MONROVIA >> Police are seeking two women who they say sprayed a security guard with pepper spray in order to steal purses from a Monrovia discount department store late Friday.
The robbery unfolded just after 8 p.m. at Marshall’s, 564 W. Huntington Drive, Monrovia police Lt. Rob Wilken said.
A security guard noticed two women leaving the store with handbags they hadn’t paid for and confronted them about the theft, he said.
One of the women pulled out a can of pepper spray and sprayed the security guard, according to the lieutenant.
The women then fled, with the stolen purses, in a red Dodge Charger, he said. They were last seen headed west on Huntington Drive.
A detailed description of the suspects was not available. The security guard was treated by paramedics for pepper spray exposure, but did not require to be taken to a hospital.
Anyone with information can reach Monrovia police at 626-256-8000. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
A Covina man allegedly high on drugs led Monrovia police on a pursuit before driving home, barricaded himself inside, taking a shower, then surrendering to police in the buff on Saturday night, authorities said.
The incident just after 8 p.m. when a witness flagged down a Monrovia police officer to report seeing a possible intoxicated driver, Monrovia police Sgt. Glen Coleman said.
Officers soon found the car, driving on the wrong side of the road, and tried to pull it over, he said. The driver refused to yield, initiating a chase.
The fleeing suspect drove through red lights and ultimately made his way into the eastbound 210 Freeway, according to the sergeant.
He exited the freeway and drove to his home along Cloverland Drive, near Mesarica Road, in the unincorporated county area near Covina, officials said.
The driver entered the home and refused officer’s orders to surrender, Coleman said. He took a shower, then surrendered to police about 45 minutes later, wearing only a towel.
Brian Robert Borland, 28, who was suspected to be under the influence of an unknown drug, was booked on suspicion of DUI and evading police, Coleman said.
Police in Sierra Madre had pulled Borland over a short time before the chase began in Monrovia, but he fled from officers and was not found, authorities said.
According to Los Angeles County booking records, Borland was being held in lieu of $155,000 bail pending his initial court appearance, scheduled Tuesday in the Pasadena branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court.
MONROVIA >> A gunman wearing a skeleton mask robbed a Monrovia motel late Thursday, police said.
The crime unfolded just after 9 p.m. at the Oak Tree Inn, 788 W. Huntington Drive, Monrovia police Lt. Robert Wilken said.
The robber entered the lobby of the hotel, brandished a pistol and demanded money from an employee, the lieutenant said.
He fled with several hundred dollars and was last seen getting into a light-colored sedan parked in front of the motel, which sped away noth on Encino Avenue toward Huntington Drive.
Police described the robber as a black man between 35 and 40 years old, about 6 feet 3 inches tall, 250 pounds, wearing a skeleton mask.
No injuries were reported.
Anyone with information can reach Monrovia police at 626-256-8000. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
Dozens of community members, including several families who have lost loved ones to violence, marched through the streets of Duarte and Monrovia on Saturday to respond to recent shootings in the area with a message of peace.
The Duarte-Monrovia Peace March, organized by the Community Mediation Team, drew demonstrators of all ages to Duarte City Hall before they made a 1.5-mile trek to the Mary Wilcox the Mary Youth Center in Monrovia. Marchers wore white clothing and carried signs reading, “Peace & Unity,” and “Love Conquers Hate.”
Monrovia police Chaplain Steve Martinez had a message for the family members of slain loved ones who took part in the event
“I know it’s been difficult for you. It could have weeks ago, months ago, years ago, but you’re here today, and we are here to support you, and show love to your family and to honor the memory of the person that you lost and that you still love,” he said.
“And this is also a sign to show people in the community that we want to do something. We want to make a change.”
The Monrovia-Duarte community has seen four people killed and four others wounded in a space of at least eight shootings reported since January.
Among them was 39-year-old Kirinda Morehead of Duarte, who was shot to death on Feb. 18 as he arrived home with his fiancee and two young children in the 2300 block of Bashor Street.
“As he got out of his truck, someone shot him 12 times,” said Diane Myrick, the mother of Morehead’s fiancee. Though the couple was not yet married, she said she already thought of Morehead as her son-in-law.
