The FBI and local law enforcement officials are seeking two bank robbers dubbed the “New Hat Bandits” in connection with five Los Angeles County bank heists in the past six weeks.
The robbers are linked to two robberies in Monterey Park, one in Rosemead and most recently, the bandits have turned their attention toward two banks in Manhattan Beach , FBI officials said in a written statement.
“The New Hat Bandits are described by witnesses as black males who wear baseball hats that appear to be new,” according to the statement. “During the robberies, the New Hat Bandits enter the bank and make oral and written demands for cash.”
According to the FBI, the robbers struck Tuesday at Citibank, 2710 N. Sepulveda Boulevard in Manhattan Beach, as well as Nov. 22 at a U.S. Bank Branch at 3300 N. Sepulveda Blvd. in Manhattan Beach.
They previously robbed the Cathay Bank at 250 S. Atlantic Blvd. in Monterey Park on No. 14; the Pacific Alliance Bank at 8400 E. Valley Blvd. in Rosemead on Halloween; and the Chase bank at 459 S. Atlantic Blvd. in Monterey Park on Oct. 23, officials said.
In the first four crimes, only one of the bandits at a time entered the banks to carry out the robberies, FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said. But both robbers were seen during Wedesday’s robbery.
Authorities described the bandits as black men in their 30s between 5 feet 6 inches and 5 feet 8 inches tall and between 150 and 170 pounds. A black Lincoln Navigator SUV has been described by witnesses as a possible getaway vehicle.
No weapons have been seen during the robberies, Eimiller said.
Anyone with information was urged to call the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office at 888-226-8443, or 9-1-1.
ROSEMEAD — Authorities Saturday released the name of a Rosemead man shot to death by a sheriff’s deputy while in officials said he was in the midst of a knife attack on his aunt.
Paul Aguilar, 21, died in Friday evening’s deputy-involved shooting in the 2400 block of Earle Avenue, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Lt. Larry Dietz said.
His aunt, whose name was not released, was hospitalized in serious condition with injuries including stab wounds to her throat and back, but was expected to survive, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said.
Deputies first responded to the family’s home about 6:10 p.m. reporting that Aguilar was drunk and causing problems, Sheriff Lee Baca said Friday. But the deputies and family members determined the family could resolve the situation themselves and the deputies left.
The deputies remained at a nearby street corner when the sheriff’s Temple Station received a second call from the home requesting help with the drunken man, Baca said.
“While deputies were talking to family members, they heard a female yelling from the rear of the location,” sheriff’s officials said early Saturday in a written statement. “Shortly thereafter, they saw a female adult with a stab wound to her neck walk toward them from a side driveway. The deputies then saw a male walk from the rear of the driveway and attempt to once again, stab the female victim. This resulted in the Deputy-Involved shooting.”
After one deputy tried unsuccessfully to shock Aguilar with a Taser, another deputy fired a single gunshot, which struck Aguilar in the chest, Baca said. He immediately ceased his attack and fell to the ground.
Paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene at 6:30 p.m., Dietz said.
The knife allegedly wielded by Aguilar was recovered, sheriff’s officials added.
A small memorial of candles and Rosaries stood Saturday on the driveway where Aguilar died. A teary-eyed woman who identified herself as Aguilar’s grandmother said she did not wish to comment regarding the deputy-involved shooting.
The woman injured during the incident had been released from the hospital and was doing well, family members said.
Aguilar has no criminal history listed in Los Angeles County Superior Court records.
The investigation is being spearheaded by detectives from the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau, with concurrent investigations underway by the Los Angeles COunty District Attorney’s Office and the County of Los Angeles Office of Independent Review.
PHOTO of memorial at scene of deputy-involved shooting on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013.
ROSEMEAD — A sheriff’s deputy shot and killed a man Friday as he was stabbing a woman with a knife outside the family home in Rosemead, authorities said.
The name of the dead man was not available, however sheriff’s officials initially described him as 21 years old.
The woman suffered multiple stab wounds, including a slashed throat, but was expected to survive her injuries, Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca said.
