La Cañada Crime: Oakwood Avenue home ransacked

La Cañada

March 28

Identity theft: 4500 block of Leata Lane. A woman contacted police to report that sometime between Jan. 15 and March 1, someone had illegally filed her 2013 tax return with the IRS. She received a tax return check, through she had not filed her taxes and hadn't authorized anyone else to do so. She returned the check with an identity theft affidavit to clear her and her husband of wrongdoing.

March 31

Burglary, residential: 4900 block of Oakwood Avenue. Police responded to a house alarm call and arrived to find the front door of the home ajar. Next to the door was a white cloth storage bag containing a black leather purse. Inside the home, the alarm keypad had been ripped out of the wall. There were more purses and personal items on the floor nearby. The first-floor master bedroom and its closets had been ransacked. On the second floor, three bedrooms had been ransacked, with electronic items, including an Apple MacBook Pro and a camera, and jewelry boxes strewn about. In one bedroom, a window was open with the screen missing. Outside that window was a ladder that belonged to the victim, and the missing screen. That window was determined to be the point of entry, with the front door being the exit. The victim was contacted and asked to identify missing items. A print technician arrived to check for fingerprints. No witnesses could be found.

Identity theft: 1800 block of Earlmont Avenue. A woman called police after learning her bank card had been used without her knowledge. She learned of the theft after calling customer service to inquire about funds missing from her account, and was informed of three incidents occurring at two branches in Culver City and Houston, Texas. The bank's fraud department informed her that on March 20, an unknown person arrived at the Culver City bank and requested a debit card replacement for one she'd lost. The suspect produced some identification that was approved by the representative. A new card and PIN number were issued. On March 26, a person entered a Houston bank and withdrew four checks from the victims account. The next day, the same person returned to the bank and ordered cashier's checks. The victim contacted Houston police to report the transactions.

April 4

Theft by credit card: 4700 block of Rosebank Drive. A man contacted police after noticing, during a check on his federal credit union account, two charges had been made. One charge was made at a retail store and the other at a gas station, both on April 2 at about 3 p.m. The victim notified his credit union and filed a fraud claim.

April 6

Burglary, vehicle: 200 block of Foothill Boulevard. A man had parked his locked vehicle in a parking lot from 5:30 to 6 p.m. on April 6. He returned to find his right front passenger window shattered and his wallet gone. The wallet, which contained the victim's license, a debit card, money and a season's pass to Six Flags Magic Mountain, had been left in the center console of his white Toyota Corolla. An orange, plastic goldfish and several other cards had also been taken. While at the location, the police was told by an informant that at about 5:30 p.m., while she was seated in her parked minivan, she saw a male in his 30s, about 5 foot 8 and weighing about 160 pounds with a shaved head and mustache looking into vehicles in the lot. She noticed the suspect backing away from the vehicles whenever someone approached the lot, but lost sight of him and returned from her vehicle to her church. When she came back, the informant noticed the car had been broken into. A search for the suspect was unsuccessful.

April 7

Identity theft: 200 block of Berkshire Avenue. A man called police to report identity theft after learning someone had cashed a check belonging to him without his knowledge. The victim contacted a company on Feb. 12 about money he was owed for a job. An assistant with the company told him a check had been issued and mailed to him on Jan. 18. When the victim contacted his credit union on Feb. 21, the fraud department told him the check had been paid to the order of him, the victim, and deposited in an unknown account on Jan. 21. The victim had no knowledge of that occurring and said he was never in possession of the check.

La Crescenta

March 29

Identity theft: 2800 block of El Caminito Street. A woman contacted police after receiving a letter from the State Franchise Tax Board requesting more information on her electronic tax filing dated Feb. 10. When the woman stated she'd not yet filed her 2013 taxes, she was advised to file a police report and submit a paper tax return request.

March 31

Forgery: 3000 block of El Caminito Street. A woman contacted police to report that during a real estate transaction several years in the making, someone had forged her signature and initials on a subordination agreement stemming from a deed of trust for a La Cañada property. Upon having her forged signature notarized, money was paid out to a certain individual with whom the victim and her husband had recently had a business falling out in regard to the property listed. The victim said she believed that person was responsible for the forgery but had not yet contacted the person about the incident.

Petty theft: 2900 block of Community Avenue. While working as the school resource officer, a deputy was contacted by a student who claimed his wallet had been stolen. The student had placed his wallet in the zippered pocket of his backpack and placed it in his assigned seat before going to work on a project at the back of the classroom. When he returned, his wallet, containing money, a bank card and his school ID, was gone. The officer was unable to locate witnesses to the incident. The student called his bank to report the bank card as stolen.

April 1

Identity theft: 5500 block of Terrace Drive. A woman called police to report that, on Feb. 20, someone had opened a credit account under her name and without her knowledge. She was alerted when she received a credit card in the mail on March 1. She contacted a representative, who told her charges had been made on the account on Feb. 20 in Bellflower and the next day in Carson and the day after that in Cudahy. The charges were reversed and the account closed. The victim was advised to contact the three major credit bureaus and look into an identity protection service.

April 2

Identity theft: 2700 block of Franklin Street. A woman reported that she'd received a voicemail on March 1 from a Visa card finance review asking for approval to open a line of credit at a certain store. Someone had applied for the card using her name, mother's address and phone number. She returned the voicemail to disapprove of the application. On March 10, the victim received a letter thanking her for applying for a Visa card. She called the company to report she'd not applied for the card and was informed that the card had a zero balance. The representative closed the account, and the victim reported the incident to the credit bureaus.

April 3

Vandalism (graffiti): 2900 block of Community Avenue. A deputy working as a school resource officer at Crescenta Valley High School was contacted by a security guard who said that, between 4 p.m. April 2 and 9 a.m. April 3, someone had scribbled graffiti in permanent marker on a second-floor locker. No witnesses could be located, and a custodian and assistant principal were contacted about cleanup.

Vandalism: 2800 block of Foothill Boulevard. A woman told police someone had used an unknown object to scratch her car sometime between 7 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. on March 13 while it was parked on the west side of the Crescenta Valley Library. The scratch continued from the left front wheel well to the rear driver's side door. The officer noted that, on the day of the report, between 7 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. that same woman received a card on her windshield that included an expletive-filled complaint about her parking ability. The victim, who was parked for work at the time, said she had no idea who could have written the note, as she gets along with everyone. Photos of the scratches were taken, and the note was booked into evidence.

Compiled by Sara Cardine

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