AZUSA >> Police are seeking volunteers to help in an upcoming homeless count to help identify and address the issue of homelessness in Azusa.
The campaign will take place in Azusa Jan. 26 as part of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority’s 2016 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count, Azusa police Officer Mike Bires explained.
In response to increasing complaints and issues regarding the homeless in Azusa, police are stepping-up their efforts to identify the level of need in the community and match those in need to appropriate services, the officer said.
“Although being homeless is not a crime, the Azusa Police Department is doing it’s part to help both the community and those affected by homelessness coexist in a peaceful and positive manner,” Lt. Chris Grant said in a written statement.
An accurate count of the local homeless population is vital in helping organizations and agencies tailor their services to the needs of the area, officials said.
To that end, volunteers are needed to join in the count.
“As a resident or business owner in Azusa, the three hours of your time you donate to the community could have a life-changing effect on a homeless person,” Grant said. “From housing and medical care to potential future employment, options may become available to a person whom we never knew existed in our community.”
Three Azusa police officers perform auxiliary duties as “Homeless Assistance Liaison Officers” to address homeless issues.
To sign up to volunteer, To participate in the Homeless Count please visit www.TheyCountWillYou.org to register, and indicate that you wish to serve in the San Gabriel Valley, SPA3 area.
For more information, contact Azusa police at 626-812-3200.
AZUSA >> Based on tips from the public, police Thursday arrested a man sought in connection with the attempted robbery of a woman inside an Azusa pharmacy last month, officials said.
The arrest came the same day that police publicly releasing surveillance camera images of the Dec. 26 crime at CVS Pharmacy, 367 N. Citrus Ave., in hopes of generating leads.
“Within hours, both subjects from the video had been identified and contacted,” according to Azusa police Office Mike Bires. Police ultimately arrested one of the men in connection with the alleged crime.
• VIDEO: Two men try to rob woman inside CVS pharmacy in Azusa
Arrested was Carlos Antonio Ramos, 31, of Azusa on suspicion of attempted robbery, according to Azusa police Officer Mike Bires. He initially gave a police a false name before his true name was confirmed through fingerprints.
He’s accused of approaching a woman from behind in an aisle of the pharmacy, grabbing her and placing an unknown sharp object against her body before a store employee scared him away, Bires said.
He was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail pending his initial court appearance, officials said.
*Note – This story has been updated to reflect the true name of the suspect, who police say initially provided a false name.
Suspect photos courtesy of the Azusa Police Department.
AZUSA >> Police are seeking the public’s help in finding two men who tried to rob a woman inside an Azusa pharmacy last month before an employee intervened in an incident captured on surveillance video, officials said.
The foiled robbery took place about 4:50 p.m. Dec. 26 at CVS Pharmacy, 367 N. Citrus Ave., at Alosta Avenue, Azusa police officials said in a written statement.
A woman was shopping inside the store when the two would-be robbers approached her in an aisle, police said.
“(One suspect) removed an object form his pants and concealed it as he approached the unsuspecting female from the rear,” Azusa police Officer Mike Bires said.
“(He) grabbed the female and placed the object he had been holding along her side,” Bires said. “The female began screaming and struggling, and as she did this, a store employee entered the aisle. The attackers were scared off by the employee and they quickly exited the front doors.”
Both suspects were described as Latino men between 20 and 25 years old.
One was about 5 feet 7 inches tall, of medium build, with dark hair, police said. He wore a gray hooded sweatshirt with a “Nike” emblem on the front, blue jeans, a gray beanie and bright blue athletic shoes.
His accomplice stood about 5 feet 9 inches tall and was of husky build, with dark hair. He wore a black hooded sweatshirt with a white shirt underneath, blue jeans and black-and-white athletic shoes.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Azusa police Detective S. Chapman at 626-812-3200, or via email at email@example.com. Tips may also be submitted anonymously by clicking the “anonymous tip” link at the top of the Azusa Police Department’s web page, www.azusapd.org.
PHOTOS/VIDEO courtesy of the Azusa Police Department.
AZUSA >> A man was wounded, but is expected to survive, after a fight escalated into a stabbing in Azusa late Friday, police said.
The stabbing took place just after 11 p.m. in a residential neighborhood in the 300 block of N. Soldano Avenue, according to Azusa police Lt. Mike Bertelsen.
Police responding to reports of a stabbing found the victim suffering from stab wounds to his upper torso, Bertelsen said in a written statement.
“It appeared the victim and at least one associate were standing near the street when they were approached by an unknown number of male suspects,” he said. “A fight started and the victim was stabbed during the altercation.”
Paramedics took the injured man to a hospital with injuries not believed to be life-threatening, police said.
The motive in the stabbing remained under investigation, Bertelsen said. No suspect description was available.
The victim, described as a local man in his 20s, did not appear to be cooperating with investigators, Sgt. Rick Hayden said. Detectives suspected the attack was gang-related.
Police in Covina, West Covina, Azusa, Glendora and Los Angeles County have teamed up to create a specialized team to deal with people suffering from mental health crises.
The newly-formed East San Gabriel Mental Evaluation Team began last month and provides mental health intervention services 40 hours a week in the four cities it serves, Covina police officials said in a written statement.
The team consists of one police officer and one mental health clinician, officials explained. Each participating department provides a police officer for 10 hour each week to partner with the clinician, provided by the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health.
