Police: Woman depicted in viral Alhambra package theft video in custody


ALHAMBRA >> One day after a viral cell phone video of an Alhambra man confronting a female package thief in front of his home made the suspect an overnight celebrity, police arrested the woman Friday afternoon, officials said.
Rianna Medina, 20, of Montebello was booked on suspicion of grand theft — a felony — after officers found her about 1 p.m. at a motel in Rosemead, according to Alhambra police Sgt. Jerry Johnson.
“The woman seen in the now-viral video stealing packages from the front porch of an Alhambra home last Tuesday has been arrested.
Video: Alhambra resident confronts package thief
0513_NWS_PSN-L-THEFTThe arrest was the result of “tips and social media messages and using what can only be described as ‘old-fashion police work,’ the sergeant said. “She was taken into custody without incident.”
Medina is accused of a package theft caught on camera Tuesday when the resident arrived home in the middle of the crime and confronted the suspect with a cell phone camera in-hand.
The video, which was released by police in hopes of generating clues, quickly spread across the nation via the internet.
“If I was you, I’d put those down,” the homeowner tells the woman, who tried to argue that her mother lived at the home, not the resdient.
But the woman dropped the packaged and walked away immediately once the man told her he was calling the police.
0514_NWS_PSN-L-VIDEO-ARRESTPolice thanked those who called in tips or provided information via social media, Johnson said.
“The public’s cooperation greatly assisted our detectives in identifying and locating this suspect,” he said. “It is often times difficult to find people who are willing to come forward and share information. We appreciate everyone’s contribution.”

VIDEO/PHOTO/BOOKING PHOTO courtesy of the Alhambra Police Department

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San Marino police arrest woman and daughter for mail, ID theft


SAN MARINO >> A woman and her daughter will be spending Mother’s Day together, behind bars, after police caught them driving through San Marino with mail stolen from Arcadia, along with a U.S. Postal Service master key and methamphetamine, authorities said.
Estela Castaneda, 48, of Huntington Park and daughter Elizabeth Castaneda, 22, of Rosemead, were arrested just after midnight Friday following what began as a routine traffic stop for a traffic violation in the 1300 block of Bradbury Road, according to San Marino police officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
Officers soon noticed that the driver, Estela Castaneda, and her daughter had pieces of mail and checks that had been stolen in Arcadia, along with a U.S. Postal Service lock and master key, or “arrow key,” San Marino police Detective Sergeant Timothy Tebbetts said in a written statement.
As police were booking the women into jail at the Alhambra Police Department, jail guards found the mother hiding “a substance resembling methamphetamine,” the sergeant said.
Police booked the mother and daughter on suspicion of crimes including identity theft, possession of stolen property, possession of burglary tools, possession of methamphetamine and possession of contraband inside a jail, officials said.
“The mail appears to be stolen out of the city of Arcadia,” Tebbetts said. “San Marino Police are working with Postal Inspectors to locate additional victims. U.S. Postal Inspectors are seeking to file federal charges on both suspects.”
Estela Castaneda was being held in lieu of $200,000 bail, while Elizabeth Castaneda was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail, records show. Both were scheduled for arraignment hearings Tuesday in the Los Angeles County Superior Court’s Alhambra branch.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Sgt. Tebbetts at 626-300-0722. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Trial ongoing in 2005 mistaken-ID slaying of Gabrielino High School student

This is Ryan Dasalla, 17, of Rosemead.  Gabriel Guerrero, 24, of Rosemead is charged with the murder of Dasalla after a fight a block from Dasalla's school, Gabrielino High School in San Gabriel.  Guerrero is also charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He was convicted of armed robbery in 2000, according to a criminal complaint.

Ryan Dasalla, 17, of Rosemead (left) was shot to death near Gabrielino High School in San Gabriel on April 27, 2005.  Daniel Guerrero, 29, of Rosemead (right) is on trial for the allegedly gang-related, mistaken-identity shooting. (Courtesy) Two other defendants, including Guerrero’s brother, have already been convicted and sentenced in the case. 

PASADENA >> Trial is ongoing in Pasadena for a Rosemead gang member accused of murder in the mistaken-identity murder of a 17-year-old Gabrielino High School student in San Gabriel, which occurred 11 years ago today, authorities said.
Prosecutors made their case and continued calling witnesses Wednesday in Pasadena Superior Court in the trial of Daniel Guerrero, 29, in connection with the April 27, 2005, slaying of Ryan Dasalla, court officials said.
Guerrero, who was 18 at the time of the killing, along with then-23-year-old brother Daniel Guerrero and accomplice and fellow Varrio Nueva Estrada street gang member Sarah Toledo, then 17, shot and killed Ryan Dasalla in a case of mistaken identity, prosecutors said.
Toledo helped the brothers target Dasalla under the wrong belief that he was part of a tagging crew that had beaten up the Guerreros younger brother the night before, according to prosecutors and Los Angeles County sheriff’s homicide detectives. Dasalla was shot in the back.