“He was a hard-working, loving, family-loving, Christian man who did not deserve to be gunned down in the street like that in front of his children and his fiancee,” she said.
“All we can do now is just hope and pray that the person who perpetrated this act this act upon this family (is caught),” Myrick said.
“And we just want to thank the city of Duarte for all that you’re doing to ensure that the these streets are safe,” she said. In 25 years living in the area, “I’ve never experienced anything like we have in the past few months.”
“It’s a struggle day-by-day,” Myrick said. “These shooters just pull up, and they have no clue what they’re leaving behind. No clue. But God is able, and we’ll get through this together.”
The family of 18-year-old Oscar Garcia, who was shot to death in his hometown of Monrovia on April 22, carried pictures of the slain Canyon Oaks High School as they marched.
Garcia was visiting with friends in a residential garage in the 100 block of West Cypress Street while visiting friends when an attacker opened fire on the group of teens. Garcia was mortally wounded and another teenage boy was seriously injured in the shooting, but survived. Investigators suspect the shooter was looking someone else when he encountered and shot the teens.
“Without any though, he just went ahead and shot my brother,” David Garcia said. “He was a good kid.”
Garcia was an avid skateboarder who loved spending time at the Monrovia Skate Park, family members said.
To honor Garcia’s memory, loved ones have begun circulating a petition to formally rename the park after him. The petition is available online at www.change.org/p/the-community-of-monrovia-naming-the-skatepark-after-oscar-garcia.
The family of 18-year-old Malcolm Mency of Duarte also added their voices to the march.
Mency, who had just become a father, was shot to death at Broderick and Felberg avenues, in an unincorporated county area between Duarte and Monrovia, as he walked home from work on Dec. 22.
“I have in my heart a long list of families impacted that have not made the headlines,” said CMT Co-Chair and former Duarte Mayor Lois Gaston, who hosted the event.
Representatives from numerous local churches, organizations and government agencies took part in the assembly.
Capt. David Flores of the Los Angeles County sheriff’s Temple Station, which patrols Duarte and nearby unincorporated county areas, said he was glad to see the strong show of community involvement.
“My heart goes out to all of you who have lost someone or know someone who was lost,” he said.
“It’s good that we’re here,” the captain added. “This comes down to citizenship and making a stand for what’s right and coming together for the community, so I’m so happy to see everyone here. When the community comes together and we partner together, good work can be done. And truly this a great step in that direction.”
MONROVIA >> Determined homicide investigators and devastated family members reached out to the public on Thursday to help find the gunman who killed one teenager and wounded another in an attack inside a Monrovia garage last month.
Eighteen-year-old Canyon Oaks High School senior Oscar Andrew Garcia died in the late-night shooting on April 22 in the detached garage of a back house in the 100 block of West Cypress Street, just west of Myrtle Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s and coroner’s officials said.
A 17-year-old boy was wounded in the shooting, and a teenage girl escaped injury.
Garcia and the other shooting victim did not live at the home, but were visiting the girl when the shooting took place, officials said.
“All three entered the garage and were hanging out as most teenagers do,” Lt. Joe Mendoza of the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said. “Suddenly, and without provocation, the suspect appeared at the garage door and pointed a handgun toward them. A brief verbal exchange occurred and the suspect opened fire.”
Detectives declined to discuss what words were spoken in the moments before the shooting.
Paramedics pronounced Garcia dead at the scene. “His male friend was struck by gunfire but miraculously survived his injuries,” Mendoza said.
Following the shooting, the gunman fled through an alley running behind the property, according to officials.
In hopes of generating leads in the investigation, authorities released a composite sketch of the suspect.
The killer is described as a Latino man between 20 and 25 years old, about 6 feet tall, of medium build, Mendoza said. He had a light complexion, brown eyes, short black hair and a goatee, and he wore a black baseball cap with an unknown logo emblazoned on it.
The motive in the shooting remained a mystery, and detectives knew of no reason anyone would target Garcia or his friends, Mendoza said.
While it appeared the garage in which the victims were hanging out was targeted by the shooter, “We don’t believe the victims were the targets of the assault,” Mendoza said. Investigators had not ruled out the possibility of mistaken identity.
Garcia was scheduled to graduate high school in June, Mendoza said. He then planned to study photography at Pasadena City College.
