IRWINDALE >> A Baldwin Park man accused of seriously injuring a 70-year-old woman in a hit-and-run crash while driving a stolen car in Irwindale, then trying to carjack a passing motorist, faces numerous criminal charges, police said Saturday.
Mario Anthony Barillas, 37, was found and arrested by investigators on Tuesday on suspicion of hit-and-run involving injury, possession of a stolen car, attempted carjacking, reckless driving and violating his pre-existing probation stemming from a narcotics-related conviction, according to Irwindale police Sgt. Rudy Gatto. The initial crash took place about 3:10 p.m. on July 29 on Arrow Highway, just east of Bleecker Street.
Barillas was driving a stolen, 2010 Nissan Pathfinder SUV at high speed when the car slammed into a small 2004 Dodge pickup truck, Gatto said. The truck was struck on the passenger side as it made a left turn into a driveway from Arrow Highway.
The pickup truck was being driven by 70-year-old man, according to Gatto. His wife, also 70, was riding as a passenger as the couple headed to drop of recyclables at a nearby recycling center.
Firefighters had to free the woman from the wreckage, officials said. She was taken to an area hospital where she received emergency surgery to treat injuries described as “major, Irwindale police said in a written statement. Her husband suffered apparently minor injuries, Gatto added.
But the driver of Nissan, which was later determined to have been reported stolen, had fled the scene on foot.
“The suspect attempted to carjack another nearby vehicle as he was leaving the accident scene, however he was unsuccessful,” according to the police statement.
The driver of that car managed to speed away before being carjacked, Gatto said. Police had yet to find the victim of the failed carjacking on Heintz Street, but are hoping to speak with the driver.
Officers searched the area but did not find the hit-and-run driver.
Detectives continued their investigation in the days that followed, interviewing many witnesses and collecting footage from area video surveillance cameras, Gatto said. They ultimately identified Barillas as the suspect, obtained an arrest warrant and took him into custody in Covina on Tuesday.
Barillas was being held in lieu of $1.01 million bail at the Glendora Police Department’s jail pending his next court appearance, scheduled Aug. 24 in the West Covina branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court, booking records show.
PHOTO: Mario Anthony Barillas, 37, of Baldwin Park. (Courtesy, Irwindale Police Department)
SOUTH PASADENA >> A routine traffic early Saturday led to the arrest of a man driving a stolen car through South Pasadena, along with drugs, burglary tools and an outstanding warrant for auto theft, police said.
The arrest took place about 1 a.m. after an officer pulled over a 2017 Nissan Rogue SUV for a traffic violation at Mission Street and Fairview Avenue, South Pasadena police Sgt. Spencer Louie said.
The vehicle was equipped with paper license plates, but when the officer ran the SUV’s vehicle identification number, he learned it had been reported stolen in South Pasadena in late-June, according to the sergeant.
Police took the driver into custody without a struggle and also discovered a small amount of methamphetamine and burglary tools inside the stolen SUB, Spencer said. Additionally, the man had an outstanding warrant related to an auto theft case.
Joel Ramirez, 26, of Los Angeles was booked on suspicion of auto theft, possession of burglary tools and possession of methamphetamine, and was also being held in connection with his warrant, Louie said.
According to Los Angeles County Superior Court and booking records, Ramirez pleaded “no contest” on March 3 to a charge of taking a car without the owner’s consent, stemming from an arrest two days earlier . He was sentenced to 120 days in county jail and three years of formal probation. He served three weeks in jail before being released on March 23.
More recently, in May, he was convicted of methamphetamine possession, records show. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail and three years of summary probation. He was released after serving seven days.
Ramirez criminal history also includes convictions for possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia in 2017; two counts of taking a car without the owner’s consent, petty theft, and methamphetamine possession in 2016; two counts of methamphetamine possession, possession of a switchblade knife and possession of drug paraphernalia in 2015; and violating a restraining order in 2014.
Ramirez was being held without bail pending his initial court appearance, scheduled Tuesday in the Alhambra branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court.
PASADENA >> Police are seeking a pickup truck belonging to a reserve police officer, which containing a handgun, ammunition, body armor and other equipment, that was stolen in Pasadena on Wednesday, officials said.
The truck theft took place between 4:15 p.m. and 6:15 p.m. in the 1100 block of Rosemont Avenue, Pasadena police officials said in a written statement.
The vehicle, owned by a Pasadena Police Department reserve police officer, contained a semi-automatic handgun and other law enforcement equipment, to include a duty belt (no radio), ballistic helmet, ballistic vest, gas mask and ammunition,” according to the statement.
