PASADENA >> A Chino man is accused of using a car door signal “descrambler” device to target cars for burglary at a Pasadena apartment complex early Friday, authorities said.
Yuzhe Luo, 18, was booked on suspicion of auto burglary following his 3:20 a.m. arrest in the parking structure of an apartment complex in the 100 block of Valley Street, Pasadena police Lt. John Mercado said.
An officer was patrolling in the area, which has seen a spate of car break-ins lately, when he noticed Luo and thought him suspicious, Mercado said.
The officer followed from a distance, the lieutenant said. “He watched as the suspect opened up a door to a car and began rifling through the contents. The suspect then exited that car, went over to another car, and looked inside.” Luo was wearing gloves.
The officer detained Luo without a struggle, Mercado said. Inside a car rented by Luo found nearby, police found an electronic “descrambler” device used to open the doors of cars equipped with remote door locks.
It was unclear if anything was taken from the car Luo was seen rifling through.
He was being held in lieu of $20,000 bail pending arraignment, records show.
SOUTH PASADENA >> Three South Pasadena residents helped police capture a man police said stole a bicycle and tried to steal a delivery van early Saturday, police said.
Edwin Lopez, 32, of Los Angeles was arrested on suspicion of residential burglary, attempted auto theft, possession of burglary tools and possession of drug paraphernalia, South Pasadena police Cpl. Craig Phillips said. It was Lopez’s fourth arrest over the past month, according to county booking records.
The incident began about 8 a.m. when a resident of the 1000 block of Magnolia Street spotted a burglar leaving an underground parking structure of a condominium complex with a neighbor’s bicycle, the corporal said.
The witness told the bike owner of the theft and ran after the thief, Phillips said. The owner and the witnesses’ wife jumped into a car and followed.
Phillips said the three caught up with the fleeing bike burglar in the 100 block of Pasadena Avenue. After grappling with the suspect and briefly holding him for police, Lopez ultimately broke free of his captors and ran, leaving behind the bicycle and his backpack.
Lopez then jumped into an Amazon delivery van, which had the keys in the ignition, and started the car before realizing he was not alone, Phillips said. The 17-year-old daughter of the delivery driver, who was sitting in the passenger seat, screamed, and Lopez jumped out of the van and continued fleeing on foot.
Police arrived within a minute and captured Lopez without a struggle, Philliips said.
The backpack Lopez dropped contained burglary tools and a methamphetamine pipe, Phillips added.
No injuries were reported to either the suspect, victim or the good Samaritans.
Lopez has already been arrested twice this month by South Pasadena police on suspicion of theft- and drug-related crimes, Phillips said.
He was also arrested by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Transit Services Bureau deputies Aug. 16, records show.
Lopez was being held in lieu of $50,00 bail at the Pasadena Police Department jail pending his initial court appearance, records show.
- COVINA >> An alert neighbor helped police arrest an alleged teenage burglar and recovered suspected stolen property Thursday in a residential neighborhood in Covina, officials said.
The suspect, a 16-year-old San Bernardino boy, is accused of burglary and resisting or obstructing police, Covina police Sgt. Gregg Peterson said.
A resident of the 1300 block of East Navilla Place called police about 11:20 a.m. to report seeing a suspicious person knock on a neighbor’s door, then walk to the rear of the home and out of sight after receiving no answer, Peterson said.
Responding officers found the suspect, in the backyard of the home, the sergeant said. He hopped a fence and attempted to flee, but was quickly apprehended. Officer searched the area for any additional suspects but found none.
Officers found evidence of a break-in at the Navilla Place home, Peterson said. They also found suspected stolen property in the suspect’s car, including jewelry appearing to be family heirlooms.
The young suspect initially provided a false name to police, Peterson said. Once he was identified by fingerprints, police determined he was already wanted on an unspecified warrant out of San Bernardino County.PHOTO of recovered property courtesy of the Covina Police Department.
GLENDORA >> A group of thieves made off with five computers from the computer lab of a Glendora Christian school campus early Wednesday, police said.
A burglary alarm sounded about 1:10 a.m. at the Baseline Road campus of Foothill Christian School, 242 W. Baseline Road, Glendora police Lt. Matt Williams. The private school instructs preschool through 8th grade.
A school employee responding to the alarm activation arrived in time to see five male suspect fleeing from the campus, each carrying an Apple all-in-one desktop computer, the lieutenant said. The fled into a white Lexus 4-door sedan which possible had a vanity plate, thought he digits were unclear.
Investigators determined the burglars had gotten into the second-floor computer lab by smashing a glass door, Williams added.
COVINA >> A judge sentenced a 38-year-old transient to 17 years in prison Wednesday for a breaking into a Covina family’s home and trying to stab a resident with a metal stake while hallucinating on methamphetamine last year, officials said.
Jeffrey Benjamin Jimenez pleaded “no contest” to charges of burglary with a person present and assault with a deadly weapon in connection with the bizarre crimes, which took place March 15 in the 1300 block of North Glenfinnan Avenue, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said in a written statement. He was immediately sentenced.
Police said they believed Jimenez was under the influence of methamphetamine and hallucinating when he walked into the family’s home and said he wanted to search it because he’d heard the voice of one of his family members calling out from inside.
The home was occupied by a man, a woman and their two sons, Covina police Lt. Rick Walczak said at the time.