The young man was a lifelong Monrovia resident.
“He enjoyed skateboarding, taking photos, attending church with family and he played soccer for his high school team,” the lieutenant said.
Garcia was often seen holding up two fingers in a “peace” sign, his mother, Guadalupe Castaneda said.
“It’s been so hard for me and my family. We miss Oscar,” she said. “He loved his family, loved his friends. He would always go to extra mile to help others. He didn’t deserve to end this way, or any other way.”
“My son was an excellent kid. He loved skateboarding. That was his passion. That’s how he met a lot of friends,” Castaneda said. “He touched everyone in the community.”
Castaneda and Mendoza both implored anyone with information on the case, or anyone who recognized the composite sketch of the suspect, to come forward.
“No family deserved to go through this,” Castaneda said. “Please, please, someone knows something… don’t be afraid. Love has to overcome all of this. No violence please.”
In addition to his mother, Garcia is survived by five siblings, nieces and a nephew.
Donations to benefit Garcia’s family are being collected online at www.gofundme.com/oscar-garcia-funeral-memorial.
Anyone with information is urged to contact the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously online to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
SUSPECT SKETCH/VICTIM PHOTOS courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department
DUARTE >> A car-to-car shooting in an unincorporated county area near Duarte on Friday afternoon left one vehicle riddled with bullets, but no injuries were reported, officials said.
The shooting took place about 3:45 p.m. in the area of California Avenue and Camino Real Street, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Erick Martinez said. Two people were inside the car that was struck with a volley of gunfire, but both escaped injury.
“(The victims’) vehicle was parked on the side of the road. Another vehicle pulled up alongside of it, at which time a number of rounds were fired,” Martinez said. “The victims’ vehicle was struck six times.”
The shooter was believed to be a lone man in an older model, silver, four-door Nissan Sentra he said. The car was last seen heading west on Camino Real.
Sheriff’s gang detectives were handling the investigation into the attack.
Monrovia, Duarte and the unincorporated county area that separates them have seen at least 10 shootings since January, leaving four victims dead and five more wounded.
Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s Temple Station at 626-285-7171. Tips may also be submitted anonymously online to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
DUARTE >> A man suffered a leg wound in a shooting in an unincorporated county area between Duarte and Monrovia on Wednesday afternoon, authorities said.
The shooting too place about 5 p.m. in the 2400 block of Lincoln Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Tom Harris said.
Deputies responding to the incident encountered a man in his early-20s who had been shot in the lower calf with a large-caliber pistol bullet, the sergeant said. He was taken to a hospital for treatment.
The shooter fled the scene in a red sedan, the sergeant said. A detailed description of the attacker was not available.
Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s Temple City Station at 626-285-7171. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
MONROVIA >> A Saturday night shooting in Monrovia left one teenager dead and another wounded, authorities said.
The shooting took place about 11:35 p.m. in the 100 block of West Cypress Street, just west of Myrtle Avenue, according to Deputy Kimberly Alexander of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Information Bureau.
Monrovia police first responded to reports of gunshots when they found the victims, Alexander said in a written statement.
“Both victims had been shot at least one time in the torso,” she said.
Paramedics pronounced one of the young men dead at the scene, officials said.
He was identified as 18-year-old Oscar Andrew Garcia of Monrovia, Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner Lt. Larry Dietz said.
The second gunshot victim, described as 17 years old, was hospitalized in critical condition.
The shooter was described only as a Latino man in his 20s. Sheriff’s officials released no further details regarding the circumstances of the shooting.
Neighbors said the shooting in or just outside the detached garage of a back house, and involved more than 10 gunshots.
A pair of paramedic’s gloved marked the scene of the shooting on Sunday afternoon.
One neighbor, who did not want her identity published for fear of retaliation, said the two victims did not live at the home, but were visiting friends when the gunfire erupted.
The shooter entered the property through a rear fence, which leads to an alley running just south of Cypress Street.
The gunman immediately opened fire before fleeing back through the alley, neighbors said.
Saturday night’s double shooting is the latest in a spate of at least seven shooting in the Monrovia-Duarte area since January that have left four victims dead and another four wounded. Three suspects have been jailed in connection with one of the non-fatal shootings. The rest of the cases remain unsolved.
