SWAT team arrests South Gate carjacking suspect following chase from West Whittier to South El Monte

A man led deputies on a chase from West Whittier to South El Monte in a carjacked car before being captured by a sheriff’s SWAT team on Sunday morning, officials said.
Robert Larry Gutierrez, 34, was jailed following the pursuit, which began about 7:30 a.m., Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Alex Villanueva said. His hometown was not available.
Deputies patrolling over the unincorporated county area of West Whittier in a helicopter detected a signal from a LoJack vehicle tracker in the area of Washington and Norwalk boulevards, the lieutenant said. The vehicle had been reported carjacked in South Gate earlier in the morning.
“It looked like he was going to pull over initially, but then he took off,” Villanueva said.
Gutierrez led deputies on a 6-mile chase that ended when he abandoned his car along Peck Road at the 60 Freeway in South El Monte and fled into a nearby brush area, according to Villanueva.
Deputies summoned a sheriff’s Special Enforcement Bureau SWAT Team to track down the suspect in the dense vegetation. A sheriff’s helicopter landed on the freeway in order to rush deputies to the scene.
The SWAT deputies, aided by a K-9, soon found Gutierrez hiding in the brush and took him into custody.
He was being booked on suspicion of driving a car without the owner’s consent, felony evading and possession of cocaine, Villanueva said. The earlier carjacking was being investigated by the South Gate Police Department.
The westbound lanes of the 60 Freeway were closed down for nearly half-an-hour as deputies searched for and apprehended the suspect.

PHOTOS courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department

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Community invited to join Covina police dog at Bark and Barbecue

“Covina Police Officer Ryan Ryan Rasmussen shows the department’s K-9 dog, Yarno, city staff members at Covina City Hall on Thursday July 23, 2015. It has been more than 10 years without a police K-9 servicing Covina. (Photo by Keith Durflinger/San Gabriel Valley Tribune)”

COVINA >> The K9 Partners of Covina are inviting the community to join Covina’s four-legged finest for food and fun and the Bark and Barbecue later this month.
K-9 demonstrations, free hot dogs, a chili cook-off, raffles, music and community-oriented booths are planned for the event, scheduled from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Heritage Plaza, 444 N. Citrus Ave., organizers said. There is a $25 entry fee for the chili cook-off,
Covina police K-9 Jarno will be on-hand, duty permitting.
K9 Partners of Covina is a nonprofit organization dedicating to gathering funds and community support for the Covina Police Department’s newly-revitalized K-9 program.
For more information, and for a list of other upcoming K9 Partners of Covina events, visit www.k9partnersofcovina.org.

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Arcadia’s police dog, Zoli, to get bullet-proof vest

ARCADIA >> The Arcadia Police Department lone K-9 will be patrolling the city with a new bullet- and stab-resistant vest, thanks to an anonymous donor and non-profit group dedicated to keeping four-legged law enforcement officers safe.
Zoli, a not-quite-2-year-old German shepherd-Belgian Malinois mix partnered with Officer Josh Foulks, will receive his new gear in eight to ten weeks, Arcadia police officials said in a written statement.
The vest is being procured by an anonymous donor, through the national nonprofit organization Vested Interest in K9s. It will be embroidered with the phrase, “Born to love — Trained to serve — Loyal always.”
Zoli joined the Arcadia Police Department in November, becoming the department’s first K-9 in 12 years. He is cross-trained for both suspect apprehension drug detection.
Vested Interest in K9s is a charity organization founded in 2009 and based in Taunton, Massachusetts, with the mission of providing bullet- and stab-resistant vests to police dogs throughout the Unites States.
The vests, which are custom made Armor Express in Central Lake, Michigan, are valued at $1,795 to $2,234 each, Arcadia police officials said. Through Vested Interest in K9s, $1,050 must be raised for each vest supplied.
The organization has distributed more than 2,400 K9 vests in all 50 states, including many to San Gabriel Valley law enforcement agencies.
Eligible dogs must be actively employed by a U.S. law enforcement agency, certified and at least 20 months old. Both new applicants and dogs with vests that have passed their five-year expiration dates can participate.
For more information, visit Vested Interest in K9s at www.vik9s.org.

