UPDATED: Man accused of stabbing roommate during argument in San Dimas


SAN DIMAS >> A fight between roommates as a San Dimas apartment escalated into a stabbing on Wednesday, sending one of the men to a hospital and the other to jail, authorities said.
Jorge Albert Lara, 19, was booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon following the 6:35 p.m. stabbing in the 200 block of West 5th Street, according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials and county booking records.
The alleged victim, also a 19-year-old man, was hospitalized with stab wounds to his face, back and arms, sheriff’s Lt. Thomas Reid said. The injuries were not considered to be life-threatening.
Investigators learned that the roommates had become involved in an argument over missing money, Reid said.
Lara ultimately pulled a knife and stabbed his roommate, he said.
The suspect remained at the scene and surrendered to deputies when they arrived, the lieutenant said. A small pocket knife believed to have been used in the stabbing was found at the scene.
Lara was being held in lieu of $30,000 bail pending his initial court appearance, scheduled Friday in the Pomona branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court, records show.

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Armed man robs San Dimas dry cleaner shop


SAN DIMAS >> A gunman held up a San Dimas dry cleaner shop on Saturday afternoon, officials said.
The heist unfolded just before 3:45 p.m. at Bonded Cleaners, 409 W. Bonita Ave., Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Thomas Reid said.
A man entered the store brandishing a semi-automatic handgun and demanded cash before fleeing on foot with an undetermined amount of money, the lieutenant said.
He was described as a Latino man in his 40s, wearing a long-sleeve gray shirt, jeans, white shoes, a blue hat and sunglasses, Reid said.
Deputies at the scene additionally reported that the man was about 6 feet tall, 200 pounds and covered his face with a black shirt.
Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s San Dimas Station at 909-450-2709. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Mother and child lock selves in bathroom during San Dimas break-in; 2 suspects jailed


SAN DIMAS >> Deputies jailed two men who they say broke into a San Dimas home as a woman and her 6-year-old daughter his in an upstairs bedroom on Friday afternoon.
The woman first called 911 about 1:15 p.m. to report hearing someone inside her home in the 1000 block of Avenida Lomita, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
“She also saw two male adults, unknown to her, trying to open the back door to her home,” according to the statement.
The woman grabbed her 6-year-old daughter and locked herself and the girl in the home’s upstairs master bedroom, Lt. Thomas Reid said. Then the mother locked herself and her child inside the bathroom within the master bedroom and called 911.
“The victim remained on the telephone with a sheriff’s 911 operator and provided updates as to the suspect’s location inside the house,” the statement said.
“The victim could hear the suspects walking up the stairs and forcing open doors, and sounds of rooms being ransacked.”
Reid said the intruders forced their way into the master bedroom, and even tried to open the door of the bathroom where the mother and daughter were hiding, but did not get through the final door separating them from the victims.
Despite the intruders inside her home, the mother was “nervous, but calm and in control” as she relayed information to the dispatcher, Reid said. “It was a big help.”
Deputies arrived an surrounded the home, with a helicopter keeping watch from above.
Two men heeded deputies orders to exit the home and were taken into custody without a struggle, Reid said.
“One suspect had in his possession a bag containing items stolen from the house, including jewelry, clothing and small electronics,” the statement said.
Investigators determined the men had broken into the home by forcing open a rear window, officials said. A rental car believed to have been used by the suspects was found parked nearby.
The names the suspects provided to deputies were determined to be false, Reid said. Officials were still working to confirm the mens’ true identities on Friday evening.
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.

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Gunman robs San Dimas gas station


SAN DIMAS >> A man held up a San Dimas gas station attendant at gunpoint early Wednesday, officials said.
The robbery took place about 8:20 a.m. at a 76 Station at 1790 S. San Dimas Ave., at Via Verde, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Thomas Reid said.
A man entered the business, brandished a handgun and demanded money form the clerk, the lieutenant said. After obtaining an undetermined amount of cash, the gunman was last seen fleeing the area in a gray sedan.
Deputies described the robber as a Latino man in his 30s, about 5 feet 9 inches tall and 190 to 200 pounds.
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.

