Auto theft suspect arrested after chase, crash in Whittier


WHITTIER >> Police jailed an alleged car thief Saturday after he led police on a chase and crashed into a tree, authorities said.
Leonard Marin, 26, of Monterey Park is accused of auto theft and evading police in connection with the incident, which unfolded about noon, Whittier police Lt. Aaron Ruiz said.
An officer spotted a 1998 Honda Civic with no license plates driving along Pickering Avenue near Beverly Boulevard, the lieutenant said. Police tried to pull over the car, which sped away instead.
Police chased the car south on Pickering Avenue until it made a left turn onto Philadelphia Street and lost control of the car, which struck a tree, Ruiz said.
Officers arrested Marin at the crash scene and took him to a hospital for treatment of minor injuries before booking him into jail, Ruiz said.
The car had been reported stolen in early-December in Los Angeles, he said.

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UPDATED: Child found safe after being abducted by car thief in Montebello

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MONTEBELLO >> A car thief stole a minivan with a 1-year-old boy inside of it from a Montebello recycling center Thursday afternoon before being found unharmed, along with the abandoned vehicle, four hours later in Pico Rivera, authorities said.
The theft and possibly unintentional kidnapping took place about 3 p.m. at S.A. Recycling, 1545 Gage Road, Montebello police officials said.
One-year-old Caleb Castro, who was passenger in the red 2003 Honda Odyssey minivan when it was stolen, was found safe inside the minivan nearly four hours later after it was abandoned outside a Pico Rivera McDonalds restaurant, according to police.”
“The child was found inside (the minivan) safe and unharmed and is at a local hospital being looked at,” police said in a written statement.
Authorities issued an Amber Alert following the initial carjacking, Montebello police Lt. Michael Bergman.
“The suspect approached the parked vehicle, while three children sat in the car. Their mother stepped away approximately 10 feet and was going to recycle some items,” according to a police statement.
“The suspect approached the vehicle, ordered two girls — 6- and 4-year-olds out of the car,” the statement continued. But the woman’s 1-year-old son remained in the minivan.
The thief drove off in the minivan, which had the keys still in the ignition, police said.
“The mother screamed that her baby was in the car, however the suspect fled with the vehicle out of the parking lot and southbound on Gage Road,” according to the statement.
A witness who had seen the Amber Alert spotted the stolen minivan shortly before 7 p.m. in the parking lot of a McDonald’s restaurant, 9333 W. Slauson Ave. in Pico Rivera, officials said.
The carjacker remained at large, officials said. He was described as a Latino man, about 30 years, with spiked hair. He spoke Spanish.

 

Suspect photo courtesy of the Montebello Police Department

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Baldwin Park man accused of DUI, auto theft after leading Irwindale police on chase

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IRWINDALE >> Police working a DUI patrol in Irwindale late Christmas night arrested an alleged drunken driver who led them on a chase in a stolen pickup truck that ended in a crash at a park in Baldwin Park, authorities said.
Miguel Higuera Lujan, 36, of Baldwin Park remained jailed in lieu of $25,000 bail Saturday on suspicion of auto theft, DUI and hit-and-run, according to Irwindale police officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
Two officers were working an extra enforcement operation in search of intoxicated drivers just after 11 p.m. when they saw a 1994 Nissan pickup truck run a stop sign at Ramona Boulevard and Elton Avenue, Irwindale police Sgt. George Zendejas said.
The driver refused to pull over, starting a chase, the sergeant said. He fled for about 1227_NWS_SGT-L-DUICHASE2a mile, running through a red light otherwise driving recklessly, before driving the truck through the basketball court at Hilda L. Solis Park, at 15010 Badillo Street in Baldwin Park.
“Thankfully, there was no one in the area,” Zendejas said.
Lujan jumped from the still-moving truck and continued to flee on foot. The truck came to a stop after crashing into a chain link fence at the edge of a flood control channel, officials said. Police soon captured the fleeing suspect nearby.
Police determined the truck had been reported stolen in the Temple City area.
Zendejas commended the involved officers.
“This was outstanding work on behalf of the officers working the DUI enforcement patrol and taking another dangerous DUI driver off the streets to keep our citizens safe during the holiday season,” he said.
Lujan was scheduled to appear for arraignment Tuesday in West Covina Superior Court.

 

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Police: Man breaks into Arcadia home, robs woman of car keys, steals car

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ARCADIA >> Police in Monrovia arrested a man early Friday after he broke into a woman’s home in Arcadia, robbed her of her car keys and stole her car the previous afternoon, authorities said.
Troy Lucarelli, 43, of Temple City was being held on a domestic violence warrant as officials prepared to seek charges of burglary, robbery and auto theft, Arcadia police Lt. Colleen Flores said.
He showed up at a home in the 900 block of Paloma Drive shortly after 4:30 p.m. Thursday and entered through an unlocked door, Flores said in a written statement. Minutes earlier, he was believed to have tried, but failed, to break into another home less than a mile away in the 800 block of Balboa Drive.
Once inside the Paloma Drive home, “The suspect confronted the homeowner and demanded the keys to the victim’s vehicle,” Flores said. “Fearing for her safety, the victim complied with the suspect and he left the location in her vehicle.”
Police soon found the stolen car abandoned several blocks away, she said.
Investigators identified Lucarelli as the suspect, Flores said. He was already being sought by Monrovia police due to a domestic violence-related warrant.
Monrovia officers found and arrested Lucarelli about 4 a.m. Friday.
He was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail pending his initial court appearance, records show, however his bail amount was likely to increase as additional expected charges are added next week. He’s scheduled to appear for an arraignment hearing Tuesday in Pasadena Superior Court.
The crimes took place the same day that two masked gunman forced their way into a home in the 1900 block of South Tulip Lane and attacked a resident in his bed, Lt. Mike Castro said. The suspects in the morning break-in were not caught. The Tulip Avenue incident was not believed to be connected to the break-ins on Paloma and Balboa drives Thursday afternoon.

