PASADENA >> An armed man stole cell phones in a robbery at T-Mobile store Friday afternoon, police said.
A robber carried a handgun in the 6:37 p.m. heist at the store in the 100 block of South Lake Avenue, just south of Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena police Lt. Vasken Gourdikian said.
After stealing an unknown number of phones, the robber fled, he said. No injuries were reported.
PASADENA >> A teenage boy was in stable condition Thursday as police investigated the circumstances surrounding how he was injured, police said.
The stabbing was first reported just after noon in the 900 block of East Orange Grove Boulevard, just east of Lake Avenue, Pasadena police Lt. John Luna said.
It was believed to have resulted from an argument between the victim and a companion and a group of five to six suspects, Lt. Mark Goodman said. Witnesses directed officers to a nearby pharmacy, where one of the alleged attackers was found and arrested.
The victim, a 17-year-old Pico Rivera boy, showed up at a local hospital with stab wounds to his leg, Goodman said. He did not appear to be cooperating with investigators.
Jailed in connection with the stabbing was Jose Martinez, 29, of Altadena, Goodman said. Police continued seeking four to five additional suspects.
PASADENA >> A woman lost her purse to a robber on a bicycle Wednesday afternoon, police said.
The woman, 19, was walking at Oakland Avenue and Orange Grove Boulevard about 3:20 p.m. when the robber snatched her purse as he passed by on a bicycle, Pasadena police Lt. John Luna said. Inside the leather purse was $6, the victim’s ID and some credit cards.
Police searched the area but did not find the suspect, Luna said. The woman was not hurt.
PASADENA >> Police jailed a man Baldwin Park man Tuesday after he abandoned an attempted bank robbery in Pasadena and fled empty-handed, authorities said.
John Raymond Celaya, 55, was arrested in connection with the alleged failed heist and was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail pending his initial court appearance, according to Pasadena police officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
The crime took place just after 5:30 p.m. at a Chase branch at Colorado Boulevard and Arroyo Parkway, Pasadena police Lt. Kelly Evans said.
Celaya handed a teller a note demanding cash and stating that he had a gun, Evans said. But he apparently became nervous and fled from the bank without receiving any money.
Officers found Celaya nearby at Central Park and arrested him once he was identified via witnesses and surveillance footage as the suspect.
– Stephanie Baer and Brian Day
PASADENA >> Investigators arrested a homeless man early Sunday who they say is responsible for a series of up to a dozen fires in Pasadena trash cans, and one in the bed of a pickup truck, in recent weeks.
Michael Bell, 57, is accused of arson following his arrest about 4:30 a.m. at Central Park, 219 S Fair Oaks Ave., according to Pasadena Fire Department officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
Police and fire investigators had noticed the pattern and were seeking a serial arsonist in connection with the string of fires, which primarily centered along Colorado Avenue, Pasadena Fire Department spokeswoman Lisa Derderian said. Officials had a description of the alleged firebug based on surveillance footage they had obtained during their investigation.
“Early this morning, we received a call of a trash can fire,” Derderian said. Police found Bell in the area and detained him.
The suspect admitted to lighting the fire, as well as previous fires since April 9, Derderian said.
It was fortunate none of the fires ended up being worse, she said.
“In these extreme drought and dry conditions, even a trash can fire can spread quickly to adjacent structures and vegetation and cause much further damage and/or injuries,” she said.
Bell was being held in lieu of $76,000 bail pending his initial court appearance, records show.
PASADENA >> A Pasadena woman fought her way free from a would-be kidnapper who forced her into his SUV late Friday, police said.
A Pasadena woman in her early-20s was walking home about 10 p.m. along Marengo Avenue, near Penn Street, when the man drove up alongside her, Pasadena police Lt. Jesse Carrillo said.
The man tried to start a conversation with the woman, but she ignored him and continued walking, Carrillo said. The suspect stopped his SUV next to the woman and got out.
“He approached her and physically forced her into the front passenger seat,” police said in a written statement. The suspect then got back into the driver seat of the vehicle.
“In her efforts to escape, the victim struck the suspect once in the face and once in the groin area and managed to exit the vehicle,” according to the police statement. “The suspect then drove away north and out of sight.”
The woman suffered what appeared to be only scratches in the incident, Carrillo said.
