Thursday, February 25, 2010

Significant Sentences Handed Down Today

Two former Arcadia residents were sentenced today in unrelated cases stemming from incidents in 2006 and 2008. Robert R. Snyder, 28 years old, was sentenced to life in prison after being convicted in 2009 on one count of attempted murder and other felony charges in a San Fernando courtroom today. Snyder became involved in a dispute near Santa Anita Avenue and Live Oak Avenue in February 2006. With his young daughter in the car, Snyder fired two rounds from a handgun toward the other party in the dispute. Snyder missed his intended target but instead struck an innocent bystander. Snyder was taken into custody the following day after a short vehicle pursuit.

In 2008, Arcadia Officers investigated a sexual molestation case involving Guillermo Villasenor, 53 years old. Villasenor was also convicted in late 2009 on multiple felony counts including sexual penetration and oral copulation of a minor under 10 years old. Villasenor was sentenced in the same San Fernando courtroom today, receiving a 23 years to life sentence.

Both of these cases involved lengthy investigations and hard work on the part of many APD and allied agency personnel. Great examples of diligent efforts on the part of all involved and closure for the victims and their families.

Community Crime Prevention Meeting

Join Arcadia Police Chief Bob Sanderson at the Arcadia Public Library on Thursday evening, March 4, 2010, at 6:30 pm, for an informative session on crime prevention tips for residents as well as crime trend information for Arcadia.  Sgt. Brian Ortiz who supervises APD's Community and Youth Services Office will be speaking with Chief Sanderson.  All residents are invited to attend the meeting for an evening of learning and conversation with your Police Department.

Community Crime Prevention Meeting
at the Arcadia Public Library
20 W. Duarte Rd.

Thursday, March 4th
6:30 pm

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Weekly Tip - Bike Arcadia

Did you know that the City of Arcadia has over 28 miles in suggested bicycle riding loops? The different loops tour the City and highlight our parks and neighborhoods. You can download the City of Arcadia brochure, Bicycling in Arcadia, HERE. The brochure offers loop maps, safety tips, rules of the road, and information from the MTA on public transportation and bicycles. The State of California Department of Motor Vehicles website also is a good resource with links to bicycle laws and tips.

Before you ride, visit the Arcadia Police Department and register your bicycles. If you are an Arcadia resident, we will register your bike and record the serial number for free. Should your bicycle ever be stolen, this greatly increases the chances of recovery and makes entering the proper information in statewide database much easier. Many bicycles are booked into property each year that are never able to be returned to an owner. Don't let this be your bicycle that is sold at auction.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Santa Anita Paving Project

Residents and commuters will be inconvenienced by roadway improvements on Santa Anita Avene, Foothill Boulevard to the north City limits through Friday, March 5, 2010. Construction began yesterday with pavement grinding and intermittent road closures. Efforts will be made to coordinate with Highland Oaks School and rush hour traffic; however, we encourage you to use alternate routes if possible during this time. Highland Oaks Drive, Baldwin Avenue, and Michillinda Avenue are open for north-south traffic. Closures and delays will vary throughout the two week period. Please be patient and plan for additional time in your commute.

Weekend Vehicle Burglaries

Starting overnight last Thursday, thieves targeted a dozen vehicles for auto burglary in Arcadia over the weekend. It began on Friday with five (5) victims reporting window smash burglaries in the 900 block of West Huntington Drive that occurred overnight Thursday. Five (5) additional cars were targeted similarly in the area of Gloria Road, Hampton Road, and Arbolada Drive in the north end of town on Saturday night. Two (2) reports came in on Monday morning having occurred overnight Sunday on Country Oaks Drive near First Avenue. In the latter two burglaries the mode of entry was not determined.

Loss in the weekend vehicle burglaries ranged from tools and GPS units to wallets and cash. Please remember to not keep valuables in your vehicles. Objects in plain sight are targets for thieves. It is unknown whether or not vehicle alarms were activated in any of the burglaries but this is a good reminder to not be complacent when hearing a car alarm sounding. Take a look and report any suspicious persons to the police.  Anyone with information on the vehicle burglaries or any additional victims are urged to call APD at (626) 574-5150.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Drivers License and Safety Belt Checkpoint

Personnel from the Arcadia Police Department Traffic Bureau conducted a vehicle checkpoint last night targeting unlicensed drivers and safety belt compliance.  Traffic Officers were assisted by 4 Reserve Police Officers, several Volunteers in Patrol (VIPS), APD Police Cadets and Explorers, as well as Jan's Towing.  The checkpoint was set-up on Santa Anita Avenue, south of Huntington Drive and ran from about 6:00-10:00 pm.

Here are some quick stats from the event:
  • 1,400 vehicles passed through the checkpoint
  • 100 vehicles and occupants were screened at the secondary inspection
  • 10 misdemeanor arrests or citations for unlicensed, suspended or revoked licenses
  • 2 warrant related arrests
  • 9 vehicle storage or impounds
  • 35 infraction citations for no license in possession along with 14 other citations for miscellaneous violations

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

"I like my new City already!"

