Police: Arcadia burglary dismantled after early-morning raids in Pasadena, Altadena

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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

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Parolee and teen arrested following pursuit through Pasadena

PASADENA — Police jailed a parolee and juvenile late Sunday after they led police on a chase while toting a loaded handgun, officials said.
Marcus McClellan, 31, of Altadena and a 17-year-old Altadena boy were arrested following the incident, which kicked off shortly after 11:30 p.m., Pasadena police Lt. Jason Clawson said.
Officers tried to pull over a Honda Accord being driven by McLellan for a traffic violation at Woodbury Road and Raymond Lane, he said. But the car sped off, initiating a chase.
The fleeing Honda led police to the 1400 block of North Garfield Avenue, Clawson said. “The driver stopped the vehicle but left it in drive.
The car continued moving forward as McClellan continued to flee on foot, striking a tree, Clawson said.
The teen was found to be in possession of a loaded handgun and arrested, he added.
Police soon captured McClellan nearby in the 1500 block of North Los Robles Avenue, Clawson said. He was arrested on suspicion of evading police.
McClellan, who is on parole due to a vehicular manslaughter conviction, was being held without bail pending arraignment.

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Alleged gang members arrested in connection with Altadena kidnapping

ALTADENA — Local and federal officials arrested two Pasadena gang members early Friday in connection with the beating and kidnapping of another man earlier in the week, authorities said.
James Patton, 27, and Jeffrey Butler, 20, were arrested by a task force comprised of Altadena sheriff’s deputies, Pasadena police officers and FBI agents during the service of two search warrants in the early-morning hours, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said in a written statement. They were booked on suspicion of assault, kidnapping and weapons charges.
The alleged kidnapping took place early Wednesday.
“An Altadena resident was assaulted, kidnapped and then held hostage inside a house on the 500 block of Stonehurst Drive,” according to the sheriff’s department statement.
“Allegedly, the two suspects left him in the house to be watched by another younger male so they could steal his car,” the statement said. “The victim was able to escape through the back door and jumped over the rear fence. A short time later, the victim contacted several patrol Deputies on the 500 block of Figueroa Drive, Altadena and explained how he was beaten and threatened by two suspects with two different handguns.”
Butler was taken into custody about 6 a.m. Friday as officials searched a home in the 400 block of Athens Street in Altadena, according to sheriff’s officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
“Detectives are still looking for a chrome handgun that was allegedly used by Mr. Butler,” according to the statement.
Patton was arrested about 6:30 p.m. during a search at a second, undisclosed location, officials said. Also recovered during the search was a revolver believed to have been used in the crime.
Another alleged gang member was arrested along with Patton due to an outstanding $15,000 misdemeanor warrant, according to investigators and booking records.
Patton and Butler were being held in lieu of $1 million bail each pending their initial court appearances.

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Altadena bungalow scorched by fire

ALTADENA — A bungalow was destroyed in an early morning fire Friday along Ganesha Avenue in Altadena, officials said.
The fire was reported about 3:30 a.m. in the 2400 block of Ganesha Avenue, Sgt. Daniel Tobin of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Arson-Explosives Detail said.
The building, along with three other bungalows situated on the same lot that were not damaged, were vacant for renovations, the sergeant said.
The cause of the fire had not been determined Friday afternoon, however it was not initially considered suspicious, Tobin said.
He “conservatively” estimated that the fire caused tens of thousands of dollars worth of damage.

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Altadena man fatally struck by train in South Pasadena

SOUTH PASADENA — Authorities are investigating the death of an Altadena man who was struck by a Metro Gold Line train Saturday.
The fatal incident took place just after 4:10 p.m. near Monterey Road and Pasadena Avenue, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Transportation Services Bureau spokesman Ramon Montenegro said.
The name of the dead man was not released Sunday pending notification of his family, coroner’s officials said. He was described as 57 years old.
A witness account indicated the man was standing on the tracks between two crossing arms, which were believed to be down and working properly, when struck by the northbound commuter train, Montenegro said.
But the specific circumstances of the incident remained under investigation.
South Pasadena Fire Department paramedics rushed to the scene, South Pasadena police Sgt. Brian Solinsky said.
“All possible live-saving measures were attempted, and the victim succumbed to his injuries at the scene,” he said.
Service was briefly shut down between the Highland Park and Pasadena Gold Line station, and buses were used to transport passengers, Montenegro said. Service on the line was delayed for about 20 minutes.

