SAN DIMAS >> Despite wet weather, firefighters battled a two-acre brush fire that ignited along the 57 Freeway in San Dimas Friday afternoon, officials said.
The fire was first reported about 1:15 p.m. as several small spot fires along the southbound 57 Freeway near Via Verde, Los Angeles County Fire Department Firefighter Humberto Agurcia said.
A “full response,” including fire-fighting aircraft, were summoned to the scene as the blaze scorched about two acres within an hour, fire officials said.
“All of our engines are working this aggressively,” Agurcia said as the fire continued burning.
Fire officials declared the 2-acre fire 100 percent contained just before 3 p.m.
No injuries were reported, and no structured were threatened, he said.
The fire remained confined to the west side of the freeway, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials added.
The California Highway Patrol issued a Sig Alert for the two right-hand lanes of the southbound 57 Freeway as firefighters continued their work Friday afternoon.
SAN DIMAS >> Deputies arrested a homeless man after he whacked another man with a chain and robbed him of his backpack, officials said.
Jason Nicks, 37, was booked on suspicion robbery in connection with the incident, which unfolded about 1:15 p.m. along Arrow Highway, just east of Valley Center Avenue, according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials and booking records.
Nicks struck the victim, another homeless man with whom he was acquainted, with a chain and stole the victim’s backpack, sheriff’s Lt. Tonya Edwards said. The victim was treated for injuries believed to be minor.
Deputies searched the area and soon found Nicks nearby. He was detained without a struggle and ultimately arrested in connection with the robbery, the lieutenant said.
Nicks was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail pending a scheduled arraignment hearing Friday in Pomona Superior Court, records show.
SAN DIMAS >> Authorities Sunday released the identity of a 29-year-old Chino woman who died in a crash on the 57 Freeway in San Dimas.
Christine Soto died at the scene of the crash, which took place about 1:20 a.m. Saturday on the southbound 57 Freeway, just north of Via Verde, according to Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner records.
She was driving a 2013 Kia Optima when the car rear-ended a big rig, then smashed into the center divider, Officer C. Flores of the CHP’s Baldwin Park area office said in a written statement.
The driver of the big rig was unhurt, officials added.
Any witnesses are encouraged to contact the CHP’s Baldwin Park area office at 626-338-1164.
SAN DIMAS >> A 29-year-old Chino woman lost her life in a crash on the 57 Freeway in San Dimas early Saturday, authorities said.
Coroner’s officials withheld the woman’s name pending notification of her family.
The crash took place about 1:20 a.m. on the southbound 57 Freeway near Via Verde, according to California Highway Patrol logs.
She was at the wheel of a 2013 Kia Optima heading south in the right-hand lane just before the crash, Officer C. Flores of the CHP’s Baldwin Park area office said in a written statement. A 2016 Volvo big rig being driven by a 53-year-old Fresno man was traveling directly in front of the Kia.
“Due to (the woman) driving her Kia at an unsafe speed for traffic conditions, the front end of the Kia collided into the rear end of the Volvo’s pull trailer,” Flores said. “After the impact, the Kia continued out of control in a southeasterly direction and the front end collided with the concrete center divider.”
Paramedics pronounced the Chino woman dead at the scene, officials said. The truck driver suffered no injuries.
CHP officials initially shut down all southbound lanes of the 57 Freeway. Lanes gradually reopened until the Sig Alert was cleared entirely just before 5 a.m.
Any witnesses are encouraged to contact the CHP’s Baldwin Park area office at 626-338-1164.
LOS ANGELES >> A San Dimas man who served as vice president of an Ontario tool wholesale company on Wednesday admitted to federal charges of defrauding a Pasadena-based bank out of more than $9 million, authorities said.
Chung Yu Yeung, also known as Louis Yeung, 39, served as vice president of Ontario-based Eastern Tools and Equipment Inc., U.S. Department of Justice spokesman Thom Mrozek said in a written statement.
At an appearance Wednesday in federal court in Los Angeles, Yeung admitted to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and four counts of bank fraud, Mrozek said. He was scheduled to return to court June 20 to be sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Christina A. Snyder.
Between 2007 and 2012, Yeung admitted to setting up a network of shell companies, controlled by himself, to give the false illusion that Easter Tools was conducting far more business than he really was, officials said.
“Yeung admitted that the fictitious companies allowed him and other conspirators to falsely inflate Eastern Tools’ accounts receivable and financial statements in representations to East West Bank,” according to Mrozek.
After using fraudulent documents to boost his business’ line of credit, “Eastern Tools defaulted on the promissory note after East West Bank discovered the fraud, causing more than $9 million in losses to the bank, Mrozek said.
FBI and IRS agents conducted the investigation.
“This defendant went to great lengths to create the illusion of business that defrauded the victim bank out of millions, but law enforcement was able to penetrate the illusion,” U.S. Attorney Eileen M. Decker said. “Crimes like these can threaten the stability of our financial institutions and therefore our national economy.”
Yeung was arrested in connection with the investigation in April of 2015. Alleged co-conspirator and Eastern Tools and former Equipment President Guo Xiang “David” Fan, 53, is also named in the same indictment charging Yeung. He remains at large.
