Crime Time: Indoor Pot Farming, Bandits on Bikes, Satellite Surveillance Pleas, Teen-on-Teen Stabbings and a Whole Lotta Armed Robberies
It's the Weekly's weekly round-up of local crimes and police calls--now with waaaaaay more armed robberies, bike-riding/-taking bandits and indoor pot busts.
MONDAY, NOV. 16
Wee Hour Party Goes to Pot During a party in a home in the 700 block of Maplewood Avenue in Fullerton, a resident whipped out a .22 caliber rifle, pointed it at partygoers and shot two to three rounds into the carpet. They ran outside and called police, who arrived around 4:30 a.m. to discover the man had not picked an inopportune time to remodel, but that he was snockered. But he wasn't so intoxicated that he would not surrender to cops, who did a little more snooping around and discovered a marijuana-growing operation. Wesley Dennis, 30, was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon. No word on whether the indoor farm will harvest additional charges.
TUESDAY, NOV. 17
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Talk About Targeting the Wrong House An off-duty FBI agent confronted confronted several men breaking into his Yorba Linda garage around 2 a.m., struggled with one would-be burglar and chased and fired rounds from his service revolver at the fleeing men, hitting none. They were seen jumping into a champagne-colored pickup, which was later found two miles from the house. Additional evidence led to the arrests of Jeffery Michael Drach, 20, and Macario Alonzo Arenas, 18, both of Yorba Linda, and Justin Wesley Case, 20, of Placentia, on suspicion of burglary and assault with a deadly weapon. A fourth, unnamed suspect was also being sought.
No Guns, One Error Workers called police this afternoon from inside the city of Santa Ana maintenance yard's administrative building to report a man armed with a long gun was about the downtown property. The building was locked down and nearby streets were searched for hours, but no gunman was found. Meanwhile, a Santa Ana police SWAT officer was accidentally shot in the foot by one of his colleagues during the search--hey, hey, cut out those jokes about Barney Fife being on the SAPD force! (For one thing, Andy doesn't let Barney have any bullets.) The workers were stuck in the building for five hours before given the all-clear to leave.
Stop and Stab A man was walking near Main Street and Santa Ana Boulevard in Santa Ana just before 6:30 p.m. when he was approached by three men yelling at him in Spanish. The walker no speak-a de spinach, but he soon figured out through the international language of "Knifepulledonya" that he was being robbed. He handed the dudes his wallet, and one them plunged the blade into him as a deposit slip. Police who later arrived on the scene had the victim rushed to a hospital, where he was expected to recover. His attackers were described as being in their early 20s and at least two had black spiky hair and were wearing dark clothing.
At Least They Got the Books Back A couple were walking near a bike trail in the 1300 block of South Maple Street in Santa Ana just before 8 p.m. when two men and a woman approached demanding they hand over their belongings. Though no weapon was seen, the couple was told they would be shot if they did not comply. The robbers got a backpack filled with an iPod, a cell phone and books, which were later recovered. The female bandit was described as 18-19, 5 feet 3 and wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt. One man was Latino, 20ish, 5 feet to 5 feet 5, 110 pounds and wearing a black sweatshirt. The other guy was also Latino, 20-25, 5 feet 8, 225 pounds and wearing a white sweatshirt.
Store and Clerk Victimized A man with a knife demanded money from the clerk at Newport Gasoline, 14391 Newport Ave., Tustin, this evening. He got away with $600 from the business and the wallet and mobile phone of the clerk. The robber was described as wearing blue shorts, a gray hoodie and a white baseball cap.
Mini-Crime Spree Spoiled The clerk at 7-Eleven, 2222 W. Commonwealth Ave., Fullerton, was robbed at gunpoint just before 11 p.m. Twenty minutes later, an armed robbery was reported at 5-Twelve food store, 338 N. Euclid St., Fullerton. Then, around 11:30 p.m., a La Habra police officer patrolling the area near Mel's Liquor King, 141 E. Imperial Hwy., spotted a man going into the store wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt. Just as quickly, the man bolted out of the store, and the officer detained him at gunpoint. The suspect had a gun and about $200 on him, according to police, who identified the alleged robber as Brian Gibney, 20, of La Habra. Officers put 7-Eleven and 5-Twelve together, and figured Gibney was the gunman in all three heists. But that was not all, for around 1:15 a.m. Nov. 18 officers searching the areas of the crimes found a gold Toyota Camry they believed was the getaway car, $400 believed to have been taken earlier in the night and the alleged getaway driver: Leonard Edwards, 25, of Fullerton. He was arrested on suspicion of being an accessory to armed robbery.
