ARCADIA >> After 12 years without a police K-9 on duty, the Arcadia Police Department is welcoming a German Shepherd-Belgian Malinoi mix named Officer Zoli to the force.
Zoli is a Solvakia-born 18-month-old German shepherd-Belgian Malinois mix, Arcadia police officials said in a written statement.
Partnered with Officer Josh Foulks, Zoli is cross-trained to both apprehend suspects and sniff out drugs, officials said.
Foulks and Zoli are expected to complete their initial training this week, before beginning patrol training alongside fellow officers next week.
The “extensive” training course is being provided by Gold Coast K9 in Moorpark.
“It has been over 12 years since the Arcadia Police Department fielded a K9 unit and we are looking forward to this addition to our services,” according to the statement. “Funding for Zoli and his training was made possible through the Arcadia Police Foundation, founded in 2015.”
ARCADIA >> Rescuers freed a young deer from a predicament after the animal became stuck in a backyard fence in Arcadia over the weekend.
Officials received word about 11:30 a.m. on Friday that the juvenile doe — a deer, a female deer — had become stuck between the bars of a metal gate in the 1200 block of Oakhaven Avenue, Arcadia Fire Department officials said in a written statement.
“Upon arrival, fire personnel found a deer stuck within a wrought iron gate,” the statement said. “Fire crews assisted Pasadena (Humane Society & SPCA) with freeing the deer.”
The animal was nor worse for the wear, officials said.
According to the statement, “The deer was released back into the hillside with its herd.”
PHOTO courtesy of the Arcadia Fire Department
ARCADIA >> Police jailed two suspects and sought a third on Saturday after they allegedly burglarized several cars at an Arcadia mall, led police on a chase and ultimately slammed into a pickup truck while running a red light.
Yiyon Tyree Farley, 19, of Vallejo and Jabril Marcelle Tom, 21, of San Francisco were booked on suspicion of burglary, evading police and hit-and-run in connection with the incident, which began about 3:40 p.m. at the Westfield Santa Anita shopping mall, 400 S. Baldwin Avenue, Covina police Lt. Tom Cullen said in a written statement.
A witness flagged down an officer at the mall to point out a group of three people seen breaking into several cars, the lieutenant said.
The driver refused to pull over, initiating a chase. Police cancelled the pursuit due to safety concerns when it reached the area of Huntington Drive and First Avenue, Cullen said.
The fleeing car sideswiped another vehicle at Huntington Drive and Second Avenue, resulting in now injuries, and continued driving, he said.
“The suspects then drove south on Second Avenue, and they failed to stop for the red light at Duarte Road,” Cullen said. An eastbound pickup truck collided with the suspects’ car.
A woman inside the pickup suffered “moderate” injuries, he said. All three suspects abandoned their crashed getaway car and continued fleeing on foot.
Officers found and arrested Farley and Tom in the area, officials said. A third suspect who fled from the car remained at-large.
Both suspects were treated at a hospital for injuries suffered in the crash before being booked into jail.
According to county booking records, Farley and Tom were being held in lieu of $75,000 bail each pending their initial court appearances, scheduled Tuesday in the Pasadena branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court.
LOS ANGELES COUNTY >> Police throughout the region will be cracking down on drunken and drugged drivers with checkpoints and extra enforcement this Labor Day weekend, with one inviting the public to tag along virtually online.
Whittier, Montebello, Arcadia and Azusa police are each planning checkpoints in their respective cities Friday night into early Saturday, according to the departments.
In Azusa, police will be broadcasting their anti-DUI efforts and answering questions from the public online via Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat, Officer Mike Bires said.
Azusa’s “Tweet from the Beat” will take place from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, he said. Follow along at www.facebook.com/AzusaPD, www.twitter.com/azusapd or www.snapchat.com/add/azusapd.
“(Officers will) explain what happens during a traffic stop, share accident investigation information and highlight traffic safety concerns for the city of Azusa,” Azusa police said in a written statement. “In addition to this, the community will be able to ask questions live, while the officers are in the field.
The checkpoints are being funded by a grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, through the California Office of Traffic Safety.
ARCADIA >> An elderly man from China who went missing in Arcadia while visiting family Thursday morning turned up safe Thursday night, police said.
Tong Huang, 78, was reported missing after he went for a walk in Arcadia and failed to return, Arcadia police officials said in a written statement. The senior, who speaks only Mandarin, was visiting family from China and had been in the U.S. for about a month.
But the search was called off after Huang was found safe and reunited with his family Thursday night, police said.
A good Samaritan spotted Huang at a Pasadena supermarket late Thursday and thought he appeared lost, Lt. Tom Cullen said.
The good Samaritan provided Huang with a ride home, he said. Once there, Huang’s family notified police that he had returned home safely.
The FBI is seeking a possibly sleep deprived serial bank robber dubbed the “Baggy Eyes Bandit” in connection with a spate of six bank heists in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Orange and Riverside counties dating back to late-February, officials said.
The bandit, who earned his nickname due to witnesses describing him as having “baggy eyes,” is linked to five bank robberies and one failed bank robbery, according to FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller.
“The suspect known as the Baggy Eyes Bandit enters the bank branch and passes a note to the victim tellers demanding cash while threatening a weapon,” Eimiller said in a written statement. “No weapon has been seen by witnesses, however, the suspect should be considered potentially armed and dangerous.”
