Suspect captured in fatal stabbing of tow truck driver in Pico Rivera


PICO RIVERA >> Detectives Friday arrested a transient they’d been seeking in connection with the unprovoked stabbing death of a tow truck driver as he helped the suspect’s mother change her car battery in Pico Rivera, authorities said.
Tobias Ruben Cabrera, 39, is accused of Tuesday afternoon’s slaying of 35-year-old Raymond Zabala of East Los Angeles, Deputy Ryan Rouzan of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Information Bureau said in a written statement.
“Deputies from Pico Rivera Station and the Major Crimes Bureau developed information about the possible whereabouts of Cabrera, and set up a surveillance in the area of Whittier Boulevard and the San Gabriel River,” Rouzan said. “Major Crimes Bureau personnel observed the suspect, and were able to take him into custody without incident.”
Deputies booked Cabrera for murder at the sheriff’s Pico Rivera Station, according to Los Angeles County booking records. He was being held in lieu of $1.08 million bail pending his scheduled arraignment Tuesday in Downey Superior Court.
Zabala worked for Petra Towing & Auto Repair in Montebello, which contracts with the Automobile Club of Southern California for roadside service, said manager Ron Lopez, who described Zabala as, “an outstanding young man” survived by a girlfriend, a 2-month-old son and a stepson.
Zabala arrived about 4:20 p.m. Tuesday in the 8400 block of Buhman Avenue after Cabrera’s mother called AAA for help with a dead battery in her minivan, sheriff’s officials said.
As Zabala talked to Cabrera’s mother, the suspect approached and stabbed Zabala in the neck in a seemingly random attack before fleeing on a bicycle, authorities said. He remained a fugitive until Friday.
Meanwhile, a website to collect donations to help Zabala’s family with funeral and service expenses as been set up at Family members could not be reached for comment Friday.
Anyone with information was asked to contact the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500.

PHOTO of fatal stabbing suspect Tobias Cabrera (Courtesy)

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Auto theft suspects arrested following neighborhood search in Pico Rivera

PICO RIVERA >> Deputies jailed two suspected gang members who ran from a stolen car after a crash, leaving a gun behind, after a neighborhood search Thursday afternoon, authorities said.
The incident began shortly after 5 p.m., when a deputy spotted a car that had been reported stolen driving in the area of Paramount and Beverly boulevards, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Sergio Escobedo said.
The driver realized the deputy was following and crashed into another car in opposing traffic as the car maneuvered to get away from the deputy, Escobedo said. The driver of the other car, a pregnant woman, was taken to a hospital as a precaution but appeared unhurt.
Two men exited the crashed car and ran, Escobedo said. Deputies apprehended the driver almost immediately. A gun was found inside the stolen car.
The passenger ran into a nearby mobile home park, where he was found hiding about an hour later, officials said.
Both suspects, whose names were not available pending booking, we’re believed to be gang members, he said. They were expected to be booked on suspicion of auto theft, hit-and-run and weapons charges.

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Pico Rivera bank branch robbed

PICO RIVERA >> A man fled with cash after robbing a Whittier Boulevard bank branch Wednesday afternoon, authorities said.
The bank robbery occurred about 1 p.m. at the Bank of the West, at Whittier and Rosemead boulevards, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Scott Chapman said.
A man handed a teller a note demanding money before fleeing with an unknown amount, the sergeant said.
Deputies described the robber as a Latino man of about 40 years old, about 5 feet 10 inches tall and of medium build. He had a salt and pepper mustache and a tattoo on his left neck and shoulder area. He wore a black and blue Yankees cap, sunglasses, a white T-shirt and blue jeans. He was last seen on Rosemead Boulevard on foot.

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Woman shot, suspect sought following Pico Rivera domestic dispute

PICO RIVERA >> Deputies sought a woman late Thursday after she shot and wounded her girlfriend during a dispute at a Pico Rivera apartment, authorities said.
The shooting victim, a 27-year-old Pico Rivera woman, suffered a “through-and-through” wound to her leg and was hospitalized in stable condition, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Sergio Escobedo said.
The alleged attack took place about 8:15 p.m. during a domestic dispute at the women’s apartment in the 4600 block of Rosemead Boulevard, the lieutenant said.
Escobedo said the suspect, a 24-year-old woman, fled following the shooting and remained at large.
Family members took the injured woman to Beverly Hospital before officials arrived at the scene.
Officials withheld the suspect’s name as they continued seeking her Thursday night.

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UPDATED: Pico Rivera man arrested after seven-hour standoff with deputies

PICO RIVERA >> A man broke into a relative’s home, fired a handgun and engaged deputies in a seven-hour standoff before surrendering late Saturday, authorities said.
Deputies ultimately jailed Adrian Robert Casey, 21, of Pico Rivera on suspicion of burglary and negligently discharging a firearm, according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials and booking records.
The incident began about 2:45 p.m. at a house near Telegraph Road and Serapis Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. James Jordan said.
A family member living at the home already had already obtained a restraining order against Casey when arrived, Sgt. Raymond Cardenas said.
No one was home, and the suspect broke into the house, he said. He fired several rounds from a handgun while inside the house, prompting neighbors to call 9-1-1.
Casey refused to exit the home when deputies arrived, initiating a standoff, Cardenas said.
A SWAT team responded to the scene and deputies negotiated with the suspect for seven hours until he surrendered about 10 p.m., officials said.
According to booking records, Casey was being held in lieu of $135,000 bail pending his initial court appearance, scheduled Tuesday in Downey Superior Court.