Deputies first responded to a report of a family disturbance about 6:10 p.m. at the home in the 2400 block of Earle Avenue, just north of Klingerman Street, the sheriff said.
“A young man, 21 years of age, was drunk and causing a lot of havoc there in the home,” Baca said.
Ultimately, deputies and the family agreed that the situation could be handled within the family.
“The family was around him. They wanted him to just go back inside the house and sleep it off,” the sheriff said. “So it looked like it was all handled properly at that point, and deputies elected to give the family control of the situation.”
Deputies left the home but remained just up the street at Earle Avenue and Klingerman Street, officials said. They were still there when officials received a second call from the home about 20 minutes later.
“The young man was acting violently, had a knife in his hand and was stabbing a young woman,” Baca said. “And as he was chasing her out of the yard, the driveway, he was stabbing her in the back. He had already stabbed her in the throat.
“Deputies fired one Taser shot at him. That didn’t work. The second deputy fired one shot that hit the suspect in the chest, The suspect fell to the ground, and moments later was deceased.”
Sheriff’s radio traffic from the scene immediately following the shooting indicated the suspect was “down,” and was, “no longer a threat.”
Paramedics pronounced a patient with a gunshot wound dead at the scene, fire Dispatch Supervisor Kyle Sanford said. The stabbing victim was rushed to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center.
The woman’s injuries were serious and she was bleeding profusely from her neck, Baca said.
“She seems to be in a position where her life is not in peril,” he said. “But she would have been killed undoubtedly had this young man continued (the attack).”
The relationship between the dead suspect and the victim was not clear Friday night, nor was the wounded woman’s age.
No deputies were injured in the incident, deputies from the Sheriff’s Headquarters Bureau said.
Several neighbors said they never heard the gunshot.
Deputies cordoned off the area and set up a command post south of the shooting scene as they investigated the incident. Residents of the street were escorted to their homes by deputies as the investigation unfolded.
As is standard procedure in deputy-involved shootings involving Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies, detectives from the Sheriff’s Headquarter’s Bureau were summoned to handle the investigation, officials said. Simultaneous investigations were also underway by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office and the County of Los Angeles Office of Independent Review.
ROSEMEAD — A knife-wielding man grabbed a hold of a 5-year-old child and demanded money before fleeing empty-handed from a Rosemead beauty salon Sunday afternoon, authorities said.
The brazen crime took place about 2:45 p.m. at a salon in the 3100 block of San Gabriel Boulevard, just north of Garvey Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. James Long said.
The suspect entered the store armed with a knife, Lt. Ismael Chavez said.
“He demanded money and then grabbed the child by the arm,” Chavez said. “As he reached and retrieved a knife from his pocket, the (child’s) uncle intervened and grabbed the child from him and pulled him away.”
The would-be robber then ran from the store empty handed, the lieutenant said. He was last seen headed south on San Gabriel Boulevard.
The child was shaken but not injured, officials said.
Deputies described the suspect as a Latino man between 20 and 30 years old, about 5 feet 8 inches tall, of thin build, with a tattoo on his left forearm. He had brown hair and brown eyes and wore dark blue jeans, as well as a black and white bandana over his face.
Deputies searched the area with help from witnesses who pointed out where the man had run, but he was not found, Long said. Deputies continued hunting for him late Sunday.
Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s Temple Station at 626-285-7171.
ROSEMEAD — Two men fled with cash Thursday following a robbery at a bank branch Thursday afternoon, officials said.
The heist took place just after 12:30 p.m. at the Pacific Alliance Bank, 8400 Valley Blvd., Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Steven Ruiz said.
The robber demanded money from a teller and fled after obtaining an undisclosed amount, officials said. No weapons were seen during the crime, and no injuries were reported.
Officials described the robbers as two black men in their 20s, wearing black caps and blue jackets, Ruiz said.
No further details were available.
ROSEMEAD — A fire blamed on discarded matches scorched a third-floor apartment Tuesday, however firefighters doused the flames before they spread to any other units, officials said.
The fire was reported shortly before 6 p.m. at a large apartment complex in the 6300 block of Rosemead Boulevard, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Anthony Haynes said.
