Truck carjacked in San Dimas located, disabled with OnStar service; suspect arrested

SAN DIMAS >> A man violently carjacked an elderly man outside a San Dimas restaurant Saturday before deputies, aided by the truck’s OnStar system, tracked down the vehicle, disabled it remotely and took the suspect into custody, authorities said.
The carjacking took place at 7:22 p.m outside a Red Robin restaurant, 565 W. Arrow Highway, Lt. Tonya Edwards of the sheriff’s San Dimas Station said.
The suspect, a man in his 20s, attacked a 74-year-old man and yanked him from his 2015 Chevy Silverado, Lt. Elisabeth Sachs said.
“(The suspect) struck him, knocked him to the ground, and stomped on his head,” she said. “The victim fought back, but the suspect was able to overcome him and drove off in his vehicle.”
Authorities were notified of the carjacking minutes later through OnStar, according to Lt. David Buckner, watch commander of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Walnut Station, whose deputies assisted in taking the suspect into custody.
An OnStar operator provided the sheriff’s department with “up-to-the- moment locations” of the white pickup truck, then remotely slowed it to about 5 mph after deputies spotted it heading south on the 57 Freeway.
The driver got out of the car and surrendered near the 91 Freeway about 8 p.m., Buckner said.
“He stole the wrong vehicle,” Buckner said.
Joshua Frontino-Deaton, 26, was booked on suspicion of carjacking, Sachs said. His city of residence was not available Sunday afternoon.
The carjacking victim was treated at a hospital for injuries and released later in the day, Sgt. Joe Bolanos said.
According to county booking records, he was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail pending his initial court appearance, scheduled Tuesday in Pomona Superior Court.

– Staff and wire report

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Sketch released, $20,000 reward offered in slaying of San Dimas sandwich shop owner during robbery


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SAN DIMAS >> Authorities released a suspect sketch and offered a $20,000 reward Wednesday for information leading to the arrest and conviction of gunman who fatally shot a San Dimas sandwich shop owner during a robbery last week.
Investigators also released a suspect sketch in connection with the June 2 shooting a Quiznos restaurant at 1034 Arrow Highway that fatally wounded owner Pravin “Peter” Patel, 62.
“Besides being a husband, a father, a grandfather and a father-in-law, Mr. Patel was the owner of the Quiznos and he is very well respected in the community,” said Lt. Dave Coleman of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau. “Everybody likes him. He was a loving, kind man.”
The unidentified shooter was as a white or Latino man in his early-20s, about 6 feet to 6 feet 1 inch tall and 180 pounds. During the crime, he wore a black T-shirt, plaid shorts and a baseball cap.
“We’re asking for the public’s help,” Coleman said. “Anybody who may have been in the area around 3:20 p.m…. any information that you could provide would be of great assistance to us.”
The office of Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich authorized the reward.
Patel was working as usual when the robber entered the sandwich shop, brandished a handgun and demanded money, officials said.
AR-150609845Patel handed over the money from the register to the robber, who threatened to harm the two customers inside the store if he did not, Coleman said. Patel then followed the robber outside.
“As Mr. Patel exited the restaurant, a struggle ensued between he and the suspect,and Mr. Patel was shot and mortally wounded,” Coleman said.
The brazen and deadly daytime was “very unusual” for the area, Capt. Duane Harris of the Sheriff’s San Dimas Station said. “This is appropriately described as a quiet community,” he said.
A large memorial of flowers and candles sat in front of Quiznos shop Wednesday. Family members did not wish to comment.
Monrovia police Lt. Mike Lee said he knew Patel since before he bought his Quiznos restaurant, when he owned a video store on Arrow Highway and Sunflower Avenue.
“He was just a good man,” Lee said. “He always remembered your name.”
Lee described Patel as a soft spoken man who always treated customers nicely.
Signs on the door of the eatery invited to public to a memorial service at 2:15 p.m. Thursday at the Memory Garden Memorial Park and Mortuary, 455 W. Central Ave. in Brea. “Peter was a hard working family man who brought people together,” the sign read. “He was passionate about serving his food and exchanging family stories with his customers. Peter spent every day working side by side with the woman he loved most — his wife, Maya “Mary” Patel.”
A candlelight vigil is planned for 7 p.m. Friday in front of the Quiznos store. A website collecting donations to help Patel’s family has been established at www.youcaring.com/pravin.
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.

