School computer used for alleged gambling

A Laguna Beach High school student, a minor, was reported to be using a school computer to play poker on a gambling website, Sgt. Darin Lenyi said.

School officials discovered the gambling and called police to report the allegation at 9:39 a.m. Sept. 27. The boy’s parents were summoned.

The boy told police the alleged poker-playing was financed by gift cards and credit cards.


Suspect calls, demands cash from bank

A phone-in bank robber failed to obtain cash from the Bank of America in downtown Laguna Beach on Sept. 25, Sgt. Darin Lenyi said.

An unknown suspect allegedly called the bank at 12:35 p.m. demanding that money be placed outside. Bank officials did not comply and instead called police.

The phone-in method of bank robbery has been used in South Orange County recently, Lenyi said.


“In other robberies, a threat was made, money was put outside the bank and a motorcyclist was observed picking up the cash,” Lenyi said.

Cyclist struck on Laguna Canyon Road

A 58-year-old Newport Beach woman was struck from behind by a pickup truck while riding a bicycle in the bike lane on Laguna Canyon Road east of the 73 Toll Road about 5 p.m. Oct. 1, Laguna Beach Police Sgt. Bob Rahaeuser said.

The cyclist, Sandra Ann Grim, sustained head injuries after being thrown about 140 feet in the accident, according to police. The truck then veered off the road and overturned.

The driver, Winston James Elbert, 32, of Santa Ana, and a 30-year-old woman passenger were also seriously injured and all three persons were taken to Mission Hospital trauma center. The passenger was removed from the vehicle by fire personnel.

“The injuries were serious but not life-threatening,” Rahaeuser said. The pickup truck had apparently swerved into the bike lane for an undetermined reason, he added.

The accident is under investigation and police are awaiting the results of blood tests on the driver, but there is no indication at this time that the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, Sgt. Jason Kravetz said.

Fire prevention week includes firehouse tours


The Laguna Beach Fire Department will participate in Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 7-13, with tours of all the city fire stations.

“Our focus this year is to spread the word that establishing a home fire escape plan is only half of the package; practicing your home fire escape plan is the other essential element of planning that needs to be put into action,” Fire Cpt. Dan Stefano said. “It is absolutely imperative that everyone living in the home practices the plan. You can have as little as two minutes to get out when fire strikes.”

Tours of the city’s four stations will take place Oct. 13, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The fire stations are at:

 501 Forest Ave.;

 285 Agate St.;

 2900 Alta Laguna Blvd.; and

 31646 Second Ave., South Laguna.


Throughout the month of October, the department will be making efforts to increase awareness for fire safety, with fire drills and firefighting demonstrations at local schools.

For more information, call (949) 497-0700.