PHOTOS: [ABOVE]: Arcadia police Officer Josh Fouls and K-9 Zoli, courtesy. [BELOW] File courtesy photo – Monterey Park Police K-9 Robin, with handler Agent Peter Palomino, received a protective vest in June of 2015 as a donation from nonprofit organizations Vested Interest in K9s Inc. and the Animal Health Foundation of Lake Forest.

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Meet Zoli: Arcadia police welcome new K-9 officer


ARCADIA >> After 12 years without a police K-9 on duty, the Arcadia Police Department is welcoming a German Shepherd-Belgian Malinoi mix named Officer Zoli to the force.
Zoli is a Solvakia-born 18-month-old German shepherd-Belgian Malinois mix, Arcadia police officials said in a written statement.
Partnered with Officer Josh Foulks, Zoli is cross-trained to both apprehend suspects and sniff out drugs, officials said.
Foulks and Zoli are expected to complete their initial training this week, before beginning patrol training alongside fellow officers next week.
The “extensive” training course is being provided by Gold Coast K9 in Moorpark.
“It has been over 12 years since the Arcadia Police Department fielded a K9 unit and we are looking forward to this addition to our services,” according to the statement. “Funding for Zoli and his training was made possible through the Arcadia Police Foundation, founded in 2015.”

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Abandoned briefcase causes scare at El Monte Station

EL MONTE >> An abandoned briefcase prompted authorities to briefly shut down the El Monte Station late Tuesday, but was ultimately found to contain nothing dangerous, officials said.
The unattended briefcase was reported about 11 p.m. between bus bays 2 and 3 at the station, 3501 Santa Anita Ave., Lt. Jess Carrasco of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Transit Services Bureau said.
Deputies shut down the station and had an explosive-sniffing dog examine the briefcase, the lieutenant said.
After the dog detected nothing suspicious, deputies opened the briefcase and found nothing out of the ordinary, he said. Deputies sounded the all-clear just before 12:30 a.m. Wednesday morning.
Bus service continued outside the station during the incident, with passengers boarding their buses just outside the station, Metro Los Angeles officials said via Twitter.

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Police: Suspect attacks Glendora police dog after pursuit ends in San Dimas

SAN DIMAS >> A man attacked a Glendora police dog after leading officers on a chase that ended in San Dimas Friday morning, authorities said.
Driver Armando Nunez, 28, of El Monte and passenger Vitoria Yvonne Narvaez, 29, of Pomona were ultimately arrested, Glendora Police Chief Tim Staab said.
Nunez was hospitalized for treatment of dog bites. The K-9 that apprehended him suffered injuries to its ear.
Nunez was already being sought by police in West Covina in connection with another chase and crash last week, West Covina police Lt. Travis Tibbets said.
The incident began shortly before 11 a.m. when an officer spotted a car in La Verne and found it suspicious, the chief said.
The officer approached the car when it pulled into a parking lot at Foothill Boulevard and San Dimas Avenue in San Dimas, he said. The car fled “at high speeds.”
Glendora police pursued the fleeing car to a residential cul-de-sac in the 900 block of Sedona Court, officials said. Both the driver and passenger abandoned the car and continued fleeing on foot.
Officers immediately captured the passenger, later identified as Narvaez, Staab said. But the driver, Nunez, fled into the surrounding neighborhood.
Police and Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies set up a search perimeter.
“One of the homeowners alerted us to their backyard,” the chief said. The resident noticed the storage shed in the backyard had become inexplicably unlatched.
Police ordered anyone inside the shed to surrender. After receiving no response, officers sent in a Glendora Police Department K-9 named Bo.
“Second later, both of them burst out of the storage shed,” Staab said.
“The male suspect had the K-9 in a headlock,” he said. “With the other hand, he grabbed its left ear and twisted its head around.”
Police tried to subdue Nunez with a Taser, but he continued fighting with officers before they wrestled him into custody.
“The suspect wouldn’t stop fighting,” Staab said. “Two of my experienced detectives said they’ve never fought with somebody so prolonged.”
No officers were hurt, Staab said.
Bo’s normally upright ear remained limp from the attack, but he appeared otherwise OK, Staab said. The K-9 was to be examined by a veterinarian.
Nunez was treated for dog bites to his face, arm and leg prior to booking, Staab said. He was expected to face charges including evading police and assault on a police dog.
He was being held in lieu of $75,000 bail pending his initial court appearance, according to Los Angeles County booking records.
West Covina police had been seeking Nunez since Sunday, when he allegedly led police on another chase in a stolen car, which ended in a crash at Amar Road and Valinda Avenue, Tibbetts said.
After crashing the stolen car after a brief chase, Nunez ran from the car, leaving a seriously injured woman who had been riding as a passenger behind, Tibbetts said. Officers did not find him that day, but investigators identified Nunez as the suspected driver.
Narvaez, was booked on suspicion of resisting police, Staab said. She is on parole for a prior burglary conviction and was being held without bail, according to officials and booking records.
The ignition system of the car the suspects were riding in Friday had been tampered with, Staab said. Detectives were investigating whether or not it had been stolen.