WEDNEDSDAY, NOV. 18
Teen-on-Teen Crime Four kids jumped a 16-year-old boy and repeatedly stabbed him in the upper torso some time before noon near Maple Elementary School in the 200 block of East Valencia Drive in Fullerton. The juvies then jumped into a four-door black Honda Civic that was seen zooming west on Ash Avenue toward Harbor Boulevard. Officers arrived to find the lad lying in the breezeway of a nearby duplex before he was taken to UCI Medical Center.
That Deserves an Oorah! A Marine who had parked his 2006 Jeep Wrangler near Slater Avenue and San Mateo Street in Fountain Valley around 11 p.m. Tuesday returned to it at 3:30 p.m. today to discover someone removed part of the soft top to get into the car and take his dress uniforms, service awards, medals and other items worth about $600. Marine Cpl. Christopher Erwin, 29, of the 2nd Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment at Camp Pendleton was in town visiting his sister, and Fountain Valley Police Department employees felt so bad about the crime they took up a collection and presented him $600 when he came to pick up the police report.
The Purse Didn't Even Match His Shoes A 39-year-old woman was walking in the 600 block of East Fifth Street in Santa Ana around 6:40 p.m. when she was approached by two men, one of whom whipped out a black handgun and demanded she had over her purse. The robbers got it--and the $200 and cell phone inside--before running west on Fifth. The gunman was described as Latino, 18-20, 5 feet 7, 190 pounds with a shaved head. His partner was 18-20 with a shaved head.
Another Purse-Shoes Mismatch A 48-year-old woman was walking in the 400 block of West Fourth Street in Santa Ana around 8 p.m. when a man came up behind her and pushed her to the ground. He then took her purse containing $100 and jumped into a black Mustang convertible. He was described as Latino, 20-29, 5 feet 8 to 5 feet 10, 140-160 pounds with black hair and a thin mustache and wearing jeans and a gray shirt.
Let's Make It Three-For-Three in Santa Ana Robberies A 28-year-old Santa Ana man was sitting in his car in the 2000 block of West Wakeham Place in Santa Ana around 9:30 p.m. when a man got out of an older model brown SUV while a second man stayed inside. The first man was wearing sunglasses and a black bandana over his face (never a good sign at 9:30 at night) and packing--pulling out a black handgun and demanding the victim hand over his wallet and keys. He fled with a measely $10 and was described as Latino, 25-35, 5 feet 10 and 160-170 pounds. Besides the shades and bandana, he wore jeans and a dark hooded sweatshirt.
THURSDAY, NOV. 19
Would You Prefer Lemon-Lime, Beach Breeze or New Car Smell, Honey? Sheriff's deputies received a distressing call just before 4 a.m. from a woman in the 26300 block of Towne Centre Drive in Lake Forest: she reported her boyfriend sprayed her with air freshener. Michael Roy, 22, was later arrested on suspicion of domestic violence.
Yet Another Santa Ana Purse Napping A 63-year-old woman was walking in the 1400 block of West Edinger Avenue in Santa Ana to her restaurant job around 5:30 a.m. when she was approached by a man holding a handgun. He grabbed her purse, a struggle ensued and the woman was knocked to the ground, although she was unharmed. He ran off with the purse containing a pitiful $5, meaning the crime certainly wasn't worth the time he'll get once caught. Genius was described as Latino, 20-25, 5 feet 4 to 5 feet 6, 140-160 pounds with black hair and wearing black clothing.
Um, Yeah, We'll Get Right On That, Ma'am A woman hiding in the upstairs of her home in the 21700 block of Lake Vista Drive in Lake Forest called sheriff's deputies just after 2 p.m. to report having heard her sliding door being opened and strange noises downstairs. Deputies arrived, did a thorough search but found no intruders nor any signs anyone had come in. The frightened resident then asked deputies to "Google Earth" her house and keep it under satellite surveillance overnight.
Appearances Are Not What They Seem Police responding to a possible child endangerment call from Child Protective Services went to a home in the 15500 block of Tustin Village Way in Tustin around 3:30 p.m. Initial reports had more than a dozen plants growing in the room of a 1-year-old child who was later placed in protective custody at Orangewood Children's Home. Meanwhile, the tot's parents were arrested on suspicion of child endangerment and forced to spend the weekend in jail. But they were later released after it was discovered the couple was authorized to grow medical marijuana under California's Compassionate Use Act. And all those plants? Cops conceded there was just one in a small pot on a window sill. Anyone smell a wrongful arrest suit?
