La Habra police arrest carjacking suspect following wild chase

LA HABRA >> A man carjacked a woman in La Habra before leading police on a wild chase that ended in Yorba Linda late Friday, police said.
Gerald Paul Terveer, 47, of La Habra was arrested following the pursuit, which began shortly before 7 p.m., La Habra Police Department spokeswoman Cindy Knapp said in a written statement.
Brea police notified their counterparts in La Habra that a black Ford F-150 pickup truck had been spotted heading west in the eastbound lanes of Lambert Road, Knapp said.
A short time later, the truck rear-ended a gray Ford Taurus that was pulled along the curb, she said.
“(Terveer) exited his vehicle and ordered the woman driver to get out of the car,” Knapp said. “She did so, and he took her vehicle and sped away from the scene.”
The woman was not hurt, she said.
La Habra police officers caught up with the Taurus, initiating a pursuit, Knapp said.
Terveer drove wildly at high speeds during the chase, driving on the wrong side of the road numerous times and nearly colliding with other vehicles, she said. At one point, the car became airborne as it sped off the side of an offramp of the 91 Freeway.
The chase sped through La Habra, Fullerton, Anaheim, Orange, Tustin, Placentia and ultimately Yorba Linda.
It lasted for more than half an hour before the Taurus turned onto a Yorba Linda cul-de-sac, where officers cornered him and took him into custody.
According to Orange County booking records, Terveer was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail pending his arraignment, scheduled Tuesday in Santa Ana Superior Court.

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Man badly injured in La Habra bicycle crash

LA HABRA >> A man was hospitalized in a medically induced coma with major head injuries after taking a fall while riding his bicycle Sunday evening, officials said.
The man, 47, was riding about 7:15 p.m. in the 200 block of North Euclid Street when he crashed into a street sign, the sergeant said.
The bicyclist fell to the ground and struck his head on the pavement, Ruiz said. He was not wearing a helmet.
Paramedics rushed the man to the University of California, Irvine Medical Center, he said. The injured man was placed into a medically induced coma as he received treatment.
The victim’s city of residence was not available Monday.

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Serial bank robbery suspect arrested following Brea heist

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FULLERTON >> A serial bank robber dubbed the “Quad Bandit,” who had been linked by the FBI to 10 bank robberies and attempted bank robberies, is in custody following his most recent alleged caper in Brea, authorities said.
The prolific serial bandit, identified as Jonathan Wade Oechsle, 42, of Anaheim, was jailed Thursday by Fullerton police following his final robbery in Brea, FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said. He made his initial court appearance Friday at the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.
The Quad Bandit was already being sought in connection with nine crimes at banks in Los Angeles and Orange counties — including one in La Habra — since late March, officials said. The FBI have him his nickname because he started his alleged spree with four robberies and attempted robberies at Buena Park banks on March 22.
After robbing the Bank of the West, 311 S. State College Blvd. in Brea, Thursday afternoon, Fullerton police spotted the robber driving in a silver Chevrolet Cavalier, Brea police Lt. Darrin Devereaux said in a written statement.
“Fullerton officers pursued the suspect approximately two miles until he crashed into a curb in the 1600 block of Sjyline (Drive) in Fullerton,” Devereaux said. “The suspect surrendered to officers at the scene without further incident.”
Other robberies and attempted bank robberies attributed to Oechsle occurred July 23 in Anaheim Hills, in Anaheim on July 15, La Habra on July 3, and twice in Cerritos on June 16, according to the FBI.

PHOTO courtesy of the FBI.

