SOUTH PASADENA >> Authorities placed South Pasadena High School on lockdown Friday while they investigated a shooting threat posted on social media, police said.
A student saw an image on the photo and video-sharing app Snapchat threatening gun violence at the high school, 1401 Fremont Ave.
The student reported the threats to officials shortly after the school day began, South Pasadena police Sgt. Spencer Louie said.
“The suspect was identified as a 17-year-old male student,” police said in a written statement. “As a precaution, the school was placed on a modified lockdown and officers were posted at the school.”
“Officers responded to his residence to locate him, but were unsuccessful,” according to the statement. “Additional information was obtained as to the suspect’s whereabouts and he was eventually contacted by phone.”
The teen went to the police station, where he was taken into custody later in the morning, officials said.
The lockdown had been lifted and the campus had resumed normal operations by noon.
Anyone with information is asked to contact South Pasadena police detectives at 626-403-7280.
SOUTH PASADENA >> Police are seeking man who was caught on camera stealing a large package, which contained a trampoline, from the fron porch of a South Pasadena home on Wednesday.
The theft took place just before 12:10 p.m. at a home in the 1400 block of Milan Avenue, South Pasadena police Detective Richard Lee said in a written statement.
A man wearing a utility vest arrived at the home in a silver, four-door sedan and parked in the victim’s driveway, Lee said.
Home surveillance cameras rolled as the thief walked up to the victim’s porch and draged away a large package, which contained a trampoline, Lee said. He then loaded it into his car and drove off.
Police described the package thief as a Latino man between 30 and 35 years old, with brown hair and brown mustache. He wore a yellow utility vest, a black shirt, blue jeans and black-and-white Converse sneakers.
Anyone with information is asked to contact South Pasadena police detectives at 626-403-7280. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
PHOTOS courtesy of the South Pasadena Police Department
SOUTH PASADENA >> Police shot and wounded a suspect in the middle of a home burglary as two women who lived in the house hid in an upstairs bathroom early Saturday, authorities said.
The incident began about 4:25 a.m. when a 48-year-old woman and her 22-year-old daughter realized there was an intruder in their house in the 1300 block of Huntington Drive, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
“Upon seeing the suspect, the women fled to the upstairs bathroom where they barricaded themselves from the approaching suspect,” according to the statement. “The suspect attempted to break through the bathroom door in an attempt to gain entry. When his attempts failed, the suspect proceeded to ransack the bottom level of the residence. The mother called 9-1-1.”
Officers rushed to the home and made their way inside, officials said.
“As the officers walked up the stairs towards the second floor, they were confronted by the suspect,” the statement said. “It was at this time that an officer-involved shooting occurred. The suspect then fled from the officers towards a bedroom where he proceeded to barricade himself.”
It was unclear what prompted police to open fire on the suspect, or whether he was armed at the time.
Police cordoned off the home and used a ladder to rescue the women through the window of the bathroom in which they’d been hiding.
A sheriff’s SWAT team responded to deal with the barricaded suspect. Officials from the sheriff’s Special Enforcement Bureau announced the suspect was in custody about 7 a.m.
“While in custody, it was discovered that the suspect had been struck in the shoulder by gunfire,” according to the sheriff’s department statement.
The 48-year-old suspect was treated at hospital before being booked on suspicion of burglary. His name was not released Sunday.
South Pasadena police deferred comment to sheriff’s officials, who traditionally investigate officer-involved shootings involving Los Angeles County police agencies.
The residents of the home were unharmed, and no police officials were injured during the incident, sheriff’s officials said.
PHOTOS courtesy of the Los Angeles County sheriff’s Special Enforcement Bureau
SAN MARINO >> San Marino police arrested a woman on suspicion of embezzling nearly $200,000 from her elderly employer over the past two years, authorities said.
Rebecca Diaz, 44, of Los Angeles is accused of embezzlement and grand theft following her arrest, which took place just before 5 p.m. Tuesday, according to San Marino police officials and Los Angeles county booking records.
Los Angeles County Adult Protective Services officials contacted San Marino police regarding possible financial elder abuse earlier in the afternoon, San Marino police Sgt. Tim Tebbetts said in a written statement.
The victim, a San Marino man in his 70s, employed Diaz as the account manager at his South Pasadena-based agricultural business, Detective Brian Wong said.
“The initial report claimed there were abnormally large amounts of money being deducted from the victim’s bank account,” Tebbetts said.
“Further investigation revealed (Diaz) had been making cash advances and purchases using the victim’s business credit card and business checking account,” Tebbetts said. “It is believed the suspect embezzled over $195,000.00 in just over two years.”
Diaz had worked for the victim even longer, and detectives continued looking into the possibility of additional theft, Wong said.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Wong a 626-300-0719.
SOUTH PASADENA >> A repeat convicted felon pepper-sprayed and stabbed a hardware store employee who tried to stop him from shoplifting Saturday evening, police said.
