Five robbery suspects have been arrested and will answer to 60 felony counts stemming from multiple armed home invasion robberies — including two that took place in La Cañada last December — that amassed $1 million in losses, sheriff’s officials confirmed Tuesday.
Four adult males and one female were arrested last Thursday by officers from the Palos Verdes Estates Police Department, who worked with assistance from Torrance Police Department personnel to serve multiple search and arrest warrants.
Found during the searches were two firearms, masks, gloves, handcuffs, zip ties, police scanners, walkie-talkies, jewelry, cash and several items connoting gang affiliation.
Crescenta Valley Sheriff Capt. Chris Blasnek said Tuesday the local home invasion robberies that took place in La Cañada’s Flintridge neighborhood on Dec. 12, 2017 and then on the night of New Year’s Eve rocked the community.
“This has weighed heavily on my mind for almost a year now,” said Blasnek, adding that CV Station detectives shared details of the local crimes with various agencies. “[But] we knew with persistence and good detective work we would find a break in the case.”
Arresting detectives worked with a number of agencies in the jurisdictions hit by the crew, including the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department’s Major Crime Bureau and its Burglary-Robbery Task Force.
Thought to be associated with a South Los Angeles gang, the suspects were connected to two home invasion robberies that took place in Palos Verdes Estates on March 2 and July 8 of this year. In both La Cañada Flintridge home invasions, residents were tied up at gunpoint by the suspects, who demanded money and valuables.
In the Dec. 12 robbery, four adult men obtained illegal entry into a home on the 800 block of Inverness Drive, where two victims were tied up as the suspects ransacked the residence, stealing collectibles and electronics. At least one of the men was seen in possession of a firearm, according to reports of the incident.
On New Year’s Eve, at around 8:30 p.m., a woman was outside spraying a pan with Easy-Off cleaner on the porch of her home on the 800 block of Flintridge Avenue when she was approached by a black male adult wearing dark clothing and a ski mask.
With the woman in his custody, the man and two cohorts pushed their way into the house, where they tied up the victim, her husband and adult son. The suspects ransacked the house, stealing the victims’ wallets, some money and a 50-year-old .38 Special revolver, sheriff’s reports indicated.
The suspects are 45-year-old Kelyon Thomas, Janalisa Estrada, 39, Dennis Coleman, 40, and 33-year-old Carlos Cisneros of Los Angeles, all of whom have prior robbery convictions against them, according to a press release issued Tuesday by the Palos Verdes Estates Police Department.
Also arrested last week was 46-year-old Wilmington resident James Carmicle. Evidence connects this robbery crew to a total of eight home invasions committed in La Cañada, Rancho Palos Verdes, La Habra Heights, Playa Del Rey and Palmdale, according to the release.
“It was a collaboration among a lot of agencies,” Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Det. Alan Chu said Tuesday. “Criminals will leave some kind of footprint somewhere, it’s just hard police work that we do. It was definitely a collaborative effort to get these people in custody.”
Blasnek thanked La Cañada residents and city officials for their continued support of the department, and urged citizens to educate themselves about AB-109 and Propositions 47 and 57 — three fairly recent crime reform bills law enforcement officials say have made it harder to detain and prosecute criminals.
“Vote carefully and really look at some of these laws, because we’re really being affected,” Blasnek said. “We need to stand together on this.”