ALHAMBRA >> One day after a viral cell phone video of an Alhambra man confronting a female package thief in front of his home made the suspect an overnight celebrity, police arrested the woman Friday afternoon, officials said.
Rianna Medina, 20, of Montebello was booked on suspicion of grand theft — a felony — after officers found her about 1 p.m. at a motel in Rosemead, according to Alhambra police Sgt. Jerry Johnson.
“The woman seen in the now-viral video stealing packages from the front porch of an Alhambra home last Tuesday has been arrested.
•Video: Alhambra resident confronts package thief
The arrest was the result of “tips and social media messages and using what can only be described as ‘old-fashion police work,’ the sergeant said. “She was taken into custody without incident.”
Medina is accused of a package theft caught on camera Tuesday when the resident arrived home in the middle of the crime and confronted the suspect with a cell phone camera in-hand.
The video, which was released by police in hopes of generating clues, quickly spread across the nation via the internet.
“If I was you, I’d put those down,” the homeowner tells the woman, who tried to argue that her mother lived at the home, not the resdient.
But the woman dropped the packaged and walked away immediately once the man told her he was calling the police.
Police thanked those who called in tips or provided information via social media, Johnson said.
“The public’s cooperation greatly assisted our detectives in identifying and locating this suspect,” he said. “It is often times difficult to find people who are willing to come forward and share information. We appreciate everyone’s contribution.”
VIDEO/PHOTO/BOOKING PHOTO courtesy of the Alhambra Police Department
INDUSTRY >> Detectives are asking the public’s help in tracking down two men they say stole about $10,000 worth of gold rings from a Jewelry shop inside the Puente Hills Mall shop on St. Patrick’s Day earlier this month.
The crime took place about 4:15 p.m. on march 17 at C & L Jewelry Repair, inside the Puente Hills Mall at 1600 Azusa Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Detective Anthony Peraita said.
One of the two suspect jimmied open the display case with some type of small tool, the detective said. The second suspect tried to keep the store owner distracted as the first suspect prepared to steal the 18 gold rings, some of which contained diamonds, which were valued at about $10,000.
“Suspect No. 1 asked the owner of he could so some cleaning of his personal jewelry,” Peraita said.
“And while (the owner was) doing so, the suspect proceeded to test the display case glass with a pry tool or a coin to see if it would lift up,” the detective said.
Meanwhile, a second suspect entered the store and tried to distract the store owner as the first suspect continued working to pry open the jewelry display case, Peraita said.
The accomplice eventually left the store, and the first suspect asks the owner to clean another piece of jewelry, Peraita said.
“While the owner was in the back of the store, he actually lifted the display case and stole an allotment of jewelry from the store. He then proceeded to put the stolen goods down the front of his pants and exited the store, into the interior of the mall,” he said.
Investigators described the first suspect as a black man between 25 and 30 years old, with black hair with two thick braids, wearing a black or brown button-up shirt and black or dark-colored jeans.
His accomplice was also a black man between 35 and 40, wearing a white T-shirt, a tan hat, tan short and black backpack.
Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s Industry Station at 626-33-3322. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
*Surveillance video courtesy of the LASD.
PASADENA >> Police in Pasadena jailed an identity theft suspect from San Bernardino Thursday after the woman tried to order an Uber ride with a stolen cell phone, authorities said.
The series of event began about 10:30 a.m. when the woman tried to rent a car using a fraudulent credit card and ID at Hertz rentals, 2070 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena police Lt. John Luna said.
The woman ran from the business after being confronted about the attempted fraud by an employee and another customer, the lieutenant said.
She was accompanied by two men as she fled, Luna said. Hertz employees notified police.
Responding officers soon found the two male suspects walking in the area and arrested them, Luna said. The female suspect eluded police, but not for long.
Representatives from the ride-sharing mobile app Uber notified police later in the afternoon that someone was trying to order a ride using a smartphone that had been reported stolen, Luna said.
“Officers responded to the pickup location,” he said. There, at Colorado and San Gabriel boulevards, police encountered the same woman who had fled following the earlier incident less than a mile away at Hertz.
Vanessa Wilson, 23, of San Bernardino was booked on suspicion of identity theft, along with Justin Ryan Kimbro, 25, and Anthony Vincent Flores, 22, both of Loma Linda, according to Pasadena police officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
Wilson and Kimbro were being held in lieu of $50,000 bail each pending their initial court appearances, records show. Flores was being held in lieu of $80,000 bail, records show.
WHITTIER >> In an effort to combat the issue all-too-common crime of bicycle theft, police arrested to alleged thieves who tried to pedal away on bait bicycles left in front of Whittier convenience stores Thursday as part of a sting operation, officials said.
A teenage boy and a man were each arrested without a struggle after they hopped on the seemingly unattended bikes and began riding off, Whittier police Lt. Jay Tatman said.
The first arrest took place about 11:40 a.m. at Circle K, at Beverly Boulevard and Pickering Avenue, Whittier police Lt. Jay Tatman said. The suspect was described as a teenage Whittier boy.
