Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Crime Spree Suspect In Custody!

Anthony Hislar, a 26 year old who has bedded down in Ventura, Orange and LA Counties over the years, was taken into custody on a burglary warrant after exiting Disneyland in Anaheim on Wednesday, September 24th. Hislar is suspected in a series of crimes that wound from Azusa, through Arcadia and into Rosemead. Hislar leaves quite the trail behind him, not only in recent days, but in recent years. A quick web search reveals news reports of arrests dating back to 2005 and 2001. Based on Hislar's behavior, once he was identified, there was an obvious need to get him off the streets. Investigators continued to gather evidence in this series of crimes and utilized the existing warrant to arrest Hislar and put an end to his activity. Detectives from each of the involved agencies have worked together in a great demonstration of teamwork; Los Angeles County Sheriff - Temple Station, Arcadia PD, Azusa PD and other allied agencies continue to participate in the investigation.

Tuesday Tip - Tailgating

Following Too Closely is the technical phrase for Tailgating. Unfortunately, it is a term that is all too often used in collision reports as the “Primary Collision Factor”. Maintaining distance between vehicles while driving is one main key in preventing collisions. Even the best driver, with great reaction time, still takes a moment to perceive the need to slow or stop, and then apply the vehicle brakes.

Increasing following distance between vehicles increases our ability to perceive a problem, apply brakes if needed or take some other evasive action. Time and distance is your friend when it comes to speed. As a young driver, you are taught about the Three Second Rule. Sometimes we forget this one important piece of advice. But maintaining a following distance of three seconds between vehicles will definitely increase your ability to avoid a rear end collision. An alternate recommendation is to maintain a following distance of one car length per 10 mph while driving. So, if you are driving 65 mph on the freeway, you should be about 6-7 car lengths behind the vehicle in front of you.

Don’t become overconfident, either in your ability as a driver or in your vehicle. Remember the basic rules and greatly increase your chance to avoid a collision. Think about this; tailgating the car in front of you is not going to "push" them out of the way or down the road. Your disregard for safe following distance will only increase your chances of causing a collision. Take a breath, take your time and we'll all get there in one piece.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Tuesday Tip (Friday Edition) "Do Not Hesitate to Call the Police"

An article was recently posted on the City and Department website that contains some great information. Click on the title below to view the entire article. Here is a brief excerpt;

Do Not Hesitate to Call the Police

In recent months, there has been an increase in residential burglaries in
our community. In most cases, a residential burglary begins with some type
of suspicious activity within a neighborhood, often in broad daylight.
This activity may range from unknown vehicles perusing the area, to
individuals going door to door, determining whether or not residents are
home. These individuals will most likely have a driver waiting for
them, for a quick getaway in case someone begins to question their
actions. Many times, after burglaries have occurred and after suspects
have escaped, our reports indicate that at least one resident in the
immediate area did in fact witness this, or some other type of activity prior to
the crime, but for some reason, did not think more of it, or simply did not want
to inconvenience the police.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Car Thieves Beware!

The Arcadia Police Department began using a new tool in combating crimes and wants associated with vehicles this week. The Department has purchased four, mobile based, automated license plate reader (ALPR) systems that are installed on patrol units. The system is manufactured by Federal Signal/PIPS Technology and is currently in use in many other agencies.

Simply speaking, cameras on the police unit read license plates on vehicles and then compare the plates read to those listed on a computer database. The vehicle and plate are also photographed. If there is a “hit” on the plate, such as a felony want or stolen vehicle, the PIPS system alerts the Officer who can then take action. If there is no hit, the vehicle information is stored in the database. The cameras work in daylight and darkness as they are equipped with infrared (IR) readers as well.

In addition to the use of this technology for recovering stolen vehicles and reducing auto theft, the system can be used to recover vehicles with excessive parking violations and as an investigative database as well. Investigators can conduct many different searches for suspect vehicles by use of the information collected by the PIPS system.

This is a great tool and will no doubt positively impact our ability to investigate all crimes involving use of a vehicle.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Santa Anita Canyon Road Closure

Santa Anita Canyon Road is scheduled for Gate/Road Closure from September 22, 2008 to October 10, 2007, on weekdays, from 7:00 am to 4:00 pm. Weekends will remain open. Emergency vehicles will be accommodated at all times. People with a gate key will also be accommodated, but should expect a delay. The City of Arcadia will be repairing a storm drain, requiring the roadway to be closed.

