El Monte man and woman suspected in $2,300 theft from Glendora Kohl’s

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GLENDORA — Police arrested a man and woman Wednesday on suspicion of stealing about $2,300 in goods from a Glendora Kohl’s store, and also linked them to other alleged thefts from Kohl’s locations in Arcadia and Alhambra, authorities said.
Marcus Steven Hernandez, 23, of El Monte and Elsa Judith Haro, 21, of El Monte, were booked on suspicion of commercial burglary following Wednesday’s incident, which was first reported about 1:50 a.m. at Kohl’s, 1225 S. Lone Hill Avenue, according to Glendora police officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
A store representative called police to report the theft, and that the suspects left in a vehicle with part of the license plate concealed by duct tape, Glendora police Lt. Joe Ward said.
A volunteer officer spotted the vehicle, and police soon caught with the suspect’s car on the westbound 210 Freeway, Ward said. Police pulled the car over at Factor Avenue and Glen Lyn Drive in Azusa and arrested Hernandez and Haro without incident.
They were found with about 25 pairs of jeans that had been stolen from the Glendora Kohl’s, as well as various electronic items, Ward said. Some of the stolen merchandise was found to have been taken previously in thefts at other Kohl’s locations in Arcadia and Alhambra.
According to county booking records and police, Hernandez was being held in lieu of $60,000 bail pending his arraignment Friday in West Covina Superior Court. In addition to the alleged burglary, he was also being held in connection with an outstanding warrant for being under the influence of drugs.
Haro was being held in lieu of $20,000 bail pending her initial court appearance Friday, records show.

PHOTO courtesy of Glenn Purbaugh

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Man and wife arrested after accidental shooting inside Glendora Sam’s Club store

GLENDORA — Police arrested a husband and wife Sunday after a gun they had went off accidentally inside a Sam’s Club store, wounding the man in the forearm, officials said.
Robert Duncan, 48, and Helen Duncan were booked on suspicion of negligently discharging a firearm, Glendora police Sgt. Michael Henderson said. There city of residence was not immediately available.
The incident took place shortly before 1:30 p.m. just inside the entrance of the store, 1501 S. Lone Hill Ave., he said.
The man and woman were passing a bag between them which contained the gun, Henderson said. They dropped the bag, causing the gun inside to fire.
Henderson said Robert Duncan was struck in the forearm by the bullet. No one else was injured.
Officers found the man and women at San Dimas Community Hospital. He was treated for his injury and released from the hospital the same day.
In addition to negligently discharging a gun, the husband was also expected to face a charge of illegal weapon possession, Henderson said.

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Man robbed and carjacked outside Glendora Walmart

GLENDORA — Two men robbed and carjacked another man in the parking lot of a Walmart store early Saturday, police said.
The crime took place just after 1 a.m. at the store at 1950 Auto Centre Drive, Glendora police Lt. Matt Egan said.
Two men approached another man as he was loading up his car with purchases from the store, the sergeant said. One of the robbers was armed with a handgun.
They ultimately fled with the man’s blue 2001 Volvo S40, as well as some money, the sergeant said.
A detailed suspect description was not available.

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Student robbed at knifepoint at Citrus College

GLENDORA — A man armed with a knife robbed a student of his wallet at Citrus College Wednesday night.
The victim wasn’t injured during the 3;20 p.m. incident on the campus at 1000 W. Foothill Blvd.
The robber pulled a knife and took the victim’s wallet which contained cash and credit cards, according to Sgt. Scott Strong.
Strong said the suspect was last seen running eastbound Foothill Boulevard.
The suspect was described as a Latino, about 25, clean cut, 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighing 200 pounds.

