TEMPLE CITY >> Three men carried out an armed robbery at a Temple City bank Friday, officials said.
The heist took place about 11:40 a.m. at a Bank of the West branch, 9934 E. Las Tunas Drive, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Ismael Chavez said.
One of the robbers brandished a revolver and pointed it at a teller while demanding money, the lieutenant said. They fled with an undetermined amount of cash.
Deputies described the robbers as three black men. One was in his 30s, about 5 feet 7 inches tall, 185 pounds, wearing blue jeans, a baseball cap and a checkered shirt.
The other two robbers were both of thin build, about 5 feet 9 inches tall, wearing gray hooded sweatshirts, dark pants and bandanas covering their faces.
They were last seen driving south from the bank on Baldwin Avenue in a light gray compact car with faded paint.
ROSEMEAD >> A jury convicted a man of murder and other charges Thursday for a drunken driving crash that claimed the life of an Temple City woman and seriously injured her husband on a 10 Freeway offramp in Rosemead last year, officials said.
The Pomona Superior Court jury deliberated for one day before finding Juan G. Rios, 25, of Perris, guilty of second-degree murder, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, drunken driving, driving with a blood-alcohol level above .08 percent and hit-and-run, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said in a written statement. Jurors also found true the special allegation that Rios inflicted great bodily injury.
He was behind the wheel of a Honda Civic that collided with a Toyota Camry about 11:15 p.m. Nov. 7 on the Rosemead Boulevard offramp of the eastbound 10 Freeway, California Highway Patrol officials said.
Rios lost control of the Civic and crashed into the Camry which contained 58-year-old Kit Ching Leung of Temple City and her husband, according to the CHP. Both cars went down an embankment.
Leung, who was a passenger in the Camry, succumbed to her injuries at a hospital, CHP Officer Doris Peniche said. Her husband, who was driving the Camry, suffered serious injuries.
Rios ran from the crash scene but was quickly found and arrested.
Rios faces up to 24 years to life in state prison when he returns to court for sentencing Dec. 3.
ARCADIA >> Sheriff’s deputies detained four people Thursday after a stolen car led them on a brief chase from Temple City to Arcadia, officials said.
The chase began shortly after 6 p.m., when deputies spotted a reportedly stolen car with a driver and three passengers traveling down Rosemead Boulevard near Broadway in Temple City, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Tony Haynes said.
After following behind the car as backup amassed, deputies tried to pull the car over, but the driver failed to stop, initiating a pursuit, the sergeant said.
The driver stopped the car and ran at Huntington Drive and Baldwin Avenue in Arcadia, officials said. He was soon captured.
The driver’s name was not available pending the booking process, Haynes said.
Three passengers of the car were also being detained as the investigation continued late Thursday.
TEMPLE CITY >> A man suffered burns in a fire that destroyed his Temple City home early Thursday, authorities said.
The lone resident suffered first- and second-degree burns over about half of his body in the fire, which ignited about 9:40 a.m. at a single-story house in the 4800 block of Birchland Place , Los Angeles County Fire Department Capt. Donald Rivas said. He was conscious when rescuers took him to a hospital, and the injuries were not believed to be life threatening.
Firefighters found the injured resident already out of the home when they arrived, Rivas said.
They knocked down the flames by 10:02 a.m., fire Inspector Randall Wright said.
The house, which was densely packed with items, was a “total loss,” Rivas said. The detached garage was also damaged in the fire.
Officials estimated to value of the damage to be about $500,000.
Rivas said the fire started in a family room before spreading throughout the home. The cause remained under investigation.
IRWINDALE >> Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies stood in 24-hour guard Wednesday over the site where fellow deputy David March was fatally shot during a traffic stop 13 years ago.
Afternoon temperatures climbed into the mid-90s as deputies have continued the stoic tradition each year since March was gunned down along Live Oak Avenue, just east of Peck Road, on April 29, 2002.
Sheriff’ Jim McDonnell visited the memorial site to pay his respects.