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‘Quad Bandit’ sought for bank robberies in Los Angeles, Orange counties

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The FBI is seeking a serial bank robbery they’ve dubbed the “Quad Bandit,” whose robbed or attempted to rob nine banks in Orange and Los Angeles counties since April, officials said Friday.
The bandit earned his moniker at the outset of his spree when he struck four Buena Park banks on March 22, according to FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller. Three of the crimes at Wells Fargo, Bank of America and Chase branches failed, while one at a Chase bank was successful.
The robber then showed up in Cerritos March 16, where he tried unsuccessfully to rob a Wells Fargo before successfully robbing a Chase bank later the same day, officials said.
The Quad Bandit robbed a La Habra U.S. Bank branch July 3, followed by an Opus Bank branch in Anaheim on July 15 and a Union Bank branch in Anaheim Hills on Wednesday.
“During the robberies, the suspect known as the Quad Bandit typically passes a note and makes a verbal demand for cash,” Eimilller said. “In some of the robberies, the Quad Bandit has threatened a weapon, or has appeared to have gestured toward what might be a weapon, according to victims.”
0726_NWS_WDN-L-WUADBANDIT2In a bank surveillance photo released by the FBI from a Buena Park crime, the bandit is seen holding up a piece of paper toward the teller’s window with the words, “bank robbery,” written on it.
The FBI described the bandit as white, 40 to 50 years old, 5 feet 8 inches to 5 feet 9 inches tall, 150 to 160 grounds. he had dirty blond hair, a goatee and stubble during the crimes, during which he wore sunglasses and baseball caps.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the FBI’s Los Angeles office at 888-226-8443.

PHOTOS courtesy of the FBI

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Hacienda Road reopened after water main break in La Habra Heights

LA HABRA HEIGHTS — A stretch of Hacienda Road that was shut down Friday due to a water main leak reopened Saturday afternoon, officials said.
The leak was first reported about 12:30 p.m. Friday at Hacienda and West Roads, prompting officials to shut down Hacienda Road between Colima Road and Whittier Boulevard, La Habra Heights Public Works Director Dave Nichols. The mishap opened up a hole 10 feet wide by 20 feet long, and 4 to 5 feet deep.
After repairing the water main and repaving the street, the section of road was reopened shortly after 7 p.m. Saturday, Nichols said. About 18,000 vehicles use the road daily.

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Suspect sought in failed La Habra tobacco shop robbery

LA HABRA — Police searched a La Habra neighborhood Thursday after a botched tobacco shop robbery, authorities said.
The suspect ultimately eluded capture following the incident, which began about 6 p.m. with an attempted robbery at a tobacco store on Whittier Boulevard, just east of Hacienda Road, La Habra police Sgt. Mel Ruiz said.
The would-be robber entered the store and demanded property from the clerk, the sergeant said. He claimed to have a knife.
The clerk refused and confronted the robber, Ruiz said. The crook reached for the cash resister as the two briefly struggled.
The robber abandoned the crime and ran from the store, dropping a box cutter-style knife as he fled, officials said. The clerk declined to be taken to a hospital.
Police spotted a man matching the description of the failed robber about 6:40 p.m. in the area of Beach and La Habra Boulevards, Ruiz said. He ran south through a residential neighborhood as officers approached.
Officers set up a search perimeter in the area of Beach Boulevard and Lambert Road, where they last spotted the fleeing suspect, Ruiz said.
They searched yard-to-yard with the help of two police dogs and an Orange County Sheriff’s Department Helicopter, but came up empty-handed, he said.
Police described the robber as a Latino man of about 20 years old, about 5 feet 3 inches tall, of thin build, with a shaved head. He wore a black shirt with white lettering, blue jeans and leather boots.
Anyone with information was asked to contact the La Habra Police Department.

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Missing couple found dead in La Habra home identified, investigation ongoing