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Police dog attacked with chair while helping apprehend Alhambra burglary suspects


ALHAMBRA >> Police arrested three burglary suspect late Thursday after one of them attacked and injured a police dog with a metal folding chair, authorities said.
Taveonne Davenport, 20, Deonte Jerome Pinkney, 18 and Keith Vincent Wickware, 21, all of Los Angeles, were booked on suspicion of burglary, Alhambra police officials said.
The incident began about 10:30 p.m. when a resident of the 1800 block of Geranio Drive called police to report that he was watching three unknown intruders inside his home via a remote security camera, Alhambra police Sgt. Jerry Johnson said.
Officers arrived within 30 seconds and surrounded the home, police said in a written statement. Three burglars fled from the back door of the home and began running through residential yards.
Police quickly found one of the three fleeing suspects — later identified as Davenport — hiding in a nearby garage, police said. He refused orders to surrender, and Alhambra police K-9 “Harm” was sent in.
“(Davenport) then attacked the K-9 with a metal folding chair,” according to the police statement.
The handler called the dog back. Harm was bleeding from the mouth, but is expected to be OK.
A second K-9 from the Whittier Police Department was then sent in and apprehended Davenport, Johnson said.
Alhambra police, with help from other area police agencies, continued searching the neighborhood into the early-morning hours.
Officers found and arrested Pinkney and Wickware about 3 a.m. in a backyard near Geranio Drive and Shorb Street, police said.
Davenport was treated for dog bites, and one of the other two suspects suffered a twisted ankle while fleeing police, Johnson said.
No human officers were hurt during the incident.
“The dog wasn’t badly hurt,” Johnson said. Harm, an 8-year-old Belgian Malinois, is expected to make a full recovery.
In addition to burglary, Davenport was also expected to face charges of assault on a police animal, Johnson said.
Police recovered security cameras and other items stolen from the home which the burglars discarded while fleeing, Johnson added. Police were also trying to find the owners of other suspected stolen property found in the suspects’ possession which did not belong to the Geranio Drive resident.
Police have been seeking a crew of burglars who have broken into more than ten Alhambra homes and businesses since April.
No concrete link had been established Thursday between the string of burglaries and the three suspects in the Geranio Drive break-in, however police were looking into a possible connection, the sergeant said.
In the recent spate of burglaries, the intruders often disabled or stole home security systems, as was done in Wednesday’s caper, Johnson said.
And police noted that Davenport bears a striking resemblance to one of three burglars captured on surveillance camera video during an April 27 burglary in the 100 block of South Meridian Avenue.
The investigation was ongoing.
Pinkney was being held without bail pending his initial court appearance, according to county booking records. Wickware was being held in lieu of $50,000, while Davenport’s booking information was not immediately available.
Anyone with information can reach Arcadia police at 626-570-5151. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.