Police described the missing truck as a white, 2000 Ford F-250 crew cab pickup truck with a matching camper shell and California license plate number 6J54905.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Pasadena Police Department at 626-744-4241. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
AZUSA >> A wanted Azusa man remained behind bars in lieu of more than half a million dollars bail on Wednesday after leading police on a pursuit in a stolen car earlier in the week, authorities said.
Ricardo Angel Guzman, 36, was booked on suspicion of possession of a stolen car, evading police, drug possession and driving on a suspended license following the chase, which took place just after 9:30 p.m. on Monday, Azusa police Lt. Michael Bertelsen said. He also had three outstanding arrest warrants.
The incident began when someone called police from a residential neighborhood in town to report seeing a suspicious vehicle, the lieutenant said.
“On arrival, (officers) attempted to contact two occupants of the vehicle,” Bertelsen said. “The driver sped away. A pursuit followed.”
The driver, later identified as Guzman, led officers on a chase through city streets for about 20 minutes, according to Bertelsen. A woman was riding in the car as a passenger.
Officers soon determined the car had recently been reported stolen in Ontario, he added.
At one point, the car ran into a dead end on Kirkwall Road. But the driver drove through the adjacent Valleydale Park, 5525 N. Lark Ellen Ave., and continued the pursuit, Bertelsen said. The car also briefly sped toward an officer as he was sitting in a patrol car blocking traffic.
The car ultimately came to a stop in the 300 block of South Louise Avenue, where the Guzman exited the car and ran, but was soon apprehended, according to the lieutenant. The female passenger was detained at the scene and treated for an existing medical condition, but was not arrested.
Guzman was booked into the Azusa Police Department’s jail, where he was being held in lieu of $620,000 bail pending his initial court appearance, scheduled Thursday in West Covina branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court.
BALDWIN PARK >> Police and California Highway Patrol officer jailed an auto theft suspect who led them on a pursuit from El Monte before crashing into a CHP cruiser in Baldwin Park while fleeing in the wrong direction of traffic on the 10 Freeway, authorities said.
The suspect was found and taken into custody nearby, and no officers were hurt in the incident, which began shortly before 9 p.m. in El Monte, California Highway Patrol Officer Tony Polizzi said. Authorities briefly shut down the westbound lanes of the 10 Freeway following the collision, but quickly reopened them.
A LoJack vehicle anti-theft signal first attracted the attention of El Monte police to the vehicle, officials said.
The driver failed to pull over for police, initiating a chase that reached high speeds and travelled on the wrong side of the roadway more than once.
The CHP took over the pursuit as the driver made his way onto the 60 Freeway. Shortly after he began heading east in the westbound lanes of the freeway, he collided with a CHP cruiser near Baldwin Park Boulevard, Polizzi said.
It was not immediately clear whether the CHP officer crashed into the suspect intentionally or unintentionally.
The driver got out of the crashed car and continued to flee on foot, but was soon captured in a nearby neighborhood, officials said.
CHP officials could not confirm initial radio reports from the scene that a gun was recovered from inside the suspect’s stolen car.
No further details were available late Wednesday.
AZUSA >> Police in Azusa arrested an auto theft suspect Wednesday morning after he jumped from the still-moving vehicle and tried to make his escape on foot, authorities said.
The incident began about 10 a.m. when an officer on patrol near Citrus Avenue and Basline Road spotted a passing car that had been reported stolen in Ontario earlier in the morning, Azusa police Sgt. Xavier Torres said.
“As the Officer attempted to catch up to the vehicle, it entered a residential tract in the unincorporated area of Azusa and began to speed up,” Torres said in a written statement. “As the Officer was about to stop the vehicle, the driver jumped out of the moving vehicle in the area of Viceroy (Avenue) and Ghent (Street) and began to run away.”
The abandoned stolen car continued until it went up onto a sidewalk and came to a stop in a residential front yard, Torres said.
The driver ran through several backyards before they found and arrested the suspect hiding in a nearby yard with help from alert neighbors and a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department helicopter, Torres said.
The suspect, whose name was not available Wednesday afternoon, was booked on suspicion of auto theft and resisting arrest, police said. He was expected to be held in lieu of $25,000 bail pending his initial court appearance, scheduled Tuesday in West Covina Superior Court.
PASADENA >> Police arrested a man and teen following a brief pursuit in a stolen car, as well as the man’s brother, who they say interfered with the arrest on Friday, officials said.
