Man escapes West Covina carjacking, robbery attempt

WEST COVINA >> A man who agreed to give a woman a ride in West Covina Tuesday ended up face to face with an armed man who demanded his wallet and car, police said.
The incident began shortly before 5:10 a.m. when the victim was approached by a woman in the parking lot of a gas station at Cameron and Glendora avenues, West Covina police Lt. Dave Lee said.
The woman asked the man for a ride, and he agreed, the lieutenant said. He drove the woman a short distance to the 1100 block of Wescove Place.
Once they arrives, the victim was approached by a man who brandished a handgun, demanded his wallet and ordered him out of his car, Lee said.
The victim refused, Lee said. “He was able to accelerate the vehicle away from the suspect.”
Police described the female suspect as a white woman between 35 and 40 years old, with blonde hair and blue eyes. The gunman was described as a black man between 40 and 50 years old, about 6 feet tall and 210 pounds.

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West Covina man arrested following Baldwin Park bank robbery

BALDWIN PARK >> A robbed a Baldwin Park bank branch Saturday before quickly being captured by police, officials said
Todd Edward Campbell, 48, of West Covina was arrested within minutes of the 11:14 a.m. bank robbery at a U.S. Bank branch inside a Walmart store, 3250 Big Dalton Avenue, Baldwin Park police Lt. Doug Parnell said.
Campbell approached a female teller at the bank and displayed a note demanding money, the lieutenant said. The teller handed over about $2,000 and the suspect fled, running north from the bank, Parnell said. A bank employee triggered a silent alarm during the robbery.
An officer rushing to the scene of the crime spotted Campbell, who matched the description of the robber, at Merced and Puente avenues, Parnell said.
Though he had discarded is shirt in an attempt to change his appearance, Campbell was found carrying a bag containing the stolen money, and the note used in the robbery was found in his pocket, Parnell said.
The suspect, who has a lengthy criminal history out of state,admitted to the robbery, Parnell said. Campbell told police he committed the robbery because he needed money for drugs.
The FBI was assisting Baldwin Park police in the investigation.
According to Los Angeles County Booking records, Campbell was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail pending his initial court appearance Tuesday in West Covina Superior Court.

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Female parolee arrested following West Covina police chase

WEST COVINA >> West Covina police arrested a wanted parolee Saturday after she led officers on a brief car chase that ended in Covina, officials said.
Rebecca Wechter, 32, of Ventura, was ultimately arrested on suspicion of felony evading of police, as well as violating parole, West Covina police Lt. Dennis Patton said.
The incident began when an officer spotted Wechter driving erratically in a Toyota Camry and tried to pull her over in the area of Garvey Avenue South and Barranca Street, the lieutenant said.
Wechter initially appeared as if she was pulling over before the sped away, initiating a pursuit, he said.
Police chased the Camry to the area of Barranca Avenue and Navilla Place in Covina, where she surrendered to police, Patton said.
Officers quickly determined that Wechter had an arrest warrant for a parole violation, he said.
She was being held without bail pending her initial court appearance, Patton added.

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UPDATED: Stabbing reported near West Covina park; 4 arrested

WEST COVINA >> A man was stabbed during a fight near Gingrich Park in West Covina Thursday afternoon, officials said.
A 27-year-old man was hospitalized in unknown condition following the 5:45 p.m. incident near the park in the 1800 block of Woodgate Drive, West Covina police Lt. Pat Cirrito said.
Witnesses first called police to report a fight among five male combatants, Lt. Dennis Patton said. As officers were en route, they received a second call reporting that someone had been stabbed.
The victim was taken to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center for treatment, Patton said. The extent of the injuries was not clear.
Police found four suspects on foot several blocks away and arrested them in connection with the stabbing, Cirrito said
Detectives continued investigating what role the men may have played in the attack Thursday night.

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One wounded in West Covina shooting

WEST COVINA >> A man suffered a wound to his leg in a shooting at a West Covina shopping center Thursday afternoon, authorities said.
Police received multiple calls about 5:30 p.m. reporting gunshots heard at the Woodside Village Shopping Center in the 1500 block of East Amar Road, West Covina police Lt. Dennis Patton said.
“Our officers arrived on-scene and came upon a subject found to have sustained a gunshot wound,” the lieutenant said.
The victim, initially described only as male, was found to the rear of the business complex with a leg wound, he said. Paramedics took him to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center for treatment.
The victim, a man estimated to be 40 years old, as well as several witnesses at the scene did not cooperate with investigators, Lt. Pat Cirrito said.
No further details were available.

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West Covina man beaten and robbed in Pasadena

PASADENA >> A West Covina man was beaten and robbed while walking in Pasadena Friday afternoon, police said.
The 30-year-old man was attacked just after 1:15 p.m., Pasadena Police Lt. John Luna said.
“He was in the area of Bellefontaine (Street) and Fair Oaks (Avenue) when he was struck in the head from behind by a suspect with an unknown blunt object,” the lieutenant said.
The victim fell to the ground and struck his head before the robber snatched the man’s wallet and removed a little less than $1,000 before fleeing, Luna said. The victim declined to be taken to a hospital.
Police described the robber as a Latino man in his 20s or 30s, between 5 feet 6 inches and 5 feet 8 inches tall and of medium build. He was wearing a blue long-sleeve shirt, blue jeans and white tennis shoes.

