Police blotter 8-18-17

Tuesday, August 8

Hundreds of dollars in fake bills were discovered during a routine traffic stop. A car driven by 47-year-old Jade Cummings of Moreno Valley was pulled over around 9:45 a.m. at Mountain and San Jose Avenues after he failed to stop at a stop sign, according to Lt. Mike Ciszek of the Claremont Police Department. Mr. Cummings had two warrants for his arrest, and during a check of his car police found 45 counterfeit $20 bills. That fake money was linked to a larger, nationwide counterfeit network worth around $2.5 million that may have gang ties, according to the Claremont city manager’s report. Mr. Cummings was arrested and transported to CPD jail.


A Costa Mesa man was arrested after getting into a brawl with family members while being served court papers. Melchor Venegas, 40, was attempting to drive away from a house on the 100 block of East American Avenue around 6 p.m. as two people, a 17-year-old girl in front of the car and a 36-year-old man at the driver’s side of the car, tried to stop him, Lt. Ciszek said. Mr. Venegas allegedly rolled the car forward, hitting the girl’s legs, then got out of the car, took a swing and lunged at the man. Mr. Venegas drove away from the scene, but later met with officers at the police station, where he was arrested on suspicion of assault causing great bodily injury. It was not known what kind of court papers were being served.

Wednesday, August 9

Around 2:57 p.m., an employee of the DoubleTree Hotel noticed 29-year-old Craig Cook exiting a vacant storage building and fleeing the scene. When police caught up with Mr. Cook on Foothill Boulevard, a search of his backpack revealed several stolen W-2 forms belonging to the DoubleTree. Mr. Cook, a resident of Rancho Cucamonga, was arrested and transported to CPD jail, where he was booked on a burglary charge.


Thousands of dollars in jewelry was stolen from a home on the 500 block of east Sixth Street between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. The thief entered the home through an unlocked front window and ransacked the house, leaving with two diamond rings, two sets of diamond earrings and a watch with a total value of around $30,000, Lt. Ciszek said. There is no suspect information.


Around 1:05 p.m., 24-year-old Miguel Sifuentes and 26-year-old Noel Pimentel stole two BMX bicycles—worth $200 and $100, respectively—from The Velo on the 200 block of Foothill and began running, Lt. Ciszek said. Mr. Pimentel was caught at College Park after leading police on a pursuit from First Street and Harvard Avenue, and Mr. Sifuentes was located on the 200 block of Yale Avenue, Lt. Ciszek said. Both men were arrested on suspicion of petty theft and for resisting arrest and were transported to CPD jail.

Thursday, August 10

Two would-be burglars were startled to find a home they broke into still had occupants inside. The thieving duo entered the home by removing a window screen on a home on the 900 block of Harrison Avenue around 8:45 a.m. with the objective of ransacking the place. One of the burglars entered a room and found a nine-year-old boy playing video games, Lt. Ciszek said. Startled, the burglars immediately left the home through the same window and fled. Another person, identified as the boy’s grandmother, was also home but did not see the burglars. One thief was described as an 18-year-old African American man with facial hair and a thin build, and the other was described as an 18-year-old Caucasian man also with facial hair and a thin build. Both were wearing black hoodies and black pants. Nothing was taken from the home, and there were no injuries.


Police arrested a transient after a random and unprovoked assault on Indian Hill Boulevard and Second Street. Just before noon, 20-year-old Manuel Avila walked up to the male victim and began beating him, wresting him to the ground and trying to strangle him, Lt. Ciszek said. The victim briefly lost consciousness in the scuffle, and suffered a concussion, multiple abrasions and contusions and a black eye. He was transported to Pomona Valley Medical Center, Lt. Ciszek noted. Mr. Avila fled the location after witnesses came to the victim’s aid, but was eventually arrested after he returned to the scene. There is no known relation between Mr. Avila and the victim.


Two people were arrested on drug and car theft charges near the intersection of Foothill Boulevard and Towne Avenue. Police arrived around 10:39 a.m. and noticed 29-year-old Cesar Vieyra from Pomona standing behind a car with the trunk open. The car had been reported stolen the day before, Lt. Ciszek said. As he was being detained, Mr. Vieyra began to resist arrest, balling his fists, tensing his arms and rolling on the ground, Lt. Ciszek said. Mr. Vieyra suffered multiple scrapes in the process. Another person at the scene, 26-year-old Jessica Galindo of West Covina, was reportedly in possession of meth, a meth pipe and had a warrant for her arrest. Both were taken to jail.

Saturday, August 12

Police handled three DUI arrests in the early Saturday morning hours. At 2:06 a.m., officers pulled over a car driven by 28-year-old Eduardo Becerra from Claremont after he was seen weaving and failing to stop at a stop sign near the intersection of Yale Avenue and First Street. Mr. Becerra told police he was coming from The Press, at which point police determined he was too drunk to drive.

At 2:35 a.m., officers saw a Scion driven by 26-year-old Lana Rollman of Pomona with a brake light out. When she was pulled over near Towne and Bonita Avenues, she claimed she was coming from the Hi Brow Lounge and exhibited clear signs of drunkenness. She was arrested and transported to CPD jail, where she was released with a ticket.

At 3:06 a.m., police pulled over a car driven by 20-year-old Natividad Abarca of San Bernardino after she was observed driving onto the sidewalk on Auto Center Drive and running a red light at the Indian Hill intersection. Ms. Abarca did not have a driver’s license, claimed she was coming from Sevilla tapas bar and smelled of alcohol, according to Lt. Ciszek. She was arrested and released with a ticket.


Two North Hollywood residents were arrested two days after stealing thousands of dollars worth of alcohol from Vons. Just before 6 a.m. on August 12, 33-year-old Gagik Markosyan and 31-year-old Julia Brabham reportedly stole 77 bottles of alcohol worth approximately $2400, Lt. Ciszek said. They were captured by Vons’ surveillance footage. Two days later, Mr. Markosyan and Ms. Brabham were arrested by La Verne police for attempting to burglarize the La Verne Vons, Lt. Ciszek said. Ms. Brabham was allegedly in possession of property stolen from the Claremont Vons when she was arrested in La Verne, Lt. Ciszek said. Mr. Markosyan was arrested for grand theft and Ms. Brabham was arrested for possession of stolen property.

—Matthew Bramlett


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