Each of the robberies took place at Citibank branches.
Eimiller said the serial robber has been linked to a robbery Wednesday at a Norco branch; an Aug. 4 robbery at a Chino Hills branch; a July 14 heist at a Rancho Cucamonga branch; a March 4 failed robbery in Arcadia; a March 4 robbery in Placentia and a Feb 29 robbery in Glendora.
In each case, the bandit was last seen fleeing on foot. No getaway car has been reported in connection with the crimes.
He’s described as a white man in hiss mid-20s, about 5 feet 7 inches tall, of thin build. He wears a dark baseball cap during the robberies, and some victims described him as having a Middle Eastern accent.
Anyone with information can reach the 24-hour tip line of the FBI’s Los Angeles office at 310-477-6565. Anyone who spots the bandit is urged to call 911.
PHOTOS courtesy of the FBI
ARCADIA >> Police are seeking a 78-year-old man visiting Arcadia from China who went for a walk and never returned Thursday morning.
Tong Huang was last seen about 7:30 a.m. on the area Huntington Drive and Sunset Boulevard, Arcadia police said in a written statement.
Huang, who is visiting family in Arcadia, has been in the U.S. for about a month and speaks only Mandarin, police said.
“Mr. Huang has been in the habit of taking a morning walk and did so this morning, however, did not return as usual,” according to the police statement. “He has no money, no phone, and no destination other than the Arcadia relatives. Mr. Huang is in good health.”
He’s described as Asian, 5 feet 6 inches tall, 140 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing a white shirt, gray pants and black shoes.
Anyone who spots Huang is asked to contact local law enforcement, or Arcadia police at 626-574-5123.
PHOTO of Tong Huang courtesy of the Arcadia Police Department.
ARCADIA >> Police are seeking the driver of a Mercedes-Benz who struck and critically injured a 72-year-old Arcadia man, then fled the scene early Thursday, officials said.
The hit-and-run took place about 7:20 a.m. in the 600 block of West Camino Real Avenue, just east of Baldwin Avenue, according to Arcadia police Sgt. Kollin Cieadlo.
Roop Garg of Arcadia was hospitalized in critical condition at the Methodist Hospital in Arcadia, the sergeant said.
“Preliminary investigation revealed the suspect vehicle was traveling westbound on Camino Real Avenue when it struck a pedestrian walking westbound in the street,” Cieadlo said in a written statement.
The driver briefly stopped his car near Camino Real and Baldwin avenues.
“The driver exited and walked around his vehicle, ultimately getting back into his vehicle and fleeing south on Baldwin Avenue,” Cieadlo said.
Witnesses described the car as a white, newer-model Mercedes-Benz with paper license plates, police said.
The driver was an Asian man of about 70 years old, with gray hair. He was clean-shaven and wore short-sleeve shirt and slacks.
Anyone with information was urged to contact Arcadia police at 626-574-5156 regarding case 16-4233. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
PHOTO of suspect vehicle courtesy of the Arcadia Police Department.
Recent takeover robberies at banks in Arcadia, San Marino and Santa Monica have been linked to a pair of serial robbers the FBI has dubbed, “The Palm Tree Bandits,” authorities said Friday.
The robbers, who earned their moniker due to baseball caps emblazoned with palm tree logos they wore during the crimes, struck Thursday at a First Bank branch, 848 W. Duarte Road in Arcadia, as well as July 28 at a One West Bank at 900 Huntington Drive in San Marino, and July 18 at a Banc of California at 2635 Wilshire Blvd. in Santa Monica, FBI officials said in a written statement.
The FBI described the crimes as “violent takeover robberies.”
“They are considered armed and dangerous,” according to the FBI statement. “At least one suspect brandishes a handgun during the robberies.”
In Thursday’s robbery in Arcadia, the robbers donned surgical masks, latex gloves and orange construction vests during the heist. In other robberies, the robbers’ faces were uncovered and recorded by bank surveillance cameras.
Both robbers were armed with handguns during the Arcadia crime, Lt. Tom Cullen said.
In the San Marino robbery, only one of the robbers was seen with a gun, San Marino police Detective Brian Wong said. The suspect fled the area in a red SUV.
The FBI has teamed with Arcadia, San Marino and Santa Monica police in the investigation.
Officials described the bandits as two black men between 20 and 30 years old.
One is about 5 feet 9 inches tall and of thin build. The second robber is of heavy build.
Anyone with information is asked to contact local police, or the FBI’s 24-hour Los Angeles-area tip line at 310-477-6565.
PHOTOS courtesy of the FBI
ARCADIA >> Two men wearing surgical masks and orange construction vests robbed an Arcadia bank branch Thursday afternoon, authorities said.
The heist took place about 1:15 p.m. at the First Bank, 848 W. Duarte Road, according to Arcadia police Lt. Tom Cullen.
Both robbers brandished handguns as they demanded cash from a teller and fled with an undisclosed amount of cash, the lieutenant said.
They were last seen running from the bank. No getaway car was seen.
Police described both robbers as black men, between 20 and 30 years old, about 5 feet 7 inches tall and of thin build. According to initial reports from the scene, they wore surgical style masks, latex gloves and orange construction-style vests.
Anyone with information is urged to contact Arcadia police at 626-674-5151 in reference to case 1604107. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.