While conducting residential burglary suppression today, one of our Detectives came across circumstances at a house that lead to Officers contacting the resident. After explaining the reason for the contact, I overheard the resident tell the Detective, “I like my new City already!” She went on to thank him for taking the time stop, call for additional units and make sure that all was well at the home. The resident had recently moved in to the home.

Not only was it great to find that all was well at the residence, but the resident’s obvious pleasure with our actions reassures us that our personnel are “Making a Difference” in our community.

Weekly Tip - Two-way Left Turn Lanes

The two-way or center left turn lane is often misunderstood. California Vehicle Code defines the two-way left turn lane and allows entry into the lane for only two purposes; preparing for and making a left turn or entering traffic. Travel in this lane is restricted to 200 feet.

This IS NOT a passing lane. It is not uncommon to find drivers using the two-way left turn lane on El Monte Avenue for passing stopped traffic waiting in line at stop signs. This is a violation and will be cited. It is also illegal to use this style lane for passing slower traffic.

In order to make a lawful left turn, you must enter this middle lane and then complete the turn. Making a left or u-turn turn across the middle lane from through traffic would be considered an improper turning movement.

Crossing the middle lane and entering the through traffic is acceptable when entering the roadway from an intersecting driveway, alley or property. It would be allowable to enter the middle lane and wait for traffic to clear in order to safely enter the flow of through traffic as well. 

Sunday, February 14, 2010

New Year & Valentine Celebrations

We celebrate two holidays today with both the Chinese New Year and Valentine's Day falling on the same date in 2010. The men and women of APD wish you the best for both these occasions. Happy Chinese New Year 2010, the Year of the Tiger, and Happy Valentine's Day!

Celebrate safely, enjoy the day but please remember to be responsible. Don't Drink and Drive!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Woman Screaming Call Leads to Hydroponic Marijuana Grow

At about 3:30 PM on Wednesday, February 10th, officers were called to the 300 block of San Miguel Drive on report of a woman screaming. No one was immediately found but after contacting a male and female at the residence in question, officers found what appeared to be a small hydroponic marijuana grow inside the home. Both subjects denied hearing anyone screaming.

Detectives obtained a search warrant for the home and found about 15 marijuana plants being hydroponically grown. Evidence of the grow was found in several areas of the residence. A 27-year old male and a 26-year old female, both from Arcadia, were arrested and booked on felony cultivation of marijuana charges at APD.

Missing Adult - Alfred PARCELLS

UPDATE: Missing Person has been found in good health. Mr. Parcells was recognized by an alert store clerk shortly before 8:00 PM this evening who notified APD. The store clerk had seen a photo of Mr. Parcells on a flyer distributed by Detectives earlier in the day. Below is the original post.

The Arcadia Police Department asks your help in locating a missing adult. Alfred Lee PARCELLS is a male white transient who frequents the Arcadia area. Alfred is 35 years old, 5'-11"/200 lbs, brown hair and green eyes, described as having "bad teeth." Alfred maintains contact with family via cell phone and was last heard from in early February. He had allegedly been involved in an altercation and has not been seen or heard from since. Alfred has been known to stay near Eisenhower and Newcastle Parks along Colorado Street as well as the LA Co. Park on Huntington Drive. Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Alfred PARCELLS is asked to call APD at (626) 574-5150.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Officer Graduates from Deputy Leadership Insititute

On February 11, 2010 Officer Kollin Cieadlo graduated from Class # 9 of the Deputy Leadership Institute (DLI), which was held at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Headquarters in Monterey Park. This event served to reinforce the Department's commitment to the development of its members, by offering what has come to be described as a groundbreaking leadership development program which will set the standard for other law enforcement agencies.

DLI is a six-month program of intense study on leadership philosophy and is attended by police officers and sheriff’s deputies from Los Angeles, Orange, and San Bernardino counties. DLI develops personal leadership by drawing on fundamental values that have existed for centuries: common sense, compassion, courage, decisiveness, ethical behavior, innovation, integrity, positive attitude, respect, self-assurance, sound judgment, and trustworthiness.

Pictured above are (L-R) Captain Gene Gioia, Officer Kollin Cieadlo, and L.A. Sheriff Lee Baca.

Recent Appeals Court Decision Impacts Law Enforcement

Law Enforcement constantly adapts daily business to rulings and decisions made at venues such as the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.  In December 2009, the Ninth Circuit held that in an Oregon case involving in-home child abuse, the interview of a child victim at school, by an armed police officer and a social worker, constituted a seizure in violation of the Fourth Amendment.  Although this type of decision by the Ninth Circuit is not binding authority for California state courts, it does have impact even at a local level for potential federal civil liability.

It is not uncommon for police officers to interview children during school hours for a variety of reasons.  However, specific to alleged in-home child abuse investigations, according to this decision, officers are required to obtain a court order prior to conducting an interview with the victim.  There are circumstances that would allow child victim interviews outside of a court order such as a documented exigency or parental consent.  Social workers may still interview the child in the absence of the police officer.