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Boyfriend of bank Chino bank robbery suspect accused of West Covina bank heist

The boyfriend of an accused bank robber has been arrested on suspicion of robbing a West Covina bank, police said.
Two Bank of the West locations in Chino and West Covina were robbed on consecutive days this month.
The Chino location was robbed July 14 by a woman wearing hospital scrubs. On July 25, Rafaella Benoit, 18, of Perris was arrested and later charged with robbery in connection with the July  14 robbery.
On Wednesday, Chino police announced the arrest of Benoit’s supposed boyfriend.
Douglas Beale Taylor, 22, allegedly robbed Bank of the West in West Covina on July 15, the day after the Chino bank robbery.
Police said Taylor executed the robbery in the same manner as his girlfriend — by slipping a note demanding money and escaping with an undisclosed amount of money.
Surveillance video linked Douglas to the West Covina robbery, Chino police said in a statement.
Officers from the Chino and West Covina police departments arrested Taylor on Tuesday at his Moreno Valley home. He was booked into the West Covina Police Department’s jail on suspicion of robbery and conspiracy, police said.
“During an interview, Taylor admitted to robbing the West Covina Bank of the West as well as being the getaway driver for the Chino Bank of the West robbery,” according to police.

- By Greg Cappis

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Police: West Covina man accidentally shoots son-in-law

WEST COVINA — A man accidentally shot his son-in-law while showing him a handgun Friday afternoon, police said.
The incident, which was being investigated as an accidental shooting, was reported about 4:40 p.m. at a home in the 900 block of South Russelee Drive, West Covina police Lt. Dennis Patton said.
A 9mm bullet penetrated a 28-year-old man’s wrist after the handgun, which his father-in-law was holding, discharged, the lieutenant said.
“He was reportedly showing a weapon to a relative when the weapon inadvertently went off,” Patton said.
Paramedics took the injured man to a hospital with an injury not considered to be life-threatening.
The men’s account of the shooting was corroborated by other witnesses at the scene, Patton added.
Police seized the involved gun, Patton said. Though it appeared the shooting was an accident, “We will do a comprehensive investigation.”

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UPDATED: Women robbed in West Covina home invasion

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WEST COVINA — Police are seeking two gunmen who forced their way into the home of a West Covina woman and her elderly mother Sunday, assaulting one of the women before fleeing with valuables, authorities said.
The home-invasion robbery took place just after 10 a.m. today at a house in the 3000 block of Larkwood Street, West Covina police Lt. Dennis Patton said.
A woman estimated to be in her 50s and her mother, estimated to be in her 70s, were inside the home when the two armed robbers entered through the open door of an attached garage, police said.
“(The women) were confronted by the suspects, who were armed with handguns,” Patton said. The robbers ordered the women into a bedroom.
The daughter was bleeding from a head injury when officers arrived, he said. She had been struck by one of the robbers with a blunt object, though it was not clear if she had been pistol-whipped or struck with some other unknown object.
Both women were examined at the scene by paramedics, but not hospitalized, police said.
Police said the robbers fled with cash, jewelry and electronics. A safe was stolen during the crime.
The value of the items stolen in the robbery was not available.
Patton said the robbers were described as two black men, both wearing jeans and dark-colored T-shirts and armed with semi-automatic handguns. One of the robbers appeared 20 25 years old, while the other was described as appearing to be about 30.
They were last seen fleeing the area in a light-colored vehicle similar to a 2010 or newer-model model Chevrolet Camaro, Patton said.
A woman who answered the door at the home did not wish to comment, though she confirmed everyone was OK.
A neighbor who was home at the time of the crime said he did not hear or see anything unusual.
Patton said police were checking with other law enforcement agencies in the region to see if any similar crimes have been reported lately.
Anyone with information was asked to contact West Covina police at 626-939-8500.

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Ontario men accused of hot prowl burglary in West Covina

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WEST COVINA — Two Ontario men were behind bars Wednesday on suspicion of burglarizing the home of an elderly West Covina man as he slept inside earlier this week, officials said.
Robert Perich, 22, and Luis Santana, 19, were arrested Monday in connection with the 9:40 a.m. break-in in the 1100 block of South Montezuma Way, according to West Covina police officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
A third suspect, a 23-year-old Ontario man, was also arrested along with Perich and Santana, but was released from custody Wednesday without charges, records show.
Police responded to a call reporting a possible burglary when they noticed a Chevy S-10 pickup truck parked in front of the home, West Covina police Cpl. Rudy Lopez said in a written statement.
A 23-year-old Ontario man was found hiding in the back seat area and was arrested on suspicion of burglary, though he was ultimately released without charges Wednesday, according to police and booking records.
0703_NWS_SGT-L-WCBURGLARS2After setting up a search perimeter, police saw two men running from the home, Lopez said. One, later identified as Santana, was quickly captured in a nearby backyard.
The other fleeing suspect, later identified as Perich, ran onto the golf course at South Hills Country Club, where police caught up with him and took him into custody.
“A 78-year-old male resident was inside the location asleep in his bedroom during the burglary,” Lopez said. “Of the items stolen and recovered, many were taken from the room the resident was sleeping in.”
All of the allegedly stolen items were recovered, and no injuries were reported in connection with the incident, Lopez said.
Perich was ultimately booked on suspicion of burglary, receiving stolen property and resisting arrest, as well as on two outstanding warrants, Lopez said. Santana was jailed on suspicion of burglary and receiving stolen property, police said.
According to county booking records, Perich was being held in lieu of $195,000 bail, while Santana was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail.

PHOTOS of suspects Robert Perich, above, and Luis Santana, (below) courtesy of the West Covina Police Department.

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