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Checkpoint planned Tuesday night in Pico Rivera

PICO RIVERA >> Deputies plan to check drivers for sobriety and valid licenses during a checkpoint today, officials said.
The checkpoint will take place from 7 p.m. Tuesday to 3 a.m. Wednesday at an undisclosed location within Pico Rivera, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
“Over the course of the past three years in the contract cities policed by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, DUI collisions have claimed 33 lives and resulted in 898 injury crashes harming 1330 of our friends and neighbors,” Sgt. Daniel Dail of the sheriff’s Traffic Services Detail said.
Funding for the checkpoint is being provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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Man sentenced for 2013 fatal shooting of El Rodeo nightlcub valet in Pico Rivera


PICO RIVERA >> A judge sentenced an Oxnard man who fatally shot a valet and wounded a security guard at the El Rodeo nightclub to prison Wednesday, two days before the club’s owner is due in federal court to answer to charges of laundering money for drug traffickers, officials said.
A Norwalk Superior Court jury convicted Sebastian Zazueta, 22, in January of first-degree murder, as well as four counts of attempted murder, according to Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said. The jury also found true special allegations that he personally used a gun in the crimes.
He received a sentence of 114 years to life in state prison, Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Brandon Wong said.
Melvin Ernesto Cortez-Ortega, 37, of Hacienda Heights died following the Sept. 22, 2013, early-morning shooting outside nightclub, 8825 Washington Blvd., Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Assistant Chief of Operations Ed Winter said.
A then-26-year-old security guard was also shot several times in the attack but survived his injuries, according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s investigators and prosecutors.
Zazueta unleashed a barrage of bullets after he got into an argument with a security guard who told him to leave the parking lot after the club had closed, Wong said.

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Man killed in Pico Rivera three-vehicle collision

PICO RIVERA >> A man died and two other people suffered injuries late Sunday when a pickup truck blew through a red light at a Pico Rivera intersection, triggering a three-vehicle wreck, authorities said.
A man initially described as about 60 years old died at the scene of the 8 p.m. collision at Slauson Avenue and Paramount Boulevard, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. John Anderson said. His name was not available.
Based on the preliminary investigation, it appeared he was driving a car east on Slauson Avenue through a green light when a pickup truck headed north on Paramount Boulevard drove through a red light, Anderson said.
Following the initial impact, one of the vehicles then struck a car heading west on Slauson Avenue, the lieutenant said.
A woman at the wheel of the pickup truck was taken to a hospital in unknown condition, he said. A man driving the westbound car suffered minor injuries and was treated by paramedics at the scene.
Deputies from the sheriff’s Pico Rivera Station are handling the investigation.

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Death of man struck by train in Pico Rivera ruled accidental

PICO RIVERA >> The death of a Pico Rivera man struck and killed by a train last month has been ruled an accident by coroner’s investigators, officials said.
Matthew Anthony Rivera, 25, died at a hospital shortly after being struck by a passenger train about 5:40 p.m. Dec. 19, alongside the 9200 block of Bermudez Street, Los Angeles sheriff’s and coroner’s officials said.
Though initially investigated as a possible suicide, an autopsy determined that Rivera died from “multiple traumatic injuries” and ruled the death accidental, coroner Assistant Chief of Operations Ed Winter said.
Rivera was clipped by an eastbound passenger train while standing between two sets of tracks, officials said.
He had crossed the tracks just in front of a westbound freight train, but may have not seen the second train traveling in the opposite direction, coroner’s officials said.
Paramedics rushed Rivera to a hospital, where he ultimately succumbed to his injuries.

– Staff writer Ruby Gonzales contributed to this report.

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Bulldog puppies stolen in Pico Rivera pet shop robbery recovered, 3 suspects jailed

PICO RIVERA >> Deputies this week recovered two valuable English bulldog puppies and arrested three teenage suspects who allegedly stole them at gunpoint from a Whittier Boulevard pet shop on Christmas Eve, sheriff’s officials announced Saturday.
The robbery took place Wednesday afternoon at Mr. Bulldog, 9432 Whittier Blvd., Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Serge Escobedo said.
A young man armed with a handgun demanded cash and the puppies before fleeing in a BMW driven by an accomplice, Escobedo said.
“Media coverage of the incident fanned public interest, which led to a crime tip about the robbery,” Escobedo said. “As a result, Pico Rivera Station detectives were called in on Christmas Day. They worked unremittingly on every lead in order to identify the suspects. Their efforts led to the execution of a search warrant on Christmas night at a residence in West Whittier. The warrant resulted in the arrest of the primary robbery suspect, who was a juvenile.”
Deputies arrested the alleged gunman, a 17-year-old West Whittier boy, on Christmas Day, Sgt. Jacqueline Sanchez said.
Further investigation led deputies to arrest the alleged getaway driver Jonathan Mora-Medina, 18, of Whittier, who turned himself in Friday at the sheriff’s Pico Rivera Station, officials said.
Sanchez said deputies also arrested a 15-year-old West Whittier girl Friday as an accomplice to the armed robbery, though her alleged specific role in the crime was not available Saturday.
Both 10-week-old puppies have been recovered safe and returned to the business they were stolen from.
A woman found one of the animals wandering near her West Whittier home on Christmas Day, officials said. An unidentified person returned the second puppy to the store Friday.
According to county booking records, Mora-Medina was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail pending a scheduled arraignment Tuesday in Downey Superior Court.
The names of the juvenile suspects were withheld due to their ages.

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