Officers arrested Jay William Brewer, 48, of Sylmar on suspicion of attempted murder shortly after the incident, which unfolded about 8 p.m. at Orchard Supply Hardware, 452 Fair Oaks Ave., South Pasadena police Sgt. Shannon Robledo said.
An employee of the store saw Brewer set off the store’s anti-theft alarm while leaving the store, so he followed him outside and confronted him about the alleged theft, the sergeant said.
“In an attempt to escape, the suspect sprayed the employee with pepper spray,” Robledo said in a written statement. “The employee was disoriented for a moment, but continued after the suspect.”
“During a second confrontation, the suspect produced a knife, stabbing the employee in the abdomen before fleeing,” according to the sergeant.
The victim, a man in his 50s, was taken to a hospital with “significant, but non-life-threatening” injuries, he added.
Officers found Brewer hiding in the area and arrested him without a struggle. They recovered the pocket knife believed to have been used in the stabbing, as well as other pieces of evidence from Brewer.
No property from the store was recovered, and it was unclear what the suspect may have stolen from the business, Robledo said.
Brewer has a lengthy criminal history, including past convictions for assault with a deadly weapon, robbery, burglary, possession of a dangerous weapon, criminal threats, vehicle theft, petty theft and violating parole.
According to Los Angeles County booking records,, Brewer was being held in lieu of $1 million bail at the Alhambra Police Department jail pending his initial court appearance, scheduled Wednesday in the Alhambra branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court.
Anyone with information is urged to contact South Pasadena police at 626-403-7297.
SAN MARINO >> San Marino police jailed a San Gabriel man this on suspicion of identity theft, mail theft and other crimes after catching him with a car filled with hundreds of pieces of stolen mail, checks, identification cards, credit cards, and other identity-theft related materials, police said.
Joseph Kamel, 40, was being held in lieu of $250,000 bail Saturday following his arrest on Thursday evening, according to San Marino police officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
Investigators had been seeking Kamel after he and his car were seen in connection with at least two mail or package thefts in the city dating back to May,San Marino police Sgt. Robert Matthews said.
After spotting Kamel driving through the city, an officers summoned backup and followed him into the 1500 block of Oak Knoll Avenue in Pasadena, where they pulled the car over and detained Kamel without a struggle, police said. He was alone in the black, 2011 Chevrolet Camaro.
“A subsequent investigation revealed Kamel to be in possession of a U.S. Postal service master key, hundreds of pieces of mail addressed to individual persons and businesses across Los Angeles County, over 100 checks that were addressed to other victims, banking statements, U.S. Passports, California Identification cards and Driver Licenses, credit card encoding and skimming devices, and ledgers containing personal and banking information of many other potential victims,” Sgt. Timothy Tebbetts said in a written statement.
Some of the people whose information was recovered from Kamel’s car had already been the victims of identity theft, Matthews said.
It was yet to be determined whether the case would be turned over to federal officials for prosecution, though it appeared likely, Matthews said. Mail theft is a federal crime.
Thursday’s arrest was the latest in series of arrests by area police for alleged large-scale mail and identity theft schemes.
Police in South Pasadena arrested a Highland Park woman on Sept. 3 after finding her driving through town with a treasure trove of stolen mail, documents, mail keys and other theft-related items. Marisa Rae Delgado, 27, is facing federal charges in the case.
And San Marino police in May arrested a mother and daughter for allegedly driving around with stolen mail, a U.S. Postal Service master key and methamphetamine, police said at the time. Estela Castaneda, 48, of Huntington Park and Elizabeth Castaneda, 22, of Rosemead, also face federal charges.
The two San Marino cases appear to be linked, officials said. Kamel posted bail for Elizabeth Castaneda following her arrest in May, officials said. Their relationship was unclear Saturday.
Kamel is scheduled to make his first appearance Tuesday in the Alhambra branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court, records show.
PHOTOS courtesy of the
SOUTH PASADENA >> Police and firefighters are inviting the public to enjoy a day of festivities, demonstrations, classic car show and more as they host the South Pasadena Police and Fire Department Open House this Sunday.
The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Pasadena Police Department, 1422 Mission Street, as well as at the neighboring South Pasadena Fire Department, 817 Mound Ave., city officials said in a written statement.
Police canine demonstrations, fire department demonstrations and helicopter landings and fly-overs are planned, along with child fingerprinting, a classic car show, informational booths and workshops, giveaways and raffles.
For more information, including a schedule of events, visit www.southpasadenaca.gov, or contact Detective Richard Lee at 626-403-7285.
SOUTH PASADENA >> A Highland Park woman is facing federal charges after she was found driving through South Pasadena early Saturday with a treasure drove of identity theft-related items, including hundreds of pieces of stolen mail, stolen driver licenses, mailbox keys, blank credit cards and a credit card embossing machine, police said.
