Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Mt. SAC report

Two people were injured and the Mt. SAC Book Rac, pictured here suffered some moderate damage. Photo by reporter Jennifer McLain, who was part fo the SGVN team coverage.

KCBS/KCAL Map -- Did You Feel it?

View Larger Map

Slide from a 3D animation of the quake

This slide comes from interns in a CalTech USC quake study program. I'm goign to get it blown up and I will link to a pdf asap. it is apparently a 3d animation of the quake and aftershocks.

Tales from Pomona

Supervising Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Stephen Czuleger told the Associated Press that 12 of the county’s 50 courthouses were evacuated, but only one in Pomona had visible damage — a crack in the building.

There's also a rumor that City Hall has been yellow tagged.

Some photos from earlier

Outside Diamond Bar Vons
and inside Target

Quake Updates

Sounds like buildings have been evacuated. Roderick at LAO is blogging the quake also. Los Angeles City Council was in session at City Hall apparently they've taken a 15 minute recess.
Metrolink is up and running, they've just rolled by the building here in West Covina.
I'm fascinated by TV coverage. They are hovering helicopters downtown. You'd think be now they'd be flying over Chino Hills or DBar to check for damage there?
Lt. Salibe at Walnut Diamond Bar Sheriff's Station said there are no reports of damage or injury in their service area.
I'm looking for tales of how the quake affected you. Let me know. You can send email to frank.girardot@sgvn.com or simply write your story in the comments.
CalTech now says the quake measured 5.4 on the Richter scale..
No word from Edison or the Gas company about outages or other problems yet...
Paula Green, Director of communications at Citrus College said officials there have cancelled classes and asked all students to go home.
The closure affected about 6,000 students. Green did not know if the school would reopen Wednesday. There were no reports of damage or injuries at the Glendora college.

There's been aftershocks
Here's a link to the USGS CalTech page several aftershocks are listed

The Quake

We've got reporters fanning out to Chino Hills and Diamond Bar to cover the quake no reports of damage emergency phone lines are down all over the SGV.
SO far no injury or damage reports coming in over the scanner...
report from the High desert not as bad, but definitely felt. Same thing in Southwest Riverside County.


5.8 - local magnitude (ML)
Tuesday, July 29, 2008 at 11:42:15 AM (PDT)Tuesday, July 29, 2008 at 18:42:15 (UTC)
Distance from
Chino Hills, CA - 3 km (2 miles) SW (235 degrees)Diamond Bar, CA - 8 km (5 miles) SE (127 degrees)Yorba Linda, CA - 9 km (5 miles) NNE (23 degrees)Pomona, CA - 11 km (7 miles) S (178 degrees)Los Angeles Civic Center, CA - 47 km (29 miles) ESE (103 degrees)
33 deg. 57.5 min. N (33.959N), 117 deg. 45.1 min. W (117.752W)
12.3 km (7.6 miles)
Location Quality
Location Quality Parameters
Nst=144, Nph=144, Dmin=8 km, Rmss=0.42 sec, Erho=0.3 km, Erzz=1.3 km, Gp=18 degrees
Event ID#
Additional Information
2-degree map Google Earth KML (Requires Google Earth.)Waveforms 24-hour Aftershock Forecast Map CALTECH/USGS AFTERSHOCK PROBABILITY REPORT

Cut and paste

Cut and paste
Here's the overnight list of crime related stories. I've cut and pasted it from an email sent to me by Kate Kealey, the night editor:
VALINDA -- An El Monte man was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder late Sunday after allegedly trying to run over his ex-girlfriend's new boyfriend with a car, authorities said.
Six people suspected in more than 60 burglaries and a home invasion robbery in Diamond Bar and Rowland Heights were charged Monday, officials said.
ARCADIA -- More than 1,500 Southern California Edison customers lost power Monday, though the outage was short-lived for most residents and businesses, officials said.


Moveable type has melted down again
we're posting here for now

Friday, May 2, 2008

Groovy baby yeah *

While Fred Robledo's prep sports blog appears to be up and running, Crime Scene remains frozen in time like Austin Powers.

I'm not pushing as hard for it to come back online, because the techies have bigger fish to fry as far as computers go.

As you know (if you subscribe to one of the LANG papers in Southern California), our computer system has been running on life support since Wednesday night -- There's a strong possibility the problems will persist through the weekend. How much stuff can they possibly fix in a day or two?

With that in mind, the reporters and editors I work with have been busting their asses to round up the best news, get the paper out and maintain our presence on the Web.

I'll do what I can to keep Crime Scene standards up while we're here.

Any thoughts? Let me know. Thanks for hanging with me.
*And guess what ? 20 minutes after posting this Crime Scene came back to life.
Yeah Baby.
See ya there.

Bank robbery site

Security expert Mike Alerich tracks California bank robberies on the Web via blogger.

