Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Activity Highlights - March 21-27, 2010

Pasadena PD to Host Police Motor Rodeo

The Pasadena Police Department Traffic Division will be hosting a Police Motor Rodeo and skills competition at the Rose Bowl on Wednesday, April 14, 2010, at 7:00 am.  The competition is open to all Police Motor Officers and will include individual and team obstacal courses, a partnered course, a slowest rider course, and a "Top Gun" one on one competition. 

For additional information, contact PPD Officer Brian Bozarth at (626) 744-7595 or by email at  Come on out and watch local Motor Officers test their skills!

Weekly Tip - Safe & Free "Sharps" Disposal for Residents

The City of Arcadia offers a free sharps disposal program to residents.  You should be aware that it is illegal to dispose of hypodermic needles, lancets, syringes, and similar medical instruments known as "sharps" in your household trash.  Not only is it illegal to dispose of these items improperly but it poses a health and safety hazard to the community.

Free Sharps Waste Kits can be obtained by residents by calling Arcadia Public Works at (626) 256-6554.  You will be required to prove residency by means of a valid State-issued identification card or a utility bill.  The kits are a convenient way to dispose of sharps, providing you with a postage-paid shipping box that when filled is sent via US Mail to a processing center for destruction.  If you have any questions, please call the number listed above.  This program is available for residents only and not for commercial use.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Road Closures Saturday April 3rd

The annual Santa Anita Derby Day 5k will be held on Saturday, April 3, 2010, at the Santa Anita Race Track.  The run/walk course uses a portion of Baldwin Avenue which will cause road closures during morning hours.  Baldwin Avenue will be closed to traffic from north of Huntington Drive to Colorado Street between 6:00-10:00 am on Saturday.  Please plan on using alternate routes during that time.  The Westfield Santa Anita Mall can be accessed via Huntington Drive during the event. 

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Sandy Lu Murder Suspect Pleads "No Contest"

On January 27, 2008, Peter Chang located his estranged wife, Liya (Sandy) Lu, outside her residence in the 00 block of Bonita Street, Arcadia.  Sandy was involved in a conversation with a mutual friend when Chang ran up and began to beat Sandy, knocking her to the ground as the other party ran off.  Sandy was able to get away momentarily and ran toward her unit.  Chang pursued Sandy and opened fire on her with a handgun, striking Sandy multiple times.  Chang fled the scene leaving Sandy to die.

While rendering aid, Officers were able to obtain statements from Sandy before her death which led to the arrest of Chang at his home in Long Beach.  The Patrol Officers response, Detective follow-up, and cooperation with outside agencies all resulted in a first degree murder charge being filed against Peter Chang.  Chang pled no contest yesterday in a Pasadena court room to the murder charge with an allegation of use of handgun.  Chang will receive a 29 years to life sentence and will not be eligible for parole until he is 91 years old.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Weekly Tip - Prevent Auto Burglary

Thieves look for easy and inviting targets when it comes to selecting a vehicle to burglarize or steal from.  It is up to you to make every effort to prevent your car from being targeted.  Here are some basic tips that will make your vehicle a little less inviting to a thief:
  • LOCK your car!
  • Always park in well lighted areas
  • Install motion lights in your driveway
  • Install and use a vehicle alarm
  • DO NOT leave valuables in plain view
  • Leave all items of value at home if possible
  • Look around when you park.  Notice anyone or anything suspicious?  Write down license plates and descriptions.  Alert on-site security or staff and CALL the police.
Many auto burglaries or thefts from cars occur right in a residential driveway and too often it is because the vehicle was never locked.  Recent arrests of two suspects revealed that they only targeted cars that were left unlocked, walking up and down a street trying car doors all the way.  Take the time to secure your vehicle.

Other thieves target victims by watching what is placed inside a trunk or hatch.  If you plan on stopping by the gym, park, or elsewhere after work, take the time before you leave to place your belongings safely in the trunk.  Don't wait until you park to then transfer your laptop, purse, bag, or briefcase to the trunk.  Thieves may be watching and targeting your car. 