- Ruby Gonzales

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Memorial planned for two men killed in Glendora stabbing

GLENDORA – A memorial service is planned this weekend to honor the memories of two homeless men with deep roots in Glendora who were stabbed to death earlier this month.
A memorial service for John “Little John” Welch and Warren Blagrave, both 52, is scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday at the Church of The Brethren, 151 S. Glendora Avenue, according to Nicolette Wingert, founder of the Glendora-based organization of Nurses For Christ, which is organizing the event.
The friends were fatally stabbed Aug. 15 at a carwash in the 200 block of Route 66, where both had been spending their nights in recent weeks, according to friends and investigators.
Welch and Blagrave were each stabbed more than 20 times in the early-morning attack, according to Los Angeles County District Attorney’s officials.
Investigators later in the day arrested 28-year-old Drew Alan Friis of Glendora in connection with the double-fatal stabbing. He had been charged with two counts murder, and prosecutors also allege the special allegation of multiple murders, making Friis potentially eligible for the death penalty. A decision regarding wither the death penalty will be sought in the case has not yet been made.
A motive in the knife attack has not been released. Friis was scheduled to appear in Pomona Superior Court for an arraignment hearing Oct. 3.
Wingert said members of Nurses For Christ, which regularly provided meals to Welch, Blagrave and local homeless people and gave Welch with his last meal, are still having a hard time coming to grips with the double-slaying.
“We saw them pretty much every day,” she said. “It was really sad. It’s very hard to accept, because of how it happened.”
Welch was a member of the Church of the Brethren, while Blagrave — who had just returned from a stay in Oregon — was hoping to join the church and use his guitar to play music for the congregation, Wingert said. “He wanted to join the church and sing songs. But he never got a chance. He was slain.”
So the volunteers who tried to make sure Welch and Blagrave had a quality meal each day are now working toward providing the men with a proper burial.
Donations collected at Saturday’s memorial will be used for the funerals, Wingert said. Any extra funds collected will benefit other local homeless people.
For more information, contact Wingert at Nurses For Christ at 626-315-7392.

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Ex-Glendora school officials denies embezzlement

LOS ANGELES — A longtime Glendora Unified School District employee accused of embezzling more than $350,000 entered a not guilty plea in court Thursday, officials said.
Cynthia Lee Schlig, 57, of Upland entered the plea at an arraignment in Los Angeles Superior Court, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Shiara Davila-Morales said. She is charged with five felony counts including forgery, embezzlement and misappropriation of funds.
Schlig was ordered back to court Sept. 26 for a preliminary hearing setting, Davila-Morales said.
Glendora investigators arrested Schlig Tuesday following 19 months of investigation, Glendora police Lt. Brian Summers said.
Detectives found evidence of the embezzlement scheme going back five years, the lieutenant said.
Schlig, a former accounting specialist for the district’s finance department, had worked for the GUSD for 35 years, officials said.
She resigned her position in January of 2012, shortly after the allegations came to light, district officials said.
Schlig remained in custody Friday at the Century Regional Detention Center in Lynwood in lieu of $140,000 bail, county booking records show.

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Transient accused of sparking Glendora brush fire

Edward Zavala, 35, transient

A homeless man was arrested late Wednesday in connection with a brush fire on Glendora Mountain Road north of Big Dalton Canyon, Glendora police said Thursday.
The fire was spotted climbing 100 feet up the hillside by a Glendora Police officer at 9:23 p.m. Wednesday, Lt. Brian Summers said in a statement.
Capt. Tim Staab said the on-duty police officer was able to get responders to the scene while the fire was still small.
“It could have been just horrible,” Staab said, referring to the fire’s proximity to the Angeles National Forest.
The initial officer spotted Edward Zavala, 35, walking away from the fire scene and he was arrested on suspicion of arson after making inconsistent statements, Summers wrote.
“Zavala later told officers that he accidentally started the fire with his lighter while attempting to use it as a light source and panicked, fleeing the area,” Summers wrote. “The lighter was recovered.”
Responders from the Los Angeles County Fire Department were able to contain the fire to a quarter acre and county arson investigators assisted the police department, Summers said.
Zavala was being held at the Glendora City Jail on a felony charge of recklessly starting a fire. Bail was set at $20,000.

- Melissa Masatani

PHOTO of Edward Zavala courtesy of the Glendora Police Department.