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Man sentenced for orchestrating wife’s 1991 murder in San Dimas

SAN DIMAS >> A judge sentenced a man to life in prison without the possibility of parole on Friday for hiring a man to kill his wife at the San Dimas home they shared more than 25 years ago after learning she planned to leave him, authorities said.
A Los Angeles County Superior Court jury in Pomona convicted Shanker Chhaganbahi Patel, 57, on Jan. 24 of first-degree murder for the Nov. 19, 1991, death of 29-year-old law student Usha Patel, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said in a written statement. The jury also found true the special circumstance of lying in wait at the conclusion of a trial that stretched on for two-and-a-half months.
Shanker Patel arranged for another man, 66-year-old Miguel Angel Garcia, to attack Usha Patel as she was on her way to pick up the couple’s 7-year-old daughter from school, Ardalani said.
“The assailant fatally stabbed the victim in the chest and neck, duct taped her mouth and nose and bound her feet,” she said. “(Garcia) then placed the victim’s body in the trunk of her car and drove the vehicle to a nearby middle school, where he abandoned the car.”
A Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy discovered the car, and subsequently the body, later that day.
The investigation went cold until 2010, when detectives reopened the then-19-year-old murder case and reexamined evidence, “including gloves discovered in the front passenger seat of the victim’s car,” according to Ardalani.
Detectives were able to match DNA from the gloves to Garcia, who was charged with Usha Patel’s murder in 2012 and ultimately pleaded “no contest” to a count of first-degree murder, officials said. He is serving a sentence of 25 years to life in state prison.
But the investigation continued, and detectives soon learned that Shanker Patel had paid a “middle man” $7,500 to orchestrate his wife’s murder, Ardalani said.
“The defendant told the co-conspirator when and where to be in the family’s home to kill Usha Patel,” she said. The middle man sub-contracted the murder-for-hire to Garcia. Prosecutors charged him with murder in 2013.
“According to evidence presented at trial, the defendant was having an affair on his wife prior to the killing,” Ardalani said. “Additionally, Usha Patel, a law school student, was planning to leave her husband after she passed the California Bar Exam.”
After identifying Shanker Patel as a suspect in the murder, detectives found and arrested him in Atlanta, officials said.
Though the special circumstance of lying in wait made Shanker Patel eligible for the death penalty, prosecutors did not seek capital punishment in the case, Ardalani said.

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Man robbed at gunpoint along Arrow Highway in San Dimas


SAN DIMAS >> Two men robbed another man at gunpoint along Arrow Highway in San Dimas on Friday afternoon, officials said.
The crime took place about 4:05 p.m. as the victim, a 47-year-old man, was sitting in front of a business in the 300 block of West Arrow Highway, awaiting a ride, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Thomas Reid said.
Two men approached the victim and asked him if he had any money, the lieutenant said. One of them then pulled a semi-automatic pistol and demanded the man’s money.
Fearing for his life, the victim turned over about $200, Reid said.
The robbers were last seen running north on Acacia Avenue.
Deputies described the robbers as two black men. One was 20 to 25 years old, 5 feet 2 inches to 5 feet 6 inches tall, 220 to 250 pounds, wearing a black hooded sweatshirt. The second robber was 25 to 30 years old, 5 feet 9 inches to 6 feet tall, 170 to 200 pounds, also wearing a black hooded sweatshirt.
Anyone with information is asked to contact 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.