Tuesday Tip - Leave the Car at Home!

Aside from the obvious reasons; helping to maintain your health by walking, saving fuel and reducing your monthly and ever increasing gas bill, pumping less pollutants into our air...there is a great reason coming up in October to leave your car at home; California's Walk to School Week, October 6th - 10th, 2008. The designated Walk to School Day is Wednesday, October 8th.

Highland Oaks Elementary School in Arcadia has participated in this event for years. The PTA and School Administration encourages the entire student body to walk with their parents, not just this day, but throughout the school year. They have even offered prizes and incentives for the kids to participate. On the designated Walk to School Day, Highland Oaks even has arranged "guest" crossing guards that are stationed at various intersections heading toward the school. Some of the guests have included City Council Members, City Staff, Fire Fighters, Police Officers, and of course, parents. Kudos to Highland Oaks for their efforts and in setting the example for our kids!

Check with your local school and see if they have plans on participating in the California Walk to School Week! If not, maybe you can spearhead the event. Check the Walk to School website for resources and additional information.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Composite Released for Robbery Suspect

This composite was released on Friday, September 19th, and depicts the suspect in a series of robberies and carjackings that occurred in the City of Arcadia. Anyone with information is asked to call APD Detectives at (626) 574-5160. If seen, do not confront the suspect and please call your local police. The suspect is considered armed and dangerous.

The suspect in these events is described as a male white or light skinned Hispanic in his twenties, 5’10” tall with a thin build and a shaved head. The suspect is heavily tattooed on his right forearm and he is armed with a silver handgun.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Multiple Residential Robberies - One Suspect?

Shortly before 7:00am on September 19, 2008, a suspect entered a home in the 200 block of east Laurel Avenue, stole a laptop computer, and fled on foot. A few minutes later the suspect entered a home in the 200 block of east Floral Avenue, pointed a handgun at the resident, and robbed her of the keys for her vehicle. The suspect left the area in the victim’s 2000 Ford Expedition. Both of these locations are near the intersection of Second Avenue and Foothill Boulevard.

Approximately fifteen minutes later, in the south end of town, the suspect entered a home in the 600 block of Flamingo, pointed a handgun at the resident, and robbed him of cash and the keys for his vehicle. The suspect fled in the victim’s 2001 Toyota Sienna Van, leaving the stolen Ford Expedition behind.

During the area search for the suspect, an unoccupied Range Rover that had been taken in a carjacking in Azusa earlier this morning, was found in the 300 block of east Foothill Boulevard.

The suspect in these events is described as a male white or light skinned Hispanic in his twenties, 5’10” tall with a thin build and a shaved head. The suspect is heavily tattooed on his right forearm and he is armed with a silver handgun.

Anyone with information is asked to call APD Detectives at (626) 574-5160. The Crime Scene Blog has an entry and associated map detailing information on this crime spree as well.

Update to original post, 6:00 pm;
Additional reports on today's incidents can be found at both the KABC7 and KCAL9 websites.


Thursday, September 18, 2008

More Guns Off the Street

Sorry for the late posting, but this one is worth noting. From the Weekly Activity Report;

Sunday, August 31:
1. Around 3:40 a.m., three male Asian victims reported a verbal altercation with three male Hispanic suspects in the 1000 block of South Sixth. The suspects threatened the victims, and they called another man for assistance knowing that he had handguns in his car. Shortly thereafter, two more Hispanics showed up at the scene; one armed with a handgun and another with a pistol grip shotgun. They brandished the weapons and then all the suspects fled in a silver BMW. Officers located the suspect vehicle and a high risk traffic stop was made. All five suspects, between 19 and 21 years of age, were arrested for making terrorist threats, possession of deadly weapons, and carrying concealed weapons in a vehicle.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

North End Residential Burgs Continue

A resident in the 1700 blk of Orangewood returned home today at about 2:30 PM and found his front and back doors standing open. His house had been burglarized. He looked out to see a suspect run across his front lawn to an awaiting car. The resident had surprised the intruder who fled in the vehicle. The suspect was described as a male African American in his 20's, 6' tall, wearing a red baseball cap, a white shirt and dark shorts. The suspect vehicle was a newer Mercedes SLK230, red, 2 door, with unknown paper plates.

