Briefly In Public Safety

Bank robber suspect photographed

A bank robber dubbed the Ho Hum Bandit hit the U. S. Bank in Laguna Beach for the second time Monday.

Police arrived within two minutes of the call from bank officials, but were unable to find the suspect, who is described as a 5-foot-9 male white of middle build, in his 30s. He was said to be wearing wore blue jeans, a light-colored shirt and a dark golf-style cap.

Police have a picture of the suspect, thought to be the same man who robbed the U.S. Bank June 23, and a Corona del Mar bank twice, according to a news release issued by Laguna Beach Police Lt. Jason Kravetz.

The FBI, which was notified of the robbery and sent agents to assist, believe the suspect may be responsible for several other bank jobs, Kravetz said.

Bank employees said the suspect walked into the bank, approached a teller with a note, claiming he had a weapon and demanding money.

"He threatened that he has a gun, but no one has reported seeing it," Kravetz said.

The teller complied with the robber's demands and gave him an undisclosed amount of cash, Kravetz said.

The suspect was last seen southbound in the alley behind the bank.

No injuries were reported.

For more information or to provide information about the suspect, contact Kravetz at or (949) 497-0307.

DUI checkpoint nets three arrests

Three motorists were arrested on suspicion of drunk driving Saturday night at a checkpoint conducted by Laguna Beach police on South Coast Highway at Vista Del Sol.

The checkpoint was the third held by the department this year.

Police administered 16 field sobriety tests out of the 729 drivers stopped at the checkpoint, according to the news release issued by Lt. Jeff Calvert.

Five drivers suspected of being drunk were arrested at other locations while the check point was being conducted.

Teenage burglary suspect arrested; accomplice sought

A Three Arch Bay man captured a teenage burglar in his home July 21.

The 16-year-old suspect, a resident of Laguna Niguel, was arrested on suspicion of robbery, burglary and assault, and was taken to the Juvenile Detention Center, Kravetz said. A second suspect is being sought.

"The resident awoke and confronted them, while his wife called police," Kravetz said. "He was hit with a bottle of his own alcohol, but he held on. The other suspect fled."

The suspects entered the home through a garage, according to police.

Police found all the missing items, including jewelry and electronic equipment, some of which had been stacked up outside the home. Three mopeds were found in the brush in various locations.

The suspects allegedly also found the keys to the family's vehicles and removed items.

Police determined that the burglars had become familiar with the area after attending parties in a neighboring home while the owners were away.

The party house was vandalized and police contacted the owner..

Man caught with pills, drinking with a juvenile

Police caught a Laguna Beach man and a Laguna Beach teenager allegedly drinking alcohol at midnight July 22 on the stairs behind Broadway Liquor, Kravetz said.

The 17-year-old was turned over to the Border Patrol after police found identification on his person that differed from the name he had given them.

Javier Pioquinto-Vasa, 27, was arrested on suspicion of possession of cocaine and contributing to the delinquency of a minor and taken to Orange County Jail in lieu of $20,000 bail.

Arrested woman tried to pass drugs to a friend

A Huntington Beach woman who was being arrested on suspicion of drunk driving asked her passenger to take her purse, but the request was refused.

Police allegedly found three bags of cocaine in the purse when Blanca Iris Olavarria, 37, was booked at the police station.

She was taken to Orange County Jail in lieu of $20,000 bail.

Heavenly Couture employee arrested

A Laguna Beach woman was arrested July 23 on suspicion of stealing more than $700 from the till at Heavenly Couture.

Abigail Joy Hopton, 21, was arrested when she came to work, Kravetz said.

Videotapes of her allegedly taking the money were submitted by the store owner as evidence.

Hopton was taken to Orange County Jail in lieu of $20,000 bail.

Typo leads to welfare check

Police conducted a welfare check Friday after a woman reported receiving a text from a friend: "Shot my bad."

When the police contacted the texter, she explained she had made a spelling error, hitting an "O" instead of an "I," Kravetz said.

Fire quenched on Fire Road

The Orange County Fire Authority on Friday put out a blaze on the fire road between Top of the World and Arch Beach Heights, assisted by the Laguna Beach Fire Department.

No structures were threatened.

The fire was fully contained at 8:24 p.m., less than two hours after it was first reported.

La Sirena employee arrested

Police arrested Oscar Martinez Santillan, 43, of Lake Forest on suspicion of burglary and embezzlement.

The owner of La Sirena in the Albertson shopping center video taped Santillan allegedly taking food boxes valued at $700 from the restaurant, Kravetz said.

Santillan was taken to Orange County Jail on Tuesday in lieu of bail.

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