Police blotter 3.29.13

Spring has sprung, and so have sprinkler bandits

A handful of Claremont residents have a legitimate reason for letting their lawns go brown. A series of sprinkler burglaries are leaving several Claremonters’  pockets, and lawns a little dry. Seven brass sprinkler burglaries were reported between Wednesday, March 20 and Sunday, March 24 with an estimate of more than $300 in losses, according to Lieutenant Mike Ciszek. Thieves also targeted homes in the 500 and 600 block of Bluefield Drive, 2000 block of Kemper Avenue and 500 block of Charleston Drive, all located above Base Line Road.

To help prevent this type of crime, Lt. Ciszek suggests residents install floodlights high enough so that criminals cannot tamper with them. Sometimes crooks will unscrew the lights and return to commit a crime, he explained. He also encourages residents to engage in Neighborhood Watch, looking out for any suspicious activity and reporting it to the police at 399-5411.


Wednesday, March 20

A bicyclist was transported to the hospital after a run-in with a vehicle going down Indian Hill Boulevard early Wednesday evening. Both were traveling south when the bicyclist made a hand gesture signaling he was going to turn left in front of the car. Unfortunately, the driver did not see the gesture or did not respond quickly enough. The vehicle and the bike collided during the lane change. Luckily, the bicyclist did not sustain significant injuries, according to Lt. Ciszek, but was transported to the hospital for a swollen ankle.


Thursday, March 21

While students at Danbury Elementary hurried home from school, a crook made his way to school. Danbury was targeted in an electronics burglary between 3 p.m. on Wednesday, March 20 and 8 a.m. the following day. Three computers were stolen. There are no suspects.


Friday, March 22

At least 24-year-old Tommy Dixon got a workout in before spending downtime behind bars. Police caught up with Mr. Dixon at the college dorms off Sixth and College Way, where he was found running up and down the hallways of the dorms, according to Lt. Ciszek. It appears a little extra something gave him the energy. Mr. Dixon, who is not a college student, was found to be under the influence and arrested for public intoxication. He was released to run as he pleased after sobering up.


Saturday, March 23

It’s still unclear as to what 26-year-old Matthew Sullivan of Granite Bay might have been looking for in a set of bushes he was digging through at Jaeger Park, but police found a surprise. After questioniong Mr. Sullivan, officers arrested him for 3 outstanding warrants. Matters were made worse for Mr. Sullivan when he was found in possession of heroin during his booking, according to Lt. Ciszek. He was arrested for the warrants, as well as for possession of a controlled substance and for bringing narcotics into the jail.


Monday, March 25

Western Dental is yet another Claremont business that has been targeted in a recent chain of commercial break-ins. An unknown burglar entered the business, located at 750 S. Indian Hill Blvd., shortly after 2 a.m. by shattering the front glass window, according to police. Several drawers and cabinets had been opened, but property loss is unknown at this time. Any information on this crime should be reported to the Claremont police at 399-5411.


Donald Tafoya, 24, of La Verne left a trail for police officers who followed in pursuit on Monday. Officers attempted to stop Mr. Tafoya, who was riding a bicycle nearby Arrow and Towne Avenue, because of a traffic violation. Instead of stopping, Mr. Tafoya ditched the bike and ran into the nearby 99 Cent store. There was no shopping for Mr. Tafoya. He quickly made his way to a back door and took off, jumping into a series of backyards before police caught up with him. Mr. Tafoya had an outstanding warrant from Arcadia police. He also left behind a trail of hypodermic needles for police. He was arrested for the discarded drug paraphernalia, in addition to his warrant.


Tuesday, March 26

On Tuesday evening, the Trader Joe’s parking lot became an impromptu retail location. Atlantis McClellan, 40, of Sherman Oaks and a male friend were attempting to sell electronics from the trunk of their sedan. Police took an interest in an item not up for sale. Ms. McClellan was found in possession of methamphetamine and a meth pipe. She was arrested. Her friend, who was on probation for burglary, was questioned and released.

—Beth Hartnett


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