Jose Ibarra, 19, of Pasadena and a teenage boy were booked on suspicion of auto theft, while Ibarra’s brother, Rafael Ibarra, was accused of resisting police with violence and resisting or obstructing police, Pasadena police Lt. Pete Hettema said.
The incident began about 1:25 p.m. when patrol officers received a notification from an automated license plate reader that a Ford Escape driving in the area of Penn Street and Garfield Avenue had been reported stolen, Pasadena police Lt. Pete Hettema said.
The driver, later identified as Jose Ibarra, refused to pull over, initiating a chase, he said.
The teenage passenger got out of the car and ran in the area of Howard Street and Fair Oaks Avenue, but was soon captured, the lieutenant said.
The driver of the Ford Escape continued until he reached Navarro Avenue, just south of Howard Street, where he pulled over near his home, Hettema said. As officers took the driver into custody, his older brother came outside and interfered with the arrest, Hettema said. Rafael Ibarra scuffled with officers before being arrested on suspicion of resisting police with violence and resisting or obstructing police. He was treated for a minor injury suffered in the scuffle before being booked into jail.
According to county booking records, Jose Ibarra was being held in lieu of $75,000 pending his initial court appearance, while Rafael Ibarra was being held in lieu of $51,000 bail.
LA PUENTE >> Deputies arrested a suspected gang member with a handgun following a pursuit through La Puente in a stolen car on Thursday afternoon, authorities said.
A deputy patrolling in the area of Valley Boulevard and Ferrero Lane spotted a Toyota Camry which had been reported stolen in Baldwin Park earlier this month driving down the road, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Pete Cacheiro said.
The driver refused to pull over, initiating a short chase along surface streets that ended when the driver abandoned the car and ran on nearby Wegman Drive, the lieutenant said.
Deputies nabbed the suspect as he fled through a residential neighborhood, he added. He was arrested without further struggle.
Retracing the suspect steps, deputies found a handgun, as well as a shirt and baseball cap the fleeing suspect had apparently discarded in an attempt to change his appearance, Cacheiro said.
The identity of the suspect, a man estimated to be in his early-30s, was not released Thursday as detectives continued their investigation into the man, he added. The suspect was believed to have gang ties.
BALDWIN PARK >> Two men chased down a big rig to Irwindale after it was stolen in Baldwin Park Wednesday, but the thief escaped with the help of a knife-wielding accomplice who spirited him away in a getaway car, officials said.
The chain of events began about 11:50 a.m. with the report of a big rig being stolen in the 15200 block of Arrow Highway, just west of Azusa Canyon Road, Baldwin Park police Sgt. Joshua Hendricks said.
A co-owner of the truck and a man in his friend, both men in their 20s, saw the truck drive off, he said. They called police and followed behind the stolen big rig in another car.
The truck became stuck in traffic on Irwindale Avenue at the 210 Freeway in Irwindale, officials said. The driver of the just-stolen big rig reversed the truck and rammed his pursuers. No injuries were reported, and the damage to the car was described as minor.
The victims exited their car and tried to grab the truck thief, but an accomplice showed up and brandished a knife before both suspects fled in a gray BMW sedan, Hendricks said.
Detailed descriptions of the suspects were not available.
The investigation was being handled by Irwindale police, Hendricks said. Irwindale police Sgt. Rene Sapien declined to discuss the case, referring inquiries back to Baldwin Park police.
AZUSA >> Police are seeking the public’s help in tracking down a man and woman who they say stole a car from outside of an Azusa business last week.
The auto theft took place about 12:40 p.m. on Aug. 25 in the 200 block of East Newburgh Street, Azusa police said in a written statement. The suspects’ images, as well as the theft, were captured by surveillance cameras at an adjacent business. •Video: Surveillance video Azusa captures auto theft suspects
Sgt. John Madaloni said the suspects snatched the car keys from inside a business before fleeing in the victim’s car. The footage shows two people chasing after the car to no avail as the suspects drive it away.
The male thief was described as a heavy-set Latino man of about 30 years old, with dark hair and tattoos on both arms and around his neckline. The word “circle” was tattooed on his left arm, along with a tattoo of an apple under his left elbow. He had a mustache and goatee and wore a light-colored shirt, long dark shorts and a dark baseball cap.
His female accomplice was described as a Latina woman in her late-20s or early-30s, with dark hair, possibly in a pony tail. She wore glasses, a dark shirt and dark pants.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Azusa police at 626-812-3200 regarding case 16-33232.