Here's today's entry:

Never Stops, today, so far....5-2/1400hr First Bank, Ventura Bl., Encino,
Calif.... Bank 2115-2/0900hr Wells Fargo, El Camino Rd., San Clemente,
Calif....Bank 2115-2/1000hr Wells Fargo, Herndon (Fresno Area), Calif.....Bank
Take-Over; one male, armed, fake beard, ran in bank yelling "everyone on the
floor,robbery".6 hits yesterday Thur. 5-1-08

The photo? It's the Newlywed Bandits. They're still awaiting trial for a late fall 211 spree

Strawberry Quik

It's a candy flavored version of crank that Day One in Pasadena wants you to know about. Here's a small piece from a story by Robert Hong that ran Friday:
A nonprofit health advocacy group is sounding the alarm about a relatively new trend in methamphetamine abuse - a sweetened version of the drug officials fear could tempt younger teens and pre-teens to try the addictive stimulant.
Sometimes called "strawberry quick," the new form of methamphetamine comes in bright colors and has a sweet taste - properties added to the drug by adding Jell-O or Nestle Strawberry Quik to meth during the "cooking" process, federal drug officials said.

A community group held a town hall-style meeting Thursday night to warn parents about the new meth and the increasing use of the drug among teens, particularly teen girls.
Snopes.com indicates the federal government officials quoted in the story may be perpetuating a myth. Link here.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

$100K in mattress goes missing

This missed publication in yesterday's WDN:
SANTA FE SPRINGS -- Burglars got into a house and stole $100,000 kept under a mattress by a family.The residents told officers they didn’t believe in banks. That’s why the money was in the house, according to Whittier Police spokesman Officer Jason Zuhlke.
Detective Gonzalo Ponce said the victims never told anyone about the money being in the house.“He (the resident) was going to buy a house in Mexico,” Ponce said.The crooks didn’t take anything else from the house. Just the cash. Ponce said according to witnesses, the suspects were not there long.The burglary was reported Tuesday morning in the 11700 block of Parkmead Street. There were no signs of forced entry but detectives found a locked sliding glass door that could be easily opened, Zuhlke

Craigslist scam Day 3

Amanda Baumfeld, who is out at the scene on Caldera Avenue in unincorporated Covina this morning reports that at least one family with their belongings packed into a U-Haul truck pulled up to the house this morning only to find out they'd been scammed.
Here's a snippet from her story (that didn't run yesterday sorry)
Authorities are searching for Pardeep Singh, the property owner of 5441 N.
Calera Ave. in the unincorporated area near Covina.
"We don't have money to
pay rent now," said Rafael Labra, whose wife is pregnant. "We just wanted a
little piece of the American dream even if we didn't own it."
allegedly has lease agreements with multiple families who gave him first and
last month's rent, totaling $2,400, to move in on May 1, officials said.
have probable cause that a crime has occurred," said Capt. Joe Hartshorne, of
the Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department. "You can't rent a house to more than
one person."
Representatives from Supervisor Gloria Molina's office are
expected to be at the property today offering mental health and homeless
services to victims.

Latest dog beating news

By Sandra T. Molina

Staff Writer

NORWALK — The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office filed a felony charge of cruelty to an animal Tuesday against a 90-year-old Norwalk woman, who allegedly beat her son’s dog to death with a garden shovel.

Beatrice Godinez Castillo will not be taken into custody because of her age, said Deputy District Attorney Kevin Young.

She will be arraigned May 13 at Los Cerritos Superior Court.

If convicted, she could face a maximum of three years in state prison or one year in county jail, Young said.

The Southeast Area Animal Control Authority is investigating the incident, which took place April 14 at a home in the 12000 block of Bayla Street.

These guys ain't no Sopranos

This comes from our sister paper in Northern California, the San Jose Mercury. I'm posting a link here because there is a Duarte connection as you will see in the snippet below:

They were the gang that shot straight but could not do much else. The killers of Mark Achilli pumped seven slugs into his body, truly finishing the popular Los Gatos man's life. But in the police affidavit that was released on Friday, the accused killers emerged as the ultimate bumblers: Guys who badly mixed technology with an old-fashioned crime conspiracy.

Two blocks from the scene of the March 14 shooting, police found two items that were key to solving the case: an AOL-generated map showing directions from an unlisted address in Duarte, Calif., to Achilli's town house on Overlook Road, and also a crumpled photo of Achilli downloaded from Metroactive.com.

The find was almost as good as fingerprints. It allowed detectives to put pressure on the man believed to be the pivot of the conspiracy, bar bouncer Daniel Chaidez. When Chaidez lied to the cops, it got sweeter.

Did anyone in this gang ever watch "The Sopranos"? Did any of them see Tony Soprano hunched over a computer, printing out directions to the home of his next victim? Fuggedaboudit. It just wouldn't happen.

