PASADENA >> Police arrested an alleged burglar and auto thief after he fell asleep in a stolen car early Wednesday, officials said.
Samuel Stokes, 34, of Pasadena is accused of auto theft, auto burglary and receiving stolen property, after being arrested shortly after 3:45 a.m. in the 400 block of South Mentor Avenue, Pasadena police Lt. Mark Goodman said.
Police responded to the street after neighbors complained that a Mercedes-Benz was parked and idling loudly, he said.
Officers arrived and contacted the suspect, who was asleep inside the vehicle,” Goodman said. Officers soon realized the car had been reported stolen out of Van Nuys.
“Further investigation revealed the suspect was in possession of additional stolen property, some of that was taken from a vehicle that was burglarized in the area prior to officers’ arrival,” the lieutenant said.
Stokes was being held in lieu of $35,000 bail pending his initial court appearance, according to Los Angeles County booking records.
PASADENA >> Police caught three Pasadena teens who are not old enough to get a driver’s licenses in the act of stealing a car Thursday afternoon, authorities said.
A resident of the 1900 block of Queensberry Road called police about noon to report three teenagers breaking into his car, which was parked in a driveway, Pasadena police Lt. Mark Goodwin said.
The man exited his home to confront the teens as the car began moving down the driveway, who abandoned the car and ran, the lieutenant said.
A police helicopter arrived overhead almost immediately, an d officers on board spotted the fleeing teens, Goodman said.
Officers set up a search perimeter and quickly found the young suspects.
Two 15-year-old boys and a 14-year-old girl were arrested on suspicion of auto theft, police said.
IRWINDALE >> Police are seeking four people seen fleeing from a reportedly stolen SUV that was found crashed and abandoned, teetering over the side of the Lower Azusa Road overpass of the 605 Freeway early Sunday, officials said.
The crash took place about 12:30 a.m. on Lower Azusa Road, just west of the onramp to the northbound 605 Freeway, Irwindale police Sgt. Rudy Gatto said.
Witnesses reported seeing four people fleeing from the 2010 Chevrolet Suburban immediately after the solo-vehicle crash, the sergeant said. Two of them got into a white Lexus, which fled the scene. None of the people who ran from the SUV were found.
The SUV went over a concrete retaining wall along the north side of the road and smashed through metal fencing that lines the top of it, Gatto said. Pieces of fence fell onto the freeway below, causing damage to at least two vehicles that subsequently struck the debris.
The SUV came to a rest with its back section hung up on the retaining wall, and its front wheels against a steep grass embankment along the 605 Freeway.
California Highway Patrol officers briefly shut down the northbound lanes of the freeway as the crashed SUV and the debris were cleared, he added.
After determining the SUV was registered to an El Monte resident, El Monte police paid a visit to the owner, who told them the SUV had been stolen from his home, Gatto said. El Monte police took a vehicle theft report.
Anyone with information was asked to contact the Irwindale police detectives at 626-430-2245.
PHOTO courtesy of the Irwindale Police Department
IRWINDALE >> Police in Irwindale recovered a stolen pickup truck and arrested a woman on suspicion of stealing it early Saturday, officials said.
Monique Lanette Delgado, 33, of El Monte is accused of auto theft, Irwindale police Sgt. George Zendejas said in a written statement. She was also being held on an outstanding warrant related to a petty theft case.
A witness called police about 8:15 a.m. to report seeing a suspicious person loitering in the employee parking lot of a business in the 4900 block of Rivergrade Road, Zendejas said. Officers spotted the suspicious woman driving as she was trying to drive away in a 2002 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck.
Police soon discovered the truck had been reported stolen in El Monte about two hours earlier.
The owner had left the truck running in his driveway as he briefly walked into his home, Zendejas said. When he returned, the truck was gone.
Zendejas cautioned the public to be mindful of opportunistic auto thieves.
“Car thieves look for moment of opportunity and will not hesitate to steal your car if you leave the keys inside,” he said.
According to county booking records, Delgado was being held in lieu of $40,000 bail pending a scheduled appearance Tuesday in West Covina Superior Court.
AZUSA >> Police arrested two people Friday afternoon after they led officers on a chase in a stolen car, then ran through an elementary school before being captured, authorities said.
Parolee Marcus Paul Flores, 21, of Pomona and Hugo Alberto Ramirez, 23, of Duarte, who is on probation, were both being held without bail, according to Azusa police officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
The incident kicked off about 3 p.m. when an officer tried to pull over a 1999 Honda Civic due to expired registration tags, Azusa police Officer Mike Bires said in a written statement.
“Unknown to the officer, the Honda had been stolen from Temple City the day before,” Bires said.
The driver, later identified as Flores, led the officer on a chase for nearly a mile before crashing into a parked car in the 900 block of East Haltern Avenue, police said. Both Flores and his passenger, Ramirez, ran from the crashed car.
Officer immediately captured Flores, police said. Ramirez ran through Powell Elementary School and into an apartment complex in the 300 block of North Calera Avenue.
“The school staff immediately placed the school on ‘lock down,’ confining the students to their classrooms,” Bires said.
“Police officers immediately surrounded the apartment complex and conducted an extensive foot search for Ramirez,” the officer said. “The officers’ diligence paid off when they located Ramirez trying to conceal himself in a trash dumpster enclosure.”
No students at the school were endangered because of the incident, Bires said.
Flores is accused of auto theft, and was also being held on a no-bail parole warrant, Bires said. Ramirez is accused of resisting arrest and obstructing police, as well as violating his probation.
