Former San Marino High School football coach pleads not guilty to embezzlement

LOS ANGELES — A former San Marino football coach accused of embezzling $21,000 from school booster clubs pleaded not guilty Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court.
Mike Mooney, 41, is charged with grand theft, according to a Nov. 22 felony complaint against him.
Mooney became head coach in 2010, but resigned later in the year after being placed on administrative leave.
School officials also suspended from his his position as assistant principal in charge of discipline and attendance.
The alleged theft took place between October of 2008 and October of 2010.
Mooney is due back in Los Angeles Superior Court for a hearing Jan. 17, court officials said.

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Police looking into San Marino break-in find inert grenades

SAN MARINO — Police investigating a break-in at a Mesa Road home discovered three grenades Thursday, which were ultimately found to be inert training grenades.
A gardener called police around 3 p.m. to report a window had been smashed at a home in the 1200 block of Mesa Road sometime since his last visit to the home on Tuesday, San Marino police Sgt. Robert Cervantes said. The residents were out of town.
Investigating officers found that the home had been ransacked and noticed three grenades sitting on a bed in the master bedroom.
“We cleared out of there, just to be on the safe side,” the sergeant said. A bomb squad was summoned, but cancelled before arriving after a police officers recognized the grenades as harmless training devices.
Officials left the devices, which are note illegal, at the home but dismantled them to avoid further misunderstanding, Cervantes said.
It was not immediately clear what, if anything, was taken from the home.
The investigation into the burglary was ongoing.

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San Marino police jail burglary suspect

SAN MARINO — Police arrested an 18-year-old Altadena man Friday on suspicion of burglarizing a San Marino house, authorities said.
Adrian Rodriguez was booked on suspicion of possession of stolen property and was being held in lieu of $20,000 bail at the Alhambra Police Department’s jail, according to San Marino police officials and sheriff’s booking records.
A resident of Avondale Road called police about 10:50 a.m. to report to report a neighbor’s house had been broken into and two men were driving off in a black Chevrolet HHR, San Marino police Sgt. Aaron Blonde said in a written statement.
A witness provided police with a license plate number for the car, which was determined to have been rented by a Pasadena man, the sergeant said.
“This individual told officers that he had lent the vehicle to Mr. Adrian Rodriguez,” Blonde said.
After contacting Rodriguez by telephone, officers found him walking in the area of Lincoln Avenue and Woodbury Road in Altadena.
A police helicopter found the rented Chevrolet driving on Lincoln Avenue, Blonde said. “The vehicle was stopped, however, available information did not link the (female) driver to the crime.”
San Marino police received additional information that someone had hidden computer equipment in some bushes in the 3000 block of Lincoln Avenue in Altadena, officials said.
Officers recovered equipment allegedly stolen from the Avondale Road home, and a witness identified Rodriguez as the person who hid it.
The second burglary suspect was not found.
Rodriguez was due for arraignment Tuesday in Alhambra Superior Court.
Anyone with information is asked to call San Marino police at 626-300-0720.
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San Marino burglars take man’s ashes

This comes from reporter Beige Luciano-Adams:

SAN MARINO – Mary Jean and Charles Lynberg had long talked about spreading their ashes together after their deaths.

“He’d say Laguna, I’d say La Jolla – and he’d joke and say, `I’ll never find you there.’ I wouldn’t really care where they’re spread, just as long as they’re together,” Mary Jean said.

But burglars who broke into her home last Wednesday spoiled her plans.

Lynberg said she returned home from a short afternoon outing and found her home ransaked and the box containing her husband’s ashes gone.

Charles A. Lynberg died of cancer three years ago, leaving his wife alone in their San Marino home of 25 years.

Apparently there’s a rash of these instances. Then there’s the urn found Sunday in Covina. Don’t know if there’s any relationship between the two stories.

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San Marino man allegedly stabs police dog during standoff

SAN MARINO — Officials released the name Saturday of a San Marino man who allegedly stabbed a police dog and set his house on fire during a standoff with authorities.
David Pohung Liu, 45, lived at the home where the standoff occurred Friday in the 500 block of Los Arboles Lane, San Marino police said in a written statement.
Police responded to a burglar alarm shortly before 5 p.m. at the home when they encountered Liu in the doorway, San Marino police Lt. Steve Johnson said.
“(Liu) was in possession of a large knife and a gun,” the police statement said. “He told the officers to shoot him.”
Liu then went into his house where he remained for about five hours, police said.
SWAT officers from the Foothill Special Enforcement Team, which is made up of officers from police agencies throughout the area, surrounded the home while a crisis negotiator tried to talk to Liu via telephone, Johnson said. Liu refused repeated orders to surrender.
When police sent an Irwindale Police Department dog into the house, Liu allegedly slashed it across the head and muzzle, Irwindale police Sgt. Richard Breceda said. Officers were able to call the injured dog back out of the home.
A short time later, Liu set fire to his home, the San Marino police statement said.
“(Officers) used pepper ball guns and foam projectiles against Liu, who finally surrendered to the officers,” according to the statement.
Liu remained hospitalized Saturday for treatment of burns to his face and hands and smoke inhalation, police added.
A motive for Liu’s alleged behavior was not released.
The dog, a Belgian Malinois named “Rik,” was expected to be okay Saturday after receiving medical treatment, Breceda said.
“There’s apparently no permanent injuries,” he said, and the dog was resting at home with his handler.
Rik has been the Irwindale Police Department’s K-9 for about four years, Breceda added.
Johnson said Liu is expected to be booked on suspicion of charges including assaulting a police dog, obstructing police and brandishing weapons.