 

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Two sought in San Dimas bank robbery

SAN DIMAS >> Deputies are hunting for two men who robbed a Chase bank branch Friday afternoon, authorities said.
The crime took place about 5:30 p.m. at the bank, 1001 Arrow Highway, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Tonya Edwards said.
One robber entered the bank and handed a teller a note demanding cash as the second robber acted as a lookout, the lieutenant said.
After obtaining cash, both robbers were last seen fleeing from the bank on foot, she added. No injuries were reported.

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Wigged bandit robs San Dimas Boot Barn


SAN DIMAS >> A wigged and bearded bandit robbed a San Dimas Boot Barn store Sunday afternoon, officials said.
The robbery took place about 1:20 p.m. at the store, 659 W. Arrow Highway, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Lyndon Dancel said.
There were conflicting witnesses accounts as to whether the robber was armed with a handgun or merely motioned as if he had one when he entered the shoe store and demanded money, Dancel said.
After obtaining several hundred dollars from the store’s register, Dancel said the robber got into a charcoal gray, full-size pickup truck with two other male suspects waiting inside, the sergeant said. The truck was last seen heading west on Bonita Avenue.
None of the four employees working inside the store were hurt, he added.
According to initial reports from the scene, the robber was about 18 to 25 years old, with tattoos on his neck. He wore a gray wig and a gray beard, though it was not immediately clear whether the beard was genuine or part of the robber’s disguise. He wore blue jeans and a baseball cap during the heist.

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San Dimas woman arrested in mother-in-law’s slaying

DIAMOND BAR >> Sheriff’s officials Thursday announced the arrest of a 42-year-old San Dimas woman who was found driving in Orange County with the remains of her slain mother-in-law in an SUV Wednesday following a fire at the mother-in-law’s Diamond Bar home.
Unyoung Lee had been a “person of interest” in the investigation ever since she was found driving in Tustin early Wednesday morning, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said.
After a day of questioning, detectives arrested Lee about 9 p.m. Wednesday, according to Los Angeles County booking records. She was booked on suspicion of murder and was being held in lieu of $500,000 bail pending her arraignment, scheduled Friday in Pomona Superior Court.
Orange county coroner’s officials withheld the identity of Lee’s alleged victim and 77-year-old mother-in-law.
A large fire that broke out shortly after 1 a.m. Wednesday at the victim’s house in the 1200 block of N. Diamond Bar Boulevard first drew emergency personnel to the home, according to deputy Juanita Navarro-Suarez of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau.
Firefighters found no one inside the home.
But Tustin police soon received a tip that the resident of the home had been killed, the house had been set on fire intentionally, and the possible killer was driving in the Tustin area with the victim’s remains in the car.
Tustin police quickly found the car and detained Lee as detectives continued their investigation both in Tustin and in Diamond Bar.
A motive in the slaying has not been released.

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Ex-fugitive found hiding out in San Dimas deported to Canada for child molestation trial

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A Canadian national who fled his home country ahead of his trial on charges of molesting a disabled child in 1980, then was captured living under an assumed identity at a San Dimas mobile home park in 2013, has been returned to Canada to face justice, authorities said Wednesday.
After 35 years as a fugitive, and another two years spent fighting extradition back to Canada, officials returned Raymond Douglas Charles Macleod, 72, to Vancouver late Tuesday, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said in a written statement.
“For the victim in this case, justice has been a long time coming, but she can take consolation in the fact that her alleged assailant is now being held accountable,” said David Jennings, field office director for ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations in Los Angeles. “I applaud my officers and the ICE attorneys whose perseverance made this happen. We will not allow our country to serve as a safe haven for those who commit reprehensible crimes.”
ICE agents and Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies arrested Macleod Oct. 28, 2013, at a mobile home park where he had been living in the 1400 block of Camper View Road in AR-131039898San Dimas, sheriff’s officials said at the time. He was believed to have been living there for at least eight years prior to his arrest.
He’s accused of the 1974 rape of a 5-year-old girl suffering from cerebral palsy, ICE officials said.
After twice attempting unsuccessfully to flee Canada to the U.S. while freed from custody during his initial trial, Macleod was acquitted due to a judge’s error, sheriff’s officials said. He was ordered to appear at a new trial in January of 1980, but disappeared.
After he was recaptured in 2013, a judge ordered Macleod deported to Canada in March of 2014, authorities said.
“Macleod subsequently appealed the judge’s decision to the Board of Immigration Appeals and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals,” according to the ICE statement. “Ultimately, both panels concurred with the original ruling, paving the way for this week’s removal.”

