GLENDORA >> Watchful neighbors helped Glendora police nab to convicted felons with a loaded handgun and items stolen from throughout the area early Wednesday, authorities said.
Gilbert Gonzalez, 25, and Gabriel Ibarra, 34, both of Pico Rivera, were jailed about 7 a.m., Glendora police Lt. Scott Strong said. Residents had called police about 5:30 a.m. to report a suspicious person looking into cars and homes in a neighborhood in the 500 block of Comstock Avenue, but the person was not found.
But police spotted a man matching the description of the prowler sitting in a car an hour-and-a-half later at Cullen and Bennett avenues, Strong said. He was accompanied by another man, and each was sitting in their own vehicle.
Gonzalez ran but was soon captured, the lieutenant said. Police arrested Ibarra without a struggle.
Inside their cars, police found a loaded handgun, as well as numerous items believed to have been stolen from car break-ins in Glendora, Monrovia, and other nearby cities, he said.
They were booked on suspicion of being felons in possession of a firearm, possession of stolen property and identity theft, Strong said.
According to county booking records, Gonzalez was being held without bail, while Ibarra was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail.
WEST COVINA >> Police cited and impounded the cars of five drivers who drove away from a courthouse in West Covina after having their licenses suspended or revoked, or being ordered by a judge not to drive, due to pending DUI cases, officials said.
Glendora police officers conducted the sting between 8 a.m. and noon Wednesday at the Los Angeles Superior Court’s West Covina Branch, 1427 W. Covina Parkway, Glendora police Community Service Officer Wendy Brewer said in a written statement.
Police officers staked out those offenders leaving the courthouse without a valid license who proceeded to get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle and drive away,” Brewer said.
The targeted drivers are intoxicated driving suspects, she explained. Some had their licenses suspended or revoked, while others had no licenses to begin with and had been ordered by a judge not to drive.
Officers followed 11 such people from the courthouse.
“While some offenders complied with the law and had alternate means of transportation, five individuals drove away despite judges’ orders,” Brewer said. “Those who chose to drive with their invalid license statuses were stopped by waiting officers, cited back into court and their vehicles were towed.”
They potentially face even longer license suspensions, along with other penalties,
The sting was funded by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
GLENDORA >> Firefighters pronounced a person dead after extinguishing an intense fire at a Glendora mobile home Thursday, authorities said. Authorities initially feared two people had been killed in the fire, though it was ultimately determined that a single person perished in the blaze.
The identity of the victim was not released pending positive identification and notification of family, Los Angeles County coroner’s officials said. The person was initially described only as an adult.
Officials first received a 911 call at 11:32 a.m. reporting a 30-foot-long fifth-wheel trailer was on fire at the Tropics Trailer Park, 428 E. Route 66, Glendora police Lt. Matt Williams said.
Los Angeles County Firefighters arrived in 8 minutes and extinguished the flames by 11:53 a.m., the lieutenant said.
“The initial information from the joint investigation indicated there were two victims,” Glendora police offiials said in a written statement. “Upon the arrival of the Los Angeles County Coroner, the search of the trailer continued and only one victim was located.”
One adjacent mobile home sustained damage in the fire, Los Angeles County Fire Department Inspector Randall Wright said.
The resident of the damaged unit was displaced, but unharmed.
No firefighters were injured, Wright added.
Firefighters found the victim during their initial efforts to extinguish the fire, Williams said.
A secondary search turned what was initially believed to be additional remains, though a closer inspection revealed the object was actually debris, officials said.
The cause of the fire remained under investigation, however, there were no signs of a crime, Williams said.
“It’s too early in the investigation to know what happened,” he said.
A distraught woman at the scene said she believed the victim to be her brother and awaited information from authorities. She declined to comment further.
Investigators from the Los Angeles County Fire Department and the Los Angeles County sheriff’s Arson-Explosives Detail joined Glendora police in the investigation.
With the exception of the two scorched units, the residents of the 29-space mobile home park were allowed to return to their homes Thursday afternoon, Williams said.
Eastbound Route 66 remained closed to traffic into the afternoon as the investigation continued.
PHOTO/VIDEO by Walt Mancini
ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST >> Officials plan to shut- down a portion of Glendora Ridge Road in the Angeles Nation Forest north of the San Gabriel Valley between Christmas Eve and Monday due to snow and icy conditions, authorities said.
The closure will begin at 10 a.m. Thursday on Glendora Ridge Road, between Glendora Mountain Road and Mt. Baldy Road, County of Los Angeles Department of Public Works officials said in a written statement.
“Depending on whether conditions, the road is expected to reopen on Monday,” according to the statement. “Public Works will monitor conditions and respond as conditions warrant.”
Drivers who find themselves navigating through snowy or icy conditions are urged to exercise “extreme caution,” especially in mountain areas, officials said.
A full list of weather-related road closures in Los Angeles County is available online at www.dpw.lacounty.gov/roadclosures.
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.
GLENDORA >> Police arrested a woman and a teenage boy after finding them with stolen SUV in a Glendora neighborhood Friday afternoon, officials said.