A missing man and woman who were found dead Saturday in their La Habra home have been identified, officials said.
Alaina A’Lurede, 31, and her husband, Kevin A’Lurede, 35, were discovered by officers around 1:40 p.m. in two separate rooms in the 600 block of Greenwood Avenue, La Habra police spokeswoman Cindy Knapp said. Aaina A’Lurede is believed to have died of a drug overdose, and her husband from a gunshot wounds, though their officials causes of death remained under investigation by Orange County coroner’s officials.
After receiving information from family members, officers made entry into the residence.
Officials said one body was found in the living room and the other in the bedroom and appeared to have been dead for several days.
An autopsy was carried out Wednesday yielded some answers, however the officials causes of death of Kevin and Alaina A’Lurede remains undetermined pending the results of further tests at the coroner’s office, Knapp said.
“Alaina A’Lurede’s body showed signs consistent with a drug overdose,” Knapp said. “Cause of death is most likely suicide, however, conclusive results for both subjects is pending the completion of a toxicology screen.”
“Kevin A’Lurede has sustained a gunshot wound from a small-caliber weapon. The pathologist could not rule out suicide as the cause of death,” Knapp said. “A small-caliber handgun was recovered from the bedroom of the home, near Kevin’s body,” Knapp said. “At this juncture, no suicide note has been located.”
Police were not searching for any suspects, Knapp said. The investigation was ongoing, and the coroner’s toxicology results were expected in 8 to 12 weeks.
The couple was reported missing by their families Friday after they were unable to contact them, officials said.
Officers visited their home around 9:30 p.m. that day and saw one of their cars parked in the driveway. Officers knocked on the door, but received no answer, officials said.
Police spoke with neighbors, but were unable to gather information leading to the couple’s whereabouts.
While the man and woman’s specific times of death were not available, Knapp said, “both parties had expired prior to the initial missing person’s report being made,”

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EARTHQUAKE UPDATE: 20 Fullerton apartments deemed safe for residents to return; 6 houses remain red-tagged

FULLERTON — The majority of Fullerton homes red-tagged by authorities following Friday night’s earthquake were inspected and cleared for residents to return early Sunday, as aftershocks as strong as magnitude 4.1 continued to rumble the La Habra area, officials said.
More than 100 aftershocks had been reported since Friday’s 5.1-magnitude quake. A 2.7-magnitude aftershock shook the Southland at 9:05 a.m. Sunday. And a magnitude 4.1-quake was widely felt Saturday afternoon.
But there were no new reports of damage in Fullerton, where 20 apartments and six homes were initially deemed unsafe to inhabit, Fullerton police officials announced in a written statement.
“Of the residences that were originally red-tagged, residents in the 20 apartments on North Associated have been allowed to return to their residences, after structural engineers cleared the properties for re-entry,” according to the police statement.
Six houses within the city remained red-tagged, officials said.

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UPDATED: 26 Fullerton homes red-tagged due to earthquake; aftershocks continue

