Police are seeking a lizard with red-painted claws that was stolen from an Alhambra pet shop last week.
Ganga the Bearded Dragon was pilfered by an unknown crook June 12 while she was being boarded at McCormick’s Met Emporium, 644 E. Main Street, Alhambra police Sgt. Esther Rodriguez said. The theft occurred between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.
The 12-inch-long lizard, which had the claws on three of its legs painted with red nail polish, requires daily doses of sunlight or artificial ultraviolet light to remain healthy, police said in a written statement.
“We have exhausted our leads in trying to recover the beautiful animal,” according to the police statement. So investigators turned to the public to see if anyone has seen the pilfered pet.
“If a friend or neighbor should suddenly be in possession of a dragon with painted nails, please give us a call,” the police statement said. “If, you should happen to see this animal unattended, please call us so we can return her to the rightful owner. If you have Ganga, bring her to the police station immediately.”
Anyone with information can reach Alhambra police at 626-570-5130.
PHOTO courtesy of the Alhambra Police Department
A judge sentenced a man to spend the rest of his life in prison Thursday for the fatal shooting of his ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend in Monterey Park in early 2010, authorities said.
Richard Tauch, 49, of Corona received a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole in Pasadena Superior Court, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s officials said in a written statement.
A jury convicted him in November of two counts of first-degree murder for the Jan. 19, 2010, shooting deaths of Jenny Sor, 40, of Los Angeles and Wenwa Chao, 53, of Alhambra. The jury also found true the special allegations of multiple murder and lying in wait.
Officials described Tauch as a casino security guard who was obsessed with his ex-girlfriend, Sor.
“Tauch and Sor were in a relationship for a year before she broke up with him in December 2009 and started dating Chao,” according to the district attorney’s office statement.
On the day of the killings, Tauch went to Sor’s workplace at the Hollywood Park Casino in Inglewood and hid himself in her car, investigators said. He remained concealed in her car as she drove to an assisted living facility in the 200 block of Northj Chandler Avenue in Monterey Park, where Chao was visiting his father.
“When Sor arrived at the care home, she went inside and Tauch followed,” according to the district attorney’s office statement. “The defendant then accosted Sor and Chao and shot them multiple times. The victims died at the scene.”
Tauch fled the scene following the double-slaying, but detectives arrested him the following day.
San Gabriel Valley police officers will take on their fire department counterparts on the basketball court in Arcadia this weekend as the annual Battle of the Badges tournament returns bigger than ever to raise money for the Special Olympics.
The series of games will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday in the gymnasium of Arcadia High School, 180 Campus Drive in Arcadia, organizers said in a written statement. The cost of admission will be a “donation of your choosing,” and proceeds will benefit the Special Olympics Southern California.
In addition to the action on the court, there will be jumpers for children, refreshments, a SWAT demonstration, historical vehicles, a fire truck and gaming booths set up by Dave & Buster’s, Arcadia police Detective Walter Ashby said. An iPad Air will also be raffled off.
“One-hundred percent of the proceeds are donated directly to the Special Olympics,” he said.
San Gabriel police officers will take on San Gabriel firefighters at 10 a.m.; Alhambra police will play Alhambra firefighters at noon; El Monte police will take on Upland firefighters at 2 p.m.; Pasadena police will play Pasadena firefighters at 4 p.m.; and Arcadia police officers and firefighters will face off on the court at 6 p.m.
For more information, contact Detective Ashby at 626-821-2654, or email email@example.com.
ALHAMBRA — Police arrested a 63-year-old Alhambra woman Thursday and seized 70 balloons filled with heroin, authorities said.
Lorie Kell was arrested just after 5 p.m. at an apartment in the 900 block of South Marguerita Avenue, Alhambra police Sgt. Esther Rodriguez said. She was booked on suspicion of possession of narcotics for sales.
The arrest was the result of a search warrant carried out by detectives the Alhambra Police Department’s Special Enforcement Unit, police officials said in a written statement posted on the department’s Facebook page. Further details regarding the investigation were not available Friday, nor was the estimated street value of the seized drugs.
“Heroin is a very addictive drug that causes users to have to use daily,” according to the police statement. “Users often times spend over $100 a day on the drug and get a lot of their money from stealing and pawning merchandise.”
According to Los Angeles County booking records, Kell was released from jail Thursday night pending her initial court appearance after posting $30,000 bail.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.