These are just a few tips to help prevent you from becoming a victim of auto burglary.  Be proactive, look around, and most importantly, don't hesitate to call the police if you see something or someone suspicious.  Don't be a victim! 

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Officer Bitten and Injured by Suspect

Early Friday morning, March 19, 2010, at about 3:44 am, Officers were called to the scene of a solo vehicle collision on Tyler Avenue at Live Oak Avenue. A lone male driver had collided with a pole and was acting aggressively toward firefighters on scene telling them that he wanted to die. Attempts were made to calm the driver who became more agitated and then fought with Officers. At some point in the struggle, the driver bit an Officer on the forearm and head butted him causing a laceration. The driver was ultimately taken into custody after a taser was used by Officers.  He was then transported to a local hospital for treatment and evaluation. During the investigation, the driver was found to have been drinking and that he had also ingested a number of prescription pills. The Officer was also treated at a local hospital.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Pasadena Police Department Air Operations Section Open House

The Pasadena Police Department Air Operations Section  will be hosting an open house this Saturday, March 20, 2010, from 11:00 am - 2:00 pm, as reported by the Pasadena Star News, PPD Air Ops also supports the Foothill Air Support Team that patrols the City of Arcadia. PPD has long provided mutual aid and contracted air support to the Arcadia Police Department. Support PPD Air Operations and pay them a visit this Saturday!  See the link for additional details and address information.

Time to Serve?

The Arcadia Police Department has enacted a "Pay to Stay Inmate Program" as an alternative to staying in county jail.  The program allows those persons convicted of a misdemeanor to serve time in the Arcadia City Jail instead of being housed at the county jail.  The sentencing court must approve the arrangements and a commitment order must be obtained from the court prior to the application.  For additional restrictions, application forms, fee or other information, visit the Pay to Stay page on the City website.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

St. Patrick's Day DUI Checkpoint

The Arcadia Police Department conducted a DUI and Driver's License checkpoint during the evening hours on St. Patrick's Day, Wednesday, March 17, 2010.  The checkpoint was conducted in the 400 block of East Huntington Drive in an area heavily populated by restaurants and hotels.  The main objective in the checkpoint was to bring awareness to the dangers associated with drunk driving through high profile presence and education as well as enforcement of law.  The checkpoint was well publicized as a further deterrent to drunk driving.  We even felt the effectiveness of the checkpoint through many messages posted through the website Twitter.  It was evident through the "tweets" that people had noticed Arcadia's DUI checkpoint.  Here are the basic stats from the event:
  • 743 vehicles through the checkpoint
  • 28 vehicles and drivers screened in secondary
  • 1 arrest for DUI
  • 10 arrests for license violations or warrant
  • 9 vehicles stored or impounded
  • 16 warnings for infractions along with 3 infraction citations

"Brown Bag" History of APD

Chief Bob Sanderson spoke on the History of the Arcadia Police Department today at a "brown bag" lunch hosted by the Ruth and Charles Gilb Arcadia Historical Museum.  About 50 community members and City employees gathered on the patio of the museum for the talk.  Chief Sanderson walked us through the early days of a combined police and fire Department along with the advancements within current APD as implemented by each Chief of Police.  Thanks to the Museum for hosting the event and to Chief Sanderson and Department personnel who assisted in putting the presentation together.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Weekly Tip - Don't Drink & Drive!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!  On a holiday like today, there is no doubt that many folks will be celebrating long into the night and some, drinking while partying.  The Arcadia Police Department encourages everyone to party responsibly and to not drink and drive.  Here are some quick statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA);
Every day, 32 people in the United States die, in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver. This amounts to one death every 45 minutes. The annual cost of alcohol-related crashes totals more than $51 billion.
Here are a few tips to avoid becoming a DUI statistic:

  • Designate a non-impaired driver to take you home or pick you up

  • Celebrate at home and stay there 

  • Be a good host, offer those who have been drinking a place to spend the night

  • Call a taxi

  • Don't ignore the problem.  If you are with someone who is intoxicated, don't let them drive.  If you see someone attempting to drive that is under the influence, call the police.  Stop the problem before it begins.

