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.
DIAMOND BAR >> Services have been scheduled for a 33-year-old Baldwin Park man who died last week when the car he was riding in with his wife was rear-ended by a pickup truck on the transition road between the 60 and 57 freeways. Rodolfo “Rudy” Enrique Fuentes III died at the scene of the collision, which took place just before 5:50 a.m. on the westbound lanes of the 60 Freeway, where it merges with the 57 Freeway near Grand Avenue in Diamond Bar, according to California Highway Patrol and Los Angeles County coroner’s officials.
Visitation will be held from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Jan. 13 at the Queen of Heaven Cemetery and Mortuary, 2161 S. Fullerton Road.
A funeral will be held from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Jan. 14 at the same location, followed immediately by a graveside service.
Fuentes’ mother, Annamarie Fuentes, thanked the community for its compassion over the past difficult week.
“The love and support has been tremendous,” she said. “We as a family appreciate all the kindness and love we have received by all.”
Fuentes’ wife was riding as a passenger in the 2007 Honda Civic when it was struck from behind by a Ford F-150 pickup truck, CHP officials and family members said. She was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
The driver and passenger of the pickup truck declined medical treatment, CHP Officer Rodrigo Jimenez said.
The cause of the crash remains under investigation by the CHP’s Baldwin Park-area office.
PHOTO: Rodolfo “Rudy” Enrique Fuentes III. (Courtesy)
ROWLAND HEIGHTS >> A Rowland Heights woman is expected to receive a 12-year prison sentence next month after pleading “no contest” Wednesday to a manslaughter charge for stabbing her brother’s girlfriend to death with a pair of scissors last year, authorities said.
Lisette Kimberly Moreno, 20, pleaded “no contest” to a charge of voluntary manslaughter for the fatal Aug. 16, 2015, stabbing of Annette Martinez, 21, of Rowland Heights, Los Angeles County District attorney’s officials said in a written statement.
In addition the manslaughter charge, Moreno also admitted to the special allegation that she personally used a weapon, scissors, in the killing.
Following the negotiated plea arrangement, Moreno is expected to receive 12 years in state prison when she returns to the Pomona branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court for sentencing on Nov. 29, according to the statement. Moreno was first charged with murder following her arrest.
If convicted of murder at trial, she could have faced a potential maximum sentence of more than 25 years to life in prison.
Moreno became involved in an argument with Martinez about 2 a.m. as they were at the home of Martinez’s boyfriend’s family in the 1900 block of Batson Avenue.
Information regarding what the dispute was over was not available.
Martinez left behind a then-6-month-old daughter and a then-18-monthold son, family members said.
PHOTO [TOP] – of Lisette Moreno, 21, of Rowland Heights (Courtesy) [BELOW] – Annette Martinez, 21, of Rowland Heights (Courtesy)
ROWLAND HEIGHTS >> A gunman knocked on a man’s door, tried to rob him at gunpoint and then punched the victim before fleeing empty-handed on Friday, authorities said.
A man of about 60 years old was at home about 8 p.m. when he answered a knock at his front door in the 17800 block of Colima Road, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Bruce Yuell said.
The man at the door pointed a semi-automatic handgun at the resident and demanded money, the sergeant said.
When the victim told the would-be robber he had no money, the frustrated gunman punched him in the eye and ran away, Yuell said.
The resident was treated at the scene by paramedics and declined to be taken to a hospital.
Deputies described the attacker as a white man, about 5 feet 10 inches tall and 170 pounds.
Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s Walnut-Diamond Bar Station at 626-913-1715. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
ROWLAND HEIGHTS >> Two men with handguns tied up a man and woman during a home-invasion robbery in Rowland Heights late Wednesday, authorities said.
The crime unfolded about 9 p.m. in the 19200 block of Addis Street, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. John Saleeby said.
A man and woman in their 20s answered a knock at their front door when the gunmen forced their way in, the lieutenant said.
Both robbers were armed with handguns as they tied up the two victims, he said.
The robbers stole a bag containing an undetermined amount of cash, as well as other items from the home, Saleeby said.
Sheriff’s officials described the gunmen as two Asian men wearing all black clothing.
Sheriff’s radio traffic from the scene further described one of the robbers as being in his early-20s, about 6 feet tall and 180 pounds, wearing a black silk jacket. The second robber was described as 5 feet 5 inches tall and 160 pounds, wearing a white T-shirt. No getaway car was seen.
The victims suffered no significant injuries, Saleeby said.
Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s Walnut-Diamond Bar Station at 909-595-2264. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
ROWLAND HEIGHTS >> A man died following a shooting in a residential neighborhood in Rowland Heights Thursday night, authorities said.
Deputies responded to reports of gunfire about 11:40 p.m. in the 18400 block of Desidia Street, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said.
“When they arrived, they were directed to the alley of the location where they discovered the victim had been shot,” Deputy Juanita Navarro-Suarez of the sheriff’s Information Bureau said in a written statement. Paramedics pronounced the victim dead at the scene.
“Witnesses said that the victim and two acquaintances were inside the garage of the location when two male Hispanics in their early-20’s confronted them,” she said. “During the confrontation, one suspect produced a handgun and started firing at all three individuals, striking the victim at least once in the upper torso.”
The two others inside the garage were not hurt, officials said.
The attackers were last seen running east through the alley, officials said. A detailed suspect description was not available.
A motive had yet to be determined, and it was unclear whether the shooting was gang-related.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
ROWLAND HEIGHTS >> A former fugitive from San Bernardino charged with a laundry list of criminal charges in connection with a bizarre Rowland Heights car crash depicted in a viral YouTube video is behind bars, officials confirmed Wednesday. Jasmine Lacey, 23, is charged with driving under the influence of drugs, hit-and-run with a runaway car, auto theft, taking a car without the owner’s consent and driving without a valid license in connection with the Sept. 1 crash along Harbor Boulevard, between Vantage Point Drive and Pathfinder Road, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said.
