Police blotter 6-27-14

Psychologist pleads no contest to felony charges

A former child psychologist who practiced in Claremont was convicted of inappropriately touching two children during therapy sessions, according to a press release from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

Thomas Gary Amberson, 58, of Upland pleaded no contest in Pomona court on June 23 to two felony counts of lewd acts upon a child. He was immediately remanded into custody.

As the COURIER previously reported, the investigation was initiated in November 2012 by Claremont Police Department after a 9-year-old boy alleged that Mr. Amberson committed lewd acts upon his person during a counseling session. A similar investigation was conducted in 2008, after a 13-year-old boy made similar allegations. The case was not filed by the District Attorney’s Office at the time due to insufficient evidence but was included in the current criminal filing.

Mr. Amberson is expected to be sentenced July 16 and faces eight years in state prison, according to the district attorney’s office. He will also have to register as a sex offender for life.


Wednesday, June 18

A Pomona bicyclist made an unsafe lane change and ended up in the hospital after colliding with a vehicle. Around 10 a.m., the 27-year-old male was traveling eastbound on Arrow Highway when a car struck him near St. Bonaventure, ejecting the rider from his bike, according to Lieutenant Mike Ciszek. The cyclist suffered cuts to his left knee and ankle and was transported to Pomona Valley Hospital following complaints of hip pain.


Scammers continue to target Claremont residents. This time, they claimed to be with the IRS. A resident received several calls on her cell phone around 11:30 a.m. from a man claiming she was delinquent on her taxes. The caller requested payment in the form of two Green Dot credit cards. The woman complied, paying $1,089 to the impersonator. Green Dot credit cards are a pre-paid cash card often used by people to pay bills online if they don’t have a regular bank account or other credit cards, like Visa or MasterCard.

After receiving the initial $1,089, the scammers called the Claremont resident again and demanded another $3,000. At this point, the victim notified police. Police remind residents that if a caller seems suspicious, hang up and call the agency directly. Don’t use the phone number the caller provided but write it down so you can call the police to report the incident.


Friday, June 20

A 17-year-old driver caused some serious damage to a Claremont city street around noon when he lost control of his vehicle. The Claremont youth was allegedly trying to avoid a rock in the road on Arrow Highway near Geneva Avenue, when he collided with a fire hydrant and knocked down a light pole. Despite the seriousness of the accident, the young man was unharmed.


An electrician’s work truck looked appealing to a thief who just couldn’t help himself to the worker’s tools. The white Ford truck was parked in the victim’s driveway on the 200 block of Piedmont Avenue when an unknown suspect unlocked the chests on the back of the truck and made off with $3,250 in tools.


Saturday, June 21

The party ended early for a 17-year-old Ontario boy after providing false identification to police who had responded to a noise complaint. Around 12:30 a.m., officers observed around 50 minors, many of whom appeared to be in possession of or consuming alcohol, in the backyard and in the home located on the 400 block of Bonaventure Avenue. Police located the homeowner, who appeared to be unaware of the party going on. Police arrested and issued a citation to the underage party-goer and then transported him home to his mother.


Sunday, June 22

While a Good Samaritan would return a wallet found on a store counter, it prompted one Claremont resident to commit petty theft. The victim was grabbing a coffee at Starbucks located inside Vons on the 500 block of Base Line Road when she realized her wallet was missing. Police used in-store electronic means to identify 45-year-old Muna BasBaas as the thief. Officers issued a search warrant on her residence and recovered the stolen property. Ms. BasBaas was arrested and released on $20,000 bail.

—Angela Bailey




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