Police Blotter: September 24, 2021

Police Blotter
by Mick Rhodes | mickrhodes@claremont-courier.com

Monday, September 13
Claremont Police Department officers flagged down a 2019 Ford Fiesta for a traffic violation near the corner of Baughman Ave. and Indian Hill Blvd. at 8:22 a.m. A license plate check revealed the rental car had recently been reported stolen out of Ontario, and a records check uncovered the driver, 43-year-old Falecia Pinces from Rancho Cucamonga, had an outstanding felony warrant out of Kansas. Additionally, Ms. Pinces was allegedly found to be in possession of a white substance police suspect to have been methamphetamine, and a meth pipe. She was arrested for felony car theft, and possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia, both misdemeanors, as well as the out-of-state warrant. Ms. Pinces was booked on the new charges before being transferred the Century Regional Detention Facility in Lynwood, where she was held in front of a court appearance. on the Kansas warrant.

This one is bizarre even by Blotter standards: Claremont police were summoned to the parking lot of the Knight’s Inn, 721 S. Indian Hill Blvd., at 10:07 p.m. regarding a car fire in the parking lot. Officers arrived as firefighters from L.A. County Fire Department were extinguishing the blaze, and began their investigation. They began with a quick viewing of the motel’s parking lot security camera footage, which showed a clear view of the suspect who torched the car. With a description in hand, the police began a search of the area, and were soon flagged down by someone at the nearby Shell gas station reporting a man acting suspiciously on the property. Police say they recognized the man, Russell Turner, 32, from Norman, Oklahoma, as one and the same with the guy shown setting the car ablaze. A records check revealed the smoldering car in fact belonged to Mr. Turner, but he refused to acknowledge ownership. “He said he didn’t have a car, that he didn’t do it, and denied any knowledge of it,” police told the COURIER. The Oklahoma man stuck by his story, but that steadfastness didn’t prevent him from being arrested on a felony arson charge. Mr. Turner was booked and then spent a few days in the Claremont jail before appearing for arraignment September 22 in Pomona Superior Court.

Tuesday, September 14
An employee at the Verizon store at 420 Auto Center Dr. called the cops at 3:54 p.m. to report a robbery in progress. Witnesses say a Hispanic man 5-feet, 4-inches tall wearing a green hat, black sunglasses, a dark shirt and cargo shorts entered the store with a box cutter, cut off security tags and took a bank of chargers and wireless earbuds. Police were on the scene in one minute, but were still unable to locate the alleged thief, who was last seen heading south through the parking lot toward the Super King market. Anyone with any information about this crime is encouraged to call the Claremont Police Department at (909) 399-5411.

Wednesday, September 15
An observant passerby called the cops at 1:52 p.m. after allegedly seeing two people sawing off the catalytic converter of a black 2007 Toyota Sequoia parked in a lot at Claremont High School, 1601 N. Indian Hill Blvd. Arriving officers quickly located a silver PT Cruiser that matched the description of the alleged thieves’ car near the corner of Mountain Ave. and Scripps Dr. They followed it as it turned into the parking lot of Sprouts Farmers Market, 835 W. Foothill Blvd., and made a traffic stop. Officers say they saw the freshly purloined catalytic converter inside the PT Cruiser, as well as a Sawzall, the tool of choice for “cat” thieves. The driver, Carlos Sanchez-Pedraza, 41, and his passenger, Carlee Buckley, 40, were both arrested on felony grand theft charges. They also both had outstanding misdemeanor arrest warrants out of San Bernardino County. Both were booked on the new and existing charges and released with citations to appear in Pomona court.

Friday, September 17
Police responded to a 7:29 p.m. trespassing call at 211 Olive St., where they found Jessica Gonzalez, 36, from Compton. According to police, Ms. Gonzalez had previously been involved in a relationship with the homeowner’s brother, and had been arrested for trespassing at the address just two days prior. This time though, she allegedly became physically violent, punching the brother as she was being asked to leave. She was arrested for misdemeanor battery, booked, and issued a citation and a court date.

Sunday, September 19
Claremont police on patrol at 11:25 p.m. near Foothill Blvd. and Mills Ave. say they saw a pair of motorcyclists driving recklessly, with one doing a wheelie, and attempted to pull them over. They then both allegedly sped away at a high rate of speed. The subsequent chase soon caught the attention of a nearby airborne Ontario Police Department helicopter pilot, who began tracking the motorcyclists, who had by then been joined by a third rider. The trio split up near the Upland border, and the ‘copter tracked one of them as he pulled into a cul de sac. Claremont officers arrived shortly thereafter and arrested Riverside resident Steven George, 21, for felony evading a police officer and reckless driving, a misdemeanor. Mr. George was booked and held in jail before successfully lobbying the Pomona court for a bail review and being released on his own recognizance.


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