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One of two men killed in Glendora double-homicide identified

GLENDORA — Coroner’s officials Sunday released the name of one of two homeless men found stabbed to death at a Glendora carwash last week.
Warren Blagrave, 52, was pronounced dead after he was found stabbed about 2 a.m. on the property of a carwash in the 200 block of West Route 66, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Investigator Jim Blacklock said. Also found fatally stabbed was a second local homeless man in his 50s whose name was not released pending notification of his family.
Drew Alan Friis, 28, of Glendora and a second suspect whose name was withheld by Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials were booked on suspicion of murder later in the day, sheriff’s and Glendora police officials said.
Police said he knew the victims prior to the attack, however a motive was not clear.
According to county booking records, Friis was being held in lieu of $1 million bail pending his scheduled arraignment Monday in Pomona Superior Court.

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UPDATED: Two men arrested in connection with Glendora car wash double-homicide

GLENDORA — Police announced two arrests Friday in connection with the fatal stabbing of two homeless men at a Glendora car wash.
Drew Alan Friis, 28, of Glendora was arrested on suspicion of murder about 4:10 p.m. Thursday, according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials and county booking records.
Friis, who Glendora police said was not homeless, knew the victims prior to the stabbing, however a motive was not clear, officials said.
“A second individual was also arrested and booked, however, his name is being withheld pending further investigation by homicide detectives,” according to Deputy Irys Alvarez of the Sheriff’s Headquarters Bureau.
The two suspects are accused of the stabbing deaths of two local homeless men in their 50s whose bodies were found about 2 a.m. Thursday at a car wash in the 200 block of W. Route 66, where they had been spending the night, according to officials and friends said.
The dead men’s names were not released Friday pending notification of their families, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Assistant Chief of Operations Ed Winter said.
““We’re confident that the two people who are in custody are the ones who committed this heinous crime,” Glendora Police Chief Rob Castro said. “This was an isolated crime and a very unusual occurrence in Glendora as evidenced by the fact that we have not had a murder in our community since 2009. I firmly believe the community can be assured the suspects in this case are not roaming free.”
The motive in the alleged double-slaying remained a mystery Friday, police said.
There was a great deal of information investigators could not disclose to the public for fear of jeopardizing the investigation, Staab said, “Chief Castro believes it’s important for the community to receive factual preliminary information regarding this incident to dispel rumors, false assumptions and fears.”
“It is still early in the investigation, and there is a significant amount of evidence, including a possible murder weapon, that has been collected and needs to be scientifically analyzed, which takes time,” according to the police statement.
Investigators planned to present a case to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office for filing early next week, Staab said.
Both slain men were transients with deep roots in Glendora, according to police and friend Jodi Bybee, who said he’s known both men for more than 35 years.
The two stabbing victims had both been spending the night on the car wash property in recent weeks, Bybee said.
He and others expressed shock that anyone would want to harm the homeless men.
While the area where the fatal stabbings took place is known as a place where transients tend to congregate, police and nearby business owners said they had never seen any major problems as a result.
“While the victims were living on the street, I want to be clear that their lifestyle is not the cause of this tragic situation,” Castro said. “Being homeless is not a crime. The murder of two innocent people is, and we hold everyone involved accountable for their actions.”

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UPDATED with PHOTOS: Man in fake mustache robs Glendora bank branch

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GLENDORA — A man in a fake mustache robbed a Glendora bank branch early Friday, officials said.
The heist took place just after 9 a.m. at the U.S. Bank at Grand and Mauna Loa avenues, Glendora police Lt. James De Mond said.
The robber handed a teller a note demanding money and fled after receiving an unknown amount of cash, the lieutenant said. No weapon was seen during the crime.
GLBANKROB1Police described the robber as a white man in his 40s, wearing a fake mustache and prescription glasses. He also wore khaki pants and a blue shirt, as well as a hat.
He was last seen running south from the bank and jumping a wall onto Helensburg Avenue, De Mond said.

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