Police Blotter: April 29, 2022

by Mick Rhodes | mickrhodes@claremont-courier.com

Thursday, April 21

A 55-year-old unhoused woman called the Claremont Police Department at 3:47 a.m. to report she had been robbed after being rousted by a man as she slept on the platform of the Metrolink station, 200 W. First St. The woman said she had been sleeping when a man woke her and asked for cigarette. She refused, and the 43-year-old man, who is also unhoused, allegedly became angry and pushed her. He then demanded a cigarette, and after she refused, reportedly grabbed her purse and walked away. Arriving officers took the woman’s report, and based on the description of the man they had a suspicion it was someone they were acquainted with from previous encounters. A search of the Metrolink area did not bear fruit, but at 4:22 a.m. a CPD dispatcher alerted the officers that a man fitting the description of the suspect was pacing back and forth in front of the police station. Police say the man admitted to previously talking to the victim, but denied he’d stolen her purse. Still, he was arrested, but during booking police say they determined he was gravely disabled and a danger to himself, and he was transferred to a nearby hospital to be treated for an unspecified condition. An investigation is ongoing.


Friday, April 22

A 26-year-old Lawndale resident with an alarmingly extensive history of car theft was arrested again after an alert resident of north Claremont called police at 1:51 a.m. to report a man had just stolen something from a car parked in the driveway of a home in the 700 block of Via Santa Catarina. Responding officers say after noticing a suspicious white Audi parked nearby in the 2500 block of Mountain Ave., they saw Samuel Sarmiento run from the same driveway, jump into the Audi and drive off. The officers then pulled Sarmiento over to question him. He’s said to have told officers he had just dropped his sister off at the home from which police had seen him running. By then a second officer had arrived on the scene who ran the plate of the Audi, and discovered it had been reported stolen out of LAPD’s Pacific Division on March 26. While he was being questioned CPD contacted the home where Sarmiento said he had dropped his sister, but the owner told them he did not know him or his sister. Police also found that Sarmiento — who again is just 26 — had been arrested 17 times for grand theft auto, with seven convictions on his record. A search of the Audi allegedly turned up other recently stolen items, including a tray from the center console of a car parked in the driveway from which police had seen him run that contained a garage remote, sunglasses, keys and other miscellaneous items. They also found a laptop bag that belonged to a person in Sun Valley, a backpack from a theft victim in Orange, and mail belonging to resident in the 2900 block of N. Mountain Ave. in Claremont. Sarmiento was arrested on multiple felony counts, including car theft, possession of a stolen vehicle, car theft with prior convictions and possession of stolen property. He was also charged with two misdemeanors, petty theft and fraud, relating to the mail allegedly found in his possession. Sarmiento was booked and held for court in the Claremont jail before being released with a court date after posting a $25,000 bond. All of the stolen items were returned to their owners.


Saturday, April 23

A 33-year-old unhoused man was arrested on a felony no-bail warrant after police responded to a 2:22 p.m. call from the Motel 6 at 840 S. Indian Hill Blvd. regarding a guest who had allegedly been seen cutting a chain link fence on the north side of the property and causing a disturbance in the lobby. Police say the man was demanding a refund from motel staff for the balance remaining on the room he’d rented. But since another person had paid for the room, only that person could be issued a refund. Arriving officers found the man outside the lobby, and a records check quickly turned up the no-bail felony warrant out of Riverside County. He was then arrested, booked, and later transported to the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside.


Monday, April 25

Here’s one from the “you can’t make this up” department: A Claremont man called police at 7 a.m. to report his 1994 Honda Accord had been stolen from his residence in the 220 block of Navarro Dr. Officers arrived and took a report from the man, who told them he’d last seen his car at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 23. Police then reported the Honda stolen, and it was entered into the national database of stolen vehicles. But later that day, well, clearer heads prevailed, when the man called CPD to report he’d found his car parked on a street near his home. He told police he’d been drunk when he parked the car around the corner and had forgotten about it. Cue facepalm.


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