Neighbor helps police nab Arcadia burglary suspectl; two more sought

ARCADIA — Police jailed one alleged burglar and sought two more after a witness reported seeing the intruders in the backyard of a neighbor’s Foothill Boulevard home, officials said.
Kenneth Wayne James, 19, of Altadena was booked on suspicion of burglary following a neighborhood search, which kicked off shortly after noon in the 1100 block of west Foothill Boulevard, according to Arcadia police Lt. Bob Anderson.
The witness called police to report seeing three men he did not recognize in a neighbor’s backyard.
“Upon arrival, three male suspects ran from officers,” Anderson said. Their car was found in the driveway of the burglary victim’s home and seized as evidence.
James was found and arrested during a search of the area, Anderson said. The other two men remained at-large.
“Investigation reveals the suspects had forced a hole in the back door, however, no entry was made to the home because of the keen observations and action by the neighbor,” Anderson said.
James was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail pending his initial court appearance, officials added.

St. Patrick’s Day weekend DUI crackdown: checkpoints planned in Whittier, Pico Rivera, Arcadia, Pasadena unincorporated West Covina

LOS ANGELES COUNTY >> Law enforcement officers throughout Los Angeles County are gearing up for checkpoints and extra patrols seeking intoxicated drivers this St. Patrick’s Day weekend.
Checkpoints in Whittier, Pico Rivera, Arcadia, Pasadena and the unincorporated county area of West Covina are just five of the 13 checkpoints taking place this weekend in the county, along with 87 roving DUI patrols, according to representatives of the task force of law enforcement agencies collectively known as “Avoid the 100.”
“When you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, just be smart about it,” Glendora police Chief Tim Staab said in a written statement. “If you know you’re going to drink, whether with friends at a pub or attending a party designate a sober driver ahead of time or call a taxi to make sure you get home safely.”
According to statistics compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, one person died every 53 minutes in a DUI-related crash in the United States in 2011.
“Most of these crashes involved drunk drivers who had blood-alcohol concentrations of .15 or higher, almost twice the legal limit of .08,” the task force statement said.
Whittier police are planning a checkpoint Friday night into Saturday morning within Whittier, according to Whittier police Sgt. Rob Hanson.
Pasadena police are also planning checkpoint Friday, as well as extra patrols to seek DUI drivers on St. Patrick’s Day, Pasadena police Lt. Pete Hettema said.
Arcadia police have announced plans to hold a checkpoint late Saturday into early Saturday within that city, Arcadia police Sgt. Brett Bourgeous said.
Sheriff’s deputies in Pico Rivera and California Highway Patrol officers in the unincorporated county area near West Covina will also hold a checkpoint late Saturday into Sunday, according to officials from each agency.
All of the checkpoints and additional patrols are being funded by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Fire leads officials to marijuana grow house in Arcadia

0219_NWS_PSN-L-GROW

Arcadia police is investigating a marijuana “grow house” found Monday during an electrical fire call, Sgt. Jason Davis said.
Arcadia fire and police responded to a call at 8:49 a.m. about a transformer on fire at a residence in the 2400 block of Louise Avenue, Davis said.
When first responders arrived, they found a small roof fire caused by wires, officials said.
“In an attempt to locate persons inside the residence and get them to safety, officers made entry into the house and observed numerous marijuana plants in different stages of cultivation,” Davis said in a written statement. Officers then summoned detectives to the scene.
“Detectives searched the residence and recovered 2,489 live marijuana plants along with sophisticated growing equipment used for the cultivation of the crops,” Davis said.
Additionally, police found the home’s wiring had been rewired to bypass the Southern California Edison meter, effectively stealing it’s electricity from the utility, police said.
An SCE officials estimated between $16,000 and $20,000 worth of power had been stolen by the grow house, Davis said.
No one was at the home at the time of the fire, and no suspects had been arrested, police said.
Anyone with information, call the Arcadia Police Department at 626-574-5150. Anonymous tips can also be submitted by calling 1-800-222-8477.