Police formed the team in response to a “significant increase” in police contacts with people with troubled mental states, police said.
“For the last several years, front line law enforcement has become first responders to more and more incidents involving those in our communities in need of mental health services,” Covina Police Chief Kim Raney said. “By having a mental health clinician embedded in our patrol cars 40 hours a week, this is a tremendous opportunity to provide services to those in need.”
The ESGMET team is designed to help police deal with the mentally ill in a more compassionate and productive manner than is otherwise possible, police said. Instead of only being able to provide short-term solutions, such as 72-hour psychiatric holds, the program also allows departments to offer more long-term help such as case management, homeless outreach, crisis intervention and additional resources and referrals.
The program is similar to others already operating in the region, such as the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Mental Evaluation Team, also known as MET, the Pasadena Police Department’s Homeless Outreach-Psychiatric Evaluation, or HOPE, team and the Los Angeles Police Department’s Mental Evaluation Unit.
AZUSA >> A fire tore through a commercial building in Azusa Friday night, authorities said.
The fire was first reported about 7 p.m. in the 500 block of South Vincent Avenue, Los Angeles County Fire Department Dispatch Supervisor Art Marrujo said.
“Our first-in engine company had smoke and fire coming in through the roof,” Los Angeles County Fire Department Inspector Randall Wright said. “Very quickly, we asked for a second alarm,” bringing additional firefighters to the scene.
Portions of the roof of the building collapsed, he said.
They took a “defensive” stance from the outside of the building as they continued dousing the flames with water more than an hour later, fire Dispatch Supervisor Kyle Sanford said.
The fire was fueled by a large amount of paper stored inside the building, described as a paper manufacturing business, Wright said. There were no reports of hazardous materials involved.
Firefighters positioned on ladders well above the fire pumped 3,000 gallons of water per minute onto the burning building, officials said.
Authorities declared the fire extinguished about 8:15 p.m., but expected firefighters to remain on scene well into the night, Wright said.
Paramedics treated one person who suffered minor smoke inhalation injuries, but the person declined to be taken to a hospital, Sandford said.
Azusa police shut down Vincent Avenue between Arrow Highway and Gladstone Street as a result of the fire.
Investigators were summoned to the scene to determine the cause of the fire.
PHOTOS courtesy of the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
AZUSA >> A 64-year-old Azusa man who went missing Saturday was found safe Sunday in Arizona, police said.
Thomas Landes, 64, was last seen about noon at his Azusa home, Azusa police Sgt. Bruce Badoni said in a written statement.
Family members reported him missing about 12:40 p.m. Saturday, the sergeant said.
“They reported that Mr. Landes has been suffering from a serious ongoing medical condition for which he takes medication,” Badoni said. “At about 12 noon, he left his residence unexpectedly, leaving behind a note indicating that he was upset over his medical condition. He has not been seen since that time.”
But the missing man was found safe Sunday afternoon at the home of a friend in Arizona, Azusa police Sgt. Rick Hayden said.
AZUSA >> A multi-vehicle freeway crash on the 210 Freeway in Azusa injured at least five people, one of them seriously, Friday afternoon, officials said.
The crash took place at 4:07 p.m. on the westbound 210 Freeway, just east of Azusa Avenue, California Highway Patrol Officer Alex Rubio said.
Three vehicles were involved in the crash, including an SUV that overturned, throwing an occupant into the roadway, according to Los Angeles County Fire Department and CHP officials. Initial reports from the scene indicated the ejected person was able to get up after being thrown from the SUV.
Firefighters evaluated a total of eight people at the crash scene, fire Dispatch Supervisor Cheryl Simms said.
Rescuers summoned a helicopter to rush one person to a hospital, while two others were taken to hospitals by ambulance, Simms said. Three people declined hospitalization. The status of the other two patients was unclear.
The carpool and two left lanes were initially blocked by the collision, but CHP officials did not issue a Sig Alert, as they expected to clear the wreckage quickly.
PHOTOS by Keith Birmingam
AZUSA >> Investigators suspect suicide after the body of a 53-year-old Monrovia man was found inside a car parked outside an Azusa business Thursday afternoon, police said.
A business owner called police shortly before 3 p.m. after finding, “what appeared to be a deceased male seated in a parked vehicle on the street,” in the 900 block of West 10th Street, Azusa police Cpl. Tom Avila said in a written statement.
Paramedics pronounced the man dead at the scene, he said. An autopsy was pending, but it appeared the man had succumbed to carbon monoxide poisoning.
A barbecue had been lit inside his vehicle, Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner Assistant Chief of Operations Ed Winter said.
“A check of the vehicle’s information revealed it was associated with a suicidal male who was reported missing to the Monrovia Police Department on (Tuesday),” Avila said.
AZUSA >> Police arrested one suspected drunken driver and wrote eight tickets during a weekend checkpoint, officials said.
The checkpoint was held from 6 p.m. Friday to 3 a.m. Saturday on southbound San Gabriel Canyon Road, just north of Sierra Madre Avenue, according to Azusa police Lt. Paul Dennis.
Of the 400 cars that passed through, 350 drivers were screened, he said.
One alleged DUI driver was arrested, along with another person who had an outstanding warrant, Dennis said.
Officers issued eight tickets to drivers with no licenses or suspended licenses, officials said. Two cars were impounded.
PHOTO courtesy of the Azusa Police Department.