Overnight police checkpoints in Whittier and La Habra late Friday into early Saturday netted two DUI arrests, 2 warrant arrests and 18 citations, authorities said.
In Whittier, police set up their checkpoint at Colima Road and Whittier Boulevard, Whittier police Lt. Bryan Ellis said.
Officers screened more than 1,000 cars, he said. Two drivers were given field-sobriety tests, but not ultimately arrested for DUI.
Police arrested one person for an outstanding warrant, issued three tickets for unlicensed drivers and wrote 10 “miscellaneous” traffic citations, according to the lieutenant.
No vehicles were impounded.
To the east in La Habra, officers screened more than 500 cars during their checkpoint at Lambert Road and Cypress Street, La Habra police officials said in a written statement.
Three drivers were investigated for possible DUI, with two of them ultimately arrested, police said.
Officers also made one warrant arrest and issued seven citations for driving without a license or driving on a suspended license.
Police stored or impounded five vehicles during the checkpoint, and another four were released at the scene to authorized, licensed drivers.
Police throughout the Whittier area and beyond are cracking down on impaired drivers during their summer time “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign.
The extra enforcement period began Friday and continued through Labor Day, Sept. 4.
While the end of summer is dominated by picnics, barbecues and beach trips, “Sadly, the Labor Day weekend is also one of the deadliest, with alcohol- and drug-impaired drivers endangering themselves and others on America’s roadways,” La Habra police officials said in a written statement.
Police in Whittier, as well as law enforcement agencies throughout the country, are also taking part in the campaign, officials said. Whittier officers plan to place an extra emphasis on motorcycle safety during the operation.
“During this period, local law enforcement will show zero tolerance for alcohol- or drug-impaired riding,” Whittier police Sgt. David Elizarraras said in a written statement.
La Habra police have announced upcoming sobriety checkpoints to be held on Friday night, as well as on Sept. 1.
In Whittier, police have been conducting “DUI saturation patrols” to hunt for intoxicated motorists, with a special focus on areas with a history of DUI collisions or arrests, according to Elizarraras.
Funding for the program is being provided by a grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, through the California Office of Traffic Safety.
LA HABRA >> An observant tipster led to the arrest of a man carrying a loaded, concealed handgun at a La Habra sports bar early Sunday, police said.
The incident took place shortly before 1 a.m. at Hot Shots Sports Bar & Grill, 1500 E. La Habra Blvd., La Habra police Sgt. Jose Rocha said.
A witness called police to report seeing a patron at the bar who appeared to have a handgun concealed in his waistband, the sergeant said.
Officers responded to the bar and detained the man without incident, he said. They recovered a loaded handgun from the man.
Ramon Hernandez, 30, of La Habra was booked on suspicion of carrying a concealed and loaded firearm and released with a citation and court date, Rocha said.
LA HABRA >> Three attackers robbed another man outside a La Habra has station early Saturday morning, police said.
The crime took place shortly after 1 a.m. after the victim stopped to use a restroom at a gas station at La Habra Boulevard and Idaho Street, La Habra police Lt. Clint Angle said.
“Upon exiting, the victim was assaulted by three suspects who then stole his wallet,” the lieutenant said.
It was not clear if the victim required hospital treatment as a result of the attack.
The three robbers were last seen running north along Idaho Street, Angle said. Descriptions were not available.
LA HABRA >> A phoned-in bomb threat disrupted a La Habra Walmart store for a little more than an hour on Saturday before police determined the threat to be unfounded, authorities said.
Police were first notified shortly after noon that staff at Walmart, 1000 E. Imperial Highway, had received a phone call from a man claiming there was a bomb inside the store, La Habra police Lt. Adam Foster said.
Officials evacuated the store, he said. Police searched the building, along with a bomb squad, and found nothing out of the ordinary.
Police declared the scene safe about 1:30 p.m., and the business resumed operation, he said.
An investigation into who placed the threatening call was underway.
LA HABRA >> Police suspect intoxicated driving played a role in a three-vehicle crash at Beach Boulevard and Imperial Highway that sent two people to a hospital with serious injuries early Wednesday, authorities said.
The collision took place about 3 a.m., La Habra police officials said. It primarily involved a 2002 Toyota Camry and a 2004 Toyota Solara, police said in a written statement. A 2008 Dodge Charger also became involved in the wreck.
“Based on the preliminary investigation, it appears that the driver of the Camry was traveling southbound on Beach Boulevard when he entered the intersection,” according to the statement. “The driver of the Solara was traveling east bound on Imperial Highway and the driver of the Charger was traveling westbound on Imperial Highway.”
