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.
A man and woman carried out a robbery in San Dimas and an attempted robbery in Diamond Bar before fleeing from deputies in the wrong direction down the 60 and 57 freeways, crashing their car and being arrested, authorities said.
The series of crimes began about 12:30 when the two suspects robbed a woman of her purse at gunpoint in a commercial area in the 100 block of East Via Verde in San Dimas, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Tonya Edwards said.
A man pointed a gun at the woman and demanded her purse before driving off in a getaway car with a female accomplice riding in the passenger seat, Edwards said.
About 15 minutes later, deputies received a report of a second crime along Sunset Crossing Road near the 57 Freeway in Diamond Bar, sheriff’s Lt. John Saleeby said.
A man and woman brandished a gun at a man and demanded property, but fled empty-handed after he told them he had nothing to take, Saleeby said.
Within minutes, deputies spotted a car matching the description of the robbers’ vehicle driving on Grand Avenue along the border between Diamond Bar and Walnut, Saleeby said.
They began a pursuit, but quickly cancelled it when the fleeing Toyota Corolla got onto the 60 Freeway, heading eastbound in the westbound traffic lanes, officials said.
The car continued fleeing, heading southbound in the northbound lanes of the 57 Freeway, Saleeby said. The car ultimately crashed into a cinder block wall at the 57 Freeway and Pathfinder Road.
The man and woman were taken into custody, Saleeby said.
The suspects’ names were not available, as they suffered apparently minor injuries in the crash and were taken to a hospital for treatment prior to booking.
SAN DIMAS >> Five people were hurt, including four children, after a car plowed into a Party City store in San Dimas crowded with last-minute shoppers on Halloween, officials said.
The 12:07 p.m. crash at Party City, 852 W. Arrow Highway, left a car completely inside the store, Los Angeles County Fire Department Dispatch Supervisor Art Marrujo said.
Five people inside the store suffered injuries when the Mercedes-Benz sedan smashed through the front plate-glass window, fire Capt. Tim Wiehe said.
Paramedics took a teenage girl to a hospital with apparent moderate injuries, fire Capt. Tim Wiehe said.
A woman and baby boy were taken to a hospital by ambulance with injuries also described as moderate, he said.
Two boys suffered minor injuries and did not need to be taken to the hospital, Wiehe said.
Fortunately, the car penetrated the store on the side opposite of the store’s crowded Halloween section, Wiehe said.
The crash mainly damaged the glass storefront and did not affect the building’s structural integrity, the captain said.
Officials cordoned off the damaged section of the store so the business could reopen for the remainder of the business day.
The 35-year-old woman driving the Mercedes-Benz was unhurt, sheriff’s and fire officials said.
Deputies from the sheriff’s San Dimas Station are investigating the cause of the crash, Lt. Tonya Edwards said.
No arrests or citations were made at the scene, she said. There were no overt signs of a crime, and the crash was being investigated as an accident.
PHOTO courtesy of David Coburn