Crime Time: Fight Clubs, Stray Bullets, Car Bashings, Cop Gun Theft, 4 Jewelry Heists


Jewelry heist fever spreads across Orange County
It's the Weekly's weekly round-up of local police calls--now with more street fights, bullets flying, dudes getting jumped, cops losing service revolvers and jewelry heists in towns with "Laguna" in the name across the county.


The FBI says this man--Robin Lam, 28, of Rancho Santa Margarita--sent several sexually explicit text messages to a 15-year-old girl and arranged to meet her at a Mission Viejo parking lot. They say he did the same with another teen and fear he may have had other inappropriate online contact with other teens. Anyone with information is asked to contact the FBI or their local police.




Nice Walk in the Neighborhood Interrupted A man walking in the 800 block of North Van Ness Avenue near Civic Center Drive in Santa Ana around 9:40 p.m. was jumped by six men. As he was being punched, the 22-year-old man at first could not figure out why he could not break away and then discovered he'd been stabbed several times in the upper part of his body. They split, and he eventually managed to flag a sheriff's deputy driving by. He was taken to Western Medical Center in Santa Ana, where he was listed in serious condition. Police suspect the attack was gang related.



Everyone Joins in Freeway Chase When police tried to stop a blue Chevrolet Blazer for traffic violations at La Sierra and Magnolia avenues in Riverside around 3:20 a.m., the SUV drove off. A pursuit on the westbound 91 freeway hit speeds between 20 and 80 mph, and police say the male driver at one point tossed out a gun. Brea police, the California Highway Patrol and the Los Angeles County Sheriff's aviation unit joined the chase, which finally ended when the Blazer ran out of gas east of Imperial Highway in Brea. The driver, who was not immediately identified, surrendered after sitting in the Blazer for 20 minutes. Someone had switched the license plates on the vehicle.


Turna-bat is Unfair Play In last week's thrilling Crime Time episode, 30 cars were smashed up in San Clemente neighborhoods where, deputies say, gang-bangers like to hang. A report that men were fighting with baseball bats sent deputies to the La Zanja neighborhood of San Juan Capistrano, where they also say gang members darken the corners. Officers say they arrived to find four cars smashed with bats. A short pursuit followed to the area around San Clemente High School, where Jesus Cordovamendoza, 24, Filiberto Cordova, 21, and three unidentified juveniles--all of San Clemente--were arrested on suspicion of vandalism, weapons and resisting arrest charges. Deputies claim it was retaliation for the earlier San Clemente car bashings.


Be Careful Who You Loan Your Fusion To Three armed men robbed Baca's Jewelry Store in Laguna Beach of $600,000 worth of jewelry, but witnesses got a good look at the man holding the gun and the getaway white Ford Fusion. It turned out the car was registered to a San Diego County woman, who told police she'd loaned the vehicle to her daughter. The younger woman told police she in turn had loaned the car to an acquaintance, 31-year-old Alonso Jose Lopez of Vista. Not only did Lopez have a violent criminal record, he fit the description of the man who held the gun in the Baca robbery, police said. A white Ford Fusion was later stopped in Oceanside, but the driver bolted from the car and ran into nearby farmland. With the help of a police dog, officers eventually found a man near a shed who turned out to be Lopez. He was brought back to Laguna Beach and booked on suspicion of armed robbery. Police recovered a portion of the stolen jewelry. The other two robbers remained on the lam.




Speaking of Jewelry Heists . . . A courier was dropping off about $50,000 worth of jewelry to Nuggets and Carats in the 28200 block of Crown Valley Parkway in Laguna Niguel after 5 p.m. when he was confronted by a man with a knife who made off with the loot. The robber was described as white, 50-55, 5-feet-6, 180 pounds with a goatee and shoulder-length blond hair and wearing dirty clothing.


The First Rule of Fight Is . . . Police received a report that four men were fighting in 7200 block of Toulouse Drive in Huntington Beach around 1 p.m. One man was swinging a baseball bat and another was bleeding from his head. But as the police sirens drew close, the men scattered.  



Courtesy of Buena Park Police Department
Police last week released the surveillance photos above and below from the 10 p.m. Aug. 15 robbery of a Chevron gas station at 7250 Artesia St., Buena Park. The robber, who got away with about $500, drove off in a dark green or black minivan, possibly a Dodge Caravan, with body damage to the front right passenger door. He was described as African American, about 30-35, 5 feet 10, 6 feet, 180 pounds with a mustache and wearing a black baseball hat, a hooded jacket and blue Dickies-style pants.