  • Use a "Tipsy Tow" service.  Our local tow company, Jan's Towing, offers a free local ride home for your car and you if you have been drinking.  Call (626) 914-1841 for information.
Don't become or cause a DUI statistic, don't become an unwilling passenger in a police unit!  Be responsible, don't drink and drive!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Man Arrested for Photographing Up Woman's Skirt

Arrested Suspect: Albert T. WONG, male Chinese, 28 years old
Resident of Temple City

On Wednesday, March 3, 2010, shortly after 6:00 pm, Arcadia Police Officers were called to the CVS Pharmacy located at 1401 South Baldwin Avenue, Arcadia, on report of a male suspect photographing female customer’s undergarments. A female Asian in her twenties was shopping inside CVS when she felt something brush against the back of her leg. The victim turned to see suspect WONG crouched down behind her, facing away but holding a camera behind him. The victim felt that the suspect was taking pictures under her dress and confronted the suspect, grabbing the camera from him. The victim contacted a store employee who called the police. When Officers arrived, they detained WONG outside the store.

Evidence of the suspect indeed taking photographs of the victim from underneath her skirt was found in the camera. In addition, it appears that the suspect may have photographed at least two additional victims in a similar manner. Anyone with information or who believes that they may be a victim, please call APD Detectives at (626) 574-5160, reference case #10-1200. Albert WONG was arrested and booked at APD on misdemeanor charges. He was later released on citation.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Unlicensed Driver Leads Police on Early Morning Chase

At about 1:43 am this morning, a 38 year-old unlicensed female from West Covina led Arcadia Police Officers on a high speed chase on several local freeways.  An Officer attempted to stop the driver on Colorado Place west of San Rafael Road for swerving in the lanes.  The driver sped off in a Dodge Caravan across Colorado Street, failing to yield to the police unit lights and siren.  The Caravan then entered the 210 freeway at Rosemead Boulevard.  APD units continued to pursue the Caravan with speeds on the freeway in excess of 100 mph.  APD units requested assistance from the California Highway Patrol and CHP units took over the pursuit on the 10 freeway in West Covina.  The Caravan exited the freeway a short time later and ultimately stopped in an apartment complex driveway located in the 700 block of North Sunset Avenue, West Covina.  The driver was taken into custody without incident and was later booked at APD on felony evading charges.  The driver had been drinking but was not found to be legally DUI. 

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wanted - Grand Theft

Do you recognize the man in the photo above?  This is one of two male suspects that are responsible for stealing packages off the porch of a victim home in the 400 block of East Lemon Avenue, Arcadia.  The crime occurred on March 3, 2010, in the early afternoon hours.  This suspect returned to the porch and removed the surveillance camera prior to fleeing in the pictured vehicle.  The suspect vehicle appears to possibly be a blue Chrysler PT Cruiser.  The suspects in this crime are wanted for Grand Theft. 

Anyone with information on the pictured suspect or vehicle is asked to call APD Detectives at (626) 574-5160, reference case #10-1324.

If you are expecting deliveries at home, stay in touch with your shipper and delivery company.  Track your packages and if you are not going to be home, request delivery to a work address or neighbor who can accept the package.

Arcadia Police Officers & Firefighters Shave Their Heads

The annual St. Baldrick's Day celebration was held last night at Matt Denny's Ale House & Restaurant in Arcadia.  Over $40,000.00 in donations were received by the St. Baldrick's Foundation that was founded to help fight childhood cancer.  Dozens of Arcadia Police Officers and Firefighters, both on and off-duty gathered in support of the fundraiser.  Take a look at photos of the event on the APD Facebook page.  It was a joy to see the smiles on the children's faces as they rode in on the Fire Engine and helped in shaving the heads of Arcadia's Finest!  The video above is from and reporter Susan Hirasuna. Special thanks to Matt Denny's and Salon Del Sol.

