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Police blotter 8.18.12

Vandals use BB guns to break glass, but do not enter building

BB gun vandals have struck again. A Claremont business and residence were both victims to BB gun vandalism last week. A home in the 1600 block of North Mills Avenue was found with 2 shattered back windows around 7 a.m. Sunday, August 12. A window to the west side of the Claremont Dental Institute, 601 E. Foothill Blvd., was also found with a shattered back window the following morning. Investigations at both sites revealed ball bearings in the shattered glass.

Thursday, August 9

A fire was set in the middle of the Sumner School parking lot Thursday around 4:20 a.m. Two American flags and a patio umbrella were the objects used to create the impromptu bonfire found by Claremont police. The items were stolen from nearby residences, according to Lieutenant Shelly Vander Veen. The fire wasn’t the only thing out of place in the area. A large clay flowerpot was found smashed in the middle of the 3000 block of Mural Drive. Another was found smashed in the 1400 block of Turning Bend Drive. Police suspect a link in the vandalisms, but no suspects have been identified.

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An 18-year-old Claremont resident was arrested after police found him driving a car with a broken rear tail light near Bryn Mawr Road and College Avenue. Instead of stopping for police, Matthew Alvarado continued driving, eventually parking at a residence in the 100 block of Bryn Mawr, running into the house and locking the door. He was ordered out of the house and eventually complied. Mr. Alvarado was found to be driving unlicensed. He was arrested and taken to the Claremont jail for driving without a license and for resisting/delaying a police officer.

Friday, August 10

A man was seen walking outside his Lander Circle residence in the nude Friday around 10:30 p.m. mumbling incoherently. He was transported to a local hospital for a mental evaluation.

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An Upland business recently played a part in tracking down a Claremont crook. On Wednesday, August 8, police allege that Brett Olague, 42, broke into a home in the 700 block of Lander Circle through an unlocked front door and stole wallets containing credit cards. Soon after the incident, employees of Home Depot in Upland notified Claremont police that Mr. Olague had used one of the stolen cards to purchase goods at their store. Through surveillance footage obtained from Home Depot, police were able to identify Mr. Olague and his vehicle, which was traced back to a residence in Pomona. A search warrant was served on Friday, August 10, and after finding some of the stolen property out of the Lander Circle burglary, police arrested Mr. Olague, who was at home at the time of the search.  

Saturday, August 11

Oakmont Elementary School is the latest Claremont school to be hit with attempted copper thefs. A man was seen on the roof of the school Saturday evening around 5:50 p.m. allegedly taking unknown objects. Witnesses last saw him running north on College Avenue, but police were unable to locate the subject, who was described as a Hispanic male, 30 years old and about 5 feet 7 inches tall. After gaining access to the roof, officers found that 150 feet of copper piping had been removed and cut away from an air conditioning unit. However, it appeared that all the copper piping had been left behind, according to Lt. Vander Veen. Though the man was not found, Patricia Ruiz, 66, of Seal Beach, was found under the influence of methamphetamine in a vehicle parked nearby. A connection between the woman and the man seen on the school roof are unknown.

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A gutsy thief went on a bike-stealing rampage in south Claremont Saturday night. The man, wearing a yellow tie-dye shirt and black baseball cap, entered an unlocked patio and stole a red mountain bike valued at around $100. He then broke into a detached garage on nearby Bonita Avenue and cut a bike lock to take a $1000 Tommaso road bike. When he jumped up onto a balcony to get his hands on a bicycle, the resident pounded on the glass to get him to run off. Police are investigating the thefts.

Monday, August 13

A man returned to his parked car in the northwest section of the Pepper Tree Square Shopping Center, located at Arrow Highway and Indian Hill Boulevard, to find a suspicious puddle of gas. It was discovered a one-inch hole had been drilled into his gas tank. Approximately 15 gallons of gas had been stolen. There are no suspects.

Tuesday, August 14

Police responded to reports of a man allegedly chasing and assaulting employees of Hotel Claremont at around 9 a.m. When the man saw police, he attempted to flee to his room, but was tackled and taken into custody. Questioned about his actions, the man claimed to police he thought the housekeeper was trying to poison his water. Witnesses claim they had seen him talking to pictures on the walls and acting strangely. He was taken for a mental examination.

—Beth Hartnett

news@claremont-courier.com