La Cañada Crime: Burglary suspect returns to drugstore, confronts employee

La Cañada

April 10

Petty theft: 4400 block of Rockland Place. A woman reported that someone had stolen a baby stroller from the underground carport of her apartment sometime between 12:30 and 10:30 a.m. that day. She’d seen it the night before, but it was gone the next morning. No one witnessed the theft at the carport, which is shared by tenants of the building.

April 11

Burglary, vehicle: 5500 block of Godbey Drive. A man contacted police after returning from playing golf to find the passenger side window smashed and his wallet missing. The incident occurred sometime between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. The victim said he’d left his wallet on the passenger seat in plain view, and police determined the suspect had broken the window and taken it without needing to open the door. Although the man had a car alarm, he guessed he may have been too far away to hear it sounding. No surveillance cameras were on the property.

Identity theft: 200 block of Mero Lane. A man received notice from the IRS that on Feb. 16, someone had used his information to file state and federal tax returns. An IRS representative advised him to file as a victim of fraud and manually file his tax returns. On March 26, the State Franchise Tax Board told him to fill out a fraud affidavit and make a police report.

Identity theft: 4700 block of Rockland Place. On April 7, a woman learned from a bank that someone had applied for a credit card using her name and Social Security number. Four days later, she received two credit cards in the mail — one of which was opened at a store in Cudahy and another applied for by phone. The victim was advised to contact the three credit reporting agencies.

April 13

Burglary, other structure; vandalism: 4500 block of Hampton Road. A man called police to report the theft from locked storage cabinets at the Valley Water Company, leased by the La Cañada Flintridge Tournament of Roses. Sometime between 3:30 p.m. the day before and 9:30 a.m. that morning, someone had cut padlocks on five cabinets and taken several pieces of heavy equipment, including a welder, power grinders and heavy-duty welding cables. Locks securing another storage building and trailers were cut but undisturbed. The suspect apparently entered through an automatic gate, opening it wide enough for a vehicle. An employee told police a similar incident had occurred in October of 2013. There was no video surveillance, but police ordered a latent fingerprint investigation.

Shoplifting: 2600 block of Foothill Boulevard. A Rite-Aid employee reported an incident occurring at 10:50 a.m. A white man in his 20s, about 5 feet 10 and weighing 160 pounds, walked into the store. When asked if he needed help, he said he was just looking around while his mom shopped nearby. The suspect then held out a cellphone and began talking to himself, saying, “Beep, beep, security scan,” several times. The employee thought it odd, since that’s what managers say over the intercom to intimidate suspected shoplifters. The man didn’t leave and approached the employee five minutes later, asking, “Do you remember me? You put me in prison two years ago because I was using heroin in your bathroom. Thank you,” before walking away. The employee recalled the man from a burglary two years earlier, went into a backroom and cried before calling a manager, who advised her to contact police. Video surveillance helped identify the suspect, who was on a no bail burglary warrant. As he was drinking a Rockstar beverage on the film, a charge of shoplifting was filed.

Possession of methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia; being under the influence of a controlled substance: 500 block of Foothill Boulevard. A business called police at about 7:45 p.m., claiming a Hispanic man with long hair was loitering, talking to bushes and bothering customers. Police arrived and saw the man, in his 30s, sweating profusely and fidgeting while clenching and unclenching his fists. The deputy suspected the man was on some kind of drug and read his pulse at 116 BPM. A records check revealed the suspect was on felony probation with search conditions, so he was arrested. On the way to the station, the deputy noticed the man leaning forward and stopped to conduct a more thorough search, which revealed a white plastic bindle and a glass pipe. Methamphetamine was found in the man’s left sock, and a crystalline substance was observed on the pipe. Additional charges were made, and the evidence was booked into the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station.

Burglary, vehicle: 1900 block of Verdugo Boulevard. A man had been watching a movie and noticed upon his return at 4:30 p.m. the driver’s side door lock had been pushed in by an unknown object. The incident occurred sometime after 3 p.m., when the victim came to his car to retrieve a jacket. The passenger side molding had been peeled away in what police believe was a failed attempt at entry with a slim jim tool. The victim stated several items had been taken, including the stereo, a sports jacket and men’s cologne. Outdoor cameras did not catch the suspect and no witnesses could be located. Police noted a second burglary was reported at the theater, in which a similar method of entry was used on a car parked in the same row, about 30 feet away from the first vehicle.

La Crescenta

April 10

Burglary, residential: 4600 block of Glenwood Avenue. A man told police someone had entered his home by the rear door sometime between 6:30 a.m. and 10 p.m. and had ransacked several rooms in the house, scattering clothes and items throughout. The victim reported nothing had apparently been taken, and no signs of forced entry were observed.

April 11

Brandishing a firearm: 3100 block of Foothill Boulevard. A woman called police after being approached by a 47-year-old man with a gun. The victim had encountered the man earlier that day, when he approached her as she pulled in the driveway of her apartment, then banged on her window and yelled profanities at her. When she exited her car, he continued to yell but went into his apartment. Thinking he was intoxicated, the woman did not call police. Later that day, around 8:55 p.m., the woman heard the sound of a shotgun being “racked” and heard a man yelling.When she looked down into the courtyard, she saw the same man waving a black metallic object. He went to her vehicle and began kicking the tires and pounding on the window, she thought, to entice her from her apartment. The woman and her husband called 911. Two witnesses reported seeing the same thing. Earlier that day, police had talked to the suspect regarding the accidental discharge of a firearm by a woman in his company. It was determined to have been an accident. When police contacted the man that night, he said he’d not been outside, but the victim and witnesses identified him as the man who’d made threats. The suspect was arrested, and a Breathalyzer test showed a .22% blood-alcohol level.

April 12

Identity theft: 3000 block of Gertrude Avenue. A man contacted police after learning that on April 2, someone had opened an account using his name, social security number and address. The victim was advised to submit a copy of a police report, driver’s license and a bill for the account within 14 days to file a fraud claim. The man placed fraud alerts with the main credit bureaus and initiated a credit monitoring service.

Compiled by Sara Cardine

Copyright © 2019, La Cañada Valley Sun
EDITION: California | U.S. & World