Police blotter 7.21.12

Man saying he fixes cars, makes second suspicious appearance 

On Thursday, July 12 a suspicious man familiar to Claremont Police is prompting officers into a follow-up investigation after a strange occurrence late Thursday afternoon. A resident in the 2000 block of Grand Avenue was working in the front yard when approached by the man, who was driving a black Chevrolet Caprice. He claimed he wanted to fix the dents on a car seen in the resident’s driveway. The resident was walking toward the backyard to question the car owner when he remembered the garage door had been left open. When the resident returned to close the garage door the man was seen rummaging in the garage. He ran from the garage into his car and sped off. Nothing was taken. Police have connected the car and the man with a previous incident made in March.

Witnesses had reported seeing the same man cruising the Stater Bros. parking lot, where he said he was merely searching for dents in cars. Police believe that he may have followed the resident home. Investigation into the matter continues. The man is described as approximately 30 years of age and Hispanic.


Sunday, July 15

A resident in the 3000 block of Swarthmore Court was able to think quickly under pressure and prevent a crime early Sunday evening. After hearing a knock at the door, the resident peered out the window to see an 18-year-old female in the driveway and 3 men getting out of a gray 4-door and making their way toward the side gate. The resident acted quickly, banging on a window near the side gate. When the men saw the resident, they ran back to the car and sped off. The men and woman were described as being African American and around 18 years old.


Monday, July 16

A midnight meal earned 2 Claremont diners jail time on Monday. The men feasted on T-bone steak and filet mignon at Norms, racking up a bill of $25.63, which they refused to pay. One of the men left the restaurant, arousing the suspicion of management, who stopped the second man before he was able to dine- -and-ditch, as well. Police arrested Gregory Switzer, 32, before later arresting David Merritt, 34, in the Village. The District Attorney has decided to file burglary charges against both men.


An Indian Hill family took a substantial financial blow after a break-in Monday afternoon. Sometime between 12:35 p.m. and 4 p.m., the burglar entered the home in the 2000 block of North Indian Hill Boulevard by breaking a pane of glass on a rear door with an unknown tool and unlocking the door. The thief took a computer, cash and jewelry valued at $15,000.


Claremont is not Ontario, a confused 42-year-old man discovered Monday night. Police were driving down Indian Hill when they spotted Jude Barron leaning against a light pole at the intersection of Indian Hill and Foothill Boulevards. Mr. Barron said that he had been drinking bourbon in San Dimas and was trying to walk home to Ontario. When asked where he was currently, Mr. Barron insisted that he was already in Ontario. Mr. Barron was arrested and held until he sobered up.


A young man sneaking into an empty dorm room at Claremont McKenna College was the start of a bizarre police report taken Monday night.

A campus officer approached the man, who was wearing a CMC sweatshirt, after seeing him enter a dorm room through an unlocked window. The man quickly grabbed a pillow and clothes bundle from the closet, got into a Chrysler Sebring convertible parked nearby and fled. The man’s connection to The Colleges is unknown. A trespass report was filed.

Tuesday, July 17

Police are investigating a lead on a major copper theft at the Claremont Colleges. Sometime during the night, surveillance footage shows that 2 men stole $7500 worth in copper spools used for construction. The spools were taken from a plant just east of the Metrolink lot. The men were able to take off with the copper despite the presence of a private security guard. Police are investigating.

—Beth Hartnett


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