Sureilyn Rodriguez, 20, and a teenage boy were arrested on suspicion of auto theft, Glendora police Lt. Scott Strong said.
A resident of the 1200 block of Swain Street called police about 5 p.m. to reports two suspicious people loitering near a Chevrolet Suburban, the lieutenant said.
The teenage boy ran as officers approached, but was quickly apprehended nearby, Strong said. Rodriguez remained with the stolen SUV and was arrested without a struggle.
Officers soon determined the Suburban had been reported stolen out of Baldwin Park, he said.
GLENDORA >> A pair of burglars smashed their way into three neighboring businesses along Route 66 early Friday, police said.
Officers first responded to reports of smashing window glass at the Frozen Ropes Baseball and Softball Training Center, 2244 E. Route 66, just before 3 a.m. and discovered the front glass had been shattered, Glendora police Lt. Scott Strong said.
They also soon discovered that two neighboring businesses — Mauricio’s Mexican Food and A&J Cake and Candy Supplies — had also been burglarized in the same fashion.
The two burglars stole cash from at least one of the three businesses, officials said.
A detailed suspect description was not available.
ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST >> A man and woman robbed three people at gunpoint at a turnout along San Gabriel Road in the forest north of Glendora early Friday, officials said.
A man and woman from La Puente and a West Covina man were outside their about 12:10 a.m. at a turnout near mile marker 23.58, about two miles south of East Fork Road, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said.
The two robbers, a man and woman, approached in a White Acura sedan, according to Lt. Andy Berg.
“The male suspect produced a pistol and demanded the victim’s property,” Berg said in a written statement. “One of the male victims surrendered $25 and his car keys. The second male victim gave the suspect $22.”
“During this time, the female suspect entered the car of the female victim and stole a purse containing a cell phone,” Berg added.
The victims, who were between 25 and 28 years old, made their way down the mountain and called for help, he said. They were unhurt.
Deputies described the male robber as a Latino man between 18 and 20, about 5 feet 6 inches tall, 150 pounds, with a shaved head. His female accomplice was Latina, 18-20, 5 feet 6 inches tall and about 120 pounds, with dark hair.
Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff’s San Dimas Station at 909-450-2700. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
GLENDORA >> Police used a newly-obtained anti-overdose nasal spray for the first time Saturday to revive a man overdosing on heroin in Glendora, officials said.
The incident unfolded shortly before 11 p.m. at a home in the 800 block of East Route 66, Glendora police Lt. Rob Lamborghini said in a written statement.
Officers responding to a report that a 31-year-old man had overdosed on heroin found the patient unconscious in an bathroom “in respiratory distress,” Lamborghini said.
“His breathing was very shallow and slow and his pulse was weak and slow,” he said. “Other signs of an opiate overdose were observed by the officers, two of whom are trained emergency medical technicians.”
The officers administered a dose of nasal naloxone, or Narcan, just as paramedics arrived at the scene.
The drug, which was first obtained by the department six months ago, is used to help reverse respiratory arrest caused by opiate drugs such as heroin or prescription painkillers.
“Within a minute and a half he was breathing more normally and his pulse rate rose significantly. He was treated by paramedics and was taken to Glendora Community Hospital where he regained consciousness and fully recovered,” Lamborghini said.
The Glendora Police Department became the first Los Angeles County law enforcement agency to be authorized to use the anti-overdose drug — known as nasal nolaxone, or Narcan — in April.
Five Glendora police officers and one community service officer, who are also trained as EMTs, carry the spray, officials said. They also carry oxygen, which, in conjunction with Narcan, can be very effective in reviving overdose victims.
The program was introduces after police noticed a significant increase in both incidents of heroin possession and overdoses in recent years, officials said at the time.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control have noted a national “epidemic” of increasing heroin use nationwide.
“Between 2002 and 2013, the rate of heroin-related overdose deaths nearly quadrupled, and more than 8,200 people died in 2013,” according to a CDC statement.
Glendora police have long been at the forefront of marrying new medical technology with law enforcement duties.
In 1997, the department first in Southern California to issue portable defibrillators to all of its officers, officials said.
PHOTO: A dose of nasal naloxone, or Narcan, phorographed on Sept. 2, 2015. (Stephan Savoia/Associated Press)
GLENDORA >> Officials in Glendora issued raised the alert status to “Yellow” in the Colby Fire burn area Saturday ahead of anticipated rains Saturday night and Sunday.
With possible light showers predicted late Saturday, and moderate-to-heavy rain predicted throughout Sunday, the city raised the alert level as a precaution due to the potential for mud and debris flows on the not-yet-recovered hillsides, city officials said in a written statement.
“We don’t anticipate any issues, but be aware of your surroundings for changing weather conditions,” the statement said. “Also, monitor city sites for updated information.
Under a yellow alert, there are no evacuation orders or restricted access to neighborhoods, however rain-related parking restrictions are in effect and residents are asked to clear trash bins and other obstructions from streets to make way for emergency vehicles, in case they are needed.