Police seize 438 marijuana plants from Arcadia home; suspect arrested

ARCADIA — Police seized more than 400 marijuana plants from an Arcadia home late Saturday and arrested a 60-year-old man in connection with the indoor pot garden, officials said.
Yong Fa Jiang of Arcadia was booked on suspicion of cultivation of marijuana, according to Arcadia police officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
The bust came about 10 p.m. after police officers patrolling the area spotted a “suspicious vehicle” parked along the street in the 2000 block of South Sixth Avenue, Arcadia police Lt. Tom Cullen said in a written statement.
“Officers contacted a person near the vehicle, and their preliminary investigation revealed that a marijuana cultivation operation was being conducted inside a nearby house,” Cullen said.
Further detail regarding what tipped off police to the grow house were not available.
“The grow consisted of several rooms with lighting, ventilation, and electrical wiring run throughout the house,“ Cullen said.
Police ultimately uprooted 438 marijuana plants, “in various stages of growth,” Sgt. Dan Crowther said.
Jiang was released from jail Sunday morning after posting $10,000 bail, records show.
Arcadia police detectives are handling the investigation, and anyone with information was asked to contact the Arcadia Police Department and reference case 14-3018. Tips may also be submitted anonymously via L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Police: Temple City woman pepper sprays repossession agent in Arcadia

ARCADIA >> Deputies arrested a man and woman from Temple City Thursday after they scuffled with a repossession agent and the woman sprayed him with pepper spray, officials said.
Fiawna Jones, 27, was arrested on suspicion of illegal use of pepper spray, a felony, shortly after the 1:15 p.m. incident at a commercial parking lot at Colorado Boulevard and Santa Anita Avenue, Arcadia police Lt. Roy Nakamura said.
Also arrested, cited and released with a court date was her boyfriend, 47-year-old Raul Chavez, who was accused of battery for allegedly shoving the repossession agent, the lieutenant said.
The agent arrived to repossess an Acura when Chavez became involved in an argument with him, which escalated to pushing, Nakamura said.
Jones then pulled out a canister of pepper spray and squirted it into the repossession agent’s face before fleeing the scene in a different car, he said. The agent received first-aid at the scene, but was not taken to a hospital, and continued repossessing the car.
Police found Jones driving nearby and arrested her, Nakamura said. She was being held in lieu of $20,000 bail pending her initial court appearance.

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San Gabriel Valley police, firefighters to square off on basketball court in Arcadia to help the Special Olympics

2014 Battle of the Badges

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 washby@ci.arcadia.ca.us.

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Police seek missing, possibly suicidal Arcadia man

Police asked the public’s help Sunday in locating a missing, possibly suicidal Arcadia man.
Blair Christopher Polk, 44, was last seen about 1:15 p.m. Saturday at his home, Arcadia police officials said in a written statement.
“Mr. Polk suffers from paranoid schizophrenia and has recently made suicidal statements,” according to the statement. He was described as white, 5 feet 7 inches tall, 155 pounds, with brown hair in a pony tail and green eyes. He has a scar or mark on his chin. He was last seen wearing dark-colored shorts, a T-shirt and sneakers.
ANyone with information was asked to contact Arcadia police at 626-574-5123. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Arcadia apartment building fire displaces 13, injures one

ARCADIA >> A fire at an Arcadia apartment building displaced 13 people, injured one and caused about $300,000 worth of damage, officials said.
The fire was reported at 1:43 a.m. at an apartment building in the 600 block of Windsor Road, Arcadia Fire Department spokeswoman Beth Stogner said in a written statement.
“Upon their arrival, firefighters encountered heavy fire and smoke coming from an upstairs unit of an eight unit apartment building,” Stogner said. “The unit of origin was fully involved in fire, which had extended into the attic space.”
Firefighters managed to extinguish the flames in about 20 minutes, she said.
All 13 residents of the apartment complex got out of the burning building before firefighters arrived.
“One occupant was transported to a local hospital for smoke inhalation and minor cuts,” Stogner said.
The Red Cross was summoned to help the displaced residents find lodging.
Fire officials estimated the fire caused $250,000 worth of damage to the building, and another $50,000 to items stored inside.
The fire ignited in a sleeping area and was initially believed to be accidental, though the specific cause remained under investigation.

