SAN DIMAS >> Mosquitoes collected from a San Dimas park last week tested positive for West Nile Virus, authorities said Friday.
A sample of mosquitoes collected July 15 at Briggs Point Park, at Covina Boulevard and Badillo Street has tested positive for the disease, San Gabriel Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District officials said in a written statement.
Vector control officials have already beefed up surveillance and control efforts as mosquito season descends on Southern California.
“Since there is no treatment or vaccine for infections with WNV, the best precaution is to avoid mosquito bites,” according to the statement.
The find represents the first discovery of WNV-infected mosquitoes in the district this season, San Gabriel Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District spokesman Jason Farned said.
With the mosquito population apparently bolstered by the warm winter, “We’re about a month early,” Farned said. Last year, infected mosquitos were first detected in the area in August.
Residents are encouraged to use repellents, wear long sleeves and pants if outdoors between dusk and dawn, ensure windows and doors are properly screened to keep mosquitoes out and eliminate sources of standing water, in which mosquitoes breed.
“One mosquito bite can change a life,” San Gabriel Valley Mosquito & Vector Control Scientific Program Director Wakoli Wekesa said. “We urge residents take these simple protective measures throughout the summer.”
Since first appearing in California in 2003 through 2014, 4.805 human infections have been reported in California, resulting in 176 deaths, officials said.
Residents are encouraged to help identify mosquito “hot spots” by promptly reporting dead birds to the WNV hotline at 877-968-2473, or online at www.westnile.ca.gov.
SAN DIMAS >> Coroner’s officials Sunday identified a 55-year-old trucker found dead inside a big rig parked along the right shoulder of the 10 Freeway Saturday afternoon.
Luis Diaz-Jaramillo of Chula Vista was pronounced dead at the scene after he was discovered unresponsive in his big rig alongside the eastbound 10 Freeway, just west of the 57 Freeway, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Lt. Fred Corral said.
Firefighters first responded to the the incident as a medical emergency, however Diaz-Jaramillo’s cause of death had not yet been determined, officials said.
He had last been heard from the day before, when he contacted his dispatch center and conveyed that he was vomiting blood, Corral said. The man had a history of medical problems.
An autopsy was pending.
SAN DIMAS >> A truck driver died along the 10 Freeway in San Dimas after suffering an apparent medical problem Saturday, officials said.
The incident was first reported on the eastbound 10 Freeway, just west of the 57 Freeway, according to California Highway Patrol logs.
Paramedics responded to a report of a medical issue when they encountered the truck driver, described only as a man, in his truck, parked on the freeway shoulder, Los Angeles County Fire Department Dispatch Supervisor Cheryl Sims said.
Paramedics reported that the man was in full cardiac arrest and pronounced dead at the scene, she said.
SAN DIMAS >> A con artist posing as an IRS representative nearly persuaded a woman to turn over thousands of dollars Friday before a misunderstanding at a San Dimas bank drew the attention of deputies, officials said.
Deputies initially responded about 12:30 p.m. to a report of a robbery at the Chase branch, 1001 W. Arrow Highway, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Tonya Edwards said.
They arrived and learned there had been no robbery, but there was a crime in progress, she said.
A woman had been contacted by telephone by a man claiming to represent the IRS and demanding she withdraw several thousand dollars from her bank account and wire it to him, the lieutenant said. The scammer also demanded that the woman remain on the phone with him throughout the process.
While at the bank, the woman passed a note to a teller trying to explain the situation, officials said. The teller thought the bank was being robbed and called deputies.
Deputies found the woman still on the phone with the con artist, Edwards said. When a deputy tried to speak with the caller, he hung up.
The extortion attempt was strikingly similar to others reported both locally and throughout the nation in recent months and years.
A 70-year-old Sierra Madre woman lost about $4,000 in a nearly identical scam in April.
For more information on tax scams, visit www.irs.gov.
SAN DIMAS >> Two theft suspects led authorities on a chase from San Dimas to Upland before deputies arrested one of the men with help from an armed resident Thursday, officials said.
The incident began about 6:30 p.m. when two men snatched two Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge cell phones from a T-Mobile Store, 738 West Arrow Highway, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Tonya Edwards said. They fled in a car, which deputies soon spotted nearby on the 210 Freeway.
Deputies tried to pull over the car when it exited the freeway in Upland, kicking off a pursuit, she said.
The driver stopped the car and fled on foot in the area of 18th Street and Wilson Avenue, according to the lieutenant. The passenger took the wheel of the car and continued driving.
Deputies, aided by a helicopter overhead, set up a search perimeter in the area, Edwards said. As they closed in on the hiding suspect, he bolted.
An armed resident helped deputies stop and detain the fleeing suspect, she said.
Dajuan Robinson, 30, of San Bernardino was booked on suspicion of grand theft evading police, Edwards said.
The car and the second suspect were not found.
Police recovered the stolen cell phones near the spot where Robinson jumped from the car, Edwards added.
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
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.
Patel 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.
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.
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.
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.