Man and woman killed in Monrovia mobile home fire


MONROVIA >> A man and woman died following a fire at their Monrovia mobile home early Saturday morning, authorities said.
The fatal fire was first reported about 1:15 a.m. by a neighbor who went outside for a cigarette at the mobile home park at 1020 S. Mountain Avenue and noticed smoke emanating from a neighbors unit, Monrovia police and fire officials said. He called 911.
Believing his neighbors were still inside their home, the man tried to make his way into the burning mobile home but was pushed back by the heat and smoke, Monrovia Fire Department Capt. Michael Bailey said.
A Monrovia police officer who happened to be nearby arrived at the scene within a minute, Monrovia police Lt. Rob Wilken said. Firefighters soon followed.
After arriving on scene, “I was told by one of the Monrovia police officers that it was suspected the two people who lived there were still inside the structure,” Bailey said. “We made an effort in order to try and get them out.”
Found the male victim still alive inside the smoke-filled mobile home, officials said. He was treated and rushed to the Methodist Hospital in Arcadia, where he was pronounced dead a short time later. The female victim was pronounced dead at the scene.
The identities of the victims were not available pending positive identification and notification of their family members, officials said. They were described as a man and a woman in their 60s or 70s.
The cause of the fire remained under investigation, but it was believed to be accidental in nature, Bailey said. Possible ignition sources being investigated included an electrical problem or a discarded cigarette.
Firefighters found no smoke detectors inside the mobile home, which was densely packed with belongings, Bailey said.
Saturday mornings fire was the second deadly fire reported in Monrovia over the past two weeks, and the third reported in the area.
A Monrovia man died following a 2 a.m. fire at his home in the 100 block of N. Canyon Boulevard, Monrovia fire Capt. Chris Huston said.
Firefighters responding to reports of a fire at a two-story home which had been converted into a triplex encountered a man outside the home suffering from burns, but trying to get back into the flaming structure, Huston said. It was determined the man was trying to rescue his pet cats from the home.
Paramedics took the injured man, who was in his mid-50s, to hospital where he ultimately succumbed to his injuries.
While extinguishing the fire, firefighters saved the two cats, as well as a turtle, from the home, Huston said.
Investigators determined the Canyon Boulevard fire was ignited by combustible materials left too close to an electric space heater, he said.
And in Pasadena, an elderly woman died in an 8 a.m. fire at her house in the 3000 block of Redwood Drive, according to Pasadena Fire Department spokeswoman Lisa Derderian.
A neighbor suffered burns in an unsuccessful attempt to rescue the woman prior to the arrival of firefighters, she said.
A specific cause was not determined, but fire investigators noted numerous possible causes, including overloaded wiring, excessive use of power strips, an electric heater, an electric blanket, candles and smoking materials.

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Man wounded in shooting near Monrovia


A man turned up at an emergency room after being shot in an unincorporated county area between Monrovia and Duarte late Wednesday.
The shooting was first reported about 7:20 p.m. at Flagstone Avenue and Maydee Street, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Ronald Daily said.
No victim was initially found at the scene, but a man soon arrived at a local emergency room with a gunshot wound to his arm, officials said.
He had been with two other men when the group was fired upon by three other men in a white sedan, armed with a handgun, Daily said.
No further details were available as the investigation continued.
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.

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Man robbed at gunpoint in Old Town Monrovia Friday night


MONROVIA >> Two men robbed another man at gunpoint as he walked down an alley in Old Town Monrovia on Friday night, police said.
The victim parked his car near Lime Avenue and Canyon Boulevard about 10:45 p.m. and began walking west along an alley parallel to Lime Avenue, toward Myrtle Avenue, to meet some friends in Old Town Monrovia, Monrovia police Lt. Heath Harvey said.
As he neared Ivy Avenue, he was approached in the alley by two men, the lieutenant said.
One of the men brandished a handgun as they robbed the victim of his wallet, cell phone and other personal items, Harvey said. The victim was unhurt.
A detailed suspect description was not available, as both suspect’s faces were concealed behind the hoods of their jackets, according to Harvey. No getaway car was seen.
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.

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Online transaction ends with robbery in Monrovia


MONROVIA >> A man arranged to sell a gold necklace online before being robbed of the jewelry by a group of men outside a Monrovia Taco Bell late Thursday, police said.
The crime took place just before 10:30 p.m. outside the restaurant, 140 W. Huntington Drive, Monrovia police Lt. Heath Harvey said.
The victim had used the online marketplace “OfferUp” to advertise a gold necklace for sale and a purported buyer responded to the ad, the lieutenant said. Both parties agreed to meet outside the restaurant to complete the transaction.
“The buyer looked at the necklace, asked the victims some questions and negotiated a price,” the lieutenant said. They settled on $100.
But before any money changed hands, three accomplices of the purported buyer then approached and joined in the conversation, Harvey said.
One of the accomplices pulled what the victim believed to be a shotgun-shaped pellet gun from his coat and all four ran off together with the necklace, Harvey said. The victim suffered no injuries.
Detailed suspect descriptions were not available.

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Man crashes car after being shot at near Monrovia


MONROVIA >> A man crashed his car after another driver opened fire on him in an unincorporated county area near Monrovia on Monday afternoon, but was not struck by the gunfire, authorities said.
The incident unfolded shortly after 5 p.m., Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Frank Ruiz said.
After being fired upon by another motorist, the driver crashed into another car at Schrode and California avenues, the lieutenant said.
The intended target of the shooting suffered no significant injuries, he said. The occupant of the other car involved in the crash was treated for apparently minor injuries.
The shooting was believed to have occurred near the scene of the crash, but the exact location of the gunfire was yet to be determined, Ruiz said.
Deputies were still sorting out conflicting suspect descriptions Monday evening.
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.