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Man found dead after Altadena apartment fire identified

ALTADENA — Coroner’s officials have released the name of a man whose badly burned body was found following a fire inside his unit at a senior citizens’ apartment complex.
Eldrid Sweeney, 81, of Altadena was pronounced dead at the scene of the two-alarm fire that broke out about 1:30 p.m. Dec. 9 in the 26090 block of North Lincoln Avenue, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Lt. Joe Bale said. An autopsy had been carried out, however Sweeney’s cause of death was not yet determined pending the results of test results.
Sweeney’s identity was previously unconfirmed due to the badly burned condition in which his body was found.
The cause of the fire, which left one other person with minor injuries, was under investigation by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Arson-Explosives Detail.
Officials estimated the fire caused $1.05 million worth of damage to the building and its contents.

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Altadena men accused of West Covina burglary, robbery

Police Wednesday arrested two Altadena men accused of burglarizing a home in West Covina, then robbing the resident of his cell phone when he interrupted the crime and called 9-1-1, authorities said.
Joshua Washington and Terrance Hall, both 18 and of Altadena, were booked on suspicion of burglary and robbery, West Covina police Cpl. Rudy Lopez said in a written statement.
The break-in took place about 11:20 a.m. Tuesday in the 600 block of South Charvers Avenue, police said.
A man arrived home to find two intruders inside his house, Lopez said. The burglars fled, and the man began calling 9-1-1 on his cell phone.
“However, one suspect returned to the victim and forcible took the phone away,” the corporal said. They then fled in a white Lexus parked in front of the home.
The resident had noticed a Lexus he didn’t recognize when he first arrived home and wrote down the license plate number, which he was able to provide to investigators, Lopez said. Additionally, the West Covina Police Department’s Forensic Identification Unit was able to lift latent fingerprints from the burgled home.
Further investigation led police to a home in the 2700 block of Tola Street in Altadena early Wednesday, where Washington and Hall were taken into custody without a struggle, Lopez said. The Lexus seen in front of the victim’s home was found nearby.
According to county booking records, the suspects were being held in lieu of $50,000 bail each pending their scheduled arraignments Friday in West Covina Superior Courts.

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Human skeletal remains found in northern Altadena

ALTADENA — Homicide detectives are investigating the discovery of human skeletal remains along a remote section of Fair Oaks Avenue at the northern end of Altadena late Wednesday, authorities said.
Little information was available late Wednesday regarding the discovery, which was reported just before 12:30 p.m. in the 3900 block of Fair Oaks Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
The remains were initially described as skeletal human remains, including a skull, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Lt. Joe Bale said. No further description of the bones or exactly where and how they were found was available.
With the remote location on the edge of the Angeles National Forest and diminishing daylight working against investigators, many questions were expected to remain unanswered until Thursday.
“Due to the terrain, weather and hour of darkness, detectives will respond tomorrow, along with personnel from the coroner’s office, and continue their investigation,” according to Lt. Holly Francisco of the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau.
Anyone with information was asked to contact the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500.

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Computer equipment stolen from school recovered from Altadena home; suspect arrested

ALTADENA — Detectives arrested an Altadena man Thursday after recovinering about $2,000 worth of computer equipment stolen over the summer from a Los Angeles County school.
Freddie Spears, 43, was arrested and booked on suspicion of possession of stolen property after deputies served a search warrant about 7 a.m. at his home in the 300 block of Calaveras Street, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
Officials released little information about the ongoing investigation, as detectives continued seeking additional suspects and stolen computer equipment yet to be recovered, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Eric Lasko said. He declined to identify the school, which lost about $10,000 worth of computer equipment in a summertime burglary.
Spears was taken into custody without a struggle, Lasko said.
According to county booking records, Spears was being held in lieu of $20,00 bail at the sheriff’s Crescenta Valley Station pending a scheduled arraignment Monday in Pasadena Superior Court.

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Body discovered in forest north of Altadena

ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST — Detectives are investigating the discovery of a body along a hiking trail in the forest north of Altadena Sunday afternoon.
A hiker reported discovering the body, initially described only as male, shortly before 4 p.m. to the east of Inspiration Point, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Brian Fitch said. Officials located the body about 4:10 p.m.
Few details were available, as communications in the forest were limited, Fitch said.
It had not yet been determined Sunday afternoon whether the death involved foul play.

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