Briefly In Public Safety

Police seize 4,000 Ecstasy pills

Laguna Beach and Garden Grove detectives arrested two people in Garden Grove on July 1 after allegedly discovering 4,000 ecstasy pills in their car with an estimated street value of $40,000, Laguna Beach Police Lt. Jason Kravetz said.

One suspect is a 16-year-old from Garden Grove who police allege is a juvenile gang member with ties to a violent group.

The other suspect is identified as 21-year-old Lam Dinh Nguyen of Fountain Valley.

The arrests, in a parking lot in the City of Garden Grove, took place after a monthlong investigation, Kravetz said. The two were arrested on suspicion of the sales, transportation and possession of several thousand Ecstasy pills.

"Ecstasy is one of the most dangerous drugs threatening young people today," Kravetz said. "It is a synthetic chemical which has become one of the easiest types of drugs to obtain. The effects are similar to those of amphetamines and hallucinogens. It is very popular at social events like raves, hip hop parties and concerts."

Kravetz said several Laguna Beach youth have recently been detained for possession of the drug.

Four accused in Montage burglaries

Four men were arrested at 7:45 a.m. today on suspicion of stealing items from unlocked vehicles at the Montage Resort Laguna, Kravetz said.

At 7:30 a.m., security officers at the Montage reported a suspicious-looking Honda Civic on the property, which drove away when the officers approached.

Fifteen minutes later, police officers located the Honda near the resort and stopped the vehicle, which had four young men inside. Police allegedly found items that appeared to have been stolen, including iPhones, iPods, bicycling equipment, Mercedes Benz entertainment headphones, phone chargers, and exercise equipment with an estimated value of $2,500.

According to police, the group had entered a secure parking area and stole items from at least five vehicles. All of the stolen items were recovered, and police are in the process of identifying all of the victims with the assistance of hotel staff, Kravetz said.

Four men—two 19-year-olds from Hacienda Heights, a 19-year-old from Bell and one 18-year-old from San Clemente — were arrested on suspicion of grand theft and conspiracy to commit a criminal act. Both charges are felonies.

Cocaine allegedly found in dashboard

A Santa Ana man was arrested after police allegedly discovered dozens of bags of cocaine in his dashboard at 9:21 a.m. July 1 on Crown Valley Parkway, Kravetz said.

A motorcycle officer pulled over David Arzate Cabrera, 41, and his demeanor led the officer to call for backup, Kravetz said. Suspecting something was in the car, they called for a drug dog, which "hit" on the dashboard area. When it was opened, a secret compartment was discovered with 37 plastic bags of various weights containing cocaine, he said.

Cabrera was taken into custody on suspicion of possession for sales of narcotics, possession of a controlled substance, and using a false compartment to store drugs.

Employee accused of pocketing funds

An employee at a sporting goods store was arrested on suspicion of selling a skateboard for cash and pocketing the money at 4:16 p.m. July 1, Kravetz said.

Kyle Dain Gingerelli, 23, of Mission Viejo, was accused of possessing stolen property and drug charges, after a search by police allegedly turned up a syringe and heroin on him.

Gingerelli is accused of selling a skateboard "under the counter" to a 14-year-old and his mother, who are visiting from Paris. When the mother and son went to pay for the skateboard at the counter, Gingerelli allegedly told them they could buy it for less if they paid cash.

They paid him $170 and left with the skateboard, but then the mother became suspicious about the sale and called the store owner, who called police.

Woman suspected in hit-and-run

A homeless woman was arrested 7:08 p.m. July 1 on suspicion of hit-and-run after police were called to the alternative sleeping location on a report of a disturbance between two guests, Kravetz said. When police arrived, they found a vehicle suspected in an earlier hit-and-run incident the same day at Circle K market on Glenneyre Street.

Debra Jeanne Kronnick, 44, was arrested after it was determined she was the driver of a silver Pontiac that allegedly hit two parked vehicles in the market lot at 5:53 p.m., Kravetz said.

Driver flees after flipping vehicle

Police are seeking the driver of a black Audi that clipped a semi truck southbound South Coast Highway at Anita Street on July 1, Kravetz said.

The car flipped onto its roof and slid 200 feet down the road, coming to rest near Oak Street at 11:47 p.m.

The driver climbed out of the wreckage and ran from the scene. Some witnesses chased him, but lost him around the 1300 block of Glenneyre Street. Police towed the vehicle, which will be held for evidence. Police went to the driver's home in South Orange County, but he was not there, Kravetz added.

Laguna man held in purse theft

A 26-year-old Laguna Beach man was arrested on suspicion of stealing a woman's purse while she was at a bar at 12:35 a.m. Saturday, Kravetz said. The victim found her purse in a trashcan, minus her cellphone and a digital camera totaling $679.

A witness identified Matthew Stephen Smith, 26, as the suspect, and police arrested him after allegedly finding the cellphone and camera in his pockets.

Homeless woman's ring stolen

A homeless woman reported that some of her property, including a ring worth $1 million, were stolen from her purse while she was sleeping in her wheelchair in the Pepper Tree Parking Lot off of Ocean Avenue, Kravetz said.

The ring, a family heirloom, is described as a large round green opal ring with a cluster of diamonds. The report was made 8:43 a.m. Saturday.

Man accused of attempted burglary

Justin Robert Kuehn, 23, of Laguna Niguel was arrested 3:45 a.m. Sunday at a home in the 2000 block of Crestview Drive after police were called to a prowler on the property, Kravetz said.

Kuehn was allegedly trying the back door to gain entry to the home and when police arrived began to fight with them, Kravetz said. He was arrested on suspicion of attempted burglary, resisting arrest and battery on a police officer.

Nothing was stolen from the home, and no residents were injured.

Kids accused of harrassing goats

Police were called to Riddle Field at 4:59 p.m. Sunday, where a group of kids were allegedly chasing around a herd of goats, Kravetz said.

One of the kids was allegedly throwing things at the animals. Four juveniles were detained and released to their parents without any charges.

The goat herder checked the goats and found that none were injured.

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