This type of a decision is unfortunate.  Los Angeles County law enforcement works closely with the Department of Children and Family Services to intervene and investigate cases of child abuse.  When additional steps impede and prolong the investigation, it has the potential to put these child victims at greater risk.     

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Weekly Tip - Unmarked Police Units

The Pasadena Star News ran an article last week detailing a robbery that took place in Pasadena perpetrated by two men "impersonating" police officers. Nathan McIntire writes, "PASADENA - Two men with badges, handguns, a blue flashing siren and what looked like an unmarked police car stopped a motorist and robbed him of his cell phone and wallet Thursday morning..."

Although the crime did not occur in the City of Arcadia, this incident warrants a tip on what to do should an unmarked police unit attempt to stop you. Most police agencies do utilize unmarked units for various needs including administrative, civilian, investigative, surveillance and sometimes enforcement. The California Vehicle Code does require you to yield to an authorized emergency vehicle that displays a visible solid red light and sounds a siren.

It is not uncommon to see unmarked police units throughout our community. If an unmarked unit does attempt a traffic stop, it is usually related to some activity such as surveillance or investigation, or a blatant driving violation that requires immediate intervention by the police. The officers conducting this type of action are normally very recognizable with badges, vests, or raid jackets. Unmarked APD units are equipped with solid red and flashing blue lights at visor level as pictured above.

If an unmarked police unit were to attempt to stop you, look for the solid red light. Look at the type of vehicle and occupants. If you don't feel comfortable with the location of the stop or are not sure that the vehicle is actually a police unit, proceed at normal speed to a location that is public and well lighted before yielding. Officers conducting such a stop will normally radio for a marked unit to assist. Dial 9-1-1 on your cell phone and tell the dispatcher or operator where you are and what is occurring. When you do stop, remain calm, crack open the window, explain your concerns, ask to see the officer's identification card and to have a uniformed officer respond. For the person who has "failed to yield" for some distance or driven evasively, the officers will most likely conduct a "high risk" stop with multiple units.

Balance your safety with common sense. Legitimate police officers will do everything they can to be readily identifiable and under most circumstances you will know who they are.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Public Safety Communications Take Center Stage at Santa Anita

The Raytheon Company rolled into Arcadia today with a 53' trailer equipped with a state of the art Civil Communications system. The demonstration used radio equipment brought to the location by various Public Safety agencies that were linked together in seamless communication by Raytheon's Civil Communication system. "Radio interoperability" allows communication and information sharing between agencies that do not share frequencies, have various forms of communication equipment and often operate on different frequency bands. In the event of mutual aid events, disasters or simply a major public safety operation, it is imperative that personnel be able to communicate. Technology now allows Law Enforcement and other safety personnel to benefit from true interoperable communications. Arcadia Police Chief Bob Sanderson coordinated the event which was attended by Law Enforcement personnel from throughout the San Gabriel Valley. The cost of this type of system is high for a single municipality, however, grants and resource sharing throughout a region can make it feasable. Read a recent article in PoliceOne on the topic HERE.

Altercation Leads to Stabbing

Arcadia Officers were called to the Westfield Santa Anita Shopping Center, 400 South Baldwin Avenue, on Sunday night at about 11:30 PM on the report of a fight involving several male subjects. Two of the subjects involved in the fight had sustained injuries and were still at the location when officers arrived. Several other subjects were detained in the area who were believed to also be involved. After interviewing witnesses and the subjects involved, it appears that the two victims became involved in a verbal altercation with a group of other males in the parking lot southeast of the mall. The argument became physical and at some point, one of the suspects pulled out a knife, stabbing one of the victims. That victim suffered knife wounds to his face and torso and was taken to a local hospital for treatment. The other victim suffered injury to a hand in the fight but was not transported by paramedics. Ultimately, two male suspects were taken into custody and booked on assault with deadly weapon charges at APD.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Tenured Reserve Police Officer Honored

Arcadia Police Department Reserve Officer Gar Richman was honored Wednesday, February 3rd, by the Peace Officers Association of Los Angeles County (POALAC). Officer Richman was presented with the POALAC Award of Merit in honor of his long time service with the Arcadia Police Department. Officer Richman has donated countless hours, the majority of which is not reimbursed, to the City of Arcadia over the course of a 26-year career. Congratulations to Officer Gar Richman.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Arcadia Police Embrace Social Media

Community members in the City of Arcadia, California, now have more ways to stay in touch with their Police Department. Thanks to Chief Bob Sanderson, members or the Arcadia Police Department are now using various forms of "Social Media" to reach out, share information and communicate with the community that they serve. In addition to the established Department website and this blog, APD can be found on Facebook, Twitter and our "community wire" on Nixle. The Arcadia Police Officers' Association also has an established web presence with links available on their website.

Take advantage of these services and interact with the Arcadia Police Department. Our sites are updated regularly with news, information, tips and more. If you have suggestions or comments, please contact us through the "Contact" page or by leaving comments on posts.