*** STAFF FILE PHOTO *** Friends of Gabrielino High student Ryan Dasalla mourn after school April 28, 2005 at a makeshift memorial on Gladys Avenue where he was murdered about a block from the school's San Gabriel campus.  (sgv news group staff photo by Leo Jarzomb, SXCITY.)

Friends of Gabrielino High student Ryan Dasalla mourn after school on April 28, 2005 at a makeshift memorial on Gladys Avenue, where he was fatally shot, about a block from the high school. (Staff photo by Leo Jarzomb)

Gabriel Guerrero and Toledo were arrested shortly after the fatal shooting, which took place about a block away from Gabrielino High School.
But the alleged triggerman, Daniel Guerrero fled and remained a fugitive until late-2013, when he was reportedly found and captured in Tijuana, Mexico, where he was living under an assumed identity.
He now faces charges of murder and conspiracy to commit murder, district attorney’s office spokesman Greg Risling said.
Records show jury selection in the case began April 4, and opening statement began April 20th, he said.
The other two defendants have since been convicted and begun serving lengthy prison terms.
Gabriel Guerrero received a sentence of 84 years to life in prison after a jury convicted him in 2010 of first-degree murder, and found true allegations the crime was gang-related and involved a gun.
Toledo received 50 years to life in prison in late 2011 after being convicted of murder and conspiracy to commit murder, along with gang and gun enhancements.

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UPDATED: Rosemead residents threatened at gunpoint after interrupting home burglary


ROSEMEAD >> Two intruders pulled a gun on a woman and her adult son when they arrived home to interrupt a burglary in Rosemead Saturday afternoon, officials said.
The victims came home about 3:40 p.m. in the 4200 block of Walnut Grove Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Ernest Bille said.
“The residents stumbled upon a burglary at their residence,” Bille said.
One of the two intruders pointed a handgun at the two victims before both ran out of the home, the lieutenant said.
They were last seen fleeing the area in a brown Toyota van, possibly a Toyota Sienna, he said.
Deputies described both burglars as Latino men. One was in his mid-30s, with short, bushy hair, about 5 feet 10 inches tall, of medium build, wearing a black-and-white flannel shirt and dark pants. The second was in his mid-20s, also of medium build, with a black hooded sweat shirt pulled over his face and dark shorts.
It was not immediately clear whether the burglars managed to steal anything from the home.
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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Two gunmen rob Rosemead motel


ROSEMEAD >> Two men robbed a motel clerk and a patron at gunpoint Saturday morning in Rosemead, authorities said.
The robbery unfolded about 10:30 a.m. at the Royale Inn, 2618 San Gabriel Blvd., Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Ernest Bille said.
Both men brandished handguns as they entered the lobby and demanded property from an employee, as well as a patron who happened to be inside as well, the lieutenant said.
They obtained a little more than $200 and a Samsung Galaxy smartphone from the victims, he said.
According to initial reports from the scene, both robbers were described as black men in their 20s. One stood about 6 feet tall and was of thin build, wearing a red hat. The second was about 5 feet 10 inches tall, heavyset and bald.
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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Rosemead motorcyclist killed in crash with alleged DUI driver in Irwindale identified


IRWINDALE >> Authorities Thursday released the identity of a motorcyclist from Rosemead killed in a collision with an alleged drunken driver earlier this month.
Maximiliano Michel, 29, died following the crash, which took place about 9:15 p.m. on Feb. 5 at Longden and Myrtle avenues, Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner officials said. His identification was delayed as coroner’s investigators worked to notify family members.
An autopsy determined Michel died from “traumatic injuries,” and the death was ruled an accident, according to the coroner’s office.
Michel was riding a 2009 Yamaha motorcycle north on Myrtle Avenue as a 2008 Chevrolet Malibu was turning left from southbound Myrtle Avenue onto eastbound Longden Avenue, according to Irwindale police Sgt. George Zendejas. the vehicles collided in the intersection.
Officers rushed Michel to a hospital, where he died a short time later, officials said.
The driver of the Chevrolet, 23-year-old Pamela Ramirez of Baldwin Park, was arrested on suspicion of felony DUI after officers determined she was under the influence of alcohol, police said.
County booking records show Ramirez was released from jail pending her initial court appearance two days after the crash after posting $100,000 bail.