PHOTOS: [TOP} – Alhambra police K-9 “Harm.” (Courtesy, Alhambra Police Department) [BELOW] – (Left to right) Taveonne Davenport, 20, of Los Angeles; Deonte Jerome Pinkney, 18, of Los Angeles; and Keith Vincent Wickware, 21, of Los Angeles. (Courtesy, Alhambra Police Department)

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K-9 Ronin joins West Covina Police Department


WEST COVINA >> The West Covina Police Department’s newest hire has an instinct for sniffing out crime.
Ronin, a 2-year-old Belgian Malinois, graduated basic training Friday alongside his handler, Officer Richard Forman, West Covina police Lt. Dennis Patton said. Forman is a 17-year veteran of the department. The partners will take to the streets Tuesday.
Ronin joins the department’s three other K-9s — Rocky, Rec and medal of valor recipient Reiko.
The newest K-9 is trained for both suspect apprehension and drug detection, like his counterparts Rocky and Rec, Patton said.
Reiko is currently undergoing training to detect explosives, in addition to his apprehension and narcotics duties.
West Covina’s police K-9 program is funded entirely through donations. Fundraising efforts are spearheaded by the Friends of West Covina PD K9s organization.

PHOTO of WCPD K-9 Ronin courtesy of the West Covina Police Department.


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Monterey Park police K-9 to receive protective vest


MONTEREY PARK >> A four-legged Monterey Park police officer will soon be patrolling with a bullet- and stab-resistant vest thanks to a donation from a charity organization dedicated to protecting police K-9s.
“Piro,” a 2-year-old Belgian Malinois, has been apprehending suspects and sniffing out drugs since completing training about eight months ago, Monterey Park police Sgt. Gus Jimenez said. The dog is handled by Officer Ryan Esquibel.
Vested Interests in K9s Inc. announced Friday hat Piro had been selected to received a free vest, provided by Michigan-based manufacturer Armor Express, Jimenez said. The vest is expected to arrive next week.
Monterey Park police have to other K-9s — Robin and Veeda — which have both previously received donated vests through the Massachusetts-based nonprofit organization, the sergeant said.
Vested interests in K9s has provided more than 1,600 protective vests to police dogs in 49 states at a cost of $1.5 million, donated by private and corporate sponsors, Jimenez said.
The group estimates there are more than 30,000 law enforcement dogs in the U.S.
For more information on Vested Interest in K-9s, visit www.vik9s.org.

PHOTO of Monterey Police Officer Ryan Esquibel and K-9 Piro courtesy of the Montebello Police Department.

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UPDATED: El Monte rape suspect arrested after neighborhood search; also sought for Fresno County murder


EL MONTE >> Police arrested an alleged rapist also sought in connection with the murder of a Fresno County woman Friday after a neighborhood search that lasted about four hours, officials said.
Kaleo Kealoha Schreiner, 21, of Tracy, was ultimately arrested for rape, possession of a loaded gun in public and resisting police, El Monte police Sgt. Richard Luna said in a written statement.
Police first received a report a woman had been raped about 5:10 a.m. in a residential neighborhood in the 4100 block of Tyler Avenue, the sergeant said. The attacker was reported to still be at the scene of the crime and armed with a handgun.
Police spotted a man matching the suspect description running in the 3800 block of Tyler Avenue and set up a search perimeter, Luna said. West Covina and Arcadia police joined in the search, along with a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department helicopter.
A police K-9 found Schreiner hiding behind a garage in the 3800 block of Esmeralda Ave., officials said.
“The canine bit Schreiner, who resisted the canine and ignored officer’s commands to comply with the arrest,” Luna said. “A bean bag was deployed on Schreiner, who then complied, and was taken into custody.”
Police found a loaded handgun in the area where Schreiner had been hiding, Luna added.
Schreiner has been sought by the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office for more than two weeks as a suspect in the slaying of Megan Troen, 20, of Tracy, whose body was discovered July 30 in the California Aqueduct, near W. Nees Avenue and the 5 Freeway in the Firebaugh area, Fresno County sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
Troen had left her home with Schreiner, an acquaintance of several years, July 20 and was never seen again. Investigators said Troen had a diminished mental capacity.
In the days and weeks that followed, Fresno sheriff’s homicide detectives identified Schreiner as a suspect in the slaying and issued a warrant for his arrent.
Officials took Schreiner suspect to a hospital for treatment prior to booking him into jail, he said.

PHOTO of Kaleo Schreiner courtesy of the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office

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