Send me your links

We're still in the process of moving to a new server, so posts are slow appearing.

As we move forward, I plan on revamping parts of the site including the links. So,

If you have a site you think Crime Scene should link to, post it up in the comments below.

I look forward to hearing from you.




Arcadia police released a photo Wednesday of a man suspected of participating in a bank robbery that netted $3,600.

The robbery, which occurred about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday occurred in the HSBC Bank at 1107 S. Baldwin Avenue.

Why here?

As you've probably guessed by now, the server move at LANG is taking longer than expected. I put several posts up yesterday. The titles were visible on the SGVN Web sites (thanks to RSS). I'm going to post yesterday's stuff here later this morning.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Cops upset with court coverage

Janet Pope Givens called Tuesday to complain about our court coverage.
Seems that cops were upset by Caroline An's story about a preliminary hearing in a Pasadena gang homicide.

The story begins simply enough:

PASADENA - A police cadet testified Monday he overheard a phone conversation
in which a man admitted to shooting Tommie James Evans Jr.

Later on it continues:

The police cadet testified during a preliminary hearing Monday for Harvey and Aujulius Bailey of Pasadena. Both men are charged with murder. The Pasadena Superior Court hearing, to determine whether authorities have enough evidence to try the pair, was scheduled to resume today.

Pope-Given's problem was that An's story named the police cadet, who testified in open court.
"Now his name is in the newspaper on 80 million driveways," she said.

The deal, as far as Pope-Givens is concerned is that we should have kept the cadet's name out of the paper.


He comes from a large family and they may be at risk because he appeared in court and gave crucial testimony, she said.

As soon as Pope-Givens hung up, an uncle called to raise the same issue with the Star-News.

The boy's mother sent an email to the reporter today raising he same complaint.

Here was (and is) my defense of naming the cadet.

1) He spoke in open court and identified himself.

2) Officers of the court and Pasadena police knew there was a reporter in
court, they could have asked that the name not be reported at that time. They

3) The young man who took the noble step of testifying against gang
members in a homicide case is an employee of the Pasadena police
department...will the next step be askign us not to name fully sworn officers in
similar proceedings.

There are several other interesting angles in this case. One of the defendants, Aujulius Bailey is a member of the P-9 set of the PDL blood gang.

Aurelius Bailey, another member of that gang was one of several defendants in the Halloween Homicide case.

Pope Givens didn't know if the two are related.

I did find this little tidbit on the net from a Pasadena area church that mentions Aujulius.
And this which mentions Aurelius Bailey.

She's 90 and allegedly mean

p>Here's the big talker of the day around the newsrooms. It's a story that will appear in Thursday's Whittier Daily News. Kinda sick. ..Sandra Molina is writing it and filling in the blanks. The jist comes from Sandra's budget note to editors here this a.m.:

Officials are investigating a fatal animal cruelty charge. SEEACA received a call Monday night from the Norwalk Sheriff’s Station about animal cruelty. The Chihuahua mix was 25 pounds and the incident happened at 12139 Bayla Street in Norwalk. Son brought the dog into SEEACA. An animal control officer noticed the dog covered in blood and an eye popped out. The 90-year-old woman alledgedly threw parts of a block at the dog and beat the tied-up animal with a shovel. Officials say she’s a danger to children in the neighborhood and should be arrested and put in a home.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Area photo archives

Here's a few historical Los Angeles photo websites on the net:

UCLA Library here.

Los Angeles Public Library photo search here.

Additionally, I received this email, and thought I would clarify:


This may be a dumb question........you were talking about the Tamale restaurant and used (sic) between hispanic and foods. I've seen this before and it's been quite a long time since english class.........please enlighten.

My Answer:

The caption didn't capitalize Hispanic like I would have, had I written it. So I used the Latin word for thus -- sic-- which indicates an unusual spelling exists in a quote.

Hope that helps.

