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

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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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Pasadena man, West Covina man accused of torching Lexus for insurance money

PASADENA >> Investigators Friday jailed a West Covina and a Pasadena man on suspicion of reporting a car stolen from an Arcadia shopping mall, then torching it in Pasadena in an insurance fraud scheme.
Tony Martinez Jr, 26, of West Covina and Robert Luis Palacios, 44, of Pasadena, were arrested Friday morning and booked on suspicion of arson, conspiracy, insurance fraud and filing a false police report, according to Pasadena Fire Department officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
Martinez owned the scorched 2008 Lexus IS 250 involved in the alleged fraud, fire spokeswoman Lisa Derderian said. She described Palacios as his friend.
The arrest came following more than six weeks of investigation, which began about 8:45 p.m. Jan. 25 when Pasadena police were notified of a 2008 Lexus IS 250 which was on fire at Lincoln Avenue and Del Monte Street, Pasadena police Lt. Jason Clawson said at the time.
After extinguishing the flames, firefighters determined the fire was suspicious, Clawson said. A possible suspect was spotted leaving the area of the burning car.
About 45 minutes later, Martinez called police in Arcadia to report his 2008 Lexus IS 250 had been stolen from the Westfield Santa Anita shopping mall, according to Arcadia police Sgt. John Bonomo.
Investigators determined Martinez and Palacios had conspired to stage a fake car theft and torch the Lexus as part of a conspiracy to commit insurance fraud, culminating in Friday’s arrests, Pasadena fire officials said.
According to county booking records, Martinez was released from custody a little more than three hours after his arrest on $50,000 bail. Palacios remained behind bars Friday in lieu of $50,000 bail pending his initial court appearance.

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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.

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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.

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Fire leads officials to marijuana grow house in Arcadia

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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