ARCADIA >> Police are seeking a gunman and a getaway driver who robbed an Arcadia man as he arrived home early Saturday.
The crime took place about 4 a.m. in the 200 block of West Las Flores Avenue, Arcadia police Lt. Mike Castro said.
The victim, an 18-year-old man, had just arrived home when he was confronted by a robber armed with a handgun, the lieutenant said.
“The suspect ordered the victim inside the residence where he demanded money from the victim,” Castro said.
The victim turned over an unknown amount of cash and the gunman fled to a nearby getaway car with a driver waiting at the wheel, he said.
Police said the robbery victim told investigators he did not recognize the suspects. A details description was not available.
ARCADIA >> Police are planning to check drivers for sobriety and valid licenses during a checkpoint late Saturday.
The checkpoint is scheduled to take place from 7 p.m. Saturday to 3 a.m. Sunday at Baldwin Avenue and Harvard Drive, Arcadia police Sgt. Kollin Cieadlo said in a written statement.
The checkpoint is being funded by a campaign from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, through the California Office of Traffic Safety.
ARCADIA >> Police and worried family members have asked the public to keep an eye out for a 16-year-old San Marino High School student believed to have run away after being dropped off to take her SAT exams in Arcadia Saturday.
Mira Hu was last seen at Arcadia High School at 7:30 a.m. when her parents dropped her off for an SAT exam, Arcadia police Sgt. Dan Crowther said in a written statement. Her parents could not find her when they returned to the Arcadia campus to pick her up.
“A short time later she sent a message to her brother indicating that she was running away because she was overwhelmed by school and the exam,” Crowther said. “Preliminary information indicates she may be traveling to central or northern California.”
Hu is Chinese, 5 feet 3 inches tall, 95 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a black jacket and blue jeans, and she was carrying a large navy-colored bag.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Arcadia police at 626-574-5121, or their local law enforcement agency. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
PHOTO courtesy of the Arcadia Police Department
PASADENA >> Police sought the public’s help in finding a missing man suffering from schizophrenia and other medical problems who was last seen more than a year ago.
Mark Allan Jorgensen was reported missing to Arcadia police by his mother after she went to his Pasadena home Friday but did not find Jorgensen or his car, Arcadia police Sgt. Dan Crowther said in a written statement. He had last been seen by his mother in April of 2014.
“Jorgensen is reported to suffer from schizophrenia, hepatitis C, anemia, cirrhosis of the liver and is reportedly a drug user,” according to the statement.
Jorgensen is white, 57 years old, 5 feet 11 inches tall, 230 pounds, with blonde hair and hazel eyes, police said.
Also missing was his car, a blue, four-door, 2000 Toyota Camry with a California license plate of 4LLJ191.
Anyone with information was asked to contact Arcadia police at 626-574-5123.
PHOTO courtesy of the Arcadia Police Department
ARCADIA >> Police are investigating a Sunday morning shooting in a residential neighborhood that left an Arcadia man dead, authorities said.
The shooting took place about 9 a.m. in the 1000 block of South 5th Avenue, just south of Duarte Road, Arcadia police Lt. Mike Castro said.
Officers responded to a call reporting a “loud bang” and a “person down” to find a man wounded by gunfire, the lieutenant said.
He was taken to an area hospital where he succumbed to his injuries a short time later.
The victim had been walking down the street when he was shot, Castro said. No further details regarding the circumstances of the shooting were released, and no suspect description was available.
Officials withheld the victim’s name pending notification of his family, Los Angeles County coroner Investigator Kimberly Arnold said. He was initially described as an Arcadia man in his mid-50s.
Police kept 5th Avenue closed between Duarte Road and Leda Lane well into the afternoon as authorities continued their investigation.
Crime scene investigators scoured the front yard of a home with metal detectors, while another climbed onto the roof to search for clues.
Neighbors traded pieces of information they’d heard about what had taken place in the generally quiet and uneventful street.
Though she lives only a few houses away from the shooting scene, Sherry Xi, 44, said she heard no gunshots or commotion Sunday morning.
And while the neighborhood has seemed to see an increase in burglaries in recent years, she said, news of a fatal shooting came as a shock and left her nervous.
Anyone with information can reach Arcadia police at 626-574-5150. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
ARCADIA >> A masked gunman robbed an Arcadia cafe after closing early Sunday, fleeing with cash and backpack, police said.
The crime took place about 2:45 a.m. at the Arcadia Garden Cafe, 850 S. Baldwin Ave., Arcadia police Sgt. James Trabbie said.