This is the second residential burglary north of Foothill Boulevard in as many days. Yesterday, a home in the 200 block of Hacienda was ransacked and burglarized. It is unknown if the two are related. Anyone with information is asked to call APD Detectives at (626) 574-5160.

Tuesday Tip - Quality of Life

Quality of life is important to us all in our neighborhoods. In their work day, it is not uncommon to hear an APD Officer call in a “Field Observation” to report some form of nuisance, graffiti, abandoned property, shopping carts or other problem. Dispatchers will then make notification to the proper Department or resource to correct or remedy the issue.

We encourage our residents to use City services and resources that are made available to them. The Blog previously ran an entry on “Arcadia Advocacy” which is one way to report perceived problems or concerns to City Staff via the web. There are also several hot lines that a resident can take advantage of when reporting some of these issues;

Graffiti Hot Line (626) 821-4333
Abandoned Shopping Carts (800) 252-4613
Street Lights/Pot Holes (626) 256-6554
Code Enforcement (626) 574-5421

If you are not sure what Department will handle your request, City Hall can be reached at (626) 574-5400 and for after hours, APD Dispatch at (626) 574-5123. We will attempt to route your request to the proper resource.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Car Parks in Door of Motel Room

APD and AFD personnel responded to the Motel 6, 225 Colorado Pl, this morning at about 9:25 AM on report of a vehicle into the building and occupants trapped in a motel room.

The driver of a parked car in the lot told Officers that he thought his car was not in gear. He then mistakenly backed out of his parking stall, across the driveway and into the building. The vehicle struck the doorway and wall to one of the motel rooms, causing some minor damage to the structure, trapping a 77 year old motel guest in the room until Officers and Firefighters arrived. Neither the driver nor motel guest was injured in the collision. Motel 6 remained open and relocated the guest to another room.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Metrolink Crash Claims LAPD Officer

LAPD Officer Spree Desha was on her way home from work last Friday, September 12th, when her life was cut short in the tragic Metrolink train crash. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family, the victims and family members of victims who were involved in this horrible event. The LAPD Blog offers a short tribute to Officer Desha. The photo below is a shot taken from the Sun-Sentinel.com website and shows LAPD and other Officers, along with rescue workers, saluting as Officer Desha is removed from the scene.

In the midst of the turmoil, one story gives credit to a hero Deputy, who was badly hurt himself in the crash, and assisted other victims to safety before collapsing from his injuries. LASD Deputy John Ebert suffered broken bones and a collapsed lung in the crash.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Arcadia Remembers 9/11

Arcadia Police Officers and Firefighters gathered for a ceremony this morning commemorating the tragic events of September 11, 2oo1. Officers and Firefighters read the names of each rescue worker killed in the line of duty on 9/11. The names were broadcast over Verdugo Fire's Tactical Frequency.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Vote "NO" on Proposition 5

Members of the Political Action Committee (APOA PAC) representing the Arcadia Police Officers’ Association are supporting a “NO” vote on Proposition 5. The APOA joins other police associations, Chiefs of Police, District Attorneys, MADD, and many others in urging the defeat of Prop 5. Ballot Pedia has a page discussing and defining the proposition HERE.

This is a short quote from Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley;
The supporters of Proposition 5 are trying to convince Californians that they
can free addicts from drug dependence, end prison overcrowding and save the
state billions of dollars…This misguided proposition will not only fail to
produce the desired results, but it will cost the taxpayers billions of dollars,
needlessly clog the courts, and divert scarce resources from those who really
want sobriety to those who simply want a “Get-Out-of Jail-Free” card.
Worse still, once passed, the provisions of Proposition 5 can only be changed by
a four-fifths (80%) vote of the legislature. I strongly urge a “NO” vote.

There are many groups and organizations that have gathered in support of a "NO" vote on Prop 5. Visit NoOnProposition5.com for additional information.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Tuesday Tip - "Etch & Catch"

KABC 7 ran a story that featured an effort by the Anaheim PD in helping to prevent the theft of catalytic converters from vehicles. This crime has been growing in the last year and Arcadia residents/visitors have been victimized as well. Catalytic converters are easily stolen from vehicles like SUV's and pick-up trucks since they are higher off the ground. Thieves will remove the converters by cutting them with hacksaws, torches or sometimes unbolting the device. It only takes a few minutes to complete the theft, leaving the victim with an expensive fix. The catalytic converters are sold for the value of metals inside the unit.

