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Crime Report: Woman’s car stolen from YMCA lot, then returned to a nearby parking space

Crime Report: Woman’s car stolen from YMCA lot, then returned to a nearby parking space
Crime reports of incidents taking place in La Cañada Flintridge are culled from the press board at the Crescenta Valley Sheriff's Station. (File Photo)

June 22

Mail theft: 1200 block of Flintridge Avenue. A man noticed his mailbox open but empty at about noon. Two hours later, it was still empty, so he contacted the post office. A worker there told him his mail had been delivered to his home prior to noon and added that there had been recent mail thefts on nearby Robin Hill Road.

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June 26

Vehicle burglary, theft by access card: 700 block of Foothill Boulevard. At about 12:30 p.m., a woman started receiving bank alerts of possible fraudulent use of her credit cards. She went to her car, which had been left locked in a parking lot, but with windows cracked open. Her wallet containing her driver’s license and credit cards had been taken from the vehicle. A man working at the location reviewed camera footage that showed someone looking into cars in the parking lot, then using a stick to open the door of the victim’s car and taking her wallet. The manager of a La Crescenta business where one of the victim’s credit cards had been used told a deputy the man who used it was a Latino, 5 feet 8, about 190 pounds, wearing a red shirt, camouflage shorts and white shoes. A large hat and sunglasses blocked a view of his face from the surveillance video at that business, but the store manager recalled the suspect appeared to have a swollen left wrist and was limping.

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June 27

Theft by false pretenses: 4900 block of Alta Canyada Road. A woman believing she had negotiated a loan modification on a property she owns in the Eagle Rock area used her debit card to make a wire transfer in the amount of three months’ worth of mortgage payments, on the instructions of someone who purportedly worked for a legitimate mortgage servicing business. Later, she contacted the firm only to learn that two men she’d spoken to during the negotiations, who identified themselves as Matthew Woods and Dominic Perez, did not work for the company. She contacted her bank to report the fraudulent charge.

June 28

Petty theft: 600 block of Foothill Boulevard. A woman’s handbag, containing her wallet with checkbook and personal identification, was stolen on June 19 after she made a grocery store purchase. She said she stopped to peruse a magazine rack at the front of the store immediately after buying her groceries and before loading them into her car. It wasn’t until the next day that she realized her purse was missing and she believes it was stolen while she was looking at the magazines the day before. At that time she reported to her bank the missing checkbook. She didn’t think then that there was anything else valuable in it, but days later realized that since her driver’s license and Social Security card were also in the stolen wallet she should make a police report.

June 29

Grand theft, vehicle, and petty theft: 1900 block of Foothill Boulevard (the Crescenta-Cañada YMCA). A woman reported that at 11:10 a.m. she parked and locked her 2001 Toyota Corolla in the east parking lot at the facility before going inside for a workout. She returned to the locker room about an hour later to retrieve a towel from her gym bag, then went back to work out. When she went to the locker room again at about 1 p.m., she found her locker wide open. Her gym bag and lock were not there. Searching around the room for a few minutes, she found her gym bag in a different locker, but her car and house keys, driver’s license and vehicle license card were gone. She went out to the parking lot where she’d left her car, but it wasn’t there. Returning to the Y’s front desk, she advised a manager of the thefts. Together, they went out to the lot and this time found the victim’s car, which had been backed into a different parking place than where she’d left it. Video surveillance showed that at about 12:55 p.m. a white woman with blond hair, approximately 40 to 45 years old, 160 to 170 pounds, wearing a sleeveless white blouse, torn blue jeans and white shoes, exited the Y and walked toward the east parking lot. After a few minutes of roaming through the lot, the suspect entered the victim’s car and drove away. The law enforcement report states “Due to the angle of the parking lot cameras we were not able to determine if the suspect was the same one who returned the vehicle to the lot.”

June 30

Unauthorized use of an access card: 4700 block of Viro Road. A woman reported that she went shopping at two businesses on the 400 block of Foothill Boulevard and at the second location, she realized her wallet, containing her driver’s license, blank checks, a debit card, a credit card and currency were missing. She went to the Bank of America where she learned her debit card had been used at the Vons in Montrose and, shortly thereafter, at a Ralphs in Sunland. The victim then contacted her credit union, learning from a representative there that her card had been declined at a Vons in La Crescenta and at an unspecified Ralphs. A deputy investigating the crime contacted a Ralphs in La Crescenta and was told an adult female Latina, about 4 feet 6, had entered the store twice, an hour apart, and tried to buy gift cards, but the card she was using was declined both times. A manager at the Tujunga Vons said two adult Latinas bought gift cards at about 1:26 p.m. A manager at the Tujunga Ralphs said two females tried to use self checkout to buy gift cards but left them underneath the checkout counter before leaving the store.

July 1

Identity theft: 2100 block of La Cañada Boulevard. A man received an email from Chase Bank advising him that a new authorized user, a “Ramona Martinez,” had been added to his Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards account. He contact the bank’s fraud department, as he had not requested a new authorized user on his account. He was told the only way anyone could add a new authorized user was to provide the full account number along with the account holder’s name, birthdate and Social Security number. He closed the account.

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