Lost His Wallet, Phone and Bike A 21-year-old Orange man was riding his bicycle in the 2600 block of North Grand Avenue in Santa Ana around 7:30 p.m. when two men blocked his path and asked him where he was from. They then demanded his wallet and one of them punched him in the mouth before the bicyclist fell to the ground. Besides his wallet, the pair made off with his bike and cell phone. One robber was described as Latino, 17-18, 5 feet 5, 160 pounds with black shaved hair and wearing a black sweatshirt. His partner was Latino, 17-18, 5 feet 7, 170 pounds with black shaved hair and wearing a white T-shirt.
FRIDAY, NOV. 20
Ride and Rob--and Arrested A man hiding in the dark in the 1000 block of North Main Street in Santa Ana grabbed another man by the shirt and simulated he had a gun just after 12:30 a.m. The victim pulled himself away and dialed 9-1-1 on his cell phone. Meanwhile, the robber rode off on a bike, but police arrested a man minutes later at Main and Walnut Street they believe is their man. Alejandro Gutierrez, 19, of Santa Ana, was arrested on suspicion of attempted robbery.
Donations Safe, Box Holding Them Not So Much Police responding to a silent alarm at the Islamic Educational Center of Orange County, 3194-B Airport Loop Dr., Costa Mesa, around 12:40 a.m. discovered the wooden donation box had been pried open and damaged, but nothing inside was taken. The same facility suffered a burglary about a year ago.
You Want Fries With That? When an employees went outside to empty the trash at the Burger King at 1201 S. Anaheim Blvd., Anaheim, around 1:30 a.m., a man with a shotgun ordered him back inside to open the safe, speaking in English and Spanish. He got away with what police only described as a significant amount of cash. He was described as Latino, 25-30, 5 feet 5 to 5 feet 6, with a medium build, a shaved head and wearing a beanie cap and a white and blue stripped shirt.
SATURDAY, NOV. 21
Knock-Knock A man knocked on the door of a home on Cellini in Aliso Viejo just before 4 p.m. and started calling the resident who answered names and "looking like he wanted to kill" the resident, who managed to chase the stranger away. He was described as wearing Bermuda shorts and a black shirt.
SUNDAY, NOV. 22
Stab in the Dark A 28-year-old man was visiting a friend who resides in the 100 block of
Taken For a Ride A woman called authorities around 5:30 p.m. to say a paraglider crashed into the ocean off 36th Street in Newport Beach. After the U.S. Coast Guard launched an extensive search with a whole bunch of expensive-to-operate resources, the search was called off. Why? Because the woman was now saying she'd heard about the paraglider secondhand from some surfers, and authorities--who had never heard from any friends or family members of the supposed missing man--determined it was a false report.
Designated Driver's Day Off? Two cars collided just before 9 p.m. at Walnut and The Mall in Mission Viejo. Responding officers discovered one driver--Elizabeth Jenkins, 55, of Mission Viejo--had been drinking earlier in the evening and arrested her on suspicion of DUI.Two people in the other vehicle complained of back pain, but no one was hospitalized.
Ride-By Shooting After being called around 10:30 p.m. to the 1600 block of South Evergreen Street in Santa Ana about shots being fired and finding no victim, officers were sent to a hospital treating a man with a gunshot wound to his buttocks. The unidentified man told police he had been walking in that area of Evergreen when a man on a bike rode up and started firing a gun at him for no reason. His attacker was wearing a dark-hooded sweatshirt.
MONDAY, NOV. 23
Another Day, Another Young Male Stabbed in Fullerton A 23-year-old man was walking on Elm Avenue in Fullerton after leaving a taqueria about 1 a.m. when a newer model gray Nissan Altima pulled up, four or five men filed out and they began yelling,: "Where are you from?" The man answered he was not from anywhere, nor did he belong to a gang, but that did not stop the pack from pulling out knives and stabbing the victim 15 times in his right arm and torso. The victim later told police he thinks he lost consciousness before awaking and running to a relative's house before being taken to St. Jude Medical Center. He was listed there in stable condition. His attackers were described as 18-20 and wearing blue pants and gray jackets. Investigators were trying to determine whether it was some kind of pay back for the Nov. 18 stabbing of the 16-year-old.
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