Tuesday's Column

An archive of old LAPD photographs recently found its way online. The black and whites add to a rich photographic history of our region that is slowly finding its way on to the Internet.
For example, last year UCLA put up nearly 3 million old newspaper photos. The Los Angeles Public Library has a pretty extensive collection of old newspaper shots as well as private photos. It's been online since at least 2004 and continues to grow.
What's interesting about browsing these collections is the first-hand look at the rich history they offer.
For example, in the Los Angeles Public Library archive there is a shot from about the 1920s labeled "The Tamale." I found it by searching for Whittier. Here's a description:
"Exterior view of The Tamale, a restaurant specializing in hispanic (sic) foods. Building was built in the shape of a tamale. Located at 6421 Whittier Boulevard."
In the picture, it appears as if there are no other buildings in the neighborhood. The Tamale stands alone against a background of dirt lots and shade trees.
Here's where the fun part comes in. When you search Google for the address, you can actually see a "Street View" of the location.
And, guess what? The Tamale, which was a lunch counter way back when, is still there.
It's called Charley's. It's now a beauty salon.
In the UCLA archive there's a photo taken in 1921 of a funeral procession outside the San Gabriel Mission. The photo strikes me for several reasons. First of all the Mission is completely unrestored, so it's probably the original construction we see.
Here's the caption: "Funeral cortege of Santo Juncio, leaving San Gabriel Mission yesterday. Chief Youngturtle of the Chickasaw tribe (in the headdress) is leading the native pallbearers carrying the coffin of the 106-year-old man."
The photo amazes me. Catholic priests in full regalia lead a procession of sandal wearing Native Americans outside the unrestored mission.
Just think, in 1921 Santo Juncio, at 106, would have been born in 1815; before California was a state; before the Civil War; before autos or planes.
As if highlighting the dichotomy of that amazing life, a group of Model-A Fords are parked right up alongside a dirt path that separates the primitive adobe mission from a parking lot.
Hoping for some of the same Google magic I had with the Tamale, I was a little disappointed by the "Street View" of the mission.
The 1921 newspaper photo shows several eucalyptus trees surrounding the church. I couldn't find them looking through Google. It seems as if they've all been replaced with palm trees.
Obviously, the extensive restoration of the 1980s and 1990s probably obliterated much of the historical sense of the place where Los Angeles was born.
I could go on and on about some of the interesting photographs I've found and the stories they tell, but I don't have the time - or the space. I will post links to the galleries and some of the photos from today's column on the Crime Scene blog.
Until then if you want to see a sample of the LAPD photos, which cover a period from the mid-1920s until the 1960s, they can be found at http://www.fototeka.com

Monday, April 14, 2008

Girl pleas guilty to manslaughter, evading and street racing

A 17-year-old girl pled guilty Monday to several charges stemming from a collision that killed Angela Chung, 19, of Temple City.
Here's an excerpt from Dan Abendschein's online piece:

PASADENA - A 17-year-old girl pleaded guilty on Monday to four felony counts in a street racing case that killed a 19-year-old student from Temple City.
The girl, whose name was not released because of her age, was convicted in juvenile court. She will serve three months in a county probation department camp, and will have to pay restitution to the victim's family.
The prosecutor in the case, Jennifer Gowen, declined to comment on the case. Sandi Gibbons, a spokesperson for the county District Attorney's office, said she was not sure who made the decision to try her in juvenile court, rather than as an adult.
She added that the maximum sentence that the defendant could have received as a minor would have been placing her in a juvenile facility until she turned 25.

El Monte homicide update

The victim lived in a trailer (not apparently visible on Google Earth). Left no fingerprint of his existence as far as public records and was apparently arrested three times in recent months by El Monte and Baldwin Park police, according to the Los Angeles County's Sheriff's Inmate Locator.

The guy also has a lengthy rap sheet for drug possession, car thievery and spousal abuse. Motive anyone?

Here's our story for tomorrow's paper:

EL MONTE — Detectives are continuing to investigate the death of a 33-year-old man found shot inside a trailer late Saturday.

Jack Edward Hicks’ body was discovered shortly before midnight in the 5200 block of Cogswell Road, said Los Angeles County sheriff’s Deputy Denise Fuchs.

The body was found inside a trailer next to a back house where Hicks had been staying, said Detective Gil Carrillo of the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau.

Several candles sat in front of the trailer Monday.

He suffered a single gunshot wound to the head, police said.

“Friends just went down to visit and found him,” Carrillo said. Investigators have found no witnesses who reported hearing any shots, he said.

No gun was found at the scene, and the case is being investigated as a homicide, Carrillo said. A motive or suspect description was not known, he said.

The exact time of the shooting was unknown, Carrillo said, however he estimated it occurred some time Saturday.

Carrillo declined to release any further details about the circumstances of the shooting.

My mirror site

Crime Scene (and the family of LANG blogs) is moving to a new server. The address will be the same, and in fact, if it goes without a hitch, you probably won't even notice a thing.
As a precaution, and until the move is complete, I'm putting up a mirror site here: http://sgvcrime.blogspot.com, I'll be posting there until the move is complete.
Thanks for you patience.

Dead Man found in El Monte

View Larger Map

Not much information available on this one. Appears to have happened late Saturday night. Sheriff's and El Monte PD just got around to reporting it Monday. Here's the details from our website:

EL MONTE - Authorities today identified a man found shot to death in an El Monte home during the weekend.

Jack Edward Hicks, 35, was found dead about 11:50 p.m. Saturday in the 5200 block of Cogswell road, said Deputy Ed Hernandez of the Sheriff's Headquarters Bureau.

Sheriff's homicide detectives were assisting El Monte police in the investigation