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Man shocked with stun gun, beaten during Rosemead robbery


ROSEMEAD >> Two attackers beat up a man and shocked him with a stun gun or Taser while robbing him of his cell phone Wednesday afternoon, officials said.
The crime took place about 3:40 p.m. in the 7500 block of Garvey Avenue, near Prosect Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Ignacio Somoano said.
Two attackers approached the man in a parking lot and began beating him up, the lieutenant said. The assault included in a shock from a stun gun or Taser.
The robbers stole the man’s iPhone and ran away, he said. The victim declined to be taken to a hospital.
A detailed suspect description was not available.

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Elderly Rosemead couple struck by pickup truck while crossing street


ROSEMEAD >> An elderly husband and wife suffered major injuries Wednesday when they were struck by a pickup truck while crossing a street in their hometown of Rosemead, authorities said.
The collision took place about 6:15 p.m. along Walnut Grove Avenue, just south of Garvey Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Ismael Chavez said.
The couple, described as a Rosemead man and wife in their 70s, were crossing Walnut Grove mid-block, without a crosswalk, when they were struck by a southbound pickup truck, the lieutenant said.
The woman was hospitalized in critical condition, Chavez said. Her husband suffered significant head injuries and was hospitalized in stable condition.
The driver of the pickup truck remained at the scene and cooperated with investigators, he said. Investigators determined the driver was unlicensed and had been driving without headlights on, though the sun set at 4:51 p.m. Wednesday.
No arrests were made at the scene, Chavez said. Deputies will present their ultimate findings to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office for consideration of charges.

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Ex-Rosemead woman sentenced for distributing counterfeit cigarettes, Viagra

LOS ANGELES >> A former Rosemead woman received a sentence of more than four years in federal prison Tuesday for trafficking in counterfeit Marlboro cigarettes and Viagra pills, authorities said.
Su Qin Yang, 45, lived in Rosemead prior to fleeing to China in 2012, as the criminal investigation into her gained momentum, U.S. Department of Justice spokesman Thom Mrozek said in a written statement. She is also known as Lily or Anita Chang.
She pleaded guilty in May to one count of trafficking in counterfeit goods, “and admitted in her plea agreement that she trafficked in almost 4 million counterfeit Marlboro cigarettes and almost 4,000 counterfeit Viagra pills,” according to the statement.
United States District Judge Margaret M. Morrow sentenced Yang to 57 months in federal prison, officials said.
“The government is advised that after defendant’s arrest, the illegal sale of counterfeit cigarettes in the Los Angeles area decreased dramatically,” prosecutors noted in a legal brief.
Investigators seized the bogus goods from Yang’s home and storage facilities in the summer of 2012.
She fled to China after the search warrants were served, but before a federal grand jury returned a 16-count indictment in August of 2013, Mrozek said. She returned to the U.S. in January. In addition to the cigarettes and pills, officials also seized about $440,000 in alleged ill-gotten profits.
While in the process of negotiating with prosecutors in 2012 regarding a plea deal, Yang and her husband fled to China, leaving their minor children behind, according to Mrozek.
“Thereafter, (Yang) arranged for minor children to be transported to Washington state and then flown to China, attempting to smuggle over $300,000 in additional cash with them,” prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memo.
Yang’s husband, Antonio Limbeek, remains a fugitive and is believed to be Indonesia, officials said.
The investigation was triggered after Phillip Morris USA, the manufacturer of Marlboro cigarettes, notified authorities of the counterfeit cigarette trafficking, Mrozek said. In addition to her prison term, Yang was ordered to pay $308,894 in restitution to Phillip Morris USA. The company has arranged for the funds to be given to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

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Rosemead bank branch robbed


ROSEMEAD >> A man robbed a bank along Valley Boulevard in Rosemead Tuesday, officials said.
The crime took place shortly before 11 a.m. at the Pacific Alliance Bank, 8400 Valley Blvd., Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Ernest Bille said.
The lone suspect entered the bank and handed a teller a note demanding cash, the lieutenant said. He motioned as if he had a gun, though none was seen.
After obtaining cash from the teller, the robber fled the bank, Bille said. A detailed suspect description was not available.
No injuries were reported.
Investigators from the sheriff’s Major Crimes Bureau and crime lab responded to the scene, along with the FBI, Bille said.

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