Uh, Isn't This Eerily Like Monday's Incident? A man was walking home in the 400 block of West Chestnut Avenue, near Birch Street, in Santa Ana around 2:30 a.m. when he was jumped by four or five men who began punching him. After the man was knocked down, the group made off with his wallet and the $45 inside. The only description of the attackers were they were 20-25 years old with shaved heads.


Bullets Over Anaheim (and Santa Ana) One of a group of men in a silver Ford Explorer fired a gun at another group of men standing in the 1500 block of East La Palma Avenue in Anaheim just before 3 p.m.. No one was struck by a bullet, the Explorer sped away and someone got the license plate number, which was registered to a stolen vehicle. Undercover officers a short time later saw two men believed to be involved in the shooting riding bicycles on Raleigh Street north of Romneya Drive. A short chase ended when one of the men was shot by a cop while the other was caught in a nearby motel's laundry room. The suspect who was shot was treated at a local hospital. Then, around 5 p.m., the silver Explorer was found parked in the 2700 block of West Carlton Street in Santa Ana. Police saw two women and three men get in the SUV, which they tried to pull over but a pursuit began instead. In the 2200 block of West Edinger Avenue, near Center Street, and a man with a handgun jumped out of the Explorer. Police say he refused to stop when ordered to do so by a detective and was shot. That suspect was treated at a hospital with serious injuries. Meanwhile, the SUV had kept going, but eventually stopped and two men jumped out and ran. They were captured after short chases. The women stayed in the car and were taken into custody. All the suspects in the original drive-by shooting were held on a variety of weapons charges, parole violations and gang and vehicle infractions. Only one of the women was held on charges, the other was freed.


Look What I Found Someone broke the window of a sheriff's deputy's locked personal vehicle parked in an Irvine parking structure and stole off the back seat a duty belt that included a gun, tazer, handcuffs, pepper spray and two full magazines, all valued at more than $2,000. The break-in occurred between 10 p.m. and 11 a.m. Friday.




Room Disservice Deputies received a call around 4 p.m. of shots fired at the Dana Marina motel, 3411 Pacific Coast Highway, Dana Point. They arrived to discover a man inside firing shots from a semiautomatic handgun into adjoining rooms and across PCH, although he did not hit anyone. Ishmael Orellana, 24, gave up to deputies and was arrested on suspicion of negligent discharge of a firearm. He explained he was upset with his girlfriend.




Dogged Determination After Fullerton police received a burglary call around 9:50 p.m., officers saw a man trying to hide a weapon as he walked near Dale Street and Valencia Drive. He took off running, but a police dog ran faster, catching the man who was identified as Thomas Zucchero, 24, of Anaheim. He was arrested on suspicion of possession of a loaded .25 caliber, semi-automatic weapon, and because he was a paroled Paulina Street gang member, he could be sent to state prison.




Giving New Meaning to Lawn Jockeys Neighbors in the 1000 block of Gaviota Drive in Laguna Beach were shocked before 1 p.m. to see two men having sex on the front lawn of one of the multi-million-dollar homes. Police captured the two strangers within 10 minutes of getting the call, describing them as homeless men who live in Laguna Beach. They were arrested on suspicion of lewd conduct in public.


The Jewel-Heist Trifecta An open house was held in the 2000 block of Wind Cove Lane in Huntington Beach, but shortly after it was over at 4 p.m. the homeowners discovered $30,000 worth of jewelry was missing.

The Jewel-Heist Four-fecta Residents returned from a weekend trip around 9:30 p.m. to discover their oceanfront home in the 32000 block of Pacific Coast Highway in Laguna Beach had been ransacked and nearly $1 million worth of jewelry had been stolen. Police are unsure when the hit occurred and surveillance tapes are being pored over.




Courtesy of Newport Beach Police Department
James Alexander Beverley
That's Why They Hire Guards A man walked into the Wells Fargo at 2750 West Pacific Coast Highway in Newport Beach around 9:30 a.m. and handed a teller a note that said he had a gun and wanted cash. He was given an undisclosed sum before making his escape, but a security guard followed him outside and held him until police arrived. James Alexander Beverley, 57, was arrested on suspicion of bank robbery.


Serve This! A process server working for Citibank and a local man in his mid-50s argued with one another before tussling in the 27100 block of El Moro Drive in Mission Viejo. The man, who was apparently pushed down during the confrontation, demanded that the incident be documented, claiming he might file a complaint against Citibank. Deputies said both men will be listed as victims and suspects in the incident report.

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