“These deputies from Temple have taken the time to pay tribute to the life of Deputy David March,” McDonnell said. “This tribute exemplified the belief that’s shared throughout the law enforcement community that we will never forget, and that we want to respect the memory and the sacrifice through the year.”
March, 33, who was assigned to the sheriff’s Temple Station, was fatally shot after pulling over Jorge Arroyo Garcia, also known as Armando Garcia. After being captured in Mexico and extradited back to the U.S., Garcia pleaded guilty to the deputy’s murder in 2007 and received a life sentence in prison.
Two by two, deputies, primarily from the sheriff’s Temple Station, took turns standing half-hour shifts over the spot where March was fatally shot, which is marked with a permanent memorial plaque. After standing frozen in place for 30 minutes, deputies changed guards with a brief ceremony.
TEMPLE CITY >> A gunman shot up a man’s car as he was stopped at a red light along Baldwin Avenue in Temple City early Thursday, officials said.
The shooting took place about midnight along Baldwin Avenue as the victim was heading north, approaching Bogue Street, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Abi Ben-Sahile said. But the crime was not reported until six or seven hours later.
Ben-Sahile said the victim, a man in his early-20s, told deputies he did not see the shooter, and initially thought someone was throwing rocks at his car.
But the man later realized bullets had struck both the front and rear of his car, the sergeant said.
The motive in the shooting was unclear.
TEMPLE CITY >> A house fire that ignited Tuesday, blew out windows and caused about $152,500 in damages is believed to have been caused by the manufacture of concentrated cannabis, also known as “honey oil,” authorities said.
The blaze was first reported shortly after 8 p.m. at a home in the 9800 block of Garibaldi Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s and fire officials said.
Firefighters found butane bottles and turned over the case to the sheriff’s Temple station, fire Inspector Rick Flores said.
Butane is commonly used in process of concentrating marijuana into a more potent forms.
Investigators labeled the incident a “reckless fire,” believed caused by, “the manufacture of a controlled substance,” sheriff’s Lt. Ismael Chavez said.
Flores said nobody was home when firefighters arrived. Windows were blown out and the fire spread throughout the house, he said.
Firefighters put out the blaze at 8:21 p.m.
Flores estimated damages to the structure at $150,000 and the $2,500 to the contents.
No suspects were in custody in connection with the incident Wednesday, Chavez said.
– Brian Day and Ruby Gonzales
TEMPLE CITY >> Officials sought the public’s help Thursday in finding a 71-year-old Temple City man who suffers from dementia and went missing from his home Wednesday.
Sarwat Zaki Gad was last seen at his home in the 5300 block of El Monte Avenue about 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
“Mr. Gad suffers from dementia and becomes easily confused,” the statement said.
He left his home in a silver, 2003 Toyota 4Runner with a California vanity license plate reading “AMARG,” officials said. He was last seen wearing a blue and green shirt and blue pants.
“His family is very concerned and is asking for the public’s assistance,” according to the sheriff’s department statement.
Anyone with information was asked to contact the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau’s Missing Person Unit at 323-890-5500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously though L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers by calling 800-222-8477.
PHOTO of Sarwat Gad courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
PASADENA >> Five home-invasion robbers shot a Temple City man inside a Pasadena apartment before fleeing with watches late Saturday, authorities said.
The wounded man was shot in the arm and grazed in the torso during the crime, which took place shortly after 10 p.m. at an apartment in the 600 block of East Union Street, Pasadena police Lt. John Luna said. He was taken to a hospital where he was listed in stable condition.
A second victim of the robbery, described as a 17-year-old Pasadena boy, suffered abrasions to his arm during the home invasion, Luna said.
Police described the armed intruders as an Asian woman in her 20s, and four men of unknown race between 25 and 30 years old.
“The suspects entered the apartment and demanded jewelry at gunpoint,” Luna said. “A physical struggle ensued, and one of the suspects fired at the victim.”
The robbers fled with watches, he said, though the number or value of the watches was not clear.
Officers discovered the crime scene after responding to a report of gunfire, Luna added.
No further details were available Sunday.