PHOTO courtesy of the Arcadia Police Department

- Venusse Navid and Brian Day

Senior couple struck by minivan near Arcadia mall

ARCADIA — A man and wife in their 60s suffered moderate injuries Saturday when they were struck by a minivan while crossing Baldwin Avenue near the Westfield Santa Anita shopping mall, police said.
The incident took place just after 3 p.m. along Baldwin Avenue at Gate 9 of the mall, Arcadia police Sgt. Brett Bourgeous said.
The man and woman, whose city of residence was not immediately clear, were walking in a crosswalk when they were struck by a minivan making a left turn fro the mall onto Baldwin Avenue, the sergeant said.
They were both conscious and breathing when taken to Huntington Hospital in Pasadena for treatment, he said. The man’s injuries appeared to be more significant and included head trauma.
The driver of the minivan, a woman estimated to be in her 60s, remained at the scene and cooperated with police, Bourgeous said. The cause of the collision remained under investigation, however nothing criminal was initially suspected.

Woman confronts burglar inside Arcadia home; four suspects jailed

ARCADIA — Police jailed four people suspicion of burglary Wednesday after a woman confronted three of them inside her home, authorities said.
Mario Dasean Weicks, 19, of Irvine; Quatrelle Jaquin Carroll, 19, of Long Beach; Milton Keith Sanders, 20, of Long Beach; and Jasmine Monique Douroux, 21, of Lakewood were arrested shortly after the 1:40 p.m. break-in at a home in the 00 block of West Palm Drive, according to Arcadia police officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
The three male suspects knocked on the door of a house, but a woman inside did not answer, Arcadia police Lt. Tom Le Veque said in a written statement.
“One of the men made his way to the back sliding door and made entry to the home through the unlocked door,” the sergeant said. “The resident saw the man inside the home and yelled at him. The suspect fled, along with his cohorts, to an awaiting vehicle being driven by a female.”
The resident reported the intrusion to police, who spotted a car matching the description in the area and pulled it over, Le Veque said.
Police found items in the car that were determined to have been stolen earlier in the day during a break-in in Los Angeles, he said. Electronics, jewelry, cash and other items were those seized as evidence.
The investigation was ongoing, and police were working to link the group of alleged burglars to additional crimes.
According to county booking records, Sanders, who had a previous case pending, was being held without bail pending his initial court appearance, while Weicks was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail.
Carroll and Douroux were both released from custody Thursday after posting $50,000 bail, records show. All four suspects were due to be arraigned Friday in Pasadena Superior Court.

UPDATED: Arcadia boy critically injured in collision with SUV while riding scooter

ARCADIA — Rescuers rushed a 12-year-old Arcadia boy to a hospital in critical condition after he was struck by an SUV while riding a push scooter in a residential neighborhood Wednesday, officials said.
The collision took place just after 6 p.m. on Second Avenue at El Dorado Street, according to Arcadia police Lt. Mike Castro.
The boy was riding his scooter northbound in the southbound bicycle lane prior to the collision, police said. A Toyota RAV4 was being driven south on Second Avenue by a 65-year-old El Monte woman.
“The juvenile veered into the southbound lane of traffic and was stuck by the vehicle,” Castro said.
Paramedics took him to the pediatric intensive care unit at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, where he was listed in critical condition with head injuries, Castro said. He had not been wearing a helmet.
The driver was not injured, and no crime was initially suspected, officials said. The cause of the crash was being investigated by the Arcadia Police Department’s Major Accident Investigation Team.
Anyone with information was asked to contact Arcadia police at 626-574-5150.