The magnitude-5.1 earthquake centered just east of La Habra on Friday night was felt throughout the region, however the damage it caused was primarily isolated to a pocket of northern Orange County, where 26 homes were red-tagged, officials said.
Dozens of aftershocks continued to rumble through the night, including one measured at magnitude 3.6 at 9:30 p.m. Friday, and another measured at magnitude 3.4 at 9:02 a.m. Saturday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
And more were expected, USGS Geophysicist Doug Given said.
“We anticipate there will be a few more,” he said.
“This is fairly typical aftershock activity for an event this size,” Given said. “This is maybe a little on the energetic side.”
Over the next seven days, “We have been saying there is about a 5 percent chance of a larger earthquake to come,” he said. “But that chance is front-loaded.”
As time passes, large aftershocks become increasingly less likely to occur, he explained. “That likelihood is decaying very rapidly.”
The quake rattled windows and nerves throughout Orange and Los Angeles Counties, but Fullerton was hardest hit by the quake.
As officials made damage assessments overnight and into Saturday, 20 apartment units and six houses in Fullerton were deemed uninhabitable and red-tagged, Fullerton police Sgt. Mike Chlebowski said.
Residents would not be allowed to reoccupy the homes until they were checked out by an inspector, he said.
And work on a ruptured water main at Rosecrans Avenue and Gilbert Road Street continued to force a road closure Saturday morning, Chlebowski said.
But no earthquake-related injuries had been reported Saturday, in Fullerton or elsewhere.
La Habra had been spared an significant structural damage, La Habra police Lt. Kyle Davis said. “It all seems cosmetic at this point.”
No buildings had been red-tagged, though a couple dozen La Habra residents had evacuated their homes voluntarily due to safety concerns, Davis said.
Authorities had initially feared possible structural damage at three apartment buildings that were especially rocked by the quake in the 2500 block West Whittier Boulevard, the 400 block of North Idaho Street and the 700 block of West First Avenue, Davis said.
Considering how close La Habra lies to the earthquake’s epicenter, “We fared pretty well,” he said.
“The La Habra Police Department has received multiple reports of broken windows throughout the community, with some areas reporting natural gas smells,” La Habra city officials said in a written statement.
“Gas was shut off in the 1200 block of (South) Beach (Boulevard), as a precautionary measure. LA Fitness, which is located in one of the shopping complexes near the intersection of Imperial (Highway) and Beach (Boulevard), had water running off the roof. At Beach (Boulevard) and Lambert (Road), the traffic signal was hanging precariously, but it has since been removed.
Reports of natural gas leaks were also widespread in Rowland Height, Los Angeles County Fire Department officials said.
A ruptured pipe caused water to flow from the ceiling of a Rite Aid Pharmacy along Colima Road, but the issue was handled within about 20 minutes, Los Angeles County Fire Department Dispatch Supervisor Cheryl Sims said. Officials had previously reported the incident as occurring at a pharmacy along Nogales Street.
Near Brea, a rockslide along Carbon Canyon Road was blamed for causing a car to overturn, Brea police said. The crash resulted in only minor injuries, however the roadway near the county line remained closed Saturday.
The Red Cross set up an evacuation shelter at the La Habra Community Center, 101 W. La Habra Boulevard, where 38 people spent the night, Red Cross spokeswoman Meredith Mills said. It remained open through Saturday morning.
“We’re definitely here to help people if they need it,” Mills said.
A preliminary survey found “no significant reports of damage” in Los Angeles County, according to a statement issued by the Los Angeles County Office of Emergency Management.
Los Angeles County’s bridges and other infrastructure were also free from reported damage Saturday, Los Angeles County Department of Public Works officials said.
Friday’s earthquake was believed to be associated with the far east end of the Puente Hills Thrust fault system, Given said. “This is the fault system that, on its northern edge, was responsible for the Whittier Narrows Earthquake in 1987,” Given said. Prior to the Whittier Narrows earthquake, the fault system had been unknown.
Scientists in Pasadena had a four second warning before the shaking reached them from the La Habra area thanks to an experimental early warning system that’s been in operation for two years, Givens said.
Givens said he hoped increased funding on the federal and national levels would soon help bring the technology to the mainstram, as has been done in Japan and Mexico City.
About 200 Southern California Gas Company customers remained without service Saturday morning as crews rushed to fix leaks and restore service to customers whose gas was shut off my earthquake valves, according to the utility. Those who suspect a natural has leak were advised to leave the area immediately and report the leak by calling 800-427-2200.
Southern California has not experienced a devastating earthquake since the 1994 magnitude-6.7 Northridge quake killed several dozen people and caused $25 billion in damage.
Preliminary data suggest Friday night’s 5.1 magnitude earthquake occurred near the Puente Hills thrust fault, which stretches from the San Gabriel Valley to downtown Los Angeles and caused the 1987 Whittier Narrows earthquake, USGS seismologist Lucy Jones said.
“It’s a place where we’ve had a lot of earthquakes in the past,” she said.
The 5.9 Whittier Narrows quake killed eight people and caused $360 million in damage.
Hall of Fame announcer Vin Scully was on the air calling the Angels-Dodgers exhibition game in the sixth inning at Dodger Stadium when Friday’s quake occurred.
“A little tremor here in the ballpark. I’m not sure if the folks felt it, but we certainly felt it here in press box row,” Scully said. “A tremor and only that, thank goodness.”
Tom Connolly, a Boeing employee who lives in La Mirada, the next town over from La Habra, said the magnitude-5.1 quake lasted about 30 seconds.
“We felt a really good jolt. It was a long rumble and it just didn’t feel like it would end,” he told The Associated Press by phone. “Right in the beginning it shook really hard, so it was a little unnerving. People got quiet and started bracing themselves by holding on to each other. It was a little scary.”
Friday’s quake hit a week after a pre-dawn magnitude-4.4 quake centered in the San Fernando Valley rattled a swath of Southern California. That jolt shook buildings and rattled nerves, but did not cause significant damage.
Givens said that quake was not associated with the same fault system believed responsible for Friday’s earthquake near La Habra.
Officials throughout the region said the earthquake was a stark reminder for California residents to be prepared for earthquakes with supplies and plans.
“Clearly we cannot predict earthquakes, we can only say things about the statistics of earthquakes,” Given said. “Based on the best science of the faults and the earthquake history in Southern California, in the Los Angeles region, there’s a 97 percent chance in the next 30 years of a magnitude 6.7 or larger.”