•VIDEO: Bizarre Rowland Heights crash caught on camera
California Highway Patrol officers soon found and arrested an allegedly highly intoxicated Lacey on foot in the area, CHP officials said.
She was released from custody without charges four days later, however, pending the result of blood analysis.
But charged were filed against Lacey in February, but she failed to show up for a scheduled Feb. 10 arraignment hearing in the Los Angeles Superior Court’s West Covina branch, Ardalani said. A bench warrant was issued for her arrest.
Lacey was re-arrested April 18, according to county booking records. The circumstances of her re-capture were unclear Wednesday.
She pleaded has since not guilty to all charges.
But the legal process is again on hold as officials look into Lacey’s psychiatric health, Ardalani said.
“On May 5, a doubt was declared as to the defendant’s mental competency,” she said.
According to court records, Lacey is next scheduled to appear in the Mental Health Courthouse in Los Angeles May 19 for a mental competency hearing. She is then scheduled for a hearing in the West Covina courthouse the following day.
The unusual incident, which resulted in no significant injuries, was captured on video by the dashcam of another car. The footage was posted to YouTube by user “UlikeUC Here”, where it has since garnered more than 5 million views.
She was at the wheel of a stolen car when the suddenly slammed on the brakes, bringing the car to a halt, the video shows.
Lacey then inexplicably exits the car and begins walking down the center median as the driverless car rolled downhill and into opposing traffic lanes. An SUV was struck by the car before it ultimately struck a tree and stopped.
Lacey was being held in lieu of $30,000 bail, records show.
ROWLAND HEIGHTS >> A San Bernardino woman accused of abandoning a stolen car while high on drugs, allowing it to roll downhill and into opposing traffic in a bizarre Rowland Heights crash captured on a viral dashcam video, is now a fugitive after skipping out on her court date last month, officials said. Jasmin Lacey, 23, faces charges of driving under the influence of drugs, hit-and-run with a runaway car, auto theft, taking a car without the owner’s consent and driving without a valid license in connection with the Sept. 1 crash along Harbor Boulevard, between Vantage Point Drive and Pathfinder Road, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said.
But Lacey failed to appear for a Feb. 10 arraignment hearing scheduled in the Los Angeles County Superior Court’s West Covina branch, she said.
“A bench warrant was issued for her arrest,” Ardalani said. •Video: Bizarre Rowland Heights crash
The strange series of events, which resulted in no injuries, was captured on another driver’s dashcam. The video, posted on YouTube, has since garnered more than 4.9 million views.
In the video, the driver of a 2010 Hyundai Sonata — later identified as Lacey — suddenly slams on the car’s brakes, bring the car to a halt, and exits the vehicle. The driver then walks down the center median with a casual stride as the abandoned Hyundai rolls downhill and across opposing traffic lanes.
California Highway Patrol officials said the car struck an SUV. A second SUV also became tangled in the wreck before the Hyundai ultimately struck two trees and came to a stop.
After being found in the area, Lacey appeared extremely intoxicated and provided no explanation for her alleged actions, CHP Officer Armando Perdomo said at the time.
She was initially arrested, but released from custody pending further investigation as officials awaited the results of blood tests, according to Perdomo and Los Angeles County booking records.
Prosecutors filed charges Feb. 5, records show.
The two auto theft-related crimes Lacey is charged with are felonies, Ardalani said. The three additional charges of hit-and-run, DUI and driving without a license are misdemeanors.
ROWLAND HEIGHTS >> Three masked intruders tied up an elderly Rowland Heights couple and ransacked their home during a home-invasion robbery late Friday, authorities said.
The crime unfolded about 9 p.m. in the 1400 block of Annadel Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Bruce Yoell said.
A man was home alone when he heard a noise in front of his home and opened the door to see what it was, the sergeant said.
“He opened the door, there they are,” Yoell said. At least one of the masked robbers was armed with a handgun.
The robbers tied up the man and began ransacking the home, he said.
The victim’s wife arrived home in the midst of the home invasion, Yoell said. The robbers tied her up as well before fleeing the home.
Neither victim wished to be taken to a hospital, he added. Both were senior citizens.
It appeared the intruders were looking for money, officials said. It was not initially clear what, if anything, was taken in the crime.
A detailed suspect description was not available, Yoell said.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the sheriff’s Walnut-Diamond Bar Station at 626-913-1715. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
ROWLAND HEIGHTS >> A Hacienda Heights man is accused of being high on drugs when he struck and killed a woman as she crossed the street in Rowland Heights late Tuesday, authorities said.
Yussef Hadi Afra, 23, is accused of felony drunken driving in connection with the 7 p.m. collision on Batson Avenue, just south of Colima Road, according to California Highway Patrol officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
The identity of the woman killed remained unknown Wednesday, Investigator B. Kim of the Los Angeles County Department of Medical-Examiner Coroner said. She was officially listed as a “Jane Doe.”
Afra was driving a 2015 Honda Civic northbound on Batson Avenue as the woman was crossing west across the roadway, officer Tim Zaspal of the CHP’s Santa Fe Springs area office said in a written statement.
The Honda struck the woman, who was rushed to a hospital with major injuries, Zaspal said. She died a short time later.
“(Afra) was arrested for driving under the influence of drugs,” Zaspal added. It was unclear what type of drugs Afra was accused of being under the influence of.
After being examined at a hospital, Afra was booked into jail, where he was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail, according to officials and records.