Paramedics took the driver of the Camry, a man in his late-20s, to a hospital where he was listed in critical condition, La Habra police Lt. Jeff Baylos said. The woman at the wheel of the Solara, who was also described as being in her late-20s, was treated for injuries that were serious, but not believed to be life-threatening. The driver of the Charger was unhurt.
The cause of the crash remained under investigation, Lt. Jeff Baylos said. But police suspected drunken driving on the part of the Camry driver, and were looking into the possibility the Solara driver was intoxicated as well.
No arrests had been made Wednesday afternoon as the investigation continued.
LA HABRA >> Police arrested one man and sought two more after they burglarized a La Habra cell phone store, then led police on a chase that ended in Montebello early Saturday, authorities said.
The incident began about 3:20 a.m. when a security alarm company notified police of a break-in at a Sprint store in the 1300 block of South Beach Boulevard, La Habra police Sgt. Rob Diehl said.
The alarm company reported that the burglars were still inside the store, based on remotely viewed surveillance cameras, police added.
“Officers arrived and observed three suspects in a silver SUV parked to the front,” Diehl said. “As soon as the officers got there, the suspects fled.”
The SUV, later determined to be a rental car, led police on a high-speed chase on surface streets and freeways through Orange and Los Angeles counties, the sergeant said. It ultimately came to a stop along the 605 Freeway in Montebello, where all three suspects ran from the SUV.
Officers captured one of the passenger, but the driver and second passenger were no found, Diehl said.
Police recovered dozens of cell phones, primarily iPhones, from the suspects’ SUV, he said.
The identity of the suspect who was in custody was not released Saturday as officials continued seeking his alleged accomplices, Diel said.
Anyone with information can reach La Habra police at 562-383-4300. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to Orange County Crime Stoppers at 855-847-6227.
LA HABRA >> Police arrested three suspected intoxicated drivers during a late-night checkpoint on St. Patrick’s Day in La Habra, officials said.
The checkpoint was held from about 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. in the 700 block of East Lambert Road, just west of Harbor Boulevard, La Habra police Sgt. Robert Diehl said.
A total of 666 vehicles passed through the checkpoint, he said.
Officers administered field sobriety tests to seven drivers and ultimately arrested three of them on suspicion of DUI, according to the sergeant.
Another seven motorists were cited for driving without licenses, and three more were cited for driving on suspended licenses, La Habra police said in a written statement.
Police impounded three cars, and released eight at the scene to licensed drivers.
LA HABRA >> Police arrested five people and recovered more than 5 ounces of heroin and 15 grams of methamphetamine after a theft victim helped police track down his stolen cell phone late Saturday, authorities said.
Police responded to 600 block of East Ember Lane about 10:35 p.m. in connection with a cell phone theft reported earlier in the evening at a shopping center in the 900 block of North Harbor Boulevard, La Habra police Lt. Adam Foster said.
“After the initial theft report, the victim was able to track the phone and this resulted in a continuation of the investigation,” police said in a written statement. The victim notified police of the stolen phone’s location.
But once police arrived at the home where the cell phone had been tracked to, the investigation grew into more than a case of a stolen cell phone.
“One-hundred and fifty grams of heroin and 15 grams of methamphetamine were confiscated as evidence,” the statement said.
“After the investigation, five people were arrested for various charges, including: possession of controlled substances, possession of narcotics for sales, possession of a prohibited weapon, possession of methamphetamine for sales, possession of controlled substance paraphernalia, grand theft, conspiracy to commit crime, and possession of methamphetamine.”
One of those arrested also had a pre-existing warrant, police said.
The identities of the five men and women arrested were not available Sunday as the investigation continued, Foster said.
Anyone with information can reach La Habra police at 562-383-4300. Tips may also be submitted to Orange County Crime Stoppers at 855-847-6227.
LA HABRA >> Police arrested a man for drug possession after finding him living in an elaborate makeshift shelter set up on top of a La Habra auto parts store late Saturday.
Employees of O’Reilly Auto Parts, along Whittier Boulevard just east of Hacienda Road, called police shortly after 10 p.m. to report hearing footsteps on the roof of the building, La Habra police Sgt. Rob Diehl said.
Officers climbed up onto the roof and discovered the source of the noise.
A man had set up a small but well-furnished living space under the eaves overhanging the roof, police said. It included a queen-size bed and a toilet fashioned from a bucket and a toilet seat.
While it was unknown how long the man had been residing on top of the auto parts store, “He must have been up there quite a while,” Diehl said.
Police also discovered the man was in possession of methamphetamine and paraphernalia, he said.
Martin Rowe, 45, was arrested on suspicion of possessing the contraband before being released with a citation, Diehl said.