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UPDATE: 5.1-magnitude earthquake reported near La Habra

LA HABRA >> A magnitude-5.1 earthquake centered 2 miles east of La Habra late Friday rattled buildings and ruptured gas lines throughout Los Angeles County, officials said.
The quake was reported at 9:09 p.m. according to data from the United States Geological Survey. The shaking originated about 5 miles underground.
The 5.1-magnitude quake was followed two minutes later by another quake of magnitude 3.4, officials said.
Reports of natural gas leaks began flooding in to officials once the shaking stopped, Los Angeles County Fire Department Dispatch Supervisor Ed Pickett said.
“We’ve got reports of lots of gas leaks in the Rowland Heights and La Habra areas,” he said.
As firefighters made their way through the affected areas, they found the leaks to be minor, Pickett said. Most were in La Habra.
But a broken water pipe flooded a CVS Pharmacy along Nogales Street in Rowland Heights, he said.
Authorities were still working to assess and attend to the damage, Pickett said.
The earthquake sent rocks tumbling onto the Holt Avenue offramp of the westbound 10 Freeway in Covina, creating a traffic hazard, according to CHP officials. No other earthquake damage had been reported to the CHP late Friday.
Shengzao Chen, a USGS geophysicist, said his office had not heard of any immediate damage or injury reports.
“Right now, it’s pretty good,” Chen said. “But we have to keep our eyes open to see what’s going on. The magnitude is 5.1 which is not big or small, it’s a middle quake. It’s also a shallow quake.”
There were more than a dozen aftershocks following the 5.1 magnitude quake, with magnitudes as high as 3.6, according to the USGS.
Claremont police Lt. Shelly Vander Veen said there was no reported damage on Friday night in Claremont.
“We felt the same thing everyone else will say — a jolt,” Vander Veen said.
breaA rockslide Carbon Canyon Road in Brea caused a car to overturn, causing only minor injuries, Brea police officials said. The road was closed between Valencia Avenue and the county line as officials cleared the mess.
Southern California Edison officials reported about 2,000 customers were without power late Friday as a result of the earthquake.
Officials in Pasadena surveyed the city following the quake and found no signs of injury or damage, Pasadena Fire Department officials said.
The larger quake was preceded by a magnitude-3.6 earthquake reported in the same area, about 1 mile southeast of La Habra, according to seismologists at Caltech in Pasadena.
In a statement issued late Friday, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said no damage had been reported in the city.
“Tonight’s earthquake is the second in two weeks, and reminds us to be prepared,” the mayor said. “L.A. residents can visit http://www.readyla.org/ for guidance on how to best prepare for the next earthquake, including potential aftershocks.”
The smaller tremor occurred at 8:03 p.m. with an epicenter about a mile southeast of La Habra, according to a statement issued by Caltech. That quake’s depth was initially reported to be about 4 miles below the surface.
Looking forward, seismologists estimated the likelihood of another quake stronger than the original 5.1-magnitude shock over the next seven days at 5 to 10 percent, according to the USGS.
“Most likely, the recent mainshock will be the largest in the sequence,” the agency said in a written statement.
The chance of “strong” aftershocks — those with a magnitude of 5 or greater — over the next week was estimated by USGS seismologists at 10 percent.
Aftershocks with magnitudes ranging from 3 to 5 are expected to be relatively common over the coming days.
“Approximately three to 20 small aftershocks are expected in the same seven-day period and may be felt locally,” according to the USGS statement.

- Staff Writer Wes Woods contributed to this report

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