A program that has been used throughout the State to help prevent this type of theft is called "Etch & Catch". Police and volunteers will etch the vehicle identification number (VIN) or vehicle license number on the surface of the catalytic converter. By marking the converter, the possibility of recovery and locating a victim is greatly increased. It may also make the scrap yard operator or person considering buying the stolen item give it a second thought and hopefully, call the police. VIN and license numbers are easily run by Officers in the field and can lead to finding the victim. Catalytic converters are not serialized and it is difficult to readily associate them to a particular vehicle.

A similar program was conducted in Placer County earlier in the summer. See the news story HERE. Take a moment to mark your vehicle catalytic converter. Use a small etching tool and inscribe your VIN or license number on the device. Just like marking valuables in your home, this simple step can help recover your stolen items if you are victimized.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Fight at Party Leads to Stabbing

At about 9:45 PM last night, Officers responded to the 400 blk Patricia Way on report of "shots fired". Officers found that there had been a party at the location and a fight erupted between two groups of people. During the fight, one male victim had been stabbed in the back and punched/kicked. The victim was taken to a local hospital and treated. Officers learned that there had been possibly one gun shot but there was no signs of injury or property damage. The suspects were gone prior to arrival of Officers.

Friday, September 5, 2008

City Council and Immigration Language

Alfred Lee at the SGVN authored an article in the Tribune outlining a vote by the Arcadia City Council that directs staff to research amended contract language prohibiting contractors working within the City from hiring illegal immigrants. The vote and subsequent article have brought out various opinions on the topic. From comments on the SGVN site to political and other blogs, folks have differing thoughts on the matter. Here is a brief excerpt from the article;

Arcadia considering stand against undocumented workers
By Alfred Lee,
Staff Writer
Article Launched: 09/03/2008 11:55:57 PM

ARCADIA - In what amounts to a largely symbolic stand against
hiring illegal immigrants, city officials are considering adding wording to future contracts that specifically requires contractors to comply with immigration laws.

The City Council unanimously voted Tuesday to draft language that could
potentially be inserted into such contracts and preserve the city's right to
ask contractors for documentation of their employees at any point...

Comments and articles can be found on other sites such as Topix, the Leftovers Blog, and the Flash Report in addition to the initial article.

This topic is interesting to the members of the APOA because it has the potential to ultimately influence other administrative orders that could impact our actions. In dealing with the public, our Officers currently make no inquiry as to a person's "status". It has no bearing on our actions in the field. Persons should have no fear of contacting the police for assistance. If someone is detained or arrested and found to have some form of an immigration related want or warrant, we obviously take action and deal with that particular court order.

Arcadia Police Explorers Perform Well

Members of the Arcadia Police Explorer Post 101 participated in the 2008 Police Explorer X-Games in Pasadena over the weekend of August 23rd and 24th. Our Explorers performed very well, placing in the following events;

  • 1st Place in Suspicious Person Contacts
  • 3rd Place in Active Shooter Response
  • 3rd Place in the Obstacle Course
  • 3rd Placd in the Bicycle Course

25 Explorer Posts from throughout the region participated in the events. Our Explorers trained hard for the competition and deserve a nod for their efforts. Thanks to Sgt. Brian Ortiz, Detective Hernandez, Officers Cieadlo and Mulhall for contributing their time as Post Advisers.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

"Adrenaline and Love"

Dorothy Denne writes for Beacon Media's Arcadia Weekly and in her spare time, works as a volunteer with the Arcadia Police Department. Her column is found in the paper under Dorothy's Place. She wrote a nice article, titled "Adrenaline and Love", that speaks of some of her experiences with APD and Law Enforcement in general. Thanks Dorothy for remembering us!