EL MONTE — A man led El Monte police on a brief chase in a stolen car before crashing Sunday, seriously injuring one of his passenger and causing minor injuries to three other people, authorities said.
An officer spotted a car that had been reported stolen just after 2:10 p.m. driving in the area of Garvey Avenue and Mountain View Road, El Monte police Lt. Michael Goodwin said.
The driver led police on a chase for about two minutes before crashing into another car with two people inside at Maxson Road and Ramona Boulevard, the lieutenant said.
The driver continued to flee on foot but was soon captured hiding in a nearby condominium complex, Goodwin said.
Two passengers of the stolen car were hurt in the crash, he said. One was hospitalized with major injuries, while the other suffered apparently minor injuries.
Two people inside the car that was struck by the fleeing car suffered minor injuries, Goodwin said.
No further details were available as the investigation continued late Sunday afternoon.
WHITTIER — A pickup truck with four pistols and an AR-15-style rifle was stolen from a restaurant parking lot in Whittier Saturday night, police said.
The theft was reported about 10 p.m. outside Marie Callender’s, 9829 La Serna Drive, Whittier police Lt. Steve Dean said. It has been parked since 7:30 p.m. before the owner of the white, 2006 Chevrolet Silverado discovered it missing.
Inside the bed of the truck, under a tonneau cover, were three Glock pistols, one Smith & Wesson pistol, and one AR-15-style rifle, Dean said.
It was unclear whether ammunition accompanied the weapons, or why the guns were in the truck. The possession of firearms inside vehicles is permitted under state law, provided the weapons are unloaded and properly stored.
COVINA >> An observant tipster helped police arrest two auto theft suspects and recover two stolen cars at a Covina parking lot Friday, officials said.
Ricardo Garcia, 41, of Azusa and Mark Joseph Munoz, 35, of Glendora, were booked on suspicion of auto theft and receiving stolen property following their arrests, which took place about 5:20 p.m. in a commercial parking lot at the corner of Azusa Avenue and San Bernardino Road, Covina police Lt. Tim Doonan said.
The incident began when a man noticed the suspects “tinkering” with a 1992 Acura Integra in the parking lot, Doonan said. When the witness noticed the men were trying to start the car using a screwdriver, he became suspicious and called police.
Both suspects fled as officers approached, the lieutenant said.
Garcia was immediately captured, Doonan said. Munoz ran into a nearby auto parts store, where he was found and arrested without a struggle.
The Acura was determined to have been stolen earlier in the day in West Covina, Doonan said.
Garcia and Munoz were found to have credit cards and other documents in the names of other people, he said. They also had documents connected to a 1994 Nissan pickup truck found parked about 50 feet away from the Acura in the parking lot.
Police soon determined the truck had been reported stolen Thursday in Covina.
Garcia and Munoz were being held in lieu of $25,000 bail at the Covina Police Department’s jail pending their initial court appearances, scheduled Tuesday in West Covina Superior Court.
AZUSA — A teenage auto theft suspect led police on a brief chase before being arrested Wednesday, police said.
The chase began just before 10 a.m. when an officer spotted a 1995 Honda Accord that had been reported stolen driving in the area of Foothill Boulevard and Cerritos Avenue , Azusa police Sgt. John Madaloni said.
The driver, 17-year-old Azusa boy, failed to pull over and led police on a pursuit for about two miles south on Cerritos Avenue, the sergeant said.
After crashing the Honda into a parked car, the driver continued fleeing on foot into the Monte Carlo Inn, officials said.
He was found during a search of the complex and arrested on suspicion of auto theft, evading police and driving without a license, Madaloni said. The teenage suspect was take to a juvenile hall.
NORWALK — Deputies jailed two alleged auto thieves following a short car chase and a neighborhood search Wednesday, officials said.
Scott Catalano, 21, of Norwalk was booked on suspicion of auto theft following the incident, along with Luis Magallanes, 25, of Norwalk, who was jailed on suspicion of auto theft, assault on a peace officer, burglary and evading police, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Jason Skeen said.
A deputy tried to pull over a black Hyundai for a traffic violation just before 1 p.m. on Alondra Boulevard near Norwalk Boulevard, the lieutenant said. Deputies discovered the car had been reported stolen.
The driver of the car — later identified as Catalano — exited the vehicle and ran, Skeen said. Deputies quickly captured him nearby.
Magallanes, who had been the passenger of the stolen car, slid over to the driver’s seat and fled, leading police on short chase two blocks north to Nava Street, where he abandoned the car and ran, Skeen said.
Deputies set up a search perimeter to hunt for Magallanes, he said. About two hours later, he again ran from deputies and fled through homes as they closed in on his hiding spot in a residential neighborhood
He was subdued following a fight with a deputy, Skeen said. The deputy suffered minor injuries. The suspect was taken to a hospital for treatment prior to being booked into jail.
According to Los Angeles County Superior Court records and county booking records, Catalano has been free from jail for less than a month after serving time for vandalism, resisting or obstructing police, receiving stolen property and carrying a concealed dirk or dagger.
He was convicted of the crimes in November of 2013, sent to jail and released Jan. 28, records show. It was unclear how much time he spent behind bars. Catalano was also convicted in March of 2013 of carrying a switchblade knife.
Magallanes had to existing arrest warrant stemming from a previous pursuit case, as well as a gun possession case, Skeen said.
Records indicated Catalano was being held in lieu of $25,000 bail pending his arraignment, scheduled Friday in Bellflower Superior Court. Magallanes was being held in lieu of $20,000 bail pending a Friday arraignment in Bellflower Superior Court.