Police described the suspect as a black man in his late-30s, about 5 feet 10 inches tall and 200 pounds. He was bald, of medium complexion, clean-shaven and wore a white T-shirt and dark blue jeans. He drove a newer-model, gray SUV, similar to a Honda CRV.
Investigators were not aware of any similar incident reported in the area recently, Carrillo said.
Police hoped to develop a suspect sketch as they continued their investigation Saturday, he added.
Anyone with information was asked to contact the Pasadena Police Department at 626-744-4241.
PASADENA >> A man and woman escaped injury when their car was struck by gunfire in a car-to-car shooting in Pasadena early Sunday, officials said.
The shooting took place about 12:20 a.m. as the victims, both Pasadena residents in their 20s, were driving eastbound on Howard Street at Mentone Avenue, Pasadena police Lt. John Mercado said.
A dark blue, four-door sedan passed the victims heading the opposite direction on Howard Street before making a U-turn and catching up with them, the lieutenant said.
A passenger in the blue car fired a single shot, striking the rear, driver-side door of the victims’ car, Mercado said.
The victims sped away from their attackers, who were last seen heading north on Mentone Avenue, he said.
A motive in the seemingly unprovoked shooting was not clear.
PASADENA >> An allegedly intoxicated driver being chased by the California Highway Patrol collided head-on with another car on the Colorado Street bridge late Friday, injuring four people, officials said.
Delfino Eddie Rey, 58, of Lancaster suffered serious injuries in the crash and was arrested on suspicion of felony DUI and evading police in connection with the 8:10 p.m. crash on the bridge, which spans the Arroyo Seco, CHP officials said.
CHP Officers were chasing a possibly intoxicated driver eastbound on Colorado Boulevard when the suspects Toyota Corolla collided head-on with a westbound Nissan Maxima, Officer Patrick Kimball said. Paramedics treated four patients, Pasadena Fire Department spokeswoman Lisa Derderian said.
Rey suffered serious injuries, while two adults in the Maxima suffered injuries described as moderate, Derderian said. A child who was riding in the Maxima suffered injuries described as minor.
Firefighters had to free the three adults from the wreckage, she added.
Prior to the chase, a witness reported seeing the Corolla driving erratically and swerving in lanes at 7:52 p.m., Kimball said. CHP officers caught up with the suspect on Colorado Boulevard near San Rafael Avenue in Pasadena at 8:09 p.m.
Officers briefly chased the suspect as he fled at speeds of up to 70 mph, weaving in and out of lanes and occasionally crossed into oncoming traffic just before the collision, CHP officials said in a written statement.
Officials shut down the Colorado Street Bridge as they conducted an investigation Friday night.
*PHOTO courtesy of the Pasadena Fire Department
PASADENA >> Two men attacked and robbed an elderly coin shop clerk Thursday, fleeing with a loaded revolver and about $15,000 worth of cash and collectible coins, police said.
The crime occurred about 5:50 p.m. at Universal Coin Galleries, 1190 E. Walnut Street, Pasadena police Lt. John Luna said.
Two robbers entered the store and one of the distracted the clerk, an 81-year-old man, Luna said.
“The second suspect wrestled the victim over the counter and onto the floor,” the lieutenant said.
Luna said the victim was wearing a handgun, which the robbers stole. They also helped themselves to cash and coins before fleeing the store on foot.
The robbers were last seen running east along Walnut Avenue toward Hill Avenue, Luna said. No getaway car was seen.
Police said the elderly victim, a Glendora man, suffered injuries including cuts and bruises, but declined to be taken to a hospital. Officers conducted an “extensive search,” but did not find the suspects, Luna said.
Both robbers were described as white or possibly Russian men in their early-20s, Luna said. They had a backpack with them. One stood about 5 feet 10 inches to 5 feet 11 inches tall and was of slender, muscular build. The other stood 5 feet 6 inches to 5 feet 7 inches tall.
PASADENA >> Police plan to field extra officers next week to crack down on distracted drivers throughout Pasadena, officials said.
The extra enforcement campaign will take place April 17, Pasadena police Lt. Pete Hettema said in a written statement.
While most people know that using a cell phone or electronic device is dangerous, “Many drivers see distracted driving as risky when other drivers do it, but do not recognize how their own driving deteriorates,” Hettema said.
“Pasadena Police Department is focusing on ways to change the behavior of drivers through enforcement, public awareness and education — the same activities that have curbed drunk driving and increased seat belt use,” the lieutenant said.
Funding for the campaign is being provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.