DUI Checkpoint Scheduled for St. Patrick's Day

Members of the Arcadia Police Department will be conducting a DUI Checkpoint at a location within the City of Arcadia during the evening or St. Patrick's Day, Wednesday, March 17, 2010, between 8:00 pm to 2:00 am.  St. Patrick's Day will undoubtedly see many celebrations and the Arcadia Police Department reminds you to party responsibly; don't drink & drive!  If you have been drinking and don't have a designated driver, consider the use of Jan's Towing and their free "Tipsy Tow" program.  Jan's will tow your vehicle and offer you a ride home in the local service area for free.

Weekly Tip - Arcadia Advocacy

The City of Arcadia offers an informative website and is constantly looking to improve accessibility to our community. One link on the website is to Arcadia Advocacy. This link allows the user to submit concerns, questions, and comments on any given topic to the City. The post is forwarded to the appropriate Department or person within the City and the post is then reviewed. We make every attempt to respond in a timely manner and address the issue at hand. At the Police Department, many of the posts are simple questions that we can usually handle rather quickly. Some comments are more involved and require a little research or action on the part of APD. Feedback from the community is one key to constantly improving our services. Arcadia Advocacy comments can be sent anonymously or with contact information. Obviously, we encourage you to leave a name and contact information so that we can follow-up with the issue.  Arcadia Advocacy is just another outreach to improve relations and our service delivery.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Arcadia Business Expo

Personnel from APD will be participating in the 2010 Arcadia Chamber of Commerce Business Expo this coming Saturday, March 13th, at the Westfield Santa Anita mall from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.  We will be handing out crime prevention information and conducting free child fingerprinting.  See you Saturday!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Good Information Sharing at Community Meeting

A Community Crime Prevention meeting was held last night at the Arcadia Public Library who offered use of their auditorium for the event.  About 40 community members attended the meeting during which they were offered suggestions on crime prevention tips that centered on the theme of "Don't Be a Victim!"  Sergeant Brian Ortiz emphasized the point of not hesitating to call the police when something appears suspicious, wrong, or out of place.  "It's our job...if your instincts tell you that something is wrong, it probably is.  Call us."

Chief Sanderson offered thoughts and information on the pending release of thousands of prisoners in the State over the next few years.  Undoubtedly, with the influx of early release prisoners into Los Angeles County, there will be an impact on public safety.

Many in the audience took the opportunity to interact with Chief Sanderson and Sgt. Ortiz, offering up general crime prevention questions as well as specific inquiries about programs such as "crime mapping", crime tip sources, bi-lingual personnel, and more.  Reporter Brian Day, SGVN, attended the meeting and wrote a nice summary article for the Pasadena Star-News.

Thank you to all the community members that attended the meeting!  Your participation and interest in our community truly do contribute to "making a difference" in APD's crime prevention efforts.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Robbery and Carjacking

At about 9:25 pm last night, a male resident had just pulled into his driveway in the 200 block of West Lemon Avenue when he was confronted by a suspect wielding a crowbar.  The suspect smashed the left front window of the victim's car and ordered the victim out of the vehicle.  Two additional male suspects opened the passenger door and accosted the passenger, an older female.  Those suspects grabbed the female's purse and punched her in the head multiple times, pulling her from the vehicle.  All three suspects entered the victim's vehicle and fled with the car and the female's purse, westbound on Lemon.  Neither victim was seriously injured.  

The suspects were described as males in their 20's, one being Hispanic with a mustache, all wearing dark clothing.  A white van is also believed to be involved.  The victim's vehicle, a 2006 Lexus RX330, license #5SNA020 CA, blue in color, is still outstanding.  Additional loss included cash and personal checks.

It appears that the victim's were possibly followed home after having conducted business outside the City.

UPDATE:  The victim's vehicle was recovered the following day, abandoned, less than a mile from the crime scene.  No suspects in custody, investigation continuing. 

Community Crime Prevention Meeting TONIGHT!

