wireless store just before 3 p.m. Monday, Black said. He brandished a silver, semi-automatic handgun as he robbed the business of iPhones, Samsung Galaxy phones and money.
Police described the robber as a black man in his 20s, between 6 feet and 6 feet 3 inches tall, 180 to 190 pounds, wearing a black sweat shirt, black pants and some sort of white mask over his face. He fled in a silver, 4-door car with a waiting driver.
*Alhambra police arrested a 25-year-old woman the afternoon of Jan. 29 after she allegedly attacked Target store employees who confronted her while she was stealing iPads from the store, 2120 West Main Street, Black said.
Arielle Streber, whose city of residence was not available, had already exited the store with five iPads and returned and grabbed five more when store employees stopped her, the sergeant said. She struck the employees and fled, but was captured by police nearby. The car she had arrived on was determined to have been stolen, and she was found with a small amount of drugs.
Streber was booked on suspicion of robbery, though she was ultimately charged with two counts of burglary, one count of battery, one count of auto theft and one count of drug possession.
Streber was being held in lieu of $320,000 bail pending the trial process, records show.
*Local transient Jose Luis Lizarraga, 24, was jailed shortly after 8 p.m. Jan. 27 on suspicion of attempted robbery after threatening to hit a man and woman with a skateboard after they refused to hand over spare change in the area of Main and First streets , Black said.
According to booking records, Lizarraga was being held in lieu of $160,000 bail pending his next court appearance.
*A woman was allegedly robbed late Jan. 24th by a family members, officials said. His identity was known to investigators, however he remained at-large.
*A shotgun-wielding would-be robber approached a man and woman about 2:40 a.m. Jan 22. as they sat in a car pulled along the side of the 1200 block of South Garfield Avenue, Black said.
The man and woman had just pulled over when a 2009 to 2011 Toyota Tundra pickup truck with tinted windows pulled up behind them, the sergeant said. A robber got out of the passenger side of the truck, approached the car and tapped the windows with the barrel of a shotgun, Black said.
The young man driving the car threw the vehicle into reverse and rammed the pickup truck before speeding away, Black said. The gunman was described as an Asian man in his mid-30s, about 5 feet 7 inches tall, 130 pounds, with short black hair and a mustache. He wore a white T-shirt and blue jeans. No description of the driver was available.
*A man lost his Honda Civic to two carjackers just before 11 p.m. Jan. 17 at Lemon Street and Marengo Avenue, Alhambra police Lt. Garrett Kennedy said. But the car was found abandoned in El Sereno later that night.
Officials described the carjackers, who were armed with a handgun, only as two men. One wore a hooded sweat shirt, while the other wore a white baseball cap, Kennedy said. A black Ford Thunderbird may have been used as a getaway car.
*A robber snatched a young woman’s purse from her lap and fled about 6:30 p.m. Jan. 14 at Valley Boulevard and Market Lane, police said. The robber was a black man in his 20s, 5 feet 6 inches to 5 feet 7 inches tall, of medium build, clean-shaven, wearing a blue hooded sweat shirt and blue jeans. He was last seen leaving the area in a dark-colored, four-door sedan.
*Another woman lost her purse in a robbery about 3:15 p.m. Jan. 11 in the 1000 block of East Norwood Place, Black said.
A robber pulled the woman’s purse from her shoulder before fleeing in a black, 4-door Toyota Camry or Corolla with paper license plates bearing the phrase, “Super Ford,” he said. The robber was a white or Latino man in his early 30s, about 5 feet 10 inches tall, 190 to 200 pounds, wearing jeans, a cap and a checkered shirt.
*A crook stole items from a man about 7:30 p.m. Jan. 9 during a strong-arm robbery at Atlantic and Valley boulevards, Black said. The robber pushed the man against his wall before stealing property from him. It was not clear what was stolen in the crime.
Police described the robber as male, about 5 feet 6 inches tall, of skinny build, wearing a black hooded sweat shirts and black shorts. He was with an accomplice, however a description of the second robber was not available, and both robbers fled the area in a black car fitted with aftermarket rims.
*A robber tried to take a woman’s purse, but was thwarted by her 13-year-old son, about 2 p.m. Jan. 2 at a bus stop at Valley Boulevard and Marengo Avenue, Black said. The robber came up behind the woman and grabbed her purse, pulling her to the ground before running off with her handbag.
The woman’s 13-year-old son chased after the robber and managed to take his mother’s purse back, Black said. The boy was struck in the head during the scuffle, but appeared to be unharmed.
The failed robber escaped empty-handed. He was described as a Latino man in his 20s with short black hair and a medium build, wearing a black shirt and black pants. He was seen driving a yellow van.
The nine robberies reported in Alhambra in January follow eight reported robberies in the city in January of 2012, according to Alhambra police statistics. In January of 2011, three robberies were reported.
With no link tying the crimes together, police advised residents to use common sense tactics and a little extra vigilance to help reduce their chanced of becoming victims of crimes.
Always be aware of your surroundings and people around you. Keep your property close to you. If you see anything or anyone suspicious contact the police.
“Take the extra couple seconds to keep your wits about you and secure your stuff,” Black said. “Make sure cars are locked. Don’t have valuable in plain view.”
When possible, find “strength in numbers,” he added. “Try to walk in a group.”
Black added women who carry purses can reduce their risk of theft by carrying them in front of their bodies, rather than behind, making them harder for opportunistic thieves to snatch.
“We ‘re very responsive to calls from the community,” Black said. “If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Call us. We’ll check it out.”

Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email