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Who is Clark Rockefeller?

Lifetime unveiled their heavily advertised made-for-TV movie this week. In case you missed it, here’s my review: (Snippet below)

Every now and again we in the newspaper business get packages containing DVDs of upcoming television programs.

It’s never anything good like “The Sopranos” or “Man v. Food.” So usually the DVDs end up in the round file with the all the other junk that entertainment publicists send here.

Needless to say that basket has been filled up with its share of Artemis Pyle CDs and “Dora the Explorer” lunchboxes.

About two weeks ago I got a DVD from Lifetime Network as part of a package touting an upcoming movie titled “Who is Clark Rockefeller?”

Honestly I had no desire to watch it.

Besides re-runs of “The Simpsons,” my box set of “The Wire,” “Poorman’s Bikini Beach” “Kelly’s Heroes” “Dirty Harry” or just about any Jackie Chan movie, my boob tube diet is limited – and it doesn’t include Lifetime.

But instead of tossing it, I stuffed it in a box in my garage and forgot about it.

I understand why they sent it my way.

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Man robs bank near San Marino

A man fled on foot with an undisclosed amount of cash Wednesday after robbing a bank in an unincorporated county area just outside of San Marino, authorities said.
The robbery was reported about 9:10 a.m. at the Wachovia Bank branch at Huntington Drive and San Gabriel Boulevard, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Tom McNeal said.
No weapons were seen during the robbery, which was carried out by a white or light-skinned Latino man in his early 20s, about 5 feet 8 inches tall and about 240 pounds, the lieutenant said. He wore a burgundy hooded sweat shirt with the words “Morehouse College” written on it, a gray beanie with ear flaps and baggy gray sweat pants.
After demanding money from a teller, the robber was last seen fleeing the area on foot, McNeal said.
Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff’s Temple Station.

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San Marino bank robbed

SAN MARINO — A masked bank robber escaped, though apparently empty-handed, following a heist at a San Marino bank branch Friday, officials said.
The crime was reported about 11:45 a.m. at Chase Bank, 2270 Huntington Drive, San Marino police Officer Tim Tebbetts said in a written statement. The bank is located next door to the police station, and was previously robbed on Jan. 30.
The robber was described as a black man, about 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighing about 160 pounds, police said. He wore dark blue ski mask, a black sweat shirt, blue jeans, black shoes and black gloves.
He jumped over the counter at the bank and helped himself to all the cash in one of the tellers’ drawers, Tebbetts said.
No weapon was seen, officials added.
Police said the robber was last seen running south from the bank.
A bag of money apparently abandoned by the suspect was located nearby, Tebbetts said, however the robberwas not found.

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More from Boston: Rockefeller lawyers want convictions dismissed

From the Associated Press:

BOSTON — Lawyers for the man who calls himself Clark Rockefeller are asking a Boston judge to throw out his kidnapping and assault convictions.
The defense is challenging the credibility of the state’s mental health expert. They also fault the prosecutor for telling jurors not to allow Rockefeller to pull off the “culminating manipulation” — an insanity defense.
Rockefeller is a German man whose real name is Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter. He was convicted earlier this month in the kidnapping of his 7-year-old daughter and the assault of a social worker.
His lawyers claim the state’s expert was not qualified to testify about whether Gerhartsreiter was legally insane because he gave the wrong definition for criminal responsibility to the jury.
California authorities have identified him as a “person of interest” in the 1985 disappearance and presumed slayings of a newlywed couple from San Marino. A grand jury is investigating the case.

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Dateline NBC focuses on San Marino mystery

I’ll be on Dateline NBC tonight at 7 p.m.

The show will devote an hour to the mystery of John and Linda Sohus.

The couple disappeared in 1985 from their home on Lorain Road.

Clark Rockefeller, 48, whose real name is Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter, has been identified as a person of interest in the case. Using the name Christopher Chichester, Rockefeller lived with the Sohuses and vanished several weeks after they did.

Too bad the show goes head-to-head with the Laker game…

Here’s an excerpt from a September episode on the case:

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

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