1 suspect jailed, 2 others sought following La Habra cell phone store break-in, 2-county chase


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.

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Stolen car leads to marijuana grow house in Arcadia


ARCADIA >> A stolen car investigation led police to discover 600 marijuana plants growing inside an Arcadia home and arrest two suspects on Friday, officials said.
The series of events began about 10:30 a.m., when officers spotted a stolen car parked in the 200 block of West Palm Avenue, according to Arcadia police Lt. Roy Nakamura.
Police watched the car until a man exited a nearby home, got into the car and drove off, the lieutenant said.
Officers tried to pull the driver over, but he fled, initiating a chase.
Police briefly pursued the car before cancelling the chase due to safety concerns, Nakamura said. Officials soon found the stolen car abandoned in the 2000 block of St. James Drive in Temple City, but the driver remained at large.
As officers continued their investigation back at the home from which the suspect emerged, they found “an active marijuana grow operation involving approximately 600 plants,” according to Nakamura.
Two men at the home, identified as Ian Woodworth, 38, of Denver, Colorado and Wayne Chong, 49, of North Hollywood, were arrested on suspicion of cultivating marijuana, according to police and county booking records.
Chong was free on a $50,000 bond at the time of his arrest, according to county booking records.
Police in Arcadia arrested him Feb. 22 on suspicion of false impersonation of another, using a driver’s license to commit gforgery, possession of a document with a forged government seal and driving on a suspended license.
He posted bail the same day he was arrested. Charges were yet to be filed when he again found himself in handcuffs on Friday.
“At this time, it appears the cultivation is connected to the stolen vehicle,” Nakamura added.
Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Arcadia police at 626-574-5151. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Azusa man jailed following pursuit in stolen car


AZUSA >> A wanted Azusa man remained behind bars in lieu of more than half a million dollars bail on Wednesday after leading police on a pursuit in a stolen car earlier in the week, authorities said.
Ricardo Angel Guzman, 36, was booked on suspicion of possession of a stolen car, evading police, drug possession and driving on a suspended license following the chase, which took place just after 9:30 p.m. on Monday, Azusa police Lt. Michael Bertelsen said. He also had three outstanding arrest warrants.
The incident began when someone called police from a residential neighborhood in town to report seeing a suspicious vehicle, the lieutenant said.
“On arrival, (officers) attempted to contact two occupants of the vehicle,” Bertelsen said. “The driver sped away. A pursuit followed.”
The driver, later identified as Guzman, led officers on a chase through city streets for about 20 minutes, according to Bertelsen. A woman was riding in the car as a passenger.
Officers soon determined the car had recently been reported stolen in Ontario, he added.
At one point, the car ran into a dead end on Kirkwall Road. But the driver drove through the adjacent Valleydale Park, 5525 N. Lark Ellen Ave., and continued the pursuit, Bertelsen said. The car also briefly sped toward an officer as he was sitting in a patrol car blocking traffic.
The car ultimately came to a stop in the 300 block of South Louise Avenue, where the Guzman exited the car and ran, but was soon apprehended, according to the lieutenant. The female passenger was detained at the scene and treated for an existing medical condition, but was not arrested.
Guzman was booked into the Azusa Police Department’s jail, where he was being held in lieu of $620,000 bail pending his initial court appearance, scheduled Thursday in West Covina branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court.

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Woman arrested following Glendora sushi restaurant break-in, high-speed chase


GLENDORA >> Police arrested one suspect and sought two more after they burglarized a Glendora sushi restaurant early Saturday, then led police on a pursuit that ended in Compton, officials said.
A burglary alarm triggered about 4:30 a.m. first drew police to the restaurant in the 1800 block of East Route 66, according to Glendora police Lt. Rob Lamborghini.
“Officers responded and immediately confirmed that a burglary had occurred,” he said. Burglars had broken into the business through the back door and stolen cash, but fled before police arrived.
An officer searching the area spotted a suspicious car getting onto the 210 Freeway near Lone Hill Avenue and tried to pull it over, the lieutenant said. The car accelerated away, kicking off a high-speed chase on the 210, 605 and 105 freeways. Suspects inside the car were seen tossing unknown items from the vehicle during the pursuit.
The car exited the 105 Freeway in Compton and came to a stop, Lamborghini said. Two suspects ran from the car and were not found.
The driver, 33-year-old Erika Anette Washington of Redlands, was taken into custody, according to police and Los Angeles County booking records. She was booked on suspicion of burglary and evading police.
The money believed to have been stolen from the sushi restaurant was not found.
According to county booking records, Washington was being held in lieu of $20,000 bail pending her arraignment hearing, scheduled Monday in the West Covina branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court.