The article is quoted below;

“Adrenaline and Love”
A few years ago, Arcadia’s S.W.A.T. team was called to my neighborhood to protect us from an out-of-control man who had barricaded himself in a house. The intended victim had escaped but the pursuer remained in the house with a rifle, a shotgun, two automatics and a full supply of ammunition.
A lot of adrenalin flowed as he smashed, shot, yelled and tried to set a fire. It was a long, six-hour night ending with a suicide. No officers or neighbors were injured.
That was my first close encounter with police officers. Well there had been one brief one when I was reminded that a traffic light I drove through was very yellow. I forgave them for that one, and the S.W.A.T. experience became the beginning of my growing relationship with the department. I became a volunteer.
Over the years I have done many things for them and with them; from cleaning counter tops, doing office chores, attending training sessions, to seeing needs and making the connections for getting them met.
Some of it has been fun, some has been challenging, some has been rewarding. Most has been all of the above.
My role as a volunteer is also frightening. Frightening because, over the years, I have come to know and to love many of the officers in the department. They are not only police officers but they are sons, daughters, spouses, mommies and daddies. They are my friends.
Every time I see a Black and White with lights flashing or hear sirens screaming, my own muscles constrict.
When I see an officer approaching a pulled-over vehicle in front of me, I find myself, as I pass, checking again in the rear-view mirror to be sure that officer is okay.
The officer involved is very often one I hugged only minutes before and was reminded by the hard, rigid fabric of a bulletproof vest that this was a loved one in jeopardy. Behind that vest lies a heart that is often soft and always vulnerable, both to the bullets of a gun and the bullets of life.
Will some officers wind up involved in a front-page scandal? Possibly. Will some perform acts of heroism only to have the story buried on page eighteen, or not run at all? Probably. Modern media emphasizes the negative. You can bet your sweet bippy that if 2% are scandalous, you won’t see much about the other 98%.
Doesn’t seem fair, does it?

Citizens Honored for Life Saving Actions

On July 8, 2008, at about 1:55 PM, Arcadia resident Blanca Woods was in the right place at the right time. Blanca witnessed a visitor to her residential complex go under water in the pool and not come back up. The man was drowning. Blanca immediately called to her nephew to call 9-1-1 and jumped into the pool to assist the man. The victim’s wife, Maria Kocharian, ran to assist Blanca in pulling the victim from the pool. Maria then began CPR on her husband. Within moments, the victim began breathing on his own. Undoubtedly, without the quick actions of Blanca and Maria, the consequences could have been grave.

The Arcadia City Council and Arcadia Police Chief Bob Sanderson honored Blanca and Maria at a recent City Council Meeting. Blanca Woods, Maria Kocharian and Andre Nalbandian were awarded Certificates of Commendation for their life saving actions on July 8, 2008. The APOA congratulates each of the recipients.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Purse Snatch Robberies

Three separate purse snatch robberies took place in town over the course of two days last week. Two of the robberies occurred on Thursday, August 28th; the first at about 4:35 PM in the 100 blk of Diamond and the second at about 8:45 PM in the CVS parking lot at Baldwin and Las Tunas. The first victim had her “Coach” purse and contents taken after a brief struggle with the suspect, described as a male, Hispanic, 30-35 years old, with a thin mustache. The second woman was victimized by a male, white, 25-30 years old, wearing a blue ball cap who stole her purse while she walked in the pharmacy parking lot.

The third robbery occurred on Friday, August 29th, at about 9:00 PM in the 500 blk of West Norman, in a residential driveway. A female victim was battered by the suspect who then stole her purse and contents, fleeing on foot. This suspect was described only as a male, African-American.

The suspect description in each of the three cases is different and it is not known if the crimes are related. If anyone has any information on any of the three robberies, please call APD Detectives at (626) 574-5160.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Tuesday Tip - School is Back in Session!

With the Labor Day weekend behind us, most schools are now back in session. This means our kids are out and about and we need to drive with increased caution around our schools. Watch your speed and pay attention to posted school zones. California law requires that you slow to 25 mph in school zones, "When Children are Present". This speed law applies to ANY signed school zone, even multiple laned roadways and "busy" or through streets. A single child on the sidewalk near a school means this speed law may be enforced!

Don't double park, don't stop in traffic to drop off or pick up your child, don't speed, don't be part of the problem!

Do drive cautiously and watch for children and bicyclists! Leave a little earlier, walk your child to school, ride a bike, park a little further away...help us keep your children safe and improve safety near our schools!