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Police blotter: May 20, 2022

Tuesday, May 10

It doesn’t sound like much of a prize, but what its owner described as “a 16-foot dirty aluminum boat” and trailer were reported stolen from the driveway of a home in the 3700 block of Williams Ave. A neighbor told police a white or silver early 2000s lifted Dodge Ram pickup pulled up to the home on May 5 or 6, attached the trailer to a hitch, and pulled away. The boat’s owner, who was out of town at the time, needed some time to gather identifying information, including the vessel’s hull number, license number, etc., before calling police. Anyone who may have seen a “dirty aluminum boat” being towed around the time of the theft is urged to call the Claremont Police Department at (909) 391-5411.

A 52-year-old city employee called Claremont police at 8:24 p.m. to report a man masturbating while watching her through a window at the Joslyn Center, 660 N. Mountain Ave., where the woman was working with a cleaning crew. The woman took cellphone video and photos of the man, and when police arrived they recognized him straightaway, as it wasn’t their first unsavory encounter with the 26-year-old unhoused man. The woman said she’d also been previously victimized by the man in late March, when she reported him doing the same thing while she was working at Wheeler Park, 626 Vista Dr. This time cops quickly located the man at city hall, 207 Harvard Ave. A search allegedly turned up a methamphetamine pipe, and a records check revealed an outstanding arrest warrant relating to a third indecent exposure charge, this one out of San Bernardino County. He was arrested for indecent exposure and possession of drug paraphernalia, both misdemeanors, and on the warrant, then booked and held in the Claremont jail in front of his Thursday, May 12 arraignment in Pomona Superior Court.

Wednesday, May 11

Pomona police contacted their Claremont brethren at 11:54 a.m. to let them know they had one Orlando Garcia-Ordaz in custody, which was of interest to CPD since the 27-year-old Pomona man was wanted on two felony warrants in the City of Trees, one for grand theft auto and another for burglary. Claremont police then traveled to Pomona and took custody of Garcia-Ordaz, booked and jailed him until his May 12 arraignment in Pomona court.

Thursday, May 12

Though admirably forthcoming with police, a 52-year-old unhoused man was nonetheless arrested after reportedly telling officers, “I have a pipe and a little bit of meth on me,” prompting a search that allegedly turned up a golf ball-sized quantity of the dangerous stimulant. It began at 1:11 p.m., when CPD officers saw the man walking south on College Ave. from Arrow Hwy. They then conducted a “consensual encounter,” wherein the man agreed to talk to police, and after a brief conversation, allegedly told them about the drugs and pipe in his possession. He was then arrested on misdemeanor drug and drug paraphernalia possession charges, booked, and released with a citation to appear in court.

Claremont police, responding to recent public outcry regarding the abundance of crime taking place around “motel row,” at Indian Hill Blvd. and the 10 Freeway, assigned eight officers to a 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. crime suppression detail in the area that resulted in 10 arrests.

One of them was a 28-year-old Chino Hills man, Marcus Fuller. Police became suspicious when they noticed a BMW without a front license plate and illegal “blackout” window tint, rear taillight tint, and expired registration in the parking lot of Motel 6, 840 S. Indian Hill Blvd. When Fuller pulled the BMW out of the lot, CPD made a traffic stop near Indian Hill Blvd. and Auto Center Dr. While questioning him, police say they smelled a strong odor of marijuana emanating from inside the car. They then asked to search it, but Fuller refused. Asked for his license, Fuller produced an ID card, and a records check then revealed his license was currently suspended four times over, stemming from two DUI convictions in 2016 and one each in 2018 and 2019. After placing him under arrest on a misdemeanor charge of driving on a suspended license, police were tasked with taking inventory of the BMW prior to having it towed to an impound lot. It was then officers say they found a black tactical backpack on the front passenger side floorboard. Inside was a loaded Glock 27 semi-automatic handgun with a nine-round magazine — which held eight 40-caliber rounds — and a waistband holster, police said. Further investigation revealed Fuller was subject of another ongoing firearms related investigation in LA County. Police then added the additional misdemeanor charge of possession of a loaded handgun, and he was booked on the at CPD headquarters, issued a ticket, and released.