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La Habra man accused of kidnapping following police chase

LA HABRA >> A La Habra man is accused of kidnapping after leading police on a pursuit through Orange County with his girlfriend riding as an involuntary passenger on Saturday, police said.
Christopher Jonathan Westreicher, 22, was booked on suspicion of kidnapping following the pursuit, which began about 5:45 p.m. in La Habra and came to an end in Irvine, according to La Habra police officials and Orange County booking records. He was also being held on a pre-existing “no-bail” warrant.
A witness called police to report seeing a possible domestic disturbance between a man and woman inside a car in the area of Imperial Highway and Walnut Street, La Habra police Sgt. Rob Diehl said. Officers caught up with the small, gray Toyota in the area of Imperial Highway and Village drive.
The driver, later identified as Westreicher, refused to pull over, initiating a chase that sped through La Habra, Brea, Fullerton, Buena Park Anaheim and Irvine, Diehl said.
As the car drove slowly approaching the 91 Freeway at Brookhurst Street in Anaheim, the woman exited the car as it was still moving, according to the lieutenant. The woman managed to stay on her feet as she exited the moving car and ran toward officers for help. She suffered no significant injuries.
The chase continued until Westreicher stopped and surrendered to police on the 5 Freeway, near Culver Drive in Irvine, Diehl said.
Westreicher was being held without bail pending his initial court appearance, scheduled Tuesday in Orange County Superior Court’s Central Jail branch, records show.

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Stolen car pursuit leads from El Monte to Baldwin Park, ends with crash on 10 Freeway


BALDWIN PARK >> Police and California Highway Patrol officer jailed an auto theft suspect who led them on a pursuit from El Monte before crashing into a CHP cruiser in Baldwin Park while fleeing in the wrong direction of traffic on the 10 Freeway, authorities said.
The suspect was found and taken into custody nearby, and no officers were hurt in the incident, which began shortly before 9 p.m. in El Monte, California Highway Patrol Officer Tony Polizzi said. Authorities briefly shut down the westbound lanes of the 10 Freeway following the collision, but quickly reopened them.
A LoJack vehicle anti-theft signal first attracted the attention of El Monte police to the vehicle, officials said.
The driver failed to pull over for police, initiating a chase that reached high speeds and travelled on the wrong side of the roadway more than once.
The CHP took over the pursuit as the driver made his way onto the 60 Freeway. Shortly after he began heading east in the westbound lanes of the freeway, he collided with a CHP cruiser near Baldwin Park Boulevard, Polizzi said.
It was not immediately clear whether the CHP officer crashed into the suspect intentionally or unintentionally.
The driver got out of the crashed car and continued to flee on foot, but was soon captured in a nearby neighborhood, officials said.
CHP officials could not confirm initial radio reports from the scene that a gun was recovered from inside the suspect’s stolen car.
No further details were available late Wednesday.

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Six suspects jailed in San Gabriel Valley robbery, carjacking spree

LA PUENTE >> Deputies arrested six suspects in a series of San Gabriel Valley robberies and carjackings after they crashed a just-stolen car in Chino late Tuesday, authorities said.
The incident began just after 9:10 p.m. when a woman was carjacked in front of a home in the 800 block of Greycliff Avenue, according to Deputy Juanita Navarro-Suarez of the Los Angeles County sheriff’s Information Bureau.
The woman told deputies she had just arrived home when she was confronted by a group of carjackers, “one of whom was armed with a baseball bat,” Navarro-Suarez said in a written statement.
The carjackers threatened to retrieve a handgun if the woman refused to turn over her vehicle, and she complied out of fear for her safety, the deputy said. The group of carjackers then fled in her car.
Deputies spotted the carjacked vehicle moments later in the area of the 60 Freeway and Fullerton Road in Industry, she said. They initially gave chase on the 60 Freeway, but soon cancelled the chase and followed the fleeing vehicle via helicopter only “due to excessive speeds,” Navarro-Suarez said.
The vehicle continued speeding east before ultimately crashing at Euclid and Merrill avenues in Chino. All six suspects ran from the crashed car but were soon apprehended by deputies during a search of the area.
Brian Mendez, a 20 year-old national of El Salvador and Christian Lucero, an 18 year-old national of Honduras, were booked on suspicion of carjacking, officials said. They were being held in lieu of $100,000 bail each.
Four juvenile suspects, two boys and two girls, were also arrested and taken to a juvenile hall, Navarro-Suarez said. They were described as nationals of El Salvador, Mexico and Honduras.
While continuing their investigation, deputies noticed a second car parked near the scene of the La Puente carjacking which had been reported stolen in Texas, where all six suspects are believed to live, according to Navarro-Suarez.
“It is believed that the six suspects abandoned the stolen vehicle during the time of the carjacking,” she added.
The stolen car from Texas matched the description of one used in a series of recent robberies in the La Puente and Rowland Heights areas, officials said.
Further details regarding the spate of robberies were not available late Wednesday.
The investigation was ongoing.

