Fire scorches commercial building in Industry


INDUSTRY >> A fire broke out in a commercial building in Industry on Friday afternoon.
The fire was first reported at 1:34 p.m. as a machine on fire inside a commercial structure in the 200 block of Puente Avenue, Los Angeles County Fire Department officials said.
The fire soon spread to the building itself, and firefighters declared a second-alarm fire, calling in reinforcements and assuming a defensive stance against the fire, which sent a thick, black plume of smoke into the sky above the San Gabriel Valley.
The flames were all but extinguished by 3 p.m., with firefighters working to douse lingering “hot spots” in the scorched 50-foot by 150-foot bulding, Inspector Joey Marron said.
Officials declared the fire “knocked down” at 3:42 p.m., according to Dipatch Supervisor Cheryl Simms.
One firefighter was taken to a hospital for treatment of a minor injury, she said.
The cause of the fire was under investigation.

PHOTO by Sarah Reingewirtz

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Pizza delivery driver robbed, kidnapped in Hacienda Heights


HACIENDA HEIGHTS >> A gunman robbed and kidnapped pizza delivery driver late Tuesday, deputies said.
The crime unfolded just after 7:15 p.m. after the delivery man dropped off an order in the 1500 block of Fieldgate Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. David Infante said.
A man approached the driver while brandishing a black, semi-automatic handgun, the lieutenant said.
He demanded the delivery man’s money, obtaining about $75, he said. He then ordered the delivery driver to give him a ride.
The gunman fled on foot after being driven to the area of Gale and Farmstead avenues in neighboring Industry, Infante said.
He was described as a Latino man between 22 and 25 years old, about 5 feet 4 inches to 5 feet 5 inches tall, 140 to 150 pounds, with a shaved head.
Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s Industry Station at 626-330-3322. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Deputies make arrests, hand out toys to children during checkpoint in Industry

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INDUSTRY >> Deputies made 33 arrests or citations, but also handed out Christmas toys to children, during a checkpoint in Industry late Thursday, officials said.
The checkpoint was held from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Hacienda Boulevard, just south of Nelson Avenue, near the Los Angeles County sheriff’s Industry Station, according to Capt. Jeff Scroggin of the sheriff’s Information Bureau.
A total of 1,453 vehicles passed through the checkpoint, and 47 drivers were evaluated, he said.
Officials arrested two drivers on suspicion of driving under the influence of marijuana, Scroggin said in a written statement.
Seventeen unlicensed drivers were arrested and issued court dates, four drivers are accused of driving on suspended or revoked licenses, seven people were arrested for knowingly allowing an unlicensed person to drive, one person was arrested for possession of narcotics and two people were arrested for outstanding misdemeanor warrants, Scroggin said.
Deputies impounded four vehicles for 30 days, while 17 more were released to licensed drivers per checkpoint policy, he added.
But officials handed out more than citations during the checkpoint. Deputies also brought children’s toys to the checkpoint to give to children who passed through.

PHOTOS courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department

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Woman attacked, robbed along walkway in Industry


INDUSTRY >> A man attacked and robbed a woman as she walked along a pedestrian pathway in Industry late Friday, officials said.
The woman was walking along a trail near the intersection of Temple and Azusa avenues about 7:30 p.m. when the robber approached, Sgt. D. Contreras of the Los Angeles County sheriff’s Industry Station said.
The suspect demanded money and punched the woman in the face and shoulder, he said. The robber managed to steal about $200 from the woman and fled.
Contreras said the victim did not wish to be taken to a hospital.
A detailed suspect description was not available.
Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s Industry Station at 626-330-3322. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Deputies, community plan massive holiday toy drive at Puente Hills Mall


INDUSTRY >> Sheriff’s deputies and young volunteers will be teaming with an auto shop, a car club and holiday shoppers at the Puente Hills Mall in Industry on Saturday in an effort to fill a bus with toys for children in need.
The “Fill the Bus” toy drive will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the east entrance of the mall, 1600 S. Azusa Ave., according to Deputy Caroline Rodriguez of the Los Angeles County sheriff’s Information Bureau.
Seidner’s Collision Center and the Purist Car Club will join officials from the sheriff’s Industry Station for the annual event, Rodriguez said in a written statement.
Young members of the sheriff’s Youth Activities League will be caroling and providing free gift wrapping for those add a donated gift to the bus. The Purist Car Club, which is bringing 500 toys to donate, will also be displaying their vehicles.
The gifts are to be distributed to kids in need throughout Los Angeles County.

