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Police blotter 6.14.13

Police nab man connected to string of burglaries

A 26-year-old man identified as Anthony Hernandez was taken into custody last week after evidence connected him to last week’s string of smash-and-grab burglaries near the Claremont Hills Wilderness Park. The Chino resident is also connected to several other car burglaries throughout neighboring cities. Police served Mr. Hernandez a search warrant, suspecting him of involvement in a series of car burglaries at the Upland 24 Hour Fitness.

The search revealed stolen property from a variety of other car burglaries in the area, including Claremont and Rancho Cucamonga, according to Det. Varney, who says Mr. Hernandez has been targeting vehicles parked near local trailheads. Police remind residents visiting the wilderness park and other local trails to be aware of their surroundings and never leave purses and other personal items in plain sight within their vehicle.

Mr. Hernandez pled guilty to the car burglaries and is serving 28 months in county jail.

 

Wednesday, June 7

A resident in the 3400 block of Grand Avenue dug up something unexpected when working in the garden Wednesday night. The resident was planting some bushes when she came across human bones buried about a foot deep in her flowerbed. The residents have lived in the home since 1988 and believe the bones might be part of a speculated Indian burial ground, according to Detective Rick Varney. The Los Angeles County Coroner is conducting a follow-up investigation of the remains.

 

Thursday, June 6

An early morning, alcohol-induced argument quickly escalated at the Packing House parking garage on Thursday, leaving 2 with minor injuries. Police made their way to the structure down the street after a struggle was heard in the background of a 9-1-1 call. According to the report, 20-year-old Casey Farlow of Claremont punched another man on the side of the face before pulling out a knife and allegedly threatening to kill him. Two others tried to break up the fight and were cut by the blade in the process—one on the chin, the other on the hand. Police arrived to intervene. Mr. Farlow was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon and criminal threats. It is unknown what intensified Mr. Farlow’s anger, but it’s believed that booze was involved, according to Det. Varney.

 

Saturday, June 8

A trio of Claremont College students fought a losing battle with police early Saturday morning—the fact that they were trying to outrun a police vehicle in a golf cart should have been their first clue to their mission’s futility. The students were attempting to get away after being caught taking a joyride in one of the Pomona College golf carts without authorization. The police pursuit ended when the driver of the golf cart crashed the vehicle into a mailbox on Contra Costa Way. The students attempted to take off on foot, but did not succeed in getting away. Donald Okpaluga, the 23-year-old driver, was arrested for the stolen vehicle, hit-and-run and for resisting arrest. Jung Cha, 22 was arrested for the stolen vehicle and resisting arrest. Jeremy Hilledwards, 22, was also arrested for resisting arrest.

 

Sunday, June 9

If you believe 36-year-old Donald Spott, Claremont’s AbilityFirst has really thin windows. That or his story is short on credibility. Around 5:30 p.m., police made their way to AbilityFirst after the burglary alarm was activated. Officers arrived to find a tube sock and an empty beer can outside a broken window.  A K-9 unit from Chino was called in to search the building, but no one was found inside. Though it had appeared the crook had gotten away, he hadn’t gotten very far. Mr. Spotts was seen at a gas station down the street, carrying a radio and covered in blood. Video surveillance found at the scene positively identified Mr. Spotts jumping into a patio area at AbilityFirst. However, it did not show whether or not he was responsible for the break-in. Mr. Spotts gave up that part of the story himself. Questioned by police, Mr. Spotts said he had jumped into the patio area to smoke meth without detection, according to Det. Varney. He claimed he had leaned up against the window and it had broken. It was then that he spotted the radio.

“I was like, ‘Oh, damn, there’s a radio,’” Mr. Spotts recalled to police. “I didn’t really want it, but I figured I could sell it.” Mr. Spotts, who is on parole for kidnapping, was arrested for the burglary.

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The saga of the black cow statue continues. In April, police took possession of the ceramic figurine, which had mysteriously appeared in the 200 block of Sixth Street. Just a couple weeks after the cow was returned home to the 400 block,  it vanished once more. The heifer was reported missing once again on Sunday evening. This time, however, the resident was able to obtain video footage of the attack. Four men were seen carting the cow off into the night. Police are reviewing the footage and will be conducting a follow-up investigation.

 

Monday, June 10

Raymond Donahue, 34, of Alta Loma  was caught red-handed vandalizing the Claremont Village’s newest eatery on Monday night. Mr. Donahue tried to enter Petiscos, the former location of Shrimps on First Street, but was prevented from entering the building, which is closed off to the public. Instead, he put his fist through a glass windowpane before taking off on his bike. Mr. Donahue was located down the street at City Hall, nursing a bleeding hand, which he said was the result of falling off his bike, according to Det. Varney. He was arrested for vandalism and public intoxication.

—Beth Hartnett

news@claremont-courier.com