Crime Report: Burglars target Christmas presents, man nearly run over by contractor in dispute over bad work

Crime reports this month so far include burglaries and an assault with a deadly weapon.
(Hand In / La Canada Valley Sun)

Dec. 1

Identity theft: 2100 block of La Cañada Crest Drive. A woman reported receiving in the mail a Disney Visa card she hadn’t requested. The card listed her married name on it, though she’d recently changed her surname back to her maiden name. She contacted the credit card company to cancel the fraudulent account.

Dec. 4

Assault with a deadly weapon, vehicle: 4700 block of Lasheart Drive. A man told deputies that around 12:33 p.m. that day, he was nearly run over by a white Toyota Tundra pickup truck driven by a man he’d hired to do stucco work at his residence in March and was trying to sue. The man explained he’d paid the suspect lump sums of money for the work and had agreed to pay the remainder upon its completion. But he became dissatisfied with the stucco when it began to peel and demanded the suspect repair it. The suspect said he’d fix the damage, but never came back, so the victim pursued legal action. The victim had been trying to serve papers to the suspect since August, but was unsuccessful. On Dec. 4 the victim was doing yardwork when a young blond female approached him and served him court documents. He followed her out into the street and saw her get into the Toyota Tundra. He went out into the street and took out his phone to photograph the truck’s license plate. The truck began to head toward him, traveling south on Lasheart. With the truck about 10 feet away and approaching, the man jumped out of the street. The victim called the suspect, who’d been driving the truck, and asked him why he almost ran him over. The suspect allegedly told him he’d driven toward him so the man could get a better picture of his license plate.

Dec. 6

Burglary, residence: 4200 block of Beulah Drive. A man was conducting a fire insurance inspection of a residence on Beulah Drive at around 11:24 a.m. when he heard noises coming from the rear yard of a nearby home. As he approached, he heard a security alarm going off inside the residence. Positioning himself in an opening of some hedges separating the two homes, he saw two Latino males wearing dark hooded sweatshirts run from the home toward Beulah. The witness approached the driveway and saw the suspects enter a white Mazda sedan with paper plates. He did not see the men inside the home, nor did he see them carrying any items. The homeowner, who’d returned by the time deputies arrived, said she’d left the property at around 9 a.m. that day. When she returned at 11:26 a.m., she received notification from her alarm company that an interior motion detector was activated. Inside, the office and space bedroom had been ransacked, their closets and drawers opened. The point of entry and exit was determined to be a broken sliding glass door off of the living room. The victim said no items appeared to be missing and that the suspect seemed to have rooted through the Christmas presents she’d been keeping in the closets.

Dec. 10

Grand theft: 4500 block of Palm Drive. A woman told deputies she’d visited the Craigslist website at around 7:35 a.m. that day to find tickets to the show “Hamilton” available in Los Angeles. She texted a man who’d posted tickets at a good price, requesting two. He sent a photo to her of two tickets, and she called him and asked if he had a Bank of America account into which she could transfer the money. The young man said his girlfriend had an account and provided the victim with her email address. At around 12:53 p.m., the woman transferred the amount (redacted from the report). She later texted the man and called him several times but received no response. She called her bank and learned the total amount went through two times. The tickets were never transferred to her through ticket provider Live Nation.

Petty thefts, unlocked vehicles: Three incidents occurred in the same vicinity between 3:30 p.m. on Dec. 9 and 8:15 a.m. Dec. 10, according to the sheriff’s reports. A 2015 Toyota Prius parked on the 900 block of Big Briar Way was discovered with its rear hatch and rear passenger side door open. A Porter Cable vacuum had been taken from the rear compartment, while the vehicle’s registration, proof of insurance and an unspecified amount of “emergency money” were missing from the glove compartment. A woman living on the 1000 block of White Deer Drive reported leaving her unlocked 2011 Mercury Grand Marquis across the street from her home at 3:30 p.m. the day before. The car’s locking mechanism was not working at the time. When she returned at around 8:15 a.m. that day, she noticed a pair of gold Ray-Ban sunglasses, a Garmin GPS device and the vehicle’s back-up camera were missing from inside. In the third incident, a man told deputies he’d parked his 1987 BMW 325e in front of his residence at around 6 p.m. the day before. When he returned at around 8:15 a.m., he noticed the car’s hood had been popped open. A blue tackle box containing two cordless power drills was taken from the back seat. Numerous other small items, such as drill bits, were also taken. The victim said he believes the suspect(s) had attempted to remove the battery from underneath the hood but may have been unaware of how it was mounted. Sheriff’s reports indicate at least one other vehicle in the area was similarly entered illegally, but no additional reports were made available at press time.

Compiled by Sara Cardine

Twitter: @SaraCardine