•Two women escaped injury, though a home and parked car were struck by gunfire, in a drive-by shooting in the 500 block of Maydee Street in unincorporated county area between Monrovia and Duarte on Friday night.
•A La Puente man was found shot to death inside a vacant home in the 2600 block of Calle Martos in Duarte on April 1.
•A man was wounded in a shooting in the 400 block of East Duarte Road in Monrovia on March 29.
•A 20-year-old man died in a shooting in the 400 block of Camino Real Street in the unincorporated county area between Duarte and Monrovia on March 18.
•A 39-year-old man was shot to death as he arrived home with his wife and children in the 2300 block of Bashor Street in Duarte on Feb. 18. A $10,000 reward has since been authorized in the case by Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.
•A man was wounded in a drive-by shooting in the 2000 block of Goodall Avenue in the unincorporated county area between Monrovia and Duarte on Jan. 15.
•Two men suffered gunshot wounds in a shooting at Cresrfield Drive and Bloomdale Street in Duarte on Jan. 7. Three suspects have been arrested in connection with the shooting.
News of Saturday neight’s shooting brought longtime victims’ advocate Jeanette Chavez to tears.
Chavez lost her 16-year-old daughter, Sammantha Salas, in a shooting in the 2500 block of Peck Road in the unincorporated county area between Duarte and Monrovia that took place amid a spate of gang-violence that plagued the area in late-2007. Salas was slain with automatic gunfire as the walked from her father’s home to a nearby store with two friends. One of Salas’ friends was also wounded in the shooting.
Two cousins from Monrovia have since been sentenced to life in prison for the slaying.
Chavez has spent the past decade working with victim’s advocacy organizations, as well as on her own, to try to prevent other families from suffering similar tragedies.
“This is really taking a toll on me, and taking a toll on my heart,” she said of the recent violence. “It’s like a black eye for my daughter.”
Chavez said she addressed law enforcement and county supervisors at a Monrovia, Arcadia Duarte Town Council meeting on Wednesday regarding the issue of violence in the Monrovia-Duarte area. Two more shooting have occurred in the area since the meeting.
Chavez said she asked at the meeting about improving communications between the several law enforcement agencies that patrol the area, as well as how many deputies are assigned to the unincorporated county area between Duarte and Monrovia. But she said she did not receive satisfactory answers.
In response to the violence in the area in 2007 and 2008, Monrovia officials sought and obtained a gang injunction against two local street gangs in a 6-square-mile area encompassing portions of Monrovia and nearby unincorporated county areas.
But Duarte declined to join in the injunction, which Chavez said was the wrong decision.
“Shame on Duarte for not joining the gang injunction,” she said.
The sheriff’s Homicide Bureau is helping Monrovia police with the investigation into Saturday’s fatal shooting.
Anyone with information us urged to contact the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to at 800-222-8477.
A home and a parked car were struck by bullets, but two women escaped injury, in a drive-by shooting on Friday night in an unincorporated county area between Duarte and Monrovia, officials said.
The gunfire was reported about 8:55 p.m. in the 500 block of Maydee Street, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Frank Ruiz said.
Two women were standing on a corner when a car drove by with three male occupants inside, the lieutenant said. Shots were fired from the passing vehicle in the direction of the women.
The women were not struck by the gunfire, Ruiz said. But a nearby house and car were pierced by bullets.
No further details were available.
Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s Temple Station at 626-285-7171. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
MONROVIA >> A shooting in a residential neighborhood in Monrovia left a man wounded on Wednesday afternoon, officials said.
The wounded victim arrived at a house in Duarte about 5 p.m. and called for help, Monrovia police Lt. Patty Newton said.
He reported that he had been shot in the 400 block of East Duarte Road, across the city border in Monrovia, the lieutenant said.
Paramedics took the man to a hospital for treatment, she said. An update on his condition was not available.
Officers continued investigating at the scene Wednesday evening. Officials had not found physical evidence of the shooting, and no reports of gunshots were received in the area, Newton said.
Officials could no confirm initial reports from the scene that the suspect was a Latino man in his 50s, of short stature, with short black hair and a black backpack.
Anyone with information can reach the Monrovia Police Department at 626-256-8000. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.