Another crime suppression arrest took place at 11:12 p.m. after Claremont police pulled over 21-year-old Ontario resident Steven Molina near Indian Hill Blvd. and the 10 Freeway for an allegedly inoperable third brake light and no front license plate. Molina came to a stop in a nearby parking lot, and as officers approached the car they allegedly saw him trying to hide something and could smell strong odor of marijuana. Asked what he’d been hiding, Molina reportedly told police, “I was trying to hide a blunt.” He was then asked to step out of the car. Officers then allegedly found what amounted to a virtual illegal drug store inside the car, including a small clear plastic baggie with four small blue oxycodone pills, another baggie with 20 small white bar-shaped Xanax pills, a small container of marijuana, a scale, multiple empty plastic baggies, and later, seven more oxycodone pills in a cupholder and several small plastic baggies on the floor containing “wax,” a concentrated, incredibly potent form of marijuana. Police say Molina voluntarily gave officers written permission to search his phone, including his passcode, where they found text messages with multiple customers regarding meeting locations and listing prices for various drugs. During a statement to officers, Molina reportedly said, “I make more at my day job than doing this. This just helps me get by.” He was arrested on a felony charge of possession of narcotics for sale, booked, and released with citation.

Another arrest during the crime suppression detail took place once again at Claremont Lodge, 736 S. Indian Hill Blvd. just minutes later, at 11:18 p.m. Officers became suspicious when they saw the driver of white 2003 Honda Civic pull into the motel parking lot, get out of the car, and walk away with the window open and the engine running. Police then made contact with the man, Christian Estrada, 29, from Pomona, whom they say immediately became angry and argumentative, yelling, “I’m not doing anything wrong.” Police say they saw an open Modelo beer can in the car, smelled a strong odor of alcohol coming from Estrada and the Honda, and noticed a marijuana water pipe or “bong” on the front passenger seat. Estrada then tried to walk away, police said. After they ordered him to stop, he then allegedly grabbed his waistband with both hands. This alarmed officers, who took it to indicate he may have had a gun on him. They then managed to detain him without further incident, thankfully, because as they looked through the open window into the Honda, they allegedly saw a black semi-automatic “ghost gun,” a polymer 80 plastic frame with a Glock slide attached. It turned out to be loaded with a magazine with 11 nine mm bullets, police said, and a black canvas bag on the seat next to the gun contained more ammunition, including .38 caliber, more nine mm, and .223 rifle rounds. Estrada was arrested on two misdemeanor charges of possession of a loaded firearm and possession of an undetectable firearm.

Friday, May 13

The owner of EZ Cash, 412 Auto Center Dr., called police at 2:41 p.m. to report a fraud in progress. This was after Robert Musich, 53, from Valinda, presented him with a fake check. The EZ Cash owner then called the business listed on the phony check, and that owner immediately told him the check was fraudulent. The EZ Cash owner then called CPD, and delayed Musich long enough for officers to arrive, at which time he made his way to the bathroom, apparently trying to avoid police. But the cops got to him first, and arrested him for felony possession of a fictitious check. Molina is said to have admitted he got the company’s information from a legitimate check it had issued to him previously for the purchase of some property. He allegedly said he had taken that legitimate check to a third party, who then made him three additional fake checks. Claremont police are familiar with Musich, as it was the fifth time they have arrested him for felony check fraud over the past five years.

Monday, May 16

What began as a routine arrest of a known trespasser and restraining order violator quickly turned serious when a 32-year-old unhoused man told police there was a bindle of fentanyl inside the abandoned commercial building in which he’d been squatting. The incident began after an officer conducting extra patrol in the area noticed a candle burning in an upstairs room in the vacant building in the 400 block of W. Arrow Hwy., then saw a man walk past the window at 6:23 p.m. Additional CPD officers then responded, and despite repeated calls to come out, the man — whom police knew from three arrests this year and six in 2021 for violating a restraining order at the location due to a relative’s home being nearby — refused. After some admittedly profane cajoling from a detective, the man was persuaded to emerge. He was then arrested once again, and while he was being placed in the back of a police car, allegedly told an officer there was an open bindle of fentanyl on a desk in the upstairs room. This triggered a call to the Los Angeles County Fire Department, who set up at a safe distance away, along with paramedics and an ambulance, just in case somebody was poisoned by the deadly synthetic drug, which is 100 times more powerful than morphine. Two officers and a sergeant, all wearing N95 masks and other PPE, including double gloves, then went into the building, where they in fact found two bindles of a substance they presumed to be fentanyl, and a pipe. The officers then carefully collected the fentanyl — with the sergeant alongside them armed with doses of the opiate overdose reversing drug Narcan — and took them into evidence. The unhoused man was charged with trespassing, violation of a restraining order, and possession of a controlled substance, all misdemeanors. He was booked and held for court, where he appeared for his arraignment on May 18.