The robber was armed with a handgun and wore a mask or bandana over his face as he demanded money, Trabbie said. He got away with an undetermined amount of cash, as well as a victim’s backpack.
Trabbie said the robber was last spotted running south from the business. A detailed suspect description was not available.
ARCADIA >> An Arcadia man accidentally shot himself in the leg while cleaning a gun Sunday, police said.
The mishap took place about 1 p.m. at a townhome in the 300 block of South Second Avenue, Arcadia police Lt. Mike Castro said.
A man in his mid-40s relayed to police that he had been cleaning his 9mm handgun gun, didn’t realize it was loaded and accidentally shot himself in the thigh, the lieutenant said.
He was taken to a hospital with a wound that was no considered life-threatening, Castro said. The incident appeared accidental, and no crime was suspected.
ARCADIA >> A water leak led to the discovery of about 700 marijuana plants growing inside an Arcadia home Friday, police said.
The out-of-town owner of a home in the 200 block of East Newman Avenue received a call from a neighbor about 7 a.m. to let him know about a water leak at his house, Arcadia police Lt. Colleen Flores said in a written statement. The homeowner’s realtor checked on the home and discovered it was being used to grow marijuana.
After obtaining a warrant, “Detectives searched the home and found the majority of the residence being used as a sophisticated, indoor marijuana grow operation,” Flores said. “Approximately 700 marijuana plants were being grown in various rooms throughout the house. The grow consisted of multiple rooms with lighting, ventilation, electrical wiring, irrigation and drying bins strewn throughout the residence.”
The home’s electrical system had been rewired to bypass the electrical meter, allowing the growers to steal their electricity, officials added.
Police saw no evidence the grow was medicinal, Flores said.
No one was inside the home when police arrived, and no arrests had been made Saturday, police said.
PHOTOS courtesy of the Arcadia Police Department
ARCADIA >> Arcadia police detectives are investigating a distraction burglary that resulted in the theft of jewelry, cash and cremated human remains.
A man posing as a utility worker entered the home of an 81-year-old woman at 10:25 a.m. Tuesday in the 1100 block of Valencia Way and took the items, which included the victim’s husband’s remains, Arcadia police Lt. Roy Nakamura said.
“The ashes were kept in a paper bag in the box,” Nakamura said. “I think the thieves thought that, because of the weight, it contained something valuable.”
People should verify who they are talking to if they are approached by anyone wishing to enter their property, Nakamura advised. Ask for identification and call the police if the person does not provide identification.
Arcadia police can be reached at the non-emergency line at 626-574-5123 or by dialing 9-1-1.
– By Melissa Masatani
SKETCH courtesy of the Arcadia Police Department
ARCADIA >> A man kidnapped a woman early Wednesday and held her hostage for 11 hours while sexually assaulting her before deputies freed the woman and ultimately arrested the suspect, officials said.
Philippe Lutete, 29, was jailed on suspicion on suspicion of kidnapping and rape, according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s Deputy Trina Schrader.
The incident began about 3 a.m. when Lutete abducted the victim, a 25-year-old woman, as she walked in the area of Longden Avenue and Peck Road, Schrader said.
“The suspect grabbed and carried the victim into his car,” Schrader said in a written statement. “He drove the victim to his home where he continuously sexually assaulted her.”
The woman remained a captive for 11 hours, until she managed to briefly flee from her attacker’s home om the 2800 block of Ashmont Avenue about 2 p.m., officials said.
“The victim managed to escape and briefly speak to a neighbor when the suspect dragged her back into his home,” Schrader said. The neighbor notified deputies.
“When the deputies arrived at the home on a disturbance call, the suspect fled the location through a side window.”
Paramedics took the woman to a hospital for treatment and examination, Lt. Loy McBride said.
Deputies summoned a SWAT team to assist them as they searched the area for the kidnapper,Sgt. Julie Geary said. The search perimeter extended south to Live Oak Avenue and east to Peck Road.
Authorities called off the search about 5 p.m., but resumed several hours later after the suspect was again spotted.
Deputies found Lutete hiding nearby on Mayflower Avenue about 9 p.m., sheriff’s officials said. He was arrested without a struggle.
Wednesday was not the first time Lutete’s was accused of a similar crime, officials said.
“The suspect is currently out on bond with a past similar arrest,” Schrader said.
Local deputies turned over the investigation to detectives from the Sheriff’s Special Victims Bureau, which investigates sex crimes.