Vandalism call leads to marijuana grow house in Diamond Bar

DIAMOND BAR — Deputies checking out a vandalism call found an old marijuana grow house Thursday.
Sgt. John Stanley of the sheriff’s Walnut/Diamond Bar Station said a woman called about 1:30 p.m. and said someone vandalized her house in the 600 block of Hopi Street.
The woman was leasing out the property, he added.
Deputies didn’t find marijuana plants but equipment used in grow houses, Stanley said.
There were no further details.
Narcotics investigators didn’t return phone calls Thursday night.

- Ruby Gonzales

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Overnight closures planned for eastbound 60 Freeway between Diamond Bar, Pomona

DIAMOND BAR — Overnight closures are planned for the eastbound 60 Freeway between Diamond Bar and Pomona this week to make way for crews to work on a re-paving project, officials said.
The overnight closures are to take place from Sunday to Tuesday, Caltrans officials said in a written statement.
Up to three lanes of the eastbound freeway will be shut down nightly from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. between the southbound 57 Freeway and the 71 Freeway, officials said. All eastbound lanes are scheduled to be closed between the southbound 57 Freeway and Grand Avenue from 1 a.m. to 4 a.m.
Additionally, according to Caltrans, from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m., officials plan to shut down the carpool lane between the southbound 57 Freeway and Diamond Bar Boulevard, the Diamond Bar Boulevard offramp and the Grand Avenue onramp and offramp.
The connector roads from both the southbound and northbound 57 Freeway to the eastbound 60 Freeway will be closed from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m.
The $32 million paving project is being carried out by Chumo Construction of Baldwin Park and is expected to be completed toward the end of the year.
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CHP: No serious injuries reported after big rig overturns onto convertible in Diamond Bar

DIAMOND BAR — A Diamond Bar man escaped serious injury late Wednesday after a big rig overturned on top of his compact convertible, authorities said.
The crash, which took place about 10:05 p.m. on the connector road between the eastbound 60 Freeway and the Southbound 57 Freeway, prompted the closure of the transition road for six hours, California Highway Patrol Officer Resa Rombouts said in a written statement.
A big rig being driven by a 41-year-old Rancho Cucamonga man was traveling in the right line of the connector road when it “entered a right curve in the roadway at an unsafe speed and had to make a hard brake application,” Rombouts said.
The truck driver lost control of the big rig, which crossed into the left lane of the connector road and overturned, landing on top of a 2008 Honda S2000 being driven by a 27-year-old Diamond Bar man, officials said.
Both drivers managed to get out of their vehicles, according to Rombouts, and both were taken to a hospital for treatment of apparently minor injuries.
A Sig Alert remained in effect for the transition road through 5 a.m.
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Officials decline to prosecute Diamond Bar man with phony bomb charge

Officials Friday declined to file charges against a Diamond Bar man arrested earlier this week with what sheriff’s investigators described as bomb components.
Prosecutors did not find sufficient evidence for a charge of malicious possession of a false or facsimile bomb against 48-year-old Steven Ladd, however the parolee remained jailed due to an existing narcotics warrant, according to Los Angeles County District Attorney’s officials and county booking records.
Deputies arrested Ladd shortly after 9:30 a.m. Wednesday at his home in the 22000 block of Hilton Head Drive, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said.
They had responded to a report of a family dispute when the realized Ladd was a parolee with an outstanding warrant for his arrest, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. John Saleeby said.
Deputies then found a what appeared to be a pipe bomb, complete with a fuse system, but lacking any explosives, officials said. Investigators said Ladd claimed the device was a movie prop, though he had no known ties to the film industry.