“Jimenez reportedly tried to stab the homeowner with the metal rod, but the victim was able to distance himself with a table,” Ardalani said. “At some point, the defendant exited the home and then smashed the home’s windows before he ultimately left the scene.”
Police arrested Jimenez nearby.
HACIENDA HEIGHTS >> Officials arrested a mother and daughter from Pomona on Saturday in connection with a Hacienda Heights residential burglary earlier in the day.
Deana Stanley, 48, and daughter Maria Tucker, 30, were booked on suspicion of burglary, receiving stolen property, possession of burglary tools and conspiracy to commit burglary, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. John Gannon said. Ticker was additionally accused of possession of counterfeit credit or access cards.
A witness called deputies about 8:35 p.m. to report seeing intruders inside a neighbor’s home in the 1500 block of Flamstead Drive, Gannon said. The burglars were gone when deputies arrived, but the tipster was able to provide them with a description of the burglars’ car, the lieutenant said.
Pomona police found the car Saturday afternoon parked outside a home on Gordon Street in Pomona, Gannon said.
Deputies arrested the two women and served a search warrant at their home, he said. Officials recovered all of the jewelry and other items stolen in the Hacienda Heights break-in, and also seized a handgun.
HACIENDA HEIGHTS >> Tips from the public helped investigators identify and arrest a suspect they say has stolen more than $30,000 in collections from churches and a Buddhist temple in Hacienda Heights and Rowland Heights, officials said.
Deputies arrested Carolos Montiel, 36, of Hacienda Heights about 9 p.m. at a home in the 3400 block of Glenmark Drive, according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. David Infante.
Over a period spanning more than a year, he’s burglarized two churches and a Buddhist temple, making off with more than $30,000 from the collection boxes, Detective Charell Heard said.
Though he remained unidentified, investigators had his picture from surveillance cameras. Detectives released those imaged to the public Wednesday in hopes that someone would recognize and report the suspect.
Less than a day later, investigators had a name.
“Shortly after the interview and the suspect’s photograph were televised and posted on media web sites, anonymous community members identified the suspect as Hacienda Heights resident Carlos Montiel,” Infante said in a written statement.
After confirming Montiel as their suspect, deputies set up a surveillance and arrested him without a struggle Thursday evening, Infante said.
Detectives are asking the public’s help in identifying a serial burglary suspect they say has stolen more than $30,000 in collections from two churches and a Buddhist temple in Hacienda Heights and Rowland Heights over the past two years.
The burglar has targeted collection boxes in each of the capers, Detective Charell Heard. She declined to discuss the specific dates and locations of the crimes as the investigation continued, but said that more than $30,000 in cash had been stolen in all.
The burglaries took place during daytime hours while the houses of worship were open to the public, officials said.
Officials described the burglar as a Latino man with “tribal band” tattoos on both of his legs and large tattoos on both his arms.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Heard at 626-330-3322.
PHOTOS courtesy if the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department
Police arrested three Glendora burglary suspects Thursday following a pursuit that ended in Covina and a neighborhood search that lasted more than eight hours, authorities said.
Charter Oak High School and the school district office went on lockdown in response to the incident, which began about 10 a.m., Glendora police Lt. Matt Egan said.
Police received a report of a suspicious person entering the backyard at a house in the 600 block of East Kirkwall Road, Egan said.
When officers arrived, they spotted a 16-year-old boy exiting the home and took him into custody after a brief foot chase, the lieutenant said. Two additional suspects fled in a car, leading officers on a pursuit to the 4900 block of Mangrove Avenue in Covina, Lt. Scott Strong said. Both Suspects ran from the car in opposite directions, police said.
One of the fleeing men, later identified as 19-year-old Jabaree Williams of Los Angeles, was quickly apprehended, Strong said.
The third and final suspect, 34-year-old Jerad Chaney of Los Angeles, eluded police until officers, including a SWAT team and a police dog, found him hiding in a residential garage shortly after 6 p.m., Strong said.
Police recovered from the suspects items stolen in the Kirkwall Road break-in, as well as property taken during another Glendora burglary earlier in the day, Strong said.
Nearby Charter Oak High School at 1430 East Covina Blvd. and the Charter Oak Unified School District offices at 20240 East Cienega Ave. were placed on lock down as police hunted for the alleged burglars.
– Brian Day and Stephanie Baer
AZUSA >> A burglar or burglars broke into an Irish pub in Azusa overnight, causing significant damage to the bar before making off with cash registers and a safe, police said Thursday.
The break-in took place between 11:30 p.m. Wednesday and 9 a.m. Thursday, Azusa police Sgt. Andy Sutcliffe said.
The thief or thieves tried unsuccessfully to pry open an ATM machine, but managed to steal two cash registers and a safe, the sergeant said. About $2,000 was stolen in all.
But the bar also sustained an estimated $2,000 worth of damage as the crook or crooks bashed their way through a wall to get to access a safe and otherwise “trashed” the establishment, Sutcliffe said.
No suspect description was available.
In a Facebook post, Callahan’s representatives said the “mom and pop” business was struggling to cope with the loss, but remained open for business.
“They got it all except for the pictures on the wall!” according to the social media post.
To help the bar get back on its feet, “We’re asking everyone to come by and show some love and grab that beer and bite to eat so we can get things rolling again,” the post stated. “We may bend, but we don’t break. Callahan’s is open for business!”