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Burglars flee empty-handed after breaking into Arcadia Nordstrom

ARCADIA >> Three burglars broke into an Arcadia Nordstrom store early Saturday and headed for the jewelry case, but fled empty-handed, police said.
The 4:07 a.m. break-in at the store in the Westfield Santa Anita shopping mall, 400 S. Baldwin Avenue, was the second similar crime reported at the retailer in recent months, Arcadia police Sgt. Vaughn Whalen said.
Three burglars forced their way into the same store just after 4 a.m. Dec. 31, escaping with as much as $230,000 worth of jewelry and purses, Lt. Mike Castro said at the time.
But the store no longer stores jewelry in display cases overnight, Whalen said. Surveillance footage of the burglary shows the intruders going over to the jewelry display cases, then fleeing after finding it empty.
They had pried open a door to get into the Nordstrom store, Whalen added. The burglars were initially described only as three people, two of them wearing black ski masks.
Investigators had yet to determined whether Saturday morning’s break-in was related to the previous Nordstrom burglary on New Year’s Eve.
“Our detectives will be looking into all aspects of it,” Whalen said.
In the December crime, three burglars entered the store through a window before helping themselves to between $100,000 and $200,000 worth of jewelry, as well as $20,000 to $30,000 worth of purses, Castro said. A detailed description of the three burglars was not available.

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UPDATED: Elderly Arcadia man fatally struck by pickup truck; second man injured

ARCADIA >> An elderly Arcadia man died and another was injured late Wednesday after they were struck by a pickup truck while crossing Huntington Drive near the Westfield Santa Anita shopping mall, authorities said.
A 78-year-old Arcadia man and a 76-year-old Arcadia man, were struck as they crossed Huntington Drive at Gate 1 about 9:15 p.m., Arcadia police Lt. Tom Cullen said.
Both men were taken to Huntington Hospital in Pasadena, where the 78-year-old man succumbed to his injuries a short time later, Cullen said. His identity was not available.
The other man suffered injuries described as moderate and was expected to survive.
“Preliminary investigation revealed that two adult men were walking from the northwest corner of the intersection in a southeast direction across Westbound Huntington Drive, well outside of the designated north/south crosswalk on the east side of the intersection,” Cullen said.
The 1983 Toyota pickup truck that struck the men was being driven west on Huntington Drive by a 19-year-old Arcadia man, Cullen said. The driver was cooperating with authorities and was not arrested Wednesday.
Police said the intersection is normally controlled by a traffic signals, but the signals were not functioning due to a power outage. The signals began functioning again minutes after the incident.

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Arcadia firefighters to ‘Fill the Boot’ for charity

ARCADIA >> Firefighters are planning to once again “Fill the Boot” at an Arcadia intersection next month to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
Off-duty Arcadia Fire Department personnel with accept donations from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 11 outside Fire Station 106, at Huntington Drive and Baldwin Avenue, fire department officials said in a written statement.
“Firefighters will be stationed on all four corners of the intersection and will approach vehicles in a safety conscious manner only when motioned to do so by charitable and generous motorists,” according to the statement. The event may result in minor traffic delays.

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

0328_NWS_PSN-L-BURGLARYRING

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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Five DUI suspects arrested during Arcadia checkpoint

ARCADIA — Police arrested five people on suspicion of drunken driving during a checkpoint held late Saturday and early Sunday, officials said.
The checkpoint took place from 9 p.m. Saturday to 3 a.m. Sunday along Baldwin Avenue at Gate 8 of the Westfield Santa Anita shopping mall, according to Arcadia police Sgt. Brett Bourgeous.
Nearly 3,000 cars passed through the checkpoint, and officers screened 2,057 drivers, the sergeant said.
Officers administered 12 field sobriety tests, ultimately arresting for adults on suspicion of drunken driving, he said. A minor was also arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol.
Another driver was cited for having an open container of alcohol inside a vehicle, police said.
Two people were arrested due to outstanding traffic warrants, Bourgeous said. Twelve drivers were cited for driving without a valid license, and five motorists were arrested or cited for driving on suspended licenses.
Police impounded five vehicles for 30 days, and seven vehicles for one day.
Police in nearby Pasadena also hosted a checkpoint in that city late Friday into early Saturday, however the results of the checkpoint were not available Sunday.

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