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.
PASADENA — A tip from a concerned resident led police to recover a stolen van containing hundreds of pieces of stolen mail and other suspected stolen property late Saturday, officials said.
Three thieves — two men and a woman — were being sought following the discovery, which was made about 11:30 p.m. in the 1000 block of South Chester Avenue, just south of Green Street, Pasadena police Lt. Jason Clawson said.
“A caller stated they believed someone had been tampering with the mailbox at an apartment complex,” he said, adding that mail had been stolen from the box in the past.
Three people were reported to be involved in the possible mailbox tapering, Clawson said. Witnesses reported seeing them place a bicycle into a van parked near the apartment complex before walking away.
The trio was gone when police officers arrived, the lieutenant said. Officers quickly discovered the white Ford van had been reported stolen and fitted with stolen license plates, or “cold plated.”
“Upon searching the vehicle, they found property that may have been stolen and hundreds of pieces of mail stolen from residents from throughout Pasadena and Altadena,” he said. The bicycle mentioned by the caller, which was believed to be stolen, was among the recovered items.
Police continued seeking the three alleged thieves Sunday, Clawson said.
One was described as a Latino woman between 20 and 25 years old, about 5 feet 1 inch tall, 130 pounds, with a shaved head and tattoos on the back of her neck. She wore a black basketball Jersey.
The second thief was described as a black man between 25 and 30, about 5 feet 6 inches tall, 180 pounds, with a short Afro-style hair and a mustache, police said. He wore a black Orlando Magic basketball jersey.
Officials described the third suspect as a white man between 30 and 35 years old, about 5 feet 5 inches tall and between 180 and 200 pounds. He had short brown hair, which he wore slicked black, and wore a white T-shirt.
A man and woman from El Monte were behind bars Saturday after leading West Covina police on a high-speed chase in a stolen car during which the driver rammed a police car, authorities said.
Driver and parolee William Paul East, 30, was booked on suspicion of auto theft, driving a stolen car, assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer and felony evading of police following the pursuit, which began about 11:10 p.m. Friday in West Covina before officers stopped it with a PIT maneuver in El Monte, West Covina police Lt. Dennis Patton said.
His passenger, 32-year-old Jenny Anne Lao, was arrested on suspicion of possession of methamphetamine, the lieutenant said.
East was being held without bail and was scheduled to appear in West Covina Superior Court Feb. 20, according to county booking records. He was already being sought for absconding from parole supervision when the chase took place, officials said.
Lao was being held in lieu of $25,000 bail and was scheduled to appear Tuesday in West Covina Superior Court.
The incident began when a man called police to report seeing his compact Toyota sedan, which had been stolen in El Monte, driving through West Covina, Patton said.
“He happened to come across his vehicle and notified West Covina police,” he said. It was not immediately clear when the car had been stolen.
The caller directed police toward where he had spotted his stolen car, and officers caught up with it in the area of Valinda Avenue and Maplegrove Street, on the western border of West Covina, Patton said.
“Officers proceeded to attempt to stop the vehicle, when the vehicle abruptly fled at a high rate of speed and a pursuit was initiated,” Patton said.
The fleeing car led officers along side streets before getting onto the westbound 10 Freeway, where it reached 105 mph, he said.
As the car exited at Peck Road, East lost control and the Toyota spun out, Patton said. Lao got out of the car and fled on foot, but was quickly apprehended. East continued fleeing in the car.
Police continued chasing the car south on Peck Road until it crashed into a car parked in a used car lot at Peck Road and Valley Boulevard, Patton said.
“After that impact with a parked vehicle at the auto dealership, the driver put the vehicle into reverse and intentionally rammed a police vehicle,” he said. The officer was not injured, and the damage appeared minor.
When East tried to continue driving, officers used a PIT maneuver to bring the chase to an end, according to Patton. East then surrendered.
PASADENA — Police sought a person of interest after a Lexus was stolen from an Arcadia shopping mall, then found set ablaze in Pasadena.
Pasadena police were notified of a 2008 Lexus IS 250 on fire about 8:45 p.m. at Lincoln Avenue in Del Monte Street, Pasadena police Lt. Jason Clawson said.
Once firefighters extinguished the flames, it was determined the fire was suspicious in nature, and that the car had been stolen from the parking lot of the Westfield Santa Anita shopping mall in Arcadia earlier in the evening, according to Pasadena and Arcadia police.
The car’s owner emerged from the shopping mall to find the Lexus missing and reported it to police shortly before 9:30 p.m., Arcadia police Sgt. John Bonomo said.
But by the time the theft was discovered and reported, the luxury car was already in flames in Pasadena. It was believed to have been taken sometime after 8 p.m.
A “person of interest” was seen leaving the area of the burning car, Clawson said. He was described as a Latino man between 20 and 30 years old, about 5 feet 11 inches tall, with a shaved head and wearing a dark hooded sweat shirt and dark jeans.
INDUSTRY — A naked woman stole a man’s pickup truck Sunday from the parking lot of an Industry restaurant, officials said.
The bizarre crime took place shortly after 10 a.m. outside a TGI Fridays restaurant in the 17400 block of Colima Road, near the Puente Hills Mall, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Deputy Daniel Buger said.
The woman, described as an acquaintance of the victim in her early-60s, fled in the man’s gray, extra cab, 2003 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck, the deputy said.
The woman had urinated herself, and the man was helping her buy fresh clothes when she drove away in his truck, Buger said. The exact relationship between the man and woman was unclear.
Deputies continued seeking both the woman, whose identity was known to deputies, and the truck Sunday afternoon.
PASADENA — Officials arrested a man Wednesday with the help of a K-9 after he led deputies on a brief pursuit in a stolen car in an unincorporated county area near Pasadena, authorities said.
Deputies spotted a car that had been reported stolen about 3:45 p.m. in the area of Colorado and Rosemead boulevards, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Tom Harris said.
The driver failed to pull over and led police on a brief pursuit that ended at Lotus Avenue and Green Street when he crashed into a parked car, the sergeant said. The suspect continued fleeing on foot.
A sheriff’s K-9 found the suspect hiding in a nearby backyard and bit him in the arms and buttocks, Harris said. Deputies arrested him on suspicion of auto theft and evading police.
The 33-year-old suspect’s name was not immediately available pending the booking process, Harris said. He was taken to a hospital for examination of his dog bite wounds before being booked into jail.