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Man and woman jailed after chase from Azusa to Duarte


AZUSA >> A man and woman led police on a pursuit that ended with a crash in Duarte before they were arrested late Friday, police said.
Driver Dennis Ayon,, 36, of Azusa was booked on suspicion of evading police and felony drug possession, Azusa police officials said in a written statement. Passenger Darla Abriel, 30, of Glendora was booked on suspicion of a misdemeanor drug offense and outstanding warrants, according to Azusa police officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
The pursuit began shortly after 8 p.m. after an Azusa police officer tried to stop the car they were riding in for a traffic violation near 5th Street and Dalton Avenue, Azusa police officials said in a written statement.
“The driver failed to stop and led officers on a vehicle pursuit from the City of Azusa through the City of Monrovia and ultimately into the City of Duarte,” according to the statement, “The vehicle lost control and collided with several parked vehicles in the 2000 block of Mountain (Avenue), City of Duarte.”
Both the driver and passenger were treated for apparently minor injuries prior to booking, officials said. Further details regarding he type and amount of drugs allegedly possessed by the suspects was not available.
Information regarding Ayon’s bail amount and initial court appearance was not available Saturday, as he remained hospitalized, officials said. He is already on felony probation under the terms of AB 109, records show.
Abriel was being held in lieu of $45,000 bail pending an arraignment hearing scheduled Monday in the West Covina branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court.

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Man opens fire on El Monte police during pursuit, suspect arrested in Baldwin Park


EL MONTE >> A fleeing suspect fired gunshots at El Monte police during a high-speed pursuit before he was taken into custody in Baldwin Park late Wednesday.
Richard Cortez, 26, of Baldwin Park was ultimately arrested on suspicion of attempted murder on a peace officer, evading police, resisting arrest, burglary and hit-and-run, El Monte police Sgt. Richard Luna said.
“He’s shooting at my vehicle,” an officer is heard calmly saying over the radio as the chase sped down the 60 Freeway. “My windshield’s now broken. We’re still westbound. Probably about five or six rounds.”
The incident began about 10 p.m. in the southwest portion of the city, when an officer spotted and began following a suspicious car, according to the sergeant.
When the officer tried to stop the car for a traffic violation, the driver sped away, initiating a chase that worked its way to the 60 freeway.
While on the 60 Freeway, the suspect opened fire on pursuing officers several times, Luna said. One officer initially believed his patrol car had been struck, but no damage was ultimately found.
Police continued chasing the suspect, who reached speeds as high as 100 mph, as he got onto the 10 Freeway and ultimately exited at Frazier Avenue in Baldwin Park.
He was involved in a minor crash with a parked car as he ditched his vehicle and continued to flee on foot.
Cortez fled through the neighborhood and broke into a home before he was apprehended with the help of a police K-9, Luna said. Television news helicopters broadcast footage of the chase arrest.
He was taken to a hospital for treatment prior to booking, officials said.
No additional suspects were believed to be outstanding.
The investigation was ongoing, Luna said.
According to Los Angeles County Superior Court records, Cortez was previously convicted of vandalism, brandishing a handgun and burglary in 2016; fighting in public and spousal abuse in 2013; possession of methamphetamine in 2012; and being under the influence of a controlled substance in 2010.
Cortez was being held without bail pending a scheduled arraignment hearing Friday in the El Monte branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court, county booking records show.

Audio courtesy of @LABasinScanner on Twitter

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San Gabriel robbery suspects arrested following pursuit

SAN GABRIEL >> Two men accused of robbing a San Gabriel cell phone store on Wednesday afternoon led police on a high-speed chase before being cornered and apprehended in Los Angeles, authorities said.
An officer first tried to stop the suspects’ car about 5:51 p.m. for a routine traffic violation in the area of San Gabriel Boulevard, south of Valley Boulevard, San Gabriel Police Lt. Tony Hernandez said.
The driver failed to pull over, instead starting a chase during which he drove recklessly and at high speed down the westbound 10 Freeway, he said.
As the pursuit was ongoing, police received information that the car was believed to have been involved in a robbery that occurred about 5:45 p.m. at a cell phone store in the 800 block of Valley Boulevard, according to the lieutenant.
Two men with at least one gun had entered the store and fled with about 20 phones, he said. It was not immediately clear if cash was also taken.
Officers continued chasing the suspects as they exited the freeway at Mission Road in Los Angeles and crashed into another motorist, Hernandez said. The two suspects abandoned the car and continued to flee on foot. The other driver involved in the crash was unhurt.
The fleeing suspects ran directly into a commercial property enclosed by a 6-foot-tall, razor-wire-topped fence, he said. They surrendered once they realized they were trapped.
The suspects identities were not immediately available.
Police were re-tracing the path of the pursuit late Wednesday in search of items possible tossed from the suspects during the chase, he added.

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