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Women Nab Suspects : ‘Charlie’s Angels’ Would Be Proud

Times Staff Writer

Not even the most fervid fans of the sexpot detective show “Charlie’s Angels” would classify it as educational television.

But it turns out that 27-year-old Silvia Jimenez learned a neat little police trick from the old show that helped her and her two roommates capture a pair of suspected car clouters early Monday just outside their Pico-Union District apartment house.

Rampart Station watch officer Lt. Ron Dina said Jose Juarez, 24, and Ronnie Perez, about the same age, were booked on suspicion of burglary of an auto, and bail was set at $2,500 each.

Although he doesn’t always approve of citizens personally taking on thieves, Dina said that in this instance it worked out pretty well. “And,” he added, “we can use all the help we can get.”

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As Jimenez, roommates Raquel Terrones, 27, and Teresa Cordova, 31, reconstructed the crime a few hours later, it went something like this:

At about midnight Guillermina Meza, 24, manager of the apartment house at West 11th and Lake streets, heard voices just outside her ground-floor flat. Then there was the sound of glass shattering. “I saw these two guys breaking into Silvia’s car,” she said.

She phoned Jimenez, who lives in a second-floor apartment across the courtyard, and told her what was happening. Jimenez dashed onto the fire escape and saw two men carrying boxes of clothes and toys out of her old Toyota, which was parked at the curb a few feet from Meza’s apartment. “Put the boxes down!” Jimenez shouted in Spanish.

Instead, the two men ran around the corner onto Lake Street and stashed the boxes under another car.

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Meanwhile, Terrones was phoning the Rampart Police Station and Jimenez and Cordova were scampering down the fire escape onto the street.

The two suspects had scurried back to the Jimenez’s car to grab a third box of clothing.

They ran smack into the infuriated young women.

One of the thieves had a three-foot length of broomstick in his hands, Jimenez said.

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In a single swift movement, she wrested the stick away and pushed him up against the wall. Then, grasping the stick with both hands, she held it horizontally and jammed it against his throat, right across the Adam’s apple.

“I learned that from my favorite TV show, ‘Charlie’s Angels,’ ” she said with a smile.

Kept Hanging On

While Jimenez was pressing the makeshift police baton against her suspect, Cordova was grappling with and finally subduing the other one simply by clenching his arm in both hands and hanging on with all her strength.

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By then, Terrones, Meza and her husband were on the sidewalk to offer assistance.

But Jimenez, 5-feet, 5-inches tall and 145 pounds, and Cordova, an inch shorter and five pounds lighter, were doing just fine. The suspects were both about 5-feet-5 and 140 pounds. Jimenez and Cordova were still doing just fine when police arrived about 15 minutes later to take the suspects, shaken but unhurt, into custody.

“No, I was never scared,” Jimenez said. “Defending myself, I am very strong.” Then, with a smile that showed a trace of pride and a touch of ferocity, she added: “I think I will keep the stick for a souvenir.”


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