Police blotter 6.30.12

Friday morning, June 22 proved unlucky for teenage burglars attempting to get away with stolen goods in Claremont. Neighbors came to the rescue in separate incidents to aid Claremont Police in catching crooks.

A resident in the 300 block of Geneva Avenue contacted police after witnessing a man attempt to break into a neighbor’s Volkswagen Beetle around 6:45 a.m. Police located the man, identified as James Bunch, 18, hiding in a carport in the 600 block of Indian Hill Boulevard. Mr. Bunch was also found to be involved with a series of car thefts in the 300 and 400 blocks of Geneva Avenue within the same time frame. Police found a bag of stolen property from these thefts discarded on a nearby street. Items included a rosary, makeup box, jewelry, cash, sunglasses and a GPS navigation device.

Later that morning, around 9:30 a.m., a resident in the 400 block of Charleston Drive ran after a man seen exiting a neighbor’s house with stolen property. The neighbor was unable to catch the man, last seen turning right onto Mills Avenue. The neighbor also associated a green sedan with a rear spoiler in possible connection the burglar. Though unable to trace the car, police found the runner—Christopher Vasquez, 19, of Ontario—who admitted to the burglary. Stolen items were found in a pillowcase discarded in a nearby bush, including a Wii gaming console with accompanying video games, a laptop computer and 5 jewelry boxes.


Sunday, June 24

A bar fight ended with a man in the hospital early Sunday morning. According to the victim, a group of men approached him and his wife in the parking lot of Piano Piano, 555 W. Foothill Blvd., around 1:20 a.m. They began harassing his wife, attacking him and kicking his car.

The fight was prompted after the group was kicked out of the dueling piano bar for allegedly harassing his wife earlier in the evening. Police found the man on the ground of the parking lot, clutching his shoulder in pain. Paramedics responded and transported him to a nearby hospital. The men, described as 3 white males in their late 20s, have not been located.


Police initially responded to City Hall, 207 Harvard Ave., after notification of a medical emergency, but ended up carting a man to jail. Unrelated to the emergency call, police found David Merritt, 34, sleeping on a nearby bench. It took 5 to 10 minutes to rouse Mr. Merritt, who was found to be under the influence of alcohol, according to Lieutenant Shelly Vander Veen. Mr. Merritt was arrested and held until sober.


Lighting violations and half-truths were the beginning of troubles for 2 Pomona men who wound up behind bars Sunday night. Claremont police attempted to stop Gregory Sanchez, 46, around 8:30 p.m. for riding his bike in the dark without proper lighting. Though he initially attempted to flee, his effort was unsuccessful. Mr. Sanchez admitted to being in possession of a marijuana pipe and gave police consent to search his backpack. Among marijuana paraphernalia, police also located an illegal glass meth pipe. Mr. Sanchez was arrested for possession of the meth pipe.

Around 11:35 p.m., Phillip Tran, 23, was also stopped for a vehicle lighting violation near Lehigh Drive and San Jose Avenue. Through verbal identification, police discovered that Mr. Tran was on probation and conducted a search of his vehicle. While sitting on the curb during the search, Mr. Tran attempted to discard a plastic bindle of methamphetamine. The attempt was futile. Mr. Tran was arrested for drug possession.

Tuesday, June 26

Two people were seen sitting in the intersection of Auto Center Drive and Indian Hill Boulevard yelling at passing vehicles around 1:17 a.m. When police arrived on scene the subjects were gone, but a man fitting the description was found looking through a dumpster nearby. Lerone Pace, 41, of Pomona was arrested for an outstanding warrant for drug possession.

—Beth Hartnett


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