Arcadia man accused of DUI, hit-and-run following Pasadena crash

PASADENA >> An Arcadia man in a pickup truck blew through a red light while drunk, injuring a man and girl in a crash, then fled the scene late Thursday, authorities said.
Steve DiMartino, 46, was booked on suspicion of felony drunken driving and felony hit-and-run following the 11:05 p.m. crash at Green Street and Lake Avenue, Pasadena police Lt. John Mercado said.
DiMartino was at the wheel of a pickup truck that ran a red light on eastbound Green Street at Lake Avenue and collided with a Honda sedan, according to the lieutenant.
The driver of the Honda, a man in his 30s, and his passenger, a young girl, both suffered non-life-threatening injuries, he said. The man appeared to have suffered head injuries, and the girl’s injuries were included a bruised lung and lacerations to her face.
The pickup truck fled the scene of the crash, police said.
An off-duty police officer spotted the damaged car soon after, driving in the area of Washington Boulevard and Holliston Avenue, Mercado said. He thought the freshly damaged truck looked suspicious and reported the sighting to on-duty police.
“On-duty officers responded to the scene, stopped the car and found that he was intoxicated,” Mercado said.
According to county booking records, DiMartino was released from jail Friday afternoon pending his initial court appearance after posting $100,000 bail.

Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email

Arcadia theft suspect arrested following pursuit

A La Mirada man stole a GPS-laden “bait package” in Arcadia before leading police on a lengthy pursuit in a stolen car, then trying to hide inside a South Gate movie theater before being taken into custody on Thursday, authorities said.
Christopher Cook, 27, was ultimately arrested on suspicion of grand theft, auto theft and evading police following the incident, which began about 6:40 p.m.
“Arcadia police officers were dispatched to the 1600 block of Holly Avenue on a GPS package theft activation,” Arcadia police Lt. Vaughn Whalen said in a written statement.
Arcadia police regularly set out packages and bicycles equipped with GPS trackers to bust opportunistic thieves.
Police tracked the package to a parking lot in Hacienda Heights, where the suspect fled from officers in a Hyundai Sonata which was later determined to have been reported stolen, Whalen said.
Arcadia police soon cancelled the pursuit due to safety concerns, officials said. The fleeing car was speeding through red lights, and at times on the wrong side of the road, according to police radio traffic.
But officials continued following the suspect via helicopter, and California Highway Patrol officers resumed the chase on the westbound 60 Freeway.
The pursuit headed down the 60, 710 and 5 freeways before the suspect ditched his car in a parking structure near Garfield Avenue and Firestone Boulevard in South Gate and ran into a nearby movie theater as television news cameras broadcast live.
“Arcadia officers arrived at that location and with the assistance of multiple agencies, took the suspect into custody without incident,” Whalen said.
Officers could be seen in helicopter news footage escorting Cook from the theater in handcuffs about 9 p.m.

BOOKING PHOTO of Christopher Cook, 27, of La Mirada courtesy of the Arcadia Police Department.

Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email

Police: Man grabs sword and attacks employees at Arcadia karate studio, subdued by the martial artists

ARCADIA >> Police jailed an Altadena man who punched one person, then grabbed a sword from a karate studio and attacked three employees before being subdued by the martial artists and some good Samaritans, authorities said.
There was no apparent motive for the bizarre and unprovoked rampage, which unfolded just before 8 p.m. in the area of Huntington Drive and 1st Avenue, Arcadia police Lt. Vaughn Whalen said.
“The suspect entered a business in the 100 block of East Huntington Drive and punched an employee,” according to the lieutenant. “The suspect then entered a karate dojo in the same block and armed himself with a sheathed samurai sword from a display.”
He struck three employees of the karate studio with the sword while it was still sheathed, Whalen said said.
“He removed the sheath and swung the sword at the employees,” Whalen said. “The suspect then fled into a rear alley where the three employees and a couple of citizens held him down until officers arrived and took custody of him.”
Richard Sanchez, 24, of Altadena was booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon.
No significant injuries were reported in the incident.

Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email

Man and woman from Bakersfield accused of San Gabriel Valley mail, ID theft spree

SOUTH PASADENA >> Police in South Pasadena arrested a man and woman from Bakersfield on suspicion of stealing packages, mail, credit cards and other items on Wednesday.
Corey Ryan Bihm, 26, and Lauren Helstrom, 29, were booked on suspicion of residential burglary, grand theft, conspiracy and identity theft, according to South Pasadena police officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
Police were first summoned to a Vons market at 1129 Fair Oaks Avenue about 5:30 p.m. for a report of shoplifting, South Pasadena police Cpl. Craig Phillips said in a written statement.
“During the shoplifting investigation, officers found dozens of Amazon packages not addressed to either subject inside the vehicle,” Phillips said. Police soon confirmed the packages, valued at $2,700, has been stolen from the front porch of a home in Arcadia.
The suspects’ rental moving van was littered with “bags full of mail,” as well as dozens of stolen credit cards and many items with price tags still attached, according to Phillips. Police determined some of the mail had been stolen in South Pasadena and Arcadia.
Officers also recovered methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia from the suspects, he said. The moving van used by the suspects was later determined to have been stolen.
According to booking records, Bihm was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail pending his initial court appearance. Booking information for Helstrom was not available Thursday afternoon.

PHOTOS courtesy of the South Pasadena Police Department

Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email

Elderly woman with dementia goes missing in Arcadia

ARCADIA >> Authorities are seeking an 88-year-old woman with dementia who went missing in Arcadia on Sunday.
Rongzhen Tu was last seen about 12:40 p.m. on Sunday in the area of Baldwin Avenue and Duarte Road, According to Arcadia police Sgt. Ernest Lopez. She went missing while walking with her caretaker.
“The caretaker lost sight of Yu and was unable to locate her,” Lopez said in a written statement. She’s not seen or heard from since.
Though in good physical health, Yu requires daily medication for dementia, the sergeant said.
Yu speaks Mandarin and Japanese, but not English, Lt. Roy Nakamura said. She had no money or identification with her went she disappeared.
Police described Yu as Chinese, 5 feet 6 inches tall, 110 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. She was last seen bearing a brown jacket and black pants.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Arcadia Police Department at 626-574-5123.

PHOTO of Rongzhen Tu, 88, courtesy of the Arcadia Police Department.

Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email

Stolen car leads to marijuana grow house in Arcadia

ARCADIA >> A stolen car investigation led police to discover 600 marijuana plants growing inside an Arcadia home and arrest two suspects on Friday, officials said.
The series of events began about 10:30 a.m., when officers spotted a stolen car parked in the 200 block of West Palm Avenue, according to Arcadia police Lt. Roy Nakamura.
Police watched the car until a man exited a nearby home, got into the car and drove off, the lieutenant said.
Officers tried to pull the driver over, but he fled, initiating a chase.
Police briefly pursued the car before cancelling the chase due to safety concerns, Nakamura said. Officials soon found the stolen car abandoned in the 2000 block of St. James Drive in Temple City, but the driver remained at large.
As officers continued their investigation back at the home from which the suspect emerged, they found “an active marijuana grow operation involving approximately 600 plants,” according to Nakamura.
Two men at the home, identified as Ian Woodworth, 38, of Denver, Colorado and Wayne Chong, 49, of North Hollywood, were arrested on suspicion of cultivating marijuana, according to police and county booking records.
Chong was free on a $50,000 bond at the time of his arrest, according to county booking records.
Police in Arcadia arrested him Feb. 22 on suspicion of false impersonation of another, using a driver’s license to commit gforgery, possession of a document with a forged government seal and driving on a suspended license.
He posted bail the same day he was arrested. Charges were yet to be filed when he again found himself in handcuffs on Friday.
“At this time, it appears the cultivation is connected to the stolen vehicle,” Nakamura added.
Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Arcadia police at 626-574-5151. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email

Arcadia’s police dog, Zoli, to get bullet-proof vest

ARCADIA >> The Arcadia Police Department lone K-9 will be patrolling the city with a new bullet- and stab-resistant vest, thanks to an anonymous donor and non-profit group dedicated to keeping four-legged law enforcement officers safe.
Zoli, a not-quite-2-year-old German shepherd-Belgian Malinois mix partnered with Officer Josh Foulks, will receive his new gear in eight to ten weeks, Arcadia police officials said in a written statement.
The vest is being procured by an anonymous donor, through the national nonprofit organization Vested Interest in K9s. It will be embroidered with the phrase, “Born to love — Trained to serve — Loyal always.”
Zoli joined the Arcadia Police Department in November, becoming the department’s first K-9 in 12 years. He is cross-trained for both suspect apprehension drug detection.
Vested Interest in K9s is a charity organization founded in 2009 and based in Taunton, Massachusetts, with the mission of providing bullet- and stab-resistant vests to police dogs throughout the Unites States.
The vests, which are custom made Armor Express in Central Lake, Michigan, are valued at $1,795 to $2,234 each, Arcadia police officials said. Through Vested Interest in K9s, $1,050 must be raised for each vest supplied.
The organization has distributed more than 2,400 K9 vests in all 50 states, including many to San Gabriel Valley law enforcement agencies.
Eligible dogs must be actively employed by a U.S. law enforcement agency, certified and at least 20 months old. Both new applicants and dogs with vests that have passed their five-year expiration dates can participate.
For more information, visit Vested Interest in K9s at

PHOTOS: [ABOVE]: Arcadia police Officer Josh Fouls and K-9 Zoli, courtesy. [BELOW] File courtesy photo – Monterey Park Police K-9 Robin, with handler Agent Peter Palomino, received a protective vest in June of 2015 as a donation from nonprofit organizations Vested Interest in K9s Inc. and the Animal Health Foundation of Lake Forest.

Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email

Whittier man accused of molesting boy at Arcadia gym

ARCADIA >> Police jailed a Whittier man Monday on suspicion of molesting a boy in the shower of an Arcadia gym, officials said.
The incident was reported just before 10:40 a.m. on March 20 at 24 Hour Fitness, 125 N. First Ave., according to Arcadia Police Department logs.
Police said the man first initiated a “sexually suggestive conversation” while in the spa with the boy.
“When the victim left to take a shower, the suspect followed him and groped him,” according to the log.
Police found and arrested Rodolfo Delgadill Cruz, 47, of Whittier on suspicion of child molestation, according to Arcadia police spokesman Tom LeVeque and Los Angeles County booking records.
Cruz pleaded not guilty to a charge of committing a lewd or lascivious act on a child under 14 years old on March 23 and is scheduled to return to the Pasadena branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court for a preliminary hearing setting on April 20, court records show.
In the meantime, he was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail at the Men’s Central Jail in Los Angeles.

PHOTO: Rodolfo D. Cruz, 47l, of Whittier, (Courtesy)

Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email

Police impersonators sought in failed Arcadia robbery

ARCADIA >> Police are seeking two men who tried to rob another man while impersonating Arcadia police officers earlier this month.
The crime took place about 6:30 p.m. on March 10, Arcadia police spokesman Tom LeVeque said.
The victim was sitting at a bus stop near Baldwin and Camino Real avenues when a black Ford Crown Victoria, the same type of car often used by police, approached him through a parking lot while illuminating him with its headlight, Arcadia police officials said in a written statement issued Thursday.
“Two subjects got out of the Crown Vic, shining a spotlight from the passenger side at the man,” according to the statement. “The two subjects approached the man telling him they were with Arcadia PD and to stand up.”
Both police impersonators lifted their shirts to display some sort of badge affixed to their waists, police said.
“One subject began to “pat down” the man and removed his wallet and cell phone. The subject looked through the wallet but as an unknown person walked by, the subjects ran back to the Crown Vic, leaving the wallet and phone.”
There was no money inside the wallet to steal, police added.
The would-be robbers were last seen driving west along Huntington Drive.
Police described the counterfeit cops as two Asian men of medium build, with short dark hair, wearing dark clothing and windbreakers. One was 25 to 30 years old, while the other was 19 or 20. They remain at large.
The impersonators told the victim they were armed, though no weapons were seen.
Arcadia police have not received any reports of similar incidents, officials said.
“If our officers are in plain clothes conducting enforcement, they will be readily identifiable, most often wearing marked raid jackets, shirts, or vests, and if not immediately involved with police action, will show their identification,” according to the police statement. “All of our unmarked police vehicles are also equipped with blue-(and)-red emergency lighting.”
Anyone with information can reach Arcadia police at 626-574-5151. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email

Woman pepper sprayed during Arcadia robbery

ARCADIA >> Police are seeking a man and two women who pepper sprayed a woman during an armed robbery at an Arcadia business on Friday afternoon, authorities said.
The crime took place shortly before 2 p.m. in the 100 block of East St. Joseph Street, according to Arcadia police Sgt. Luis Juarez.
The woman, an employee of a nearby business, was walking down the street when the three attackers approached, he said.
“The victim stated a female suspect pepper sprayed her as a second female suspect stole the victim’s wallet,” Juarez said in a written statement. “The male suspect told the victim he had a gun and she felt what she believed was a gun pressed up against her body.”
After obtaining the woman’s wallet, the robbers were last seen running west along First Avenue, he said.
Police described the robbers as a Latino man and two Latina women between 25 and 30 years old.
The man was heavyset and wore basketball shorts and a dark-colored shirt.
One of the female robbers wore black clothing, a black hat and black sunglasses, police said. The other had acne on her face and wore workout clothes, a black hat and black sunglasses.
The victim suffered irritation from the pepper spray but did not require to be taken to a hospital, Juarez said.
Anyone with information can reach Arcadia police at 626-574-5151. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email