Monrovia senior citizen loses $9,500 to scammers; suspect in custody

MONROVIA — A senior lost $9,500 in a scam and another was behind bars in connection with the alleged caper Wednesday, officials said.
Buddy Young Johnson, 67, of Norwalk was booked on suspicion of grand theft by trickery and theft with prior theft convictions in connection with the incident, which unfolded Wednesday afternoon in Arcadia and Monrovia, according to Monrovia police officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
But the victim’s money, as well as a second suspect, remained unaccounted for Wednesday night, the sergeant said. No description of the outstanding con artist was available.
The incident began about 2 p.m. when the victim, Monrovia man in his late-60s, encountered a man at a 99 Cents Only Store in Arcadia, officials said.
The man told the victim he had $250,000 and wanted to travel to Africa, but was unable to send the money there himself, saying it would be confiscated. The scammer offered the victim compensation to help, but demanded the victim withdraw a significant amount of cash to prove his financial responsibility.
Johnson then approached the first suspect and victim, pretending not to know the other scammer and claiming he wanted to get in on the deal as well.
After Johnson claimed to have withdrawn $35,000 and showed it to the unidentified scammer, the initial con artist told the victim it was his turn, according to police.
The victim agreed to withdraw $9,500, which the scammers persuaded him to wrap in a rag so they could pray over it, investigators said. But at some point, the scammers switched the man’s money for another rag stuffed with newspaper.
As the victim was heading to the bank, he notified a family member of what was going on, Verna said. The family member met the victim and scammers at the bank, and managed to grab onto Johnson and hold him until police arrived.
The second suspect managed to flee with the victim’s money, Verna said. A description was not available.
Monrovia police notified other nearby law enforcement agencies of the arrest in hopes of tracking down additional victims of the alleged con artists.
According to county booking records, Johnson was being held in lieu of $20,000 bail pending his initial appearance Friday in Pasadena Superior Court.

Car stolen from Arcadia shopping mall, found ablaze in Pasadena

PASADENA — Police sought a person of interest after a Lexus was stolen from an Arcadia shopping mall, then found set ablaze in Pasadena.
Pasadena police were notified of a 2008 Lexus IS 250 on fire about 8:45 p.m. at Lincoln Avenue in Del Monte Street, Pasadena police Lt. Jason Clawson said.
Once firefighters extinguished the flames, it was determined the fire was suspicious in nature, and that the car had been stolen from the parking lot of the Westfield Santa Anita shopping mall in Arcadia earlier in the evening, according to Pasadena and Arcadia police.
The car’s owner emerged from the shopping mall to find the Lexus missing and reported it to police shortly before 9:30 p.m., Arcadia police Sgt. John Bonomo said.
But by the time the theft was discovered and reported, the luxury car was already in flames in Pasadena. It was believed to have been taken sometime after 8 p.m.
A “person of interest” was seen leaving the area of the burning car, Clawson said. He was described as a Latino man between 20 and 30 years old, about 5 feet 11 inches tall, with a shaved head and wearing a dark hooded sweat shirt and dark jeans.

Teen attacks man with metal pipe in Arcadia

ARCADIA — Police are seeking a teen who struck a day laborer in the head with a metal pipe Wednesday in due to an ongoing dispute, officials said.
The attack took place just after 3:20 p.m. in a parking lot at the corner of Live Oak and Santa Anita avenues, Arcadia police Lt. Mike Castro said.
The victim, a 43-year-old day laborer, had been involved in an argument Tuesday with a young man, the lieutenant said. It was unclear what the dispute was over.
The teenager returned to he parking lot Wednesday.
“Without warning, he struck the victim in the left side of the head with a metal pipe,” he said.
Police said the victim appeared to have suffered only a minor injury, but was taken to a hospital to be examined.
His attacker was described as a Latino boy of about 16 years old, of light complexion, wearing a blue shirt and khaki Dickes pants.
Police searched the area bit did not find the young man Wednesday afternoon.

Cab driver attacked after refusing to give man spare change in Arcadia

ARCADIA — Police are seeking a man who beat a cab driver in the head with a piece of wood after the cabbie refused to give him pocket change, officials said.
The incident unfolded shortly before 12:50 a.m. as the cab driver was parked at a gas station at Huntington Drive and 1st Avenue, Arcadia police Sgt. Dan Crowther said.
“He was approached by a suspect asking for change,” the sergeant said. “The cab driver declined. The suspect returned in a few minutes and hit the driver in the head with a piece of wood.”
Police described the weapon as a two-by-four. The cab driver, a man in his 50s, suffered a minor injury and declined to be taken to a hospital by paramedics.
The attacker was described as a Latino man, about 6 feet tall, of skinny build, wearing a black beanie, a blue jacket and a white, long-sleeve shirt.