PHOTO of Troy Lucarelli, 43, of Temple City courtesy of the Arcadia Police Department.

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Woman and teen arrested for auto theft in Glendora


GLENDORA >> Police arrested a woman and a teenage boy after finding them with stolen SUV in a Glendora neighborhood Friday afternoon, officials said.
Sureilyn Rodriguez, 20, and a teenage boy were arrested on suspicion of auto theft, Glendora police Lt. Scott Strong said.
A resident of the 1200 block of Swain Street called police about 5 p.m. to reports two suspicious people loitering near a Chevrolet Suburban, the lieutenant said.
The teenage boy ran as officers approached, but was quickly apprehended nearby, Strong said. Rodriguez remained with the stolen SUV and was arrested without a struggle.
Officers soon determined the Suburban had been reported stolen out of Baldwin Park, he said.

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UPDATED: Suspect arrested following 4-hour standoff at El Monte business


EL MONTE >> Police officers, including one on four legs, captured an auto theft suspect who holed up inside an El Monte business for four hours Wednesday, officials said.
The incident began shortly before noon when a LoJack vehicle ant-theft signal led police to a stolen car in the 9200 block of Telstar Avenue, El Monte police Sgt. Ernie Cramer said.
As officers approached, the driver quickly pulled into the parking lot of a social services office and ran from the car, the sergeant said. He ran into a nearby large building housing a furniture store and a badminton club.
Officer evacuated the building, where the suspect was believed to be hiding, Cramer said. There was no indication he was armed.
Police began a search of the large building, ultimately finding the suspect hiding inside about 4 p.m., Cramer said.
He refused to surrender, so officers sent in a police dog, which bit the man and helped take him into custody, Cramer said.
Police took the suspect, a man in his 20s, to a hospital for treatment prior to the booking process, he said.

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UPDATED: Stolen car pursuit ends in a crash in Whittier


WHITTIER >> Police arrested two men and sought a woman after a short pursuit of a stolen car ended in a crash in Whittier Sunday.
Officers tried to stop a reportedly stolen Toyota Prius about 4:20 p.m. in the area of Broadway and Western Avenue, Whittier police Lt. Aaron Ruiz said. It was being driven by a woman, with two men riding as passengers.
The car sped away, beginning a chase that lasted about 30 seconds, he said.
The Prius then collided with a Honda Odyssey at El Rancho Drive and Howard Street, police said.
A man and woman inside the minivan suffered apparently minor injuries.
All three occupants of the Honda ran, Ruiz said
Officers quickly apprehended the suspected passengers, but the female driver of the Honda was not found.
Juan Carlos Pizano, 27, and Steven Magdaleno, 31, were expected to be booked on suspicion of taking a car without the owner’s permission after being examined at a hospital, according to police and county booking records.

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Two arrested after stolen car pursuit through West Covina

WEST COVINA >> Police arrested a man and woman early Sunday after they led officers on a pursuit through West Covina in a stolen car, officials said.
Paul Martin Velasquez, 25, of Covina was ultimately arrested on suspicion of auto theft, felony evading and hit-and-run, West Covina police Lt. Dennis Patton said. His passenger, 20-year-old Esmeralda Vasquez of Glendora is accused of auto theft.
Police spotted a stolen car about 10:30 a.m. at Garvey Avenue and Citrus Street and tried to pull it over, the lieutenant said. The driver failed to stop, initiating a pursuit.
The fleeing vehicle struck another car during the chase, resulting in property damage but no injuries, Patton said.
The chase came to an end when the car lost control at the corner of Hollenbeck Street and Vine Avenue, jumped a curb and came to a stop in a residential front yard, police said. Both driver and passenger ran but were quickly apprehended.
Velasquez, who is on probation due a narcotics conviction, was being held without bail pending his arraignment hearing, Patton said. Vasquez was being held in lieu of $25,000 bail.

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Police: Woman caught driving stolen car in Pasadena

PASADENA >> Police arrested a woman late Tuesday after an automated license plate reader alerted police that the car she was driving through Pasadena had been stolen in Monterey Park, officials said.
An officer was on patrol about 11:45 p.m. at Foothill Boulevard and Madre Street when an automated license plate reader mounted on his vehicle indicated a nearby car had been reported stolen in the , Pasadena police Lt. John Luna said.
The officer pulled the car over and arrested Candida Figueoroa, a 39-year-old transient, on suspicion of auto theft, as well as two outstanding drug-related warrants, Luna said.
A teenager riding in the car with her was released to a parent, he added.

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One jailed, one sought after fleeing from stolen car in San Dimas


SAN DIMAS >> Deputies arrested one man and sought another after the suspects fled from a stolen car in San Dimas Wednesday afternoon, officials said. Marcos Hernandez, 27, was booked for auto theft following the incident, which began about 7:30 p.m., Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Tonya Edwards said. He was a passenger in a stolen 1995 Honda Accord deputies spotted in the 400 block of East Bonita Avenue, Edwards said. Hernandez and the driver abandoned the car and ran through a residential neighborhood when deputies approached, according to the lieutenant. Hernandez was quickly found and captured, however the driver of the stolen car remained at-large, she said. Officials described him as a Latino man with a letter “P” tattooed on his face. He was about 5 feet 7 inches tall and of average built, with a shaved head.

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