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Deputies: Diamond Bar parolee suspected of possessing bomb components

DIAMOND BAR — A Diamond Bar parolee was behind bars Thursday after deputies discovered bomb-making materials inside his home while investigating a report of a family disturbance, authorities said.
Steven Vern Ladd, 48, was arrested on suspicion of an outstanding narcotics warrant and possession of bomb components following Wednesday’s 9:30 a.m. incident in the 22000 block of Hilton Head Drive, Detective Ed Nordskog of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Arson-Explosives Unit.
Bomb squad officials examined the immediate area and examined the device, which resembled a pipe bomb, after it was discovered in Ladd’s closet, Nordskog said.
“It was real except there was (no explosives) in it,” Nordskog said.
The 8-inch long steel pipe was fitted with end caps and a fuse system, he added.
Deputies had responded to a report of a family dispute and discovered Ladd had a no-bail warrant for his arrest prior to finding the suspicious device, Lt. John Saleeby of the sheriff’s Walnut-Diamond Bar Station said. The initial call was not related to the suspicious device.
“(Ladd) told us it was a movie prop,” Nordskog said. “He’s not in the movie business. There’s no legitimate reason to have something like that.”
According to county booking records, Ladd was being held without bail pending a scheduled arraignment Friday in Pomona Superior Court.
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UPDATED: Man dies following domestic violence arrest

A 51-year-old Rowland Heights man who was hospitalized just over a month ago after being arrested by sheriff’s deputies on suspicion of domestic violence died Saturday at a hospital, authorities said.
Charlie Karl Duran died shortly after 2:30 p.m. at San Dimas Community Hospital, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner’s Lt. Cheryl MacWillie said. An official cause of death will be determined through an autopsy, though the death was initially reported to coroner’s investigators as apparently natural.
Deputies used no force while arresting Duran, MacWillie said.
Duran was arrested by deputies from the Los Angeles County sheriff’s Walnut/Diamond Bar Station *May 24 on suspicion of misdemeanor domestic violence, sheriff’s Lt. Mary Leef said in a written statement.
The following day, “While being detained at the Walnut/Diamond Bar Station jail, he was transported to San Dimas Community Hospital for medical reasons,” according to the statement. He died shortly after 2:30 p.m. Saturday.
No further information was released.
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Driver sought in major-injury hit-and-run in Diamond Bar

DIAMOND BAR — The California Highway Patrol asked the public’s help Saturday in tracking down a driver who caused a major-injury crash on the 57 Freeway before fleeing the scene, authorities said.
Adam Roland, 24, of Glendora was hospitalized with major injuries following the 1:13 p.m. crash on the northbound 57 at Pathfinder Road, California Highway Patrol Sgt. Steve Licon said. His passenger, a 21-year-old Glendora man, suffered minor injuries.
Roland was driving a 1999 Dodge Stratus at about 80 mph just prior to the crash, Licon said.
“As he continued northbound, a silver or white Mercedes-Benz or BMW crossed over the double-yellow lines, out of the HOV lane, making an unsafe lane change toward Mr. Roland’s vehicle,” Licon said. “Mr. Roland steered his vehicle to the right to avoid in order to avoid a collision.”
The Dodge collided with a guard rail along the right side of the roadway before rolling down an embankment and into a tree, CHP Officer Tatiana Saquillo said.
After being freed from the wreckage by firefighters, Roland was flown to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center for treatment, officials said.
CHP officials shut down the two right lanes of the northbound 57 for about an hour as they investigated the collision.
The silver or white car is believed to have caused the crash though it did not make physical contact with the Dodge, Licon said. Officials were investigating the crash as a “non-contact hit-and-run.”
Any witnesses to the crash or anyone with information regarding the hit-and-run vehicle is asked to call the Baldwin Park office of the CHP at 626-338-1164. After hours, the CHP’s Los Angeles Communications Center can be reached at 323-982-4900.
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Missing Diamond Bar woman with Alzheimer’s disease reunited with family after spending night wandering