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UPDATED: Monrovia woman faces federal case in alleged pepper-spray attack on postal carrier in Pasadena


PASADENA >> Postal inspectors arrested a Monrovia woman Wednesday on suspicion of chasing down and pepper-spraying a mail carrier while screaming racial slurs in an incident of road rage in Pasadena two weeks ago, officials said.
Ruby Guerrero Valenzuela, 64, was arrested on suspicion of assault on a U.S. Postal Service employee in connection with the bizarre attack, reported about 10:40 a.m. on April 20 in the 1000 block of North Lake Avenue, according to Pasadena police and U.S. Department of Justice officials.
Valenzuela became enraged after the 55-year-old postal worker, who was driving a mail truck, accidentally cut her off in traffic in the area of Claremont Street and Mar Vista Avenue, Pasadena police Lt. John Luna said at the time.
“Valenzuela shouted obscenities and followed the victim to her next stop (on Lake Avenue),” U.S. DOJ spokesman Thom Mrozek said in a written statement.
“Valenzuela ran up the victim, who had walked the entrance of building on Lake Avenue,” Mrozek continued. “According to witnesses, Valenzuela screamed additional obscenities and racial epithets at the victim before spraying the victim in the face with pepper spray, which caused the victim to suffer severe pain and blurred vision.”
The postal carrier declined to be taken to a hospital, Luna said.
Despite the racial slurs allegedly uttered by Valenzuela, both the suspect and victim are Latina, police said.
The U.S. Postal Inspection Service joined Pasadena police in the investigation, as did Monrovia police, once the suspect was identified as a Monrovia resident.
Federal officials arrested Valenzuela on Wednesday morning, and she made her initial appearance in federal court in Los Angeles on Wednesday afternoon, Mrozek said.
She entered no plea and was released after posting a $10,000 bond, Mrozek said. She was scheduled to return to court for an arraignment hearing on May 31.“The evidence in this case indicates that a postal carrier carrying out her duties was the victim of an unwarranted attack,” U.S. Attorney Eileen M. Decker of California’s Central District said. “All federal employees should be able to carry out their duties without fear of attacks based on the performance of those duties.”
If convicted as charged, Valenzuela faces up to 20 years in federal prison.

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Armed robbery reported in Monrovia


MONROVIA >> Police are seeking four men who robbed another man of his wallet and skateboard in Monrovia late Saturday, officials said.
The crime was reported about 10:50 p.m. at Colorado and Canyon boulevards, Monrovia police Lt. Patty Newton said.
Four suspects, described only as male, approached the man as he stood near his car, she said. One of them pulled a handgun and robbed him of his wallet.
The robbers also ransacked the victim’s car and stole a skateboard, the lieutenant said.
They were last seen fleeing the area on foot.
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.

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Police seek missing Monrovia teen

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MONROVIA >> Police are seeking a 16-year-old Monrovia girl suffering from mental illness who left home in her guardian’s car Wednesday.
Briana Ysenia Valenzeula was last seen about 9:20 p.m. Wednesday, Monrovia police officials said in a written statement.
She was believed to have her guardian’s vehicle — as a silver, four-door, 2011 Buick Regal with California license plate 6NYL096.
“Her guardian contacted the Monrovia Police Department to report her missing and informed officers of the listed details, and added Briana suffers from mental illness and takes medication,” according to the statement.
She’s Latina, 5 feet 4 inches tall, about 175 pounds, with long black hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a purple sweater and black pants.
“She may become aggressive if contacted,” the statement said.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Monrovia police at 626-256-8000.

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Teen goes missing in Monrovia

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MONROVIA >> Police have asked the public to keep an eye out for a runaway 14-year-old Monrovia girl who’s been missing since Thursday.
Bertha Calderon was last seen about 3:30 p.m. Thursday at her apartment complex in the 500 block of West Foothill Boulevard, Monrovia police officials said in a written statement.
The girl, originally from Pasadena, has never gone missing before, Lt. Patty Newton added.
Police described Calderon as Latina, 5 feet 1 inch tall, 100 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a black short-sleeve shirt and blue jeans.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Monrovia police at 626-256-8000.

PHOTO: Courtesy, Monrovia Police Department

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Monrovia man accused of Azusa car burglary


AZUSA >> Police arrested a Monrovia man Sunday after he broke into a car in Azusa, police said.
Martine Larry Gallardo Jr., 28, was booked on suspicion of burglary following his arrest shortly after 1:30 p.m., Azusa police Sgt. John Madaloni said.
Officers responded to the parking lot of a business in the 400 block of north Azusa Avenue after a woman reported her car had been broken into, the sergeant said in a written statement.
Police checked nearby surveillance cameras and realized the burglary had only just occurred, he said. Officers searched the area and detained Gallardo within 30 minutes at Foothill Boulevard and Angelo Avenue.
“He was positively identified as the suspect seen in the video committing the crime and placed under arrest for vehicle burglary — a felony,” Madaloni said. Police found a window punch tool and items stolen from the victim’s car in his possession.
“During the booking process, it was learned that Gallardo was also wanted for an unrelated burglary charge investigated by the Monrovia Police Department,” Madaloni said.
Gallardo was being held in lieu of $20,000 bail pending an arraignment hearing, Tuesday in West Covina Superior Court.

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