Car scorched inside carport in Sierra Madre

SIERRA MADRE — A car was found in flames inside a carport outside an apartment building early Thursday.
The fire was first reported about 8:50 a.m. in the 00 block of Esperanza Avenue, Sierra Madre police officials said.
Officers arrived to find an unoccupied car fully engulfed in flames, which were spreading to the carport structure, police said.
Firefighters responded and extinguished the fire, police said. The cause was under investigation.
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Resident confronts intruders in Sierra Madre home

SIERRA MADRE — Two burglars fled Thursday after confronting a resident inside a Hermosa Avenue home, police said.
The crime took place between 3 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. in the 100 block of South Hermosa Avenue, Sierra Madre police Sgt. Joe Ortiz said.
Two intruders entered a home through an unlocked door, apparently unaware that a resident was inside, the sergeant said.
“They confronted the resident who was still home,” Ortiz said. “When that happened, they ran out the door.”
It was undetermined Friday what, if anything, had been stolen from the home.
Police described the intruders as a Latino man in his mid- to late 20s, about 5 feet 6 inches tall and 220 pounds, and a Latino man between 18 and 20 years old, about 5 feet 8 inches tall and 130 pounds.
Anyone with information is asked to call Sierra Madre police at 626-355-1414.
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Senior citizen victim of “distraction-type burglary” in Sierra Madre

SIERRA MADRE — Two men posing as utility workers used a ruse to burglarize a senior citizen’s home Thursday, police said.
The “distraction-type burglary” took place about 3:30 p.m. in the 300 block of East Highland Avenue, Sierra Madre police Sgt. Joe Ortiz said.
Two men knocked on door of the victim, a woman in her 70s, and told her they needed to check her home’s water, Ortiz said.
One of the men kept the woman occupied in her backyard, while the second ransacked her home and helped himself to a significant amount of cash, the sergeant said. The amount of money stolen was not released.
The burglars were both described as heavy-set Latino men, one of about 20 years old and the other about 50, police said.
Anyone with information is asked to call Sierra Madre police at 626-355-1414.
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Previously deported felon arrested during traffic stop in Sierra Madre

SIERRA MADRE — A previously deported felon is in the custody of federal officials and awaiting deportation again following a routine traffic stop Thursday, authorities said.
An officer pulled over Antonio Camarillo, 35, of Los Angeles about 7:30 a.m. in the 00 block of South Baldwin Avenue, Sierra Madre police Sgt. Joe Ortiz said.
Camarillo initially provided a false name to the officer and was arrested, the sergeant said. Further investigation revealed Camarillo’s true identity as convicted felon who had previously been deported from the U.S., Ortiz said. 
The conviction was related to a narcotics case, officials added.
Camarillo was turned over to officials from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
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Memorial Park in Sierra Madre targeted by graffiti vandals

SIERRA MADRE — Visitors to Memorial Park Saturday morning found extensive graffiti damage, police said.
Benches, walls and the playground area of the park, 222 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., were found to be vandalized, Sierra Madre police Sgt. Joe Ortiz said.
Officials estimated that the park sustained $800-$1,000 worth of damage.
Anyone with information is asked to call Sierra Madre police at 626-355-1414.
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Burglar tries to force way into occupied Sierra Madre home

SIERRA MADRE — A burglar smashed the window of a family’s house early Saturday, but apparently ran off before getting inside, police said.
The incident was reported about 8 a.m. in the 600 block of Holly Trail Path, Sierra Madre police Sgt. Joe Ortiz said.
“Residents were home. They heard the sound of breaking glass,” Ortiz said.
The would-be intruder apparently fled after realizing the home was occupied, the sergeant said. A description of the burglar was not available.
Police found that a window screen at the home had been pried off and a window smashed, he added.
Anyone with information is asked to call Sierra Madre police at 626-355-1414.
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Sierra Madre man returns home after serving sentence for Canadian child porn conviction

SIERRA MADRE — A man convicted last year in Canada of possessing and smuggling child pornography has returned to his hometown of Sierra Madre after serving his sentence, police said.
Robert Matheson was convicted of possessing and smuggling 2,820 images and 285 video — many of them depicting underage boys engaged in sex acts with adult men, officials said.
He is also under investigation by U.S. officials, though investigators with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement have been tight-lipped about their probe.
Because his conviction was outside the United States, Matheson is not required by California law to register as a sex offender under Megan’s Law, Sierra Madre Interim Police Chief Larry Giannone said.
After being sentenced to 120 days in jail for the Canadian child pornography conviction, Matheson was released Wednesday, officials said.
On Thursday, “Mr. Matheson voluntarily came into the police station to advise us that he was back at his residence and simply stated; ‘There are two sides to every story,” Giannone said.
Prior to Wednesday’s release, ICE officials had been informed to expect Matheson’s release in February, however an exact date was not available, police said.
“I.C.E. is still actively working on the Matheson case, however it is a lengthy process and I am not at liberty to discuss details of the investigation,” Giannone said. “Mr. Matheson is aware of the continuing investigation.”
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Suspects arrested in connection with Arcadia break-in