DIAMOND BAR — A 72-year-old woman with Alzheimer’s disease was found lying in a wash and reunited with her family Friday after she vanished from an assisted living facility the previous afternoon, officials said.
The woman went missing Thursday afternoon from an assisted living home in the 1000 block of Banner Ridge Road, Lt. Chris Blasnek said. Caretakers reported last seeing her watching TV about 3 p.m. before she disappeared.
As night approached and officials grew increasingly concerned about the missing woman, deputies continued a systematic search of the area with the help of a helicopter and tracking dog, the lieutenant said.
The dog tracked the woman’s scent to Sycamore Canyon park, but the difficult terrain prevented an overnight search, officials said.
Rescuers resumed the search in the morning, and a helicopter spotted the woman lying in a wash along Monument Canyon Road about 10:45 a.m. Friday, Blasnek said.
She was hospitalized for evaluation, but did not appear to be seriously harmed, he added. Worried family members were reunited with the missing woman at the scene where she was found.
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Alleged ID theft ring dismantled following routine traffic stop in Diamond Bar

DIAMOND BAR — Five people were charged with 19 felony counts of identity theft and counterfeiting Friday after a routine traffic stop in Diamond Bar earlier in the week led to their arrests, authorities said.
Brian Padilla, 40, of Pico Rivera, Danny Martinez, 33, of Whittier, Barbara Robles, 44, of Rosemead, Jennifer Kesloff, 24, of Whittier and Jacqueline Acosta, 26, whose city of residence was unknown, were arrested Wednesday after a deputy stopped a car for a traffic violation about 11:30 a.m. at Diamond Bar Boulevard and Sunset Crossing Road, according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Chris Blasnek.
A deputy stopped a car being driven by Martinez and discovered he was on parole, officials said.
“Both he and his passenger (Padilla) were in possession of several counterfeit driver’s licenses, credit cards and social security numbers that didn’t belong to them,” Blasnek said. “Both were arrested at the scene.”
As deputies continued their investigation, a second car pulled up near the scene of the traffic stop, and deputies approached two women inside, officials said.
The women, later identified as Robles and Kesloff, “were also in possession of numerous counterfeit items,” Blasnek said.
Deputies continued to investigate, and found that all four suspects had been staying at a Diamond Bar motel, officials said.
A search of two rooms rented by the suspect yielded yet more evidence if identity theft and counterfeiting, the lieutenant said, including computers, a credit card reader and machine used to create credit cards. The final suspect, Acosta, was arrested at the motel.
All five suspects were booked on suspicion of identity theft, possession of counterfeit officials documents and possession of counterfeit card making materials.
“It was a little bit of persistence that paid off,” Blasnek said.
According to county booking records, Martinez, a parolee, was being held without bail pending his initial court appearance. Padilla was being held in lieu of $150,000 bail, Acosta was being held in lieu of $170,000 bail, and Robles and Kesloff were being held in lieu of $50,000 bail each.
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Toddler returned to family after being found wandering overnight in Diamond Bar

DIAMOND BAR — A 2-year-old boy who wandered out of his home in the middle of the night and was found walking by himself in the roadway was safely back with his family early Wednesday, officials said.
The incident began about 3:50 a.m. in the 400 block of Charmingdale Road, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Joe Chavez said.
“We recevied a callof a 2-year-old Chinese male wandering in the road,” the lieutenant said.
Officials arrived to find a good Samaritan holding the lost child, who was wearing pajamas and flip flop sandals.
Deputies knocked on doors in the area and made loudspeaker announcements, but were unable to find the toddler’s family, the lieutenant said.
The young boy was taken back to the sheriff’s station, Chavez said, where deputies kept him company for about three hours. He was in good spirits as he sat in the deputies’ morning briefing, he added.
Deputies returned to the neighborhood where the boy was found about 7 a.m. and again began knocking on doors and making announcements via loudspeaker, Chavez said.
The boy’s mother, who didn’t realized her son was gone, heard the announcements and came outside to meet deputies, the lieutenant said.
It was determined the toddler had placed a chair near a door and climbed on top of it to reach the door lock, officials said.
Deputies and Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services officials determined no crime had taken place, and officials offered suggestions to secure the home to make sure a similar event doesn’t take place in the future.
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