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Crime Report: Series of speedy in-and-out burglaries in La Cañada this week, including one ‘hot prowl’

Crime Report: Series of speedy in-and-out burglaries in La Cañada this week, including one ‘hot prowl’
Crimes in early May included grand theft, petty theft, burglary, identity theft, vehicle burglary, theft by access card, theft of vehicle parts, forgery and vehicle tampering. (File Photo)

May 4

Grand theft: 2700 block of Los Olivos Street, La Crescenta. Someone stole the catalytic converter from a 2008 Honda Element that had been left parked on the street overnight May 3-4.

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May 6

Petty theft: 4400 block of Indiana Avenue, La Cañada. A man reported someone took a package containing a special effects fogger machine that had been delivered to his front porch on May 2.

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May 7

Grand theft: 900 block of Foothill Boulevard, La Cañada. Shortly after 2 p.m. a woman shopping for home goods was approached by a white, mumbling man wearing a baseball cap who was making hand gestures that suggested eating food. While distracted by his actions, the woman had her back to her shopping cart where her purse was sitting unattended. When she returned to the cart she found her purse open, her wallet missing and a Latina walking quickly away from the cart. Both suspects were believed to be around 30 years old.

Burglary (shoplifting): 2600 block of Foothill Boulevard, La Crescenta. At about 7:45 p.m. a cashier saw a woman push a grocery cart full of goods out of the store without paying for them. The suspect was followed out the door by the employee who told her she had to return to pay for the merchandise. The suspect — described as black, in her 30s and with her hair styled in two pony tails — climbed into a silver Mitsubishi and drove off, leaving behind the full grocery cart.

May 8

Petty theft: 3000 block of Prospect Avenue, La Crescenta. Video surveillance shows that at 3:43 a.m. that day a male wearing a hoodie got out of the passenger side of a white SUV, then approached and entered a 2017 Toyota Highlander that had been left parked unlocked overnight at a residence. The Highlander’s owner found his vehicle ransacked and a pair of sunglasses missing from it.

Identity theft: 2300 block of Del Mar Road, Montrose. A woman reported she discovered someone had made charges against her Macy’s account on April 26 and April 28. She contacted Macy’s and was issued a new card with new numbers on it. Someone then used that new card on April 29 to make an additional purchase. The victim also learned that someone on April 28 had used her Banana Republic credit card to make a purchase at an Old Navy store and that someone had tried to open a credit card account in her name with Comenity Capital Bank, also in April. She said she did not fill out any credit applications, has all her credit cards in her possession and did not authorize anyone else to use them.

Vehicle burglary and theft by access card: 2300 block of Foothill Boulevard, La Cañada. A woman who left her Louis Vuitton purse inside her locked 2017 Lexus RX350 while she visited a store between 6 and 9:30 p.m. returned to it to find the rear passenger door window shattered and her purse gone. She recalled that at 7:56 p.m. she received an alert from Chase Bank asking if she’d made a transaction at a CVS store and she responded she had not. Surveillance footage from a nearby business shows that at 6:44 p.m. a black four-door vehicle drove through the lot where the Lexus had been parked and then shows two people approaching it on foot.

May 9

Burglary: 1000 block of Green Lane, La Cañada. A man who stepped outside his house at about 11:15 a.m. to wait for a contractor saw a silver four-door sedan parked at the curb just west of the house across the street from his. He then spotted a man wearing a backpack casing the residence, peering through its garage window, then moving to the side of the home and jumping a gate. The witness hid behind some bushes and called 911 to report a crime in progress. While still on the phone, he saw the original suspect exit the house through the front door with another man, both appearing to drag items out with them. The suspects, both described as black, then got into the waiting vehicle that was driven toward Angeles Crest Highway. The man who lives at the burglarized residence arrived home at 11:45 a.m., having received a notice at 11:21 a.m. via a doorbell security app that a man wearing a black hooded sweatshirt was at his front door. The victim set off a panic alarm from the app and headed home. There he found the sliding glass door to the master bedroom had been shattered and a Honeywell safe had been stolen. Inside it had been four luxury brand women’s watches, a diamond wedding ring and other miscellaneous pieces of men and women’s jewelry.