Marisa Rae Delgado, 27, was accused of mail theft, a federal offense, and other crimes, according to South Pasadena police officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
She was speeding along the 110 Freeway when an officer pulled her over, South Pasadena police Cpl. Craig Phillips said in a written statement.
“The female driver was found to have an outstanding felony warrant for grand theft auto,” he said.
Police arrested Delgado and searched the rented BMW she was driving, which she told officers had been rented by her boyfriend.
“An inventory search of the rented BMW found over 200 pieces of U.S. mail not addressed to the driver, which officers believe to be stolen,” Phillips said. “Officers also found dozens of blank credit cards, a credit card embossing machine, multiple mailbox keys for multi-unit housing complexes, several stolen driver’s licenses and other tools commonly used to commit thefts.”
Delgado, who has previous arrests for auto theft and identity theft, was being held without bail pending her initial court appearance, police said.
PHOTOS: [ABOVE] South Pasadena police seized hundreds of documents belonging to other people and other identity-theft-related items during a traffic stop on Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016. A Highland Park woman was arrested. [CENTER] Marisa Rae Delgado, 27, of Highland Park. [BELOW] South Pasadena police seized this credit card embossing machine, used to create fraudulent credit cards, along with hundreds of documents belonging to other people and other identity-theft-related items during a traffic stop on Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016. A Highland Park woman was arrested. (Courtesy, South Pasadena Police Department)
SOUTH PASADENA >> Police arrested a Los Angeles man suspect who went on an alleged crime spree Wednesday morning, sexually assaulting two teenage girls and one woman before breaking into five apartment in the south end of South Pasadena, authorities said.
The identity of the 22-year-old suspect, who was already on parole for burglary, was withheld as police continued following up investigative leads Wednesday afternoon, South Pasadena police Capt. Brian Solinski said during a press conference.
The string of crimes took place beginning about 7:30 a.m. in a four- to five-block area near South Pasadena High School, Solinksi said.
The suspect inappropriately touched or exposed himself to a woman and two underage girls out on the street, police said.
Immediately afterward, Solinski said the man began a burglary spree, breaking into five apartments in the same general neighborhood, Solinski said. Detectives determined the same man was responsible for all eight crimes reported in South Pasadena early Wednesday.
With help from the victims, detectives tracked the suspect to the 3000 block of Emery Street in Los Angeles, where they spotted a man matching the description of the South Pasadena suspect.
“The individual got into a car and tried to flee the scene,” Solinski said. Officers quickly pulled over the car and took the driver into custody.
Items inside the car linked the driver to the South Pasadena crime scenes, Solinski said. It was also determined that the car the suspect was driving had also been stolen early Wednesday.
None of the three sexual assault victims were physically unharmed, he said.
“There was some contact made, but nothing that produced any injuries,” Solinski said.
It at least some of the break-ins, the suspect got into the apartments through windows, he added.
Police and school officials placed South Pasadena High School and South Pasadena Middle School on precautionary lockdowns due to their proximity to some of the locations where the crimes occurred, South Pasadena police said in a written statement.
Police said officers found a knife at one of the residences that was burglarized. The lockdowns were lifted after the knife was discovered.
The investigation was ongoing.
Anyone with information is asked to call South Pasadena Police at 626-403-7297.
WEST COVINA >> Coroner’s officials have identified a Lakewood man who died in a fiery multi-car freeway wreck in West Covina last week along with a South Pasadena man described as one of Taiwan’s most wanted fugitives, authorities said.
Gregory Donald Smith, 69, died at the scene of the crash, which took place about 1 a.m. on May 27 on the westbound 10 Freeway, just east of Citrus Avenue, said Ed Winter, assistant chief of operations at the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner.
He was unable to get out of his pickup truck following the crash. The truck became engulfed in flames.
An autopsy determined Smith died of “thermal burns,” and the death was ruled accidental, Winter said.
Also killed in the crash while driving another vehicle was 89-year-old You T. Wang, also identified by authorities as Wang You-theng, of South Pasadena.
Wang was in the middle of a decade-long court battle to avoid extradition to Taiwan, where he’s accused of embezzling more than $9 billion from a steel company called Rebar, which Wang founded in 1959. He allegedly drained the company’s assets and fled to the U.S. after the company when business took a sour turn in 2006.
Wang was ordered removed from the U.S. in late-2014 after years of litigation.
His appeal of that order was dismissed in December, but he then filed a petition for a review of his case by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman Virginia Kice.
That review was yet to be heard when Wang was killed in last week’s crash.
The cause of the fiery five-car chain reaction, which resulted in two separate crash scenes, remained under investigation by the CHP.
It was initially believed to have been triggered when a Toyota Tacoma driven by Smith sideswiped a Lexus in the left-hand lane, initiating a series of collisions, CHP Officer Rodrigo Jimenez said.
Anyone with information can reach the Baldwin Park area office of the CHP at 626-338-1164.
— The Associated Press contributed to this report.