Police arrested a second suspect in the same manner about 4:50 p.m. in front of a 7-Eleven, 12515 Philadelphia Street, the lieutenant said. Arrested was Joseph Martin, 24, of Whittier.
Both suspects were booked on suspicion of possession of stolen property, Tatman said. Martin was released from custody after posting $1,000 bail, records show.
COVINA >> Police are seeking a 50-pound tortoise stolen from a Covina backyard Friday.
The pet reptile — valued at about $450 — was reported missing about 9 p.m. in the 1500 block of East Adams Park Drive, Covina police Lt. Ric Walczak said.
Its owner arrived home to find the side gate leading to the backyard open and the tortoise gone, officials said.
COVINA >> Police are seeking a young woman caught on camera stealing an 85-year-old person’s wallet at a Covina donut shop last week.
The theft took place about 12:45 p.m. on Dec. 4 at Covina Donuts, 1013 N. Grand Ave., Covina police Sgt. Gregg Peterson said.
An 85-year-old woman left her purse in a booth as she spoke with another patron of the shop, police said. She returned to find her wallet, containing about $200 and other personal property, was missing.
A review of security cameras revealed that a young woman had sat at the elderly victim’s booth while she wasn’t looking, removed the wallet from the purse and conceal it beneath her clothes, Peterson said. The thief, as well as another woman who accompanied her, left before the elderly woman noticed the theft.
Police described the woman who snatched the wallet as a Black woman between 20 and 25 years old, about 5 feet 10 inches tall and 150 Pounds. She had short hair.
Her companion was described as a Black woman between 20 and 25 years old, 5 feet 8 inches tall, 160 pounds, with long black hair.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Covina police detectives at 626-384-5620. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
PHOTO/VIDEO courtesy of the Covina Police Department.
WEST COVINA >> Police reached out to the public Saturday for help in tracking down a pair of mail thieves whose crime was caught on camera.
The caper, which was recorded on surveillance cameras, took place about 11:30 a.m. Wednesday in the 400 block of South Hillward Avenue, West Covina police spokesman Rudy Lopez said.
A man and woman arrived at the home in a black or blue, newer-model Ford F-150 pickup truck and pulled into the driveway, Lopez said.
“The female suspect exited the passenger side of the truck, walked to the front porch and removed mail and a package from the porch,” he said. The woman returned to the truck and fled, along with the male driver.
Police described the woman was described as Latina, 20 to 30 years old, 230 to 250 pounds, with brown hair. She wore jeans and a mult-colored top. A further description of the male driver was not available.
With the holiday season approaching, and the influx of package deliveries it brings, police throughout the region warn residents to be cautious of mail and package thieves.
Authorities suggest requiring signatures for valuable deliveries, and having them delivered to a place where someone will be available to receive it.
Anyone with information is asked to call West Covina police at 626-939-8557. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to the department’s 24-hour recorded tip line at 626-939-8688.
WHITTIER >> A probation compliance search Friday led Whittier police to recover a $50,000 bronze statue taken from a Santa Fe Springs, authorities said.
Steven Mercado, 34, was booked on suspicion of possession of stolen property and drug violations following his 8:30 a.m. arrest at a home in the 13800 block of Danbrook Drive, Whittier police officials said in a written statement.
As officers visited Mercado’s home to conduct a probation compliance check, “They contacted Steven Mercado, who was in possession of a stolen bronze statue,” according to the statement.
The statue, which depicts a construction workers, was stolen on July 2, 2015 from the Kiewit construction company., 10704 Shoemaker Ave. in Santa Fe Springs, police said.
“Unfortunately, at the time of the recovery, the statue was in several pieces,” the statement said.
According to county booking records, Mercado was being held in lieu of $20,000 bail pending his initial court appearance.
PHOTO courtesy of the Whittier Police Department
SAN DIMAS >> Two theft suspects led authorities on a chase from San Dimas to Upland before deputies arrested one of the men with help from an armed resident Thursday, officials said.
The incident began about 6:30 p.m. when two men snatched two Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge cell phones from a T-Mobile Store, 738 West Arrow Highway, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Tonya Edwards said. They fled in a car, which deputies soon spotted nearby on the 210 Freeway.
Deputies tried to pull over the car when it exited the freeway in Upland, kicking off a pursuit, she said.
The driver stopped the car and fled on foot in the area of 18th Street and Wilson Avenue, according to the lieutenant. The passenger took the wheel of the car and continued driving.
Deputies, aided by a helicopter overhead, set up a search perimeter in the area, Edwards said. As they closed in on the hiding suspect, he bolted.
An armed resident helped deputies stop and detain the fleeing suspect, she said.
Dajuan Robinson, 30, of San Bernardino was booked on suspicion of grand theft evading police, Edwards said.
The car and the second suspect were not found.
Police recovered the stolen cell phones near the spot where Robinson jumped from the car, Edwards added.