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.
INDUSTRY — Deputies arrested an alleged auto thief Friday following a brief car chase and foot pursuit, authorities said.
Joaquin Garcia, 38, was arrested following the incident, which began shortly after 5 p.m., Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. James Beamon said. His city of residence was not available.
A deputy spotted him driving a 2000 Hyundai that had been reported stolen near Amar Road and Baldwin Park Boulevard, at the northwest edge of Industry, the lieutenant said.
Garcia refused to pull over for the deputy, initiating a pursuit that ended in the 400 block of Santa Mariana Avenue in the unincorporated county area of Bassett, where the suspect abandoned the car and continued fleeing on foot, Beamon said. He was quickly apprehended by deputies.
According to county booking records, Garcia was being held in lieu of $80,000 bail pending a scheduled arraignment Tuesday in El Monte Superior Court.
HACIENDA HEIGHTS — Deputies arrested a man and woman Wednesday after they abandoned a stolen car and fled into a Hacienda Heights neighborhood, authorities said.
An automated license place reader alerted deputies that a car heading north on Hacienda Boulevard through Hacienda Heights had been reported stolen Monday in La Habra, Sgt. R. Thurlo of the sheriff’s Industry Station said.
A sheriff’s helicopter quickly arrived overhead and deputies on board watched a man driving the car and a female passenger abandoned the vehicle on La Subida Drive, just west of Hacienda Boulevard, and flee on foot, the sergeant said.
Deputies set up a search perimeter and soon found the driver down in a nearby wash area, Thurlo said. He was arrested without a struggle and taken to a hospital for treatment of a foot or ankle injury apparently suffered as he fled into the wash.
The female suspect was found hiding in some nearby bushes and also arrested without a struggle, Thurlo said. Both were expected to be booked on suspicion of auto theft.
Their names were not available Wednesday pending the booking process.
PHOTO courtesy of the sheriff’s Industry Station.
PASADENA — Police jailed an Altadena man Saturday after he allegedly crashed a stolen car into a retaining wall, then fled the scene.
Manuel Navarro, 31, was booked on suspicion of auto theft and hit-and-run following the 6:30 p.m. crash at Colorado Boulevard and Annandale Road, just west of the Colorado Street Bridge, Pasadena police Lt. Jason Clawson said. He was treated for injuries suffered in the crash prior to being taken to jail.
Police responded to a report of a car crashing into a retaining wall, followed by several people running from the crashed vehicle, he said.
After a search of the area, police found Navarro — who was believed to be the driver — in a nearby yard, Clawson said.
Officers also detained a 20-year-old Los Angeles woman who was believed to have fled from the crashed car, Clawson said. She was taken to a hospital for injuries suffered in the crash. It was not immediately clear if she would face charges.
At least one other passenger believed to have run from the car was not found, the lieutenant added.
The car had been reported stolen Friday in Pasadena, and Clawson said police were also looking into the possibility that gardening equipment found inside the car was also stolen.
According to county booking records, Navarro was being held in lieu of $20,000 bail pending his initial court appearance.
PASADENA — A teen robbed a woman of her jewelry early Thursday before leading police to a stolen car, authorities said.
A 43-year-old woman was speaking with someone about 9:05 a.m. in the 100 block of West Claremont Street when the young suspect walked up behind her, snatched two gold necklaces from her neck and ran, Pasadena police Lt. Jason Clawson said.
Police spotted a young man matching the description of the robber a short time later in the 200 block of North Lake Avenue, Clawson said.
Not only was the suspect found to have the stolen necklaces, but officers also found a car key in his pocket that belonged to car parked nearby, the lieutenant said. The 1997 Honda Accord had been reported stolen in Pasadena.
The teen suspect was taken to juvenile hall on suspicion of robbery and auto theft, he said. His exact age was not available.
PASADENA — A Pasadena parolee was behind bars Thursday after he was found driving a stolen U-Haul van while in possession of a loaded gun, police said.
Ismael Carrasco, 21, was booked on suspicion of auto theft and being a felon in possession of a firearm following his arrest shortly after 11 p.m. Wednesday at Lake Avenue and Maple Street, Pasadena police Lt. Jason Clawson said.
Officers were on patrol when an automated license plate reader system mounted on their patrol car alerted them that the U-Haul van had been reported stolen, Clawson said. The time and place when the auto theft was reported were not available.
The officers pulled over the U-Haul and detained Carrasco, the lieutenant said. They then discovered a loaded rifle-caliber pistol inside the van, he said. “That gun was stolen 15 years ago out of Montclair.”
A search of Los Angeles County court records shows that since 2010, Carrasco has been convicted of crimes including carrying a concealed firearm, child endangerment, unlawful taking of a vehicle, drug possession and possession of drugs while incarcerated.
According to county booking records, Carrasco was being held without bail Thursday pending his initial court appearance.