WEST COVINA >> West Covina police arrested two men and a teenage girl early Saturday following chase in a stolen car and an officer-involved shooting in the unincorporated county area of South San Jose Hills in which no one was injured, officials said.
The series of events began at 3:12 a.m. when police tried to stop a 1994 Toyota Camry for a traffic violation in the area of Azusa Avenue and Amar Road, West Covina police Lt. Dennis Patton said.
“Officers attempted to make a traffic stop on a motorist, who led them on a high-speed pursuit,” Patton said. In addition the driver, which was later determined to be stolen, a second man and a teenage girl also rode in the car as passengers.
The pursuit came to an end when the car pulled into a cul-de-sac near Gemini Street and Hambledon Avenue and stopped, the lieutenant said.
“The driver abruptly put the vehicle in reverse and used the vehicle in a ramming motion in an effort to pin our lead officer between his vehicle and the door of vehicle, Patton said.
The officer fired several rounds at the approaching car, which came to a halt. No one was struck by the gunfire.
But the driver still refused orders to surrender, Patton said. Officers ultimately took him into custody with the help of a police dog.
The other two suspects were arrested without a struggle, Patton said.
All three were accused of auto theft and resisting arrest, he said.
The driver, 18-year-old Raymond Elias of El Monte, was taken to a hospital for treatment before being booked into jail, is also accused of attempted murder of a police officer and evading police.
WEST COVINA >> West Covina police arrested an El Monte gang member who led them on a short chase in a stolen car before ditching the vehicle, as well as a loaded handgun, and trying to escape on foot, officials said.
Parolee Andrew Cuevas, 23, is accused of being a felon in possession of firearm, auto theft, evading police and violating parole, West Covina police Lt. Dennis Patton said.
Officers encountered Cuevas about 7:20 a.m. when they tried to pull over the car he was driving for a traffic violation, the lieutenant said.
Cuevas sped away instead, leading police on a brief pursuit before abandoning the car and running at Pacific and Puente avenues, just across the city border in Baldwin Park, he said.
“(Cuevas) proceeded to run from vehicle, making continuous furtive gestures in area of his waistband,” Patton said. Refusing repeated orders stop, “He pulled out a weapon — a handgun, loaded semi-auto — and tossed it into an adjacent yard.”
Officers then captured Cuevas without a struggle, Patton said.
The car Cuevas had been driving was found to have been taken earlier in the morning in West Covina, but not yet reported to police as stolen.
Cuevas was taken to a hospital for examination prior to booking due to a pre-existing medical condition, officials said. He was expected to be held without bail pending his initial court appearance.
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.
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
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 a 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.