SAN DIMAS >> California Highway Patrol officer and Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies are inviting the public to join them for some coffee and conversation Tuesday during a “Coffee With a Cop” event in San Dimas.
The event is scheduled for 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. at Klatch Coffee, 806 W. Arrow Highway, California Highway Patrol Officer Rodrigo Jimenez said in a written statement.
“Coffee with a cop is as simple as it sounds. It is a chance to meet with your local officers and have a cup of coffee with them,” Jimenez said. “There are no agendas at this event, just an opportunity to ask questions, voice concerns and get to know the officers in your neighborhood.
Officers from the CHP’s Baldwin Park area office, which patrols much of the San Gabriel Valley, as well as deputies from the sheriff’s San Dimas Station will take part.
For more information, contact Officer Jimenez at 626-338-1164, or email rjiminez @chp.ca.gov.
SAN DIMAS >> Sheriff’s officials have released surveillance camera images of two gunmen who robbed a San Dimas 7-Eleven store last weekend.
The armed robbery took place shortly after 4 a.m. Sunday at the convenience store at Foothill Boulevard and San Dimas Canyon Road, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said.
The two men pretended to be customers, browsing through products at the store, before both pulled handguns on the clerk, according to sheriff’s Sgt. Jorge Chavez. The robbers then emptied the cash register of money and fled with cash, as well as several miscellaneous items from the store. They were last seen heading east.
Officials described both robbers as Latino men in their late-20s.
One of the men was about 5 feet 11 inches tall, 180 pounds, of medium complexion, unshaven, with dark eyes. He wore a gray baseball cap with an American flag logo, glasses with white rims, a black hooded sweatshirt, black pants and black shoes.
The second robber was about 5 feet 10 inches tall, 180 pounds, of medium complexion, unshaven, with light-colored eyes. He had short, black hair, balding on top. He wore a dark brown zippered sweatshirt with a lighter color material inside the hood and possibly an “ECKO UNLTD” logo on the back. He also wore a black shirt with an unknown logo on the front, dark pants, and dark shoes accented with white.
Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s San Dimas Station at 909-450-2700. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
— Staff Writer Monica Rodriguez contributed to this report.
PHOTOS courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
SAN DIMAS >> A man died in a crash on a 57 Freeway offramp in San Dimas Sunday afternoon after his Smart Car struck a tire, then careened into the center divider, authorities said.
The crash was reported about 3:50 p.m. on the Covina Boulevard offramp of the southbound 57 Freeway, California Highway Patrol Officer Alex Rubio said.
According to CHP logs, another vehicle lost a tire, which a Smart Car collided with.
After striking the tire, the Smart Car struck the center divider and overturned, according to CHP logs and Los Angeles County Fire Department officials.
Firefighters found the sole occupant of the Smart Car trapped inside the vehicle, fire department Dispatch Supervisor Melanie Flores said.
The driver, a man estimated to be in his 20s or 30s, was pronounced dead at the scene, fire Capt. Russell Thompson said. No other injuries were reported.
CHP officials issued a Sig Alert on the offramp for about an hour following the crash, and briefly shut down all southbound lanes to look for the stray tire and take aerial photographs of the crash scene, logs show.
Officers from the CHP’s Baldwin Park area office are handling the investigation.
SAN DIMAS >> A man shot and wounded another man in the parking lot of a San Dimas market late Wednesday, officials said.
The victim, described as a man in his 20s, suffered a gunshot wound to his leg in the 7 p.m. shooting outside Ranch Town Liquor & Deli, 1112 N. San Dimas Ave., Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Tonya Edwards said.
He was on foot in the parking lot when the attacker, who was sitting in a dark minivan or truck, said something to him, the lieutenant said.
The victim was unable to understand what the man told him, so he walked closer, Edwards said. The man again said something to the victim, which he could not understand, before jumping out of the vehicle and opening fire.
Edwards said the victim was struck in the leg and taken to a hospital with injuries not believed to be life-threatening. A detailed description of the shooter was not available.
The motive in the attack remained unclear as the investigation continued Wednesday night.
SAN DIMAS >> A Temple City woman died early Saturday in a three-vehicle crash on the 210 Freeway in San Dimas, authorities said.
Linda Marie Vasquez, 35, died at the scene of the 5:15 a.m. crash in the westbound lanes of the 210 Freeway, just west of San Dimas Avenue, according to Los Angeles County coroner and California Highway Patrol officials.
The collision involved Vasquez’s 2005 Scion xA, a 2004 Ford F-550 pickup truck towing a trailer and a 2002 Toyota Tacoma pickup truck, Officer S. Stoos of the CHP’s Baldwin Park area office said in a written statement.
Vasquez was driving in the fast lane when she made an “unsafe lane change” to the No. 3 lane, the officer said. The front of the Scion struck the trailer of the Ford pickup, sending the Scion spinning out of control.
The Scion ended up “directly in front of” the Toyota Tacoma in the No. 4 lane, Stoos said. The Toyota driver was unable to stop in time to avoid a collision, and the Toyota struck the Scion on its passenger side.
A 38-year-old San Bernardino man driving the Ford truck and a 53-year-old Fontana man driving the Toyota truck were not injured, officials said.
Officials shut down the four right-hand lanes of the freeway for about four hours following the crash.