Police blotter 9-11-15

Tuesday, September 1

On Tuesday, September 1 an Internet predator taking on the persona of a Claremont resident is wanted by police after luring a Santa Clarita teen into an online relationship. According to Detective Lieutenant Mike Ciszek, an unknown female has been impersonating a 19-year-old woman from Claremont by using her personal information and photos from various social media forums for several months. The “catfisher” started sending inappropriate photos to a 17-year-old Santa Clarita boy, striking up a relationship. When the teen became suspicious that he was the victim of catfishing—the phenomenon of Internet predators that fabricate online identities to trick people into emotional/romantic relationships—he traveled to the Hollins Street home of the Claremont woman in search of answers, then discovered she wasn’t the one communicating with the minor online. Claremont police continue to investigate.


Claremont officers recovered a stolen vehicle and put away a bad guy following a traffic stop on the west side of town. At approximately 5:20 p.m., police spotted Cesar Barajas driving a ’92 Honda Accord near Foothill Boulevard and Towne Avenue. A records check revealed the vehicle had been reported stolen from Montclair on August 31. Officers conducted a traffic stop and arrested the 23-year-old driver for grand theft auto. Mr. Barajas was booked at Claremont jail, where he was held pending court. On September 3, the Pomona resident was convicted of his crimes and remains in custody in Men’s Central Jail with a scheduled release date of February 23, 2016.


A Claremont resident witnessed a gal steal a package from her home on the 100 block of Sequoia Court and then pursued the thief until police arrived. At approximately 4 p.m., a female suspect picked up a package from the front porch of the residence before entering the passenger side of a white sedan and fleeing the scene. The vigilant homeowner got in her car and followed the suspects to Upland where police conducted a traffic stop of their vehicle. Claremont police made contact with the driver, 37-year-old Edward Tomcavage of West Hollywood, as well as both passengers, 30-year-old Zoey Hernandez and 26-year-old Joseph Brenklin from Los Angeles. A search of the vehicle revealed stolen packages and mail from multiple residents in Claremont and Upland. The three amigos were arrested and booked at Claremont jail for petty theft, identity theft and conspiracy to commit theft and held for court.


Thursday, September 3

Tom Bodett may have to do more than “leave the light on for you” at the Motel 6 in Claremont if he wants guests to feel safe following this arrest. Claremont officers conducted a welfare check at Motel 6 at approximately 8:06 p.m. and observed a black Honda Civic without license plates backed into a parking space in front of one of the rooms. After learning the vehicle had been stolen from Ontario on August 31, police made contact with 41-year-old Danny Vasquez and 30-year-old Patricia Luaa as they exited a motel room near the parked car. A records check revealed Mr. Vasquez had an outstanding warrant for a previous arrest and the Indio resident was taken into custody. Ms. Luaa admitted to driving the stolen car and, after searching her, police found a meth pipe in her bra and two keys to the car in her shorts. A search of the room offered a few more gems—a loaded shotgun, a handgun and several rounds of ammunition underneath the mattress as well as numerous altered debit cards, gift cards and false California ID cards and drivers licenses. Mr. Vasquez was charged with identity theft, felony possession of a firearm by a felon, felony possession of ammunition and various fraud charges. He remains in custody at Men’s Central Jail pending court. Ms. Luaa was arrested for grand theft auto, identity theft and possession of drug paraphernalia and was convicted as charged. She will remain at the Century Regional Detention Facility in Lynwood until April 24, 2016.


Friday, September 4

An Alta Loma resident was arrested after allegedly grabbing a woman in a local nightclub and then taking to the streets in a drunken run. Just after midnight, Michael Valdez was partaking in festivities at Piano Piano when he allegedly grabbed a female customer before exiting the building. Officers arrived at the Claremont hot spot and discovered the 27-year-old man leaning against a utility box, unable to care for himself. He denied grabbing the female. According to a witness, Mr. Valdez had too much to drink and had been running through the open lanes of traffic on Foothill Boulevard and falling into bushes before police arrived. A records check by police revealed Mr. Valdez had an open warrant for his arrest. He was taken into custody for being drunk in public and the warrant and was booked at Claremont jail. The battery victim did not desire prosecution.


The parent of a Claremont High School student was arrested after meeting with police to address an attendance issue with her child. According to Lt. Ciszek, officers arrived at CHS just before noon to discuss a possible truancy violation with a student. After meeting with the teen and her mother, a records check by police revealed mom had two warrants for arrests out of Compton and San Bernardino County. The 45-year-old Pomona resident was taken into custody and booked at Claremont jail, where she was later released with two tickets.

—Angela Bailey



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