Briefly In Public Safety

‘Sleeper’ arrested in meth case

A Santa Barbara man was arrested on suspicion of methamphetamine possession after he was approached by a Border Patrol agent while asleep in his vehicle at 1:03 a.m. May 13 in the 30000 block of Monterey Street, Laguna Beach Police Lt. Jason Kravetz said.

The man opened the driver’s side door of his vehicle and allegedly dropped a baggie of methamphetamine on the ground, Kravetz said. Inside the car, officers allegedly found a pipe with methamphetamine inside of it.

Laguna Beach police made the arrest.


Woman conned by phony grandson

A Laguna Beach woman told police May 14 that she was scammed by a caller who claimed to be her grandson and said he had been arrested for drunk driving in Quebec, Canada, Kravetz said. The man said he needed bail money and his attorney would be calling her. A man then called claiming to be the attorney and instructed the woman to wire $2,700 to the attorney in Quebec. She went to Western Union and completed the transfer.

“When the ‘grandson’ called back and requested additional money to fly back home, the victim’s daughter answered and realized this was a fraud," Kravetz said. “We took a report and forwarded it to the FBI."

Checks duplicated and cashed


A Laguna Beach man reported at noon May 14 that two of his checks had apparently been duplicated and used for large purchases at discount stores, Kravetz said. The victim was checking his bank account and saw two checks which he didn’t write. One was issued to Wal-Mart for $1,257 and the second was to Kmart for $1,668. The victim still had the checks in his possession. An unknown suspect made fake checks and passed them at these two stores, Kravetz said.

Two sought in theft, assault

Laguna Beach police are seeking two suspects who allegedly stole a backpack from a 14-year-old boy at 3:56 p.m. Saturday in the parking lot at Mission Hospital Laguna Beach, and then allegedly assaulted the youth, Kravetz said.

The boy and his friend, also 14, were on their way to the beach when a man allegedly came up and grabbed the backpack from where it was sitting on the ground.

The victim chased the man to a bus bench on Coast Highway, and demanded the backpack be returned, whereupon the suspect allegedly threatened him and punched him in the face and upper torso, Kravetz said. The second boy then approached and a second suspect appeared and allegedly threatened to punch that boy, Kravetz said.

The two men, who fled with the backpack, are described as 6 feet to 6 feet, 2 inches, and 200 to 240 pounds.

The backpack contained a pair of board shorts and a wetsuit, valued at $245. The boy did not require medical treatment.

Camera allegedly stolen from home


A Laguna Beach resident suspects that a $200 digital camera was stolen by a carpet-cleaning company, Kravetz said. She reported at 10:36 a.m. Monday that the two employees showed up to her home on Baja Street and cleaned the carpets. When they left, she noticed her camera was missing.

DUI checkpoint Memorial weekend

The Laguna Beach Police Department will be conducting a DUI/drivers license checkpoint from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. May 29, the second of four planned checkpoints this year, Kravetz said.

“This DUI/drivers license checkpoint is part of a concerted effort to reduce these tragedies, while ensuring that only licensed driver’s are operating motor vehicles. Checkpoints are proven and effective methods for achieving this goal," Kravetz said. “By publicizing these enforcement and educational efforts, the Laguna Beach Police Department believes motorists can be deterred from drinking and driving."

Funding is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.