The resident of the apartment got out unharmed, and firefighters extinguished the fire before it could damage other apartments, Los Angeles County Fire Department Capt. Richard Johnson said.
The fire was believed to have been caused by matches that had been left on a bed before completely extinguished, Johnson said. A dollar-vale estimate of the damage caused by the fire was not available.
*UPDATE: The missing girl was located safe at a Rosemead restaurant late Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013, per San Gabriel police.
San Gabriel police asked the public’s help Thursday in tracking down a 12-year-old San Gabriel girl who never came home from her Rosemead school Wednesday.
Destiny Beasley was last seen Wednesday afternoon at Mildred B. Janson Elementary School, 8628 Marshall Street in Rosemead, San Gabriel police Lt. Chris Ortell said.
She was supposed to walk home from school but never arrived, the lieutenant said. Foul play was not initially suspected.
The girl had gotten in trouble at school that day, resulting in a phone call home to her parents, he said. When last seen, she was talking with a friend about being in trouble.
Authorities checked with family and friends with no luck as of Thursday morning, Ortell said.
Beasley was described as black, 5 feet 7 inches tall, 130 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes, police said. She was last seen wearing a dark blue polo shirt and dark blue shorts.
Anyone with information was asked to contact San Gabriel Police at 626-308-2828.
PHOTO courtesy of the San Gabriel Police Department
Monterey Park police raided homes in Rosemead and Rancho Cucamonga early Thursday, recovering more than 155 pounds and arresting a Rosemead man on suspicion of cultivating the illicit crop, authorities said.
Detectives from the Monterey Park Police Department’s Crime Impact Team arrested Sunny Hoa, 52, at his home in on Ralph Street near Rosemead Boulevard in Rosemead, Lt. Frank Duke said. They also recovered about 35 pounds of processed pot at the residence.
Also Thursday morning, police went to another home associated with Hoa on Driftood Place near the 210 Freeway in Rancho Cucamonga, where they dismantled an indoor grow operation and seized 121 pounds of marijuana, Duke said.
Several hundred mature plants were seized in Rancho Cucamonga, along with the equipment used to grow the plants,” Monterey Park police officials said in a written statement.
A home in El Monte believed tied to Hoa was also searched, though no pot was found there, he added.
Others who were detained during the raids were ultimately released without charges, Duke said.
Monterey Park police have been watching Hoa for nearly a year, officials said, when they identified him as a suspect in an indoor marijuana grow found in Monterey Park on Thanksgiving Day last year.
In that case, an electrical fire at a condominium in the 500 block of North Chandler Avenue led officials to discover a marijuana growing operation, police said at the time.
Hoa was soon identified as a suspect, Duke said, but not arrested as police continued their investigation into him for nearly a year.
According to county booking records, Hoa was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail pending a scheduled arraignment Monday in Alhambra Superior Court.
ALHAMBRA – A driver was killed after hitting parked cars and the side of a bank Tuesday morning, authorities said.
Hai Ming Xu, 47, of Rosemead died at the scene of the solo-car crash, which took place about 11 a.m. in the 300 block of Valley Boulevard, Alhambra police Sgt. Jerry Johnson said in a written statement.
“It appears at this time that Mr. Xu lost control of his vehicle while driving through the parking lot located west of the Preferred Bank,” Johnson said. “Mr. Xu’s vehicle collided with three parked cars an unoccupied vehicles before striking the west wall of the Preferred Bank, where it comes to rest.”
The cause of the crash remained under investigation by Alhambra police and Los Angeles County coroner’s officials.
ROSEMEAD — A car slammed into a Rosemead legal office early Sunday, causing significant damage but no injuries, authorities said.
A man in hiss 20s was driving a Nissan 300ZX when he lost control and struck a legal office on Hellman Avenue, just east of Del Mar Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Michael Martinez said.
The business was closed at time and no one was inside, he said. The driver of the car was not hurt.
The cause of the crash remained under investigation, however driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs was not initially suspected, Martinez said.
A building inspector looked over the damage and determined it was safe for the legal office to remain open pending repairs, officials said.
PHOTO courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.