ARCADIA — Police arrested three burglary suspects in Sierra Madre Thursday following an attempted break-in in Arcadia, authorities said.
Kenneth Battle, 25, of Los Angeles, Justin Tyson, 29, of Fontana, and Dewayne Tyars, 25, of Redlands were booked on suspicion of attempted burglary and receiving stolen property, Arcadia police Sgt. Tom Le Veque said in a written statement.
A woman heard a “loud and continuous” knock at her front door in the 400 block of Arbolada Drive about 8:45 a.m. and looked through the peep hole to see a man she’d never seen before standing on her porch, Le Veque said.
She watched as the man walked to the side of her house, then returned to the front door and began knocking again, police said.
The woman woke her husband, and the couple heard people on their rear deck and inside their bathroom, the sergeant said.
The couple dialed 9-1-1 to report the burglary, he said, and while on the phone with authorities, the residents saw two men walk out of their back yard.
 Arcadia police officers confirmed that an attempted break-in had occurred, Le Veque said.
“The suspects had removed the bathroom screen and tried to open the window,” he said. “It appears that the suspects either saw or heard the residents inside the home and abandoned their attempts to gain entry, choosing to flee.”
A short time later, a Sierra Madre police officer stopped a car on Baldwin Avenue near the 210 Freeway and noticed the description of the occupants and vehicle matched that of the Arcadia burglary attempt, officials said.
“After positive identification of two of the suspects, the trio was taken into custody,” Le Veque said. “Additional evidence was found inside the vehicle and the investigation is continuing.”
According to police and sheriff’s booking records, Battle and Tyson, who are parolees, are being held without bail. Tyars was released from jail the same day of his arrest after posting $50,000 bail.
All three were due for arraignment Monday in Pasadena Superior Court.
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So Cal serial killer from Monterey Park indicted on suspicion of New York murders

Rodney Alcala, a former Monterey Park resident who was sentenced to death in March for the murders of five women and girls in the 1970s, has been indicted in connection with two additional murders in New York, authorities said Thursday.
A cold-case unit established last year in the Manhattan district attorney’s office built on the California case and other evidence collected over the years to obtain an indictment, officials said.
“Cold cases are never, ever forgotten cases,” Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. said in a written statement. “Our prosecutors, investigators and partners in the NYPD do not give up.”
Long after the slayings were relegated to cold-case files, Alcala, now 67, who had long been suspected in the New York cases has been indicted, prosecutors said.
The killings made headlines, spurred extensive investigations and frustrated authorities for decades: A 23-year-old flight attendant found raped and strangled with a pair of stockings in her Manhattan apartment in 1971. A Hollywood nightspot owner’s 23-year-old daughter whose remains were found in the woods in 1978 after she disappeared in Manhattan the year before.
Though he remains on California’s death row for now, Rodney Alcala is expected to be extradited to New York to face murder charges in the deaths of Cornelia Crilley and Ellen Hover. Alcala, 67, was convicted last year of strangling four women and a 12-year-old girl in California in the 1970s, in killings prosecutors said were laced with torture.
The indictment was the result of an “exhaustive re-examination” of the two unsolved murders last year, which included the interview of more than 100 witnesses, New York County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Erin Duggan said in a written statement.
“This re-focus on these cases, combined with information made available during the defendant’s trial in California, finally gave prosecutors the evidence needed to secure today’s indictment,” she said.
Alcala represented himself in his California case, and it wasn’t immediately clear whether he would have an attorney in New York.
Alcala was sentenced in March to death for five murders in the 1970s. His victims were Robin Samsoe, 12, of Huntington Beach; Jill Barcomb, 18, of New York; Georgia Wixted, 27, of Malibu; Charlotte Lamb, 32, of Santa Monica; and Jill Parenteau, 21, of Burbank.
Samsoe’s body was discovered in the Angeles National Forest north of Sierra Madre.
After the verdict against Alcala last year, authorities released more than 100 photos of young women and girls found in the amateur photographer’s storage locker, and prosecutors said authorities were exploring the possibility of tying Alcala to cases in other states including New York.
The database of photographs remains posted at the Orange County District Attorney’s website,
“As we often do in cold cases, detectives made connections and his victims piece by piece, year after year, including last April’s public release toward that end of 226 images of women photographed by Alcala.
New York District Attorney’s officials declined to discuss specific details of the case Thursday, saying it may jeopardize the prosecution.
He had been suspected in Hover’s death since at least 1979, according to newspaper reports at the time; California prosecutors even sought unsuccessfully to mention her killing in the first of Alcala’s several trials in the 12-year-old’s death, in 1980.
In 2003, police detectives investigating the Crilley slaying went to California with a warrant to interview Alcala and get a dental impression from him.
The New York Police Department’s cold-case squad also discovered while investigating the Crilley slaying that Alcala had used an alias, John Berger, while living in New York, and that name was also in the Hover case file, said Paul Browne, the NYPD’s chief spokesman. A private detective working for Hover’s family said at the time of her disappearance that she had a lunch date with a photographer with a similar name.
Alcala initially denied he ever visited New York, but after police showed him the warrant, he said, “What took you so long?” Browne said.
Alcala had been convicted and sentenced to death twice before in the California girl’s 1979 murder, but the verdicts had been overturned on procedural grounds. Drawing on DNA samples and other evidence, prosecutors refiled charges in her death and added the four other murder charges in 2006.
Alcala was living with his mother on Abajo Drive in Monterey Park when he was first arrested for murder in July of 1979.
He grew up in a middle-class home in Monterey Park and claimed to have a near-genius IQ of 135. He went to Cantwell High School in Montebello and earned a bachelor’s degree from the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television in 1968. 
His trial was both gruesome and bizarre. Prosecutors portrayed him as a killer with a penchant for torturing his victims, raping one with a claw-toothed hammer and posing several victims nude in sexual positions after their deaths.
Alcala, acting as his own attorney, offered a rambling defense that included questioning the mother of one of his victims, playing Arlo Guthrie’s 1967 song “Alice’s Restaurant” and showing a TV clip of himself on a 1978 episode of “The Dating Game.”
– The Associated Press contributed to this story.
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