May 10

Theft of vehicle parts: 2900 block of Alabama Street, La Crescenta. A catalytic converter was stolen from a 2007 Honda Element that had been left parked on the street overnight May 9-10.

“Hot prowl” burglary: 500 block of Meadowview Drive, La Cañada. A woman who woke up at about 7:30 a.m. said she walked through her home looking for her cat when she discovered someone had shattered the sliding glass door leading from the yard into her home office. Nothing appeared to have been taken. Her home’s video security system captured footage that shows a 2019 Jeep Compass passing by her home at 6:25 that morning. Two minutes later, it passed by again, then parked on the street. A man and a woman got out of the Jeep’s passenger side and ran toward the victim’s home, and the Jeep was driven out of view. The footage then shows that between 6:30 and 6:35 the intruders paced the backyard, looking into windows. At 6:36 a.m. the man crouched down, placed something, maybe a window punch, against the slider and shattered its glass. At 6:38 a.m., he’s seen talking on a phone using white headphones, still crouched. At 6:40 a.m., he used a door mat to knock out the shattered glass and entered the home, followed by the woman. About 30 seconds later something spooked them and they ran out the door toward the street, apparently empty-handed. Their accomplice driving the vehicle stopped it in front of the victim’s home, picked them up and drove out of view. The male burglary suspect wore a black hooded sweatshirt, black ski mask, black sweatpants, burgundy and white tennis shoes, black gloves and a tan fanny pack. The female also wore a black hooded sweatshirt , black sweatpants and black gloves, but her shoes were bright red.

Burglary: 300 block of Starlight Crest Drive, La Cañada. A woman who was gone from her home between 9:05 and 9:30 a.m. returned to it to discover someone had shattered the slider in the master bedroom, then ransacked that room, the master bathroom and closet. Gone were a wooden jewelry box, a diamond tennis bracelet, a diamond solitaire ring, a pillow case and a safe that she said had nothing of value in it.

Forgery: 300 block of Santa Inez Way, La Cañada. A woman reported that an envelope containing a check that she’d dropped into a South Pasadena mailbox on April 21 for pick-up never made it to its intended recipient. Instead someone else altered it and attempted to cash it at one bank but was turned away, then successfully deposited it at another bank.

May 11

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Vehicle tampering: 3100 block of Cloudcrest Road, La Crescenta. A man who had left his 2006 Toyota Highlander parked unlocked in a carport overnight found it ransacked the next day, but nothing was missing. Video footage shows a white male wearing camouflage pants and a white shirt approaching the victim’s carport area at 2:20 a.m.

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May 13

Forgery and filing forged documents with a government agency: 4200 block of Beulah Drive, La Cañada. A man who placed the La Cañada property into a trust with his brother as a trustee reported he returned home after a vacation to find among pieces of accumulated mail a letter from the Los Angeles County Recorder’s Office addressed to a man who does not live there (the name is redacted from the report). He opened the envelope to find a quitclaim deed, title document and notarized letter all stating the suspect was the new title/deed owner of the property. The documents had been filed and recorded with the county on April 15. The quitclaim deed stated the victim (the informant’s brother) had transferred the property’s title to the suspect on Feb. 11 as the authorized trustee and the deed appeared to be signed by the victim. The notarized letter had a notarized stamp from the state of Texas and stated the victim had personally appeared before the notary public on Feb. 11. The informant spoke to his brother who told him he had never signed any paperwork to transfer the title of the home. He maintained the signature purported to be his was a forgery. The victim confirmed those statements to the deputy taking the crime report and said he’d never given his personal identification to anyone, nor did he appear before a notary public in Texas. The County Registrar’s office advised the informant to file a police report.

Compiled from reports filed at the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station.

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