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San Dimas cell phone store, paint store burglarized overnight

SAN DIMAS >> Burglars escaped with thousands of dollars worth of merchandise during overnight break-ins at a cell phone store and a paint shop in San Dimas, authorities said Friday.
The first burglary was believed to have taken place about 11:40 p.m. on Thursday, when an alarm went off at the Sprint Store, 875 W. Arrow Highway, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Thomas Reid said.
Deputies responded to the store but saw no signs of a break-in, the he said. But when employees arrived in the morning to open the store for business, they discovered that someone had made their way into the store by cutting a hole in the wall.
About $11,000 worth of cell phones were discovered to be missing, Reid said.
Another burglary alarm about 1:35 a.m. on Friday drew deputies to a Sherwin-Williams store at 762 W. Arrow Highway, according to Reid.
Deputies found a window had been shattered, he said. Employees determined about $2,000 worth of painting equipment had been stolen.
No suspect descriptions were available in either case, he said.
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.

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Three sought in San Dimas 7-Eleven robbery


SAN DIMAS >> Deputies are seeking three robbers who held up a 7-Eleven store early Thursday morning.
The crime took place about 3:10 a.m. at the convenience store at 660 E. Foothill Blvd., Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Thomas Reid said.
Two employees were working at the store when a blue, four-door car, possible a Honda, pulled into the parking lot, the lieutenant said.
Two robbers exited the car while a getaway driver waited at the wheel, he said.
They entered the store, pointed a revolver at the two men working behind the counter and ordered them to fill a bag with money from the cash register, Reid said. The robbers then got back into the car with the stolen cash and sped off.
No injuries were reported.
Deputies described one of the robbers as a Latino man in his early 20s, about 5 feet 8 inches tall, 170 pounds, wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, black pants and a blue baseball cap. The second robber was also a Latino man in his early 20s, about 5 feet 6 inches tall, 200 pounds and wearing a white hooded sweatshirt.
No description of the getaway driver was available.
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.

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Man robbed at gunpoint outside San Dimas motel


SAN DIMAS >> A robber took advantage of a man’s generosity in order to rob him at gunpoint outside a San Dimas motel on Sunday afternoon, authorities said.
The crime unfolded about 12:40 p.m. outside Motel 6, 502 W. Arrow Highway, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Terrence Smith said.
The victim was standing outside the motel when the robber approached him and asked for money, the sergeant said.
When the victim pulled his wallet from his backpack to give the man some money, the panhandler suddenly pulled a handgun and threatened to kill the victim if he did not hand over his wallet, Smith said. The victim complied.
Deputies described the robber as a Latino man of about 25 years old, with a shaved head, wearing a dark blue-and-red plaid shirt. He was last seen running east on Arrow Highway.
Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s San Dimas Station at 909-450-2700.

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Diamond Bar gas station robbed by masked gunman; similar crime reported in San Dimas


DIAMOND BAR >> A gunman wearing a surgical mask robbed a Diamond Bar gas station Monday, one day after a strikingly similar crime was reported at a gas station in San Dimas, authorities said.
The Diamond Bar robbery took place about 11:20 a.m. at a Shell station at Diamond Bar Boulevard and Brea Canyon Road, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Deputy Brian Mitchell said.
Officials said the suspect brandished a small, silver revolver and demanded cash from the clerk. The gunman fled with a little more than $400.
He was last seen driving away in a gray, four-door, early-2000s model Acura, Mitchell said.
Deputies described the robber as a white man of about 5 feet 9 inches tall, 180 pounds, with short black or gray hair.
He wore a white disposable surgical mask, sunglasses, blue denim shorts, black shoes, a black hat and a blue surgical scrub shirt over a blue, long-sleeve shirt.
Detectives were looking into the possibility the crime was related to another gas station robbery reported late Sunday morning at a Mobile Station, 845 W. Arrow Highway in San Dimas, Mitchell said.
In that case, witnesses described the robber as having a similar physical appearance, Sgt. Terrence Smith said. He also wore a surgical mask, carried a small, silver handgun and fled the scene in a gray imported car with 7 as the first digit in the license plate.
The gunman fled with about $500 in Sunday’s robbery, Smith said.
Investigators were also working with other area law enforcement agencies to see if any other similar robberies have been reported lately.
Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s Walnut-Diamond Bar Station at 626-913-1715, or the sheriff’s San Dimas Station at 909-450-2709. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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