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Police blotter 3-20-15

Death of Los Angeles woman ruled a homicide

The body of a female found at Mt. Baldy earlier this month has been identified as Amparo Karina Velarde of southeast Los Angeles.

The 38-year-old woman’s body was found clothed and covered in blankets on a west side turnout approximately 25 feet from Mt. Baldy Road on Tuesday, March 3. A US Forest Service employee driving along Mt. Baldy Road first located the woman and contacted Los Angeles County Sheriff’s San Dimas station at approximately 9:55 a.m.

Evidence found on the victim aided in identifying the mother of two, and her family was notified of her death on March 4. Services for Ms. Velarde are scheduled for later this week.

The investigation remains ongoing.

 “Ms. Velarde’s death is being investigated as a homicide,” Sergeant Bobby Gray told the COURIER. Based on their investigation, detectives said they have determined that the victim was killed within 10 hours of her body being discovered in a remote area of Mt. Baldy and suspect foul play.

Results of an autopsy conducted by the Los Angeles County Coroner have been placed on a security hold. Toxicology tests, which will reveal what substances were in Ms. Velarde’s body, if any, will not be available for six to eight weeks.

No further details are being released at this time. If you have any information, contact Sgt. Luis Nuñez or Sgt. Bobby Gray with the Los Angeles County Sheriff Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500.

 

Thursday, March 12

A Claremont woman traveling on the wrong side of the road attempted to correct her mistake by driving over the center median, right in front of Claremont police. Officers pulled over Jolene Cisneros near Towne Avenue just after midnight following her four-wheeling antics on Foothill Boulevard. The 40-year-old lady exhibited symptoms of alcohol intoxication and following a series of field sobriety tests, the wrong-way driver was arrested for driving under the influence.

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“Kibble and brew. Kibble and brew, I’m gonna get me some kibble and brew!” That must have been the chant of one petty thief who committed an unusual heist at a local market. According to Claremont Detective David Hardin, the unknown man entered Stater Bros located at 1055 W. Foothill Blvd. at approximately 3:45 p.m. and exited the store with a 50-pound bag of Pedigree dog food and a 24-pack of Corona valued at $43. The beer-stealing-dog-lover got into a newer- model, four-door gray Nissan Altima and fled the location in an unknown direction.

 

Friday, March 13

An Ontario resident with a passion for fashion fell victim to a burglar who stole her designer handbag near the Claremont Hills Wilderness Park. The 54-year-old victim parked her red Hyundai Santa Fe on Strasbourg Court and Mt. Baldy while she took a hike, and left her Louis Vuitton purse locked inside the vehicle. An unknown thief broke out the right rear window of the SUV and made off with the woman’s coveted handbag and its contents including $300 cash, credit cards, driver’s license and sunglasses. The loss is valued at $3,500.

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An out-of-town thief was treated to some Claremont hospitality after stealing from a popular local music shop. Daniel Diaz of Tracy, California strolled into Rhino Records at 10 p.m. and placed an $11 Cage the Elephant CD into his sweater pocket. The store manager witnessed the crime, detained the shoplifter and contacted police. The 22-year-old northern Californian resident was arrested for the theft.

 

Saturday, March 14

A white two-door Jeep Wrangler collided with a sign, fire hydrant and a planter on the 200 block of Carnegie near Bonita Avenue. Officers arrived on scene and found Claremont resident Paul Espinoza sitting in the driver’s seat of the idling vehicle. According to Detective David Hardin, police made contact with Mr. Espinoza, who exhibited signs of being under the influence and smelled of alcohol. The 42-year-old refused all field sobriety tests and told police he suffers from photophobia, a condition in which bright lights hurt your eyes. Ultimately, Mr. Espinoza was arrested for DUI. The Jeep suffered damage to the front end and had to be removed from the fire hydrant.

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Chester Cheetah is always looking for a little action, but it’s doubtful this is what he had in mind. Around 1 p.m., an unknown man parked his silver Kia Rio at the Chevron located at 699 E. Foothill Blvd. and entered the store to pay for gas. When the store clerk went into the back, the suspect placed a bag of Cheetos in his pants before attempting to pay for gas using a defaced credit card that was later rejected by the clerk. When the thief tried to leave the store, the noise of the chips crunching in his pants gave him away. The clerk confronted the Cheetos bandito who fessed up to the crime and returned the chips to the employee before fleeing the scene. The incident leaves this reporter in search of a new gas station to get her Cheetos fix.

 

Sunday, March 15

A Harvey Mudd student who took a walk on the wild side was hospitalized following a confrontation with Claremont police. Officers responded to numerous calls around 4:45 p.m. of a man walking naked in the vicinity of Wolfe’s Market along Foothill Boulevard. When approached by police, the 21-year-old student became combative and irrational as officers attempted to take him into custody. The Oregon resident was ultimately wrestled to the ground and tased by police as officers tried to gain control of the situation. Suspecting a potential drug overdose, the student was transported to Pomona Valley Hospital for treatment. His condition remains unknown and he has not yet been charged with any crime. An internal review is underway on the officers’ use of force.

 

Tuesday, March 17

An Ontario man turned the wrong doorknob at a Claremont Village home and it landed him in jail. According to Det. Hardin, officers responded the 200 block of W. First Street around 1:30 a.m. after the resident notified police that there was a man trying to open her front door. Police arrived at the location and saw Travis Livingston in front of the door. Suspecting the man was under the influence of alcohol, officers asked the 31-year-old how much he’d had to drink, to which he responded, “Let’s say three plus two, so four” before changing his story to “13 beers.” The math wiz was arrested for an outstanding warrant as well as being drunk and disorderly.

—Angela Bailey

news@claremont-courier.com