PHOTOS courtesy of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department

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UPDATED: Covina woman and dogs fatally struck by car in San Dimas


SAN DIMAS >> A Covina woman and her two dogs died late Saturday after she was struck by a vehicle that ran a red light around the corner from her home in San Dimas, authorities said.
Violet Margaret Lopez-Prieto, 62, died at the scene of the 10:08 p.m. collision at the angled intersection of Badillo and Cypress streets, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Lt. Fred Corrall said.
“She was crossing the intersection when the (driver) failed to stop for a red light,” sheriff’s Sgt. Vicky Gregory said.
The woman and two dogs she was walking were struck by the vehicle, Gregory said.
Paramedics pronounced her dead at the scene, Corrall said.
The driver of the car, described only as a man, remained at the scene and cooperated with deputies, sheriff’s Sgt. Louis Serrano Jr. said. There were no initial signs of intoxicated driving, and the driver was not arrested as the investigation continued.
Lopez-Prieto lived in a house about a quarter-mile from where she was struck, just across the city border in Covina.
Family members gathered at the home Sunday said they were not ready to comment as they continued absorbing the shock of Lopez-Prieto’s sudden death.
Public records indicated Lopez-Prieto had been an owner of the home since 1998, and the home had been owned by her family since at least 1992.
Only a discarded paramedic’s glove marked the scene of the fatal collision Sunday afternoon.
No further details regarding the circumstances of the collision were available.

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Deputies investigate report of shooting in San Dimas

SAN DIMAS >> Deputies investigated reports of a shooting Friday, but found no sign of a victim or suspect, officials said.
Authorities received calls reporting gunfire about 7:33 p.m. in the 300 block of West Nubia Street, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Tonya Edwards said.
Witnesses reported seeing a group of Latino men shooting at a black man with a semi-automatic handgun, she said. It was unclear of the intended target was struck.
But deputies found no victim or suspects at the scene, Edwards said. And no gunshot victims had shown up at nearby hospitals Friday night.

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San Dimas man sentenced to life in prison for attack on 1-year-old son

SAN DIMAS >> A 29-year-old San Dimas man convicted of assaulting his then-1-year-old son, leaving the child disabled, received a life sentence Wednesday, officials said.
A Pomona Superior Court jury convicted James David Higbee of assault on a child causing paralysis and child abuse on Nov. 17, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said. The jury also found true the special allegation that Higbee personally inflicted great bodily injury in the crimes.
The toddler’s maternal grandmother dropped the child off at his father’s San Dimas home for a visitation on Sept. 27, 2011, officials said. The parents were separated.
“When the paternal grandmother returned to the home from a short trip to the grocery store, the boy’s body was limp, his breathing was loud and uneven and his eyes had rolled back in his head,” Ardalani said.
The boy suffered two skull fractures and severe brain injuries, she said.
“At trial, doctors testified that the child had numerous skull and brain surgeries as a result of his injuries,” Ardalani said. “Despite medical treatment, the now-4-year-old child is physically disabled.
The boy continues to suffer with educational deficits and the rights side of his body remains weak, Ardalai said.
It was unclear how exactly the injuries were inflicted, Ardalani said.
Higbee, who had remained free on bail pending the trial process, was remanded into custody following his conviction in November, Ardalani said.

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2-year-old falls from 2nd-floor window in San Dimas

SAN DIMAS >> Paramedics rushed a 2-year-old girl to a hospital Sunday after she fell from the second-story window of a San Dimas home, authorities said.
The incident was reported shortly before noon in the 2200 block of Terrebone Avenue, according to Los Angeles County fire and sheriff’s officials.
The toddler was in stable condition as rescuers flew by helicopter to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, fire Capt. Patrick Carter said.
Deputies determined the fall was accidental, and no foul play was suspected, sheriff’s Lt. Tonya Edwards said.
No further details were available.

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