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Man sought in connection with molestation of young boy at Puente Hills Mall

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INDUSTRY >> Deputies are seeking a man for questioning in connection with the molestation of a 9-year-old boy at the Puente Hills Mall in Industry earlier this month, officials said.
The crime took place about 6:45 p.m. on July 8 at the mall, 1600 S. Azusa Ave., Deputy Trina Schrader of the Los Angeles County sheriff’s Information Bureau said in a written statement.
“A 9-year-old old boy reported that he was inappropriately touched by a male adult while he was inside the Puente Hills Mall,” Schrader said. “The assault was reported to mall security shortly after the incident occurred.”
Investigators have since obtained a surveillance camera image of a person of interest, and asked the public’s help in tracking him down.
He’s described as a Latino man, about 35 to 40 years old, 5 feet 10 inches to 6 feet tall. He was balding with black-and-gray hair, clean-shaven and wore a blue shirt.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the sheriff’s Special Victims Bureau at 877-710-5273. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Man fatally struck by freight train in Industry


INDUSTRY >> A man died after he was struck by a freight train in Industry early Saturday, officials said.
Foul play was not suspected in the incident, which was reported about 7 a.m. on a set of train tracks near the 800 block of Lemon Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. David Infante said. The man’s age was not clear Saturday.
The personnel aboard the Union Pacific saw a man on the tracks, sounded the horn and applied the brakes, but could not stop the train in time to avoid hitting the man, the lieutenant said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The cause of death will be determined through an autopsy by the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner.

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Arsonists torch Industry warehouse


INDUSTRY >> An arson fire scorched an Industry warehouse packed with paper goods Wednesday, authorities said.
The fire was first reported about 2:45 a.m. at a 55,000-square-foot warehouse in the 700 block of South 5th Avenue, Los Angeles Count fire and sheriff’s officials said.
Though largely “kept in check” by the building’s sprinkler system, firefighters battled the stubborn blaze for nearly two hours until it was declared extinguished, Los Angeles County Fire Department Inspector Randall Wright said. No injuries were reported.
But firefighters determined the scene of the fire appeared suspicious and called in investigators from the Los Angeles County sheriff’s Arson-Explosives Detail, Wright said.
“The cause is arson,” sheriff’s Detective Cynthia Valencia said. It appeared the arsonist spread gasoline around in the rear portion of the warehouse before lighting it on fire.
The intent of the arsonists appeared to be to destroy the building, but they were thwarted by the businesses’ fire-suppression system, she added.
“(The) sprinkler system did a great job,” Valencia said.
Preliminary estimated of the damage cause to the warehouse, as well as the paper plates, paper cups and other similar items stored inside ranged between $300,000 and $500,000, the detective said.
A subleased portion of the warehouse, which is used as a packaging business, was unscathed, she said.
Investigators continued seeking clues Thursday, and trying to determine who would want to torch the warehouse, Valencia said.
The arsonists were described only as two men, driving a sedan.
“The owner is very cooperative,” Valencia said.
Firefighters remained at the scene until about noon, Wright said.
Any witnesses, or anyone who saw anything suspicious early Wednesday morning is asked to contact Detective Valencia at the sheriff’s Arson-Explosives Detail at 323-881-7500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Tipster helps deputies nab Puente Hills Mall robbery suspect

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INDUSTRY >> A tip from the public helped deputies arrest a suspect who pulled a gun on a female security guard while stealing a pair of work boots from a Sears store at the Puente Hills Mall in Industry in February, officials said.
Investigators jailed Gerardo Garcia, 28, late Tuesday on suspicion of robbery in connection with the Feb. 23 incident at the mall, 1600 S. Azusa Ave., Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said in a written statement. His city of residence was not available, however officials described him as a San Gabriel Valley resident.
Garcia left the store without paying for a pair of work boots about 1:30 p.m. A woman working as a loss prevention officer confronted him in the parking lot.
“As the victim attempted to detain the suspect for shoplifting, the suspect produced a firearm from his pants pocket, pointed it at the victim, and cocked the hammer,” according the statement. The suspect fled in a black car.
Deputies on Tuesday released surveillance camera photos of the suspect in hopes of generating tips from the public.
The plan worked.
0422_NWS_SGT-L-SEARSFOLO1Within hours of the release of the surveillance camera images, “an anonymous caller provided information leading to the identification, and later arrest of Suspect Gerardo Garcia,” according to the sheriff’s department statement.
Deputies found and arrested Garcia in connection with the crime about 11:15 p.m. Tuesday, according to Los Angeles County booking records. Investigators also recovered the stolen boots, and the revolver believed to have been used in the crime.
Garcia was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail pending his initial court appearance, records show.

PHOTOS courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

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Pedestrian struck, killed by car on 605 Freeway in Industry


INDUSTRY >> A person died after being struck by a car while walking across traffic lanes of the 605 Freeway in Industry late Thursday, officials said.
The pedestrian, initially described only as male, died at the scene of the collision, which took place about 8:10 p.m. in the northbound lanes of the freeway, just south of Peck Road, California Highway Patrol Sgt. Armando Perdomo said.
His age and identity were unknown, Perdomo said.
A Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner representative said the agency was too busy to discuss the case Friday afternoon.
A 47-year-old Upland man was driving a 2010 Honda north, Perdomo said. “The pedestrian was walking eastbound across northbound lanes when the Honda collided with him,” the sergeant said.
“Due to the impact, (the pedestrian) suffered major injuries, which he succumbed to,” Perdomo said.
The driver of the Honda appeared unhurt, but was taken to a hospital for examination, he added.
The cause of the crash remained under investigation. It was unclear why the pedestrian was on the freeway.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the CHP’s Santa Fe Springs area office at 562-868-0503.

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