Don't forget!  Community Crime Prevention meeting tonight at the Arcadia Public Library, 6:30 pm.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Officer Honored with Life Saving Award

Officer Luis Vicuna was awarded the Arcadia Police Department Life Saving Award at last nights City Council meeting.  Chief Bob Sanderson, Officer Luis Vicuna, and Captain Gene Gioia are pictured above. The award citation is quoted below:

On December 29, 2009 at approximately 5:48 P.M., Officer Luis Vicuna responded to 56 E. Duarte Road (Arcadia Fitness Sports Club) to assist on a medical emergency. Seventy-six year old James Chen had collapsed while running on a treadmill. Maurice Llewellyn, an employee at the fitness club, and Miguel Salas, a patron at the club, found that Mr. Chen was not breathing. Both men began cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in an attempt to save his life.

Officer Vicuna arrived as Mr. Llewellyn and Mr. Salas were performing CPR on Mr. Chen. Mr. Chen had no pulse and was not breathing on his own. Based on his evaluation of Mr. Chen, Officer Vicuna continued CPR until Arcadia Fire Department paramedics arrived and took over life saving measures.

The paramedics continued to work on Mr. Chen and were finally able to establish a pulse and Mr. Chen began breathing on his own. Mr. Chen was transported to Arcadia Methodist Hospital emergency room where further treatment was administered bringing Mr. Chen into stable condition.

Medical evaluation determined that the CPR efforts provided by Mr. Llewellyn, Mr. Salas and Officer Vicuna was likely the determining factor in saving Mr. Chen’s life.

Officer Vicuna’s actions were in the finest tradition of the law enforcement profession. His quick assessment of the emergency allowed him to provide the care needed to help save Mr. Chen’s life. Officer Vicuna’s decisive actions saved the precious time that Mr. Chen needed to survive.

For his actions, Officer Luis Vicuna is hereby awarded the Arcadia Police Department’s Life Saving Medal with Citation for exemplary service.

Awarded this 2nd day of March 2010.

Robert P. Sanderson, Chief of Police

Weekly Tip - Mail & Identity Theft

The theft of mail is a problem that impacts individuals in every community. Mail theft can be random, or planned and repeated time and time again at the same location. Thieves will target a residence with unlocked or easily accessed mail boxes, taking mail that contains vital information about you. They may open accounts, conduct fraudulent activity and intercept the incoming bills before you even see them. This is just one form of Identity Theft. The State of California has a website that discusses ID theft and has a list of prevention tips. View those TIPS HERE.

The US Postal Inspection Service works with local Law Enforcement to combat and prosecute those responsible for stealing your identity, services and goods. Take a look at the US Postal Inspection Service website for more valuable information to help prevent mail and identity theft.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Vandal Arrested

A witness saw a male subject spray painting large letters, defacing the railroad bridge at Huntington Drive and Second Avenue at about 12:30 am Sunday morning, February 28, 2010. The witness called APD and provided a good description of the vandal. Officers detained Matthew Garrovillas, an 18 year old from Pasadena, riding his bicycle at Colorado Street and Michillinda Avenue. Garrovillas was identified by the witness and was arrested. Garrovillas was booked at APD on felony vandalism charges. The graffiti had been painted on both the outer and inner walls of the railroad bridge.

Rainy Night Thefts Lead to Arrests

Officers were called to the 1600 block of Wilson Avenue at about 4:15 am early Saturday morning, February 27, 2010, on report of a suspicious person near the resident's cars.  A resident woke up and saw an unknown male figure standing in the rain near the resident's vehicles parked in the driveway.  When the resident went outside, the male subject quickly walked away out of sight.  Officers found an occupied car parked a block away in the 1600 block of Oakwood Avenue.  Inside the vehicle were two male subjects and a large amount of property including cash, cellular phones, a watch, clothing and other items that did not belong to the subjects.  Ultimately, it was learned that the property has been stolen from about five unlocked cars in the immediate area overnight.

Tony M. Rodgers, 26 years old from Fontana, and David M. Dickerson, 24 years old from Monrovia, were each arrested and booked at APD for felony charges of receiving stolen property.