Bad Boys and Girls

| Police Blotter | September 19, 2019

This past week a 58-year-old man from Canyon Country was arrested for murder. A 55-year-old unemployed woman was charged with hit and run resulting in property damage. A 42-year-old handyman from Sun Valley was arrested for identity theft. A 26-year-old nanny from Castaic was charged with battery against a former spouse.

DUI arrests include:

28-year-old Newhall resident
48-year-old Lancaster resident
27-year-old mechanic from Lancaster
32-year-old CEO from Valencia
21-year-old server from Valencia
42-year-old Newhall resident
24-year-old plumber from Stevensons Ranch
25-year-old ER doctor from Pasadena
42-year-old massage therapist from Lancaster
54-year-old engineer from Santa Clarita

Charges of possession of a controlled substance went to:

60-year-old handyman from Santa Clarita
47-year-old mechanic from Santa Clarita
32-year-old unemployed Valencia resident
36-year-old Newhall resident who works in pool construction
24-year-old busboy from Canyon Country
36-year-old Pacoima resident
27-year-old unemployed Canyon Country resident
25-year-old Glendora resident

Bad Boys and Girls

| Police Blotter | September 12, 2019

A 37-year-old woman from Arleta was arrested for attempted kidnapping with a ransom. A 40-year-old woman from Los Angeles was also arrested for attempted kidnapping, this one associated with a robbery. A 21-year-old forklift driver from Oxnard was taken into custody after he tried to rob an elderly dependent for goods worth over $400.

DUI arrests include:

28-year-old mechanic from Palmdale
20-year-old barista from Stevensons Ranch
28-year-old construction worker from Canyon Country
44-year-old unemployed Newhall resident
20-year-old student from Valencia
27-year-old unemployed Palmdale resident
30-year-old tattoo artist from Reseda
23-year-old party rental employee from Newhall
36-year-old fabricator from Oakland
20-year-old student from Oxnard
21-year-old server from Castaic
44-year-old flowboard operator from Frazier Park
39-year-old chef from Santa Clarita
23-year-old store clerk from Santa Clarita

Charges of possession of a controlled substance went to:

24-year-old interior carpenter from Lancaster
36-year-old unemployed Frazier Park resident
50-year-old maintenance worker from Acton
29-year-old self-employed resident of Castaic
24-year-old sushi chef from Canyon Country
41-year-old contractor from Los Angeles
25-year-old laborer from Canyon Country
55-year-old unemployed Palmdale resident
27-year-old transient from Canyon Country
39-year-old unemployed Santa Clarita resident
29-year-old unemployed Newhall resident
39-year-old unemployed Canyon Country resident
38-year-old construction worker from Pacoima

Bad Boys and Girls

| Police Blotter | September 5, 2019

A 37-year-old mechanic from Santa Clarita was arrested for altering car registration and/or license plates. A 39-year-old male from Canyon Country was cited for making obscene and threatening phone calls. Two women from Fresno, 32 and 28-years-old, were taken in for resisting arrest.

DUI arrests include:

29-year-old personal assistant from Newhall
50-year-old pool cleaner from Newhall
46-year-old marketing executive from Palmdale
28-year-old checker from Canyon Country
23-year-old plumber from Stevenson Ranch
41-year-old manager from Canyon Country
44-year-old construction worker from Reseda
56-year-old behaviorist from Santa Clarita
24-year-old manager from Canyon Country
30-year-old valet parking attendant from Los Angeles
30-year-old security guard from Santa Clarita
38-year-old self-employed Canyon Country resident
18-year-old unemployed Stevenson Ranch resident
27-year-old unemployed Valencia resident
24-year-old chef from Canyon Country
22-year-old CNC machinist from Palmdale
28-year-old IT specialist from Valencia

Charges of possession of a controlled substance went to:

29-year-old vet tech from Simi Valley
19-year-old ranch hand from Simi Valley
50-year-old marketing executive from Santa Clarita
19-year-old unemployed Canyon Country resident
32-year-old Spanish tutor from Valencia
39-year-old self-employed Palmdale resident
37-year-old Andy Gump employee from Lancaster
40-year-old gardener from Canyon Country
42-year-old cook from Los Angeles
31-year-old landscaper from Palmdale
51-year-old tree trimmer from Sylmar
24-year-old bagger from Los Angeles

Bad Boys and Girls

| Police Blotter | August 29, 2019

Two men from Santa Clarita, 39 and 29 years old, were arrested for forgery of checks/bonds exceeding $950. A 29-year-old marketing manager from North Hollywood was taken into custody for identity theft with a prior arrest for the same crime. A 55-year-old unemployed man from Newhall was arrested for terrorizing and causing fear. A 72-year-old from Canyon Country was taken in for a hit and run causing property damage. A 33-year-old mother was arrested for using offensive language in public.

DUI arrests include:

39-year-old systems engineer from Saugus
53-year-old Santa Clarita resident who works in sales
28-year-old loss prevention worker from Tujunga
34-year-old customer service rep from Sylmar
24-year-old RN from Acton
25-year-old audio engineer from South Gate
46-year-old actor from Toluca Lake
37-year-old from Palmdale who works in barbeque and seasoning
25-year-old carpenter from Los Angeles

Charges of possession of a controlled substance went to:

58-year-old welder from Newhall
35-year-old manicurist from Palmdale
49-year-old roofer from Canyon Country
28-year-old construction worker from Santa Clarita
35-year-old windshield installer from Fillmore
30-year-old equestrian instructor from Los Angeles
34-year-old unemployed Newhall resident
43-year-old recycler from Pacoima
38-year-old CVS worker from Santa Clarita
23-year-old landscaper from Castaic
41-year-old maintenance technician from Valencia
42-year-old window installer from Newhall
34-year-old transient
37-year-old electrician from Canoga Park
25-year-old therapist from Castaic
49-year-old from North Hills who works in sales
52-year-old property manager from North Hills
26-year-old carpenter from Canyon Country
59-year-old chiropractor from Canyon Country

Bad Boys and Girls

| Police Blotter | August 22, 2019

Santa Clarita, along with officials from the California Highway Patrol, held a DUI checkpoint last Friday which resulted in no DUI arrests. Two individuals, were however, cited for driving without a license. A 25-year-old brand representative was taken into custody for battery on a peace officer. A 27-year-old roofer from Lancaster was arrested for murder.

DUI arrests include:

30-year-old assistant director from La Crescenta
48-year-old consultant from Valencia
35-year-old contractor from Canyon Country
35-year-old program director from Canyon Country
30-year-old construction worker from Castaic
38-year-old unemployed Agua Dulce resident
26-year-old construction worker from Sylmar
36-year-old health care worker from Van Nuys
45-year-old unemployed Valencia resident
44-year-old gym owner from Saugus
35-year-old warehouse worker from Henderson, NV

Charges of possession of a controlled substance went to:

34-year-old unemployed Valencia resident
25-year-old laborer from Frazier Park
38-year-old self-employed Canyon Country resident
35-year-old unemployed resident of Newhall
24-year-old studio worker from Newport Beach
36-year-old unemployed Lancaster resident
30-year-old unemployed Castaic resident
40-year-old heavy equipment operator from Lancaster
26-year-old apprentice from Palmdale
31-year-old pool technician from Newhall
26-year-old Lyft driver from Lancaster
53-year-old roofer from Bakersfield
35-year-old bartender from Newhall
33-year-old barber from Valencia
28-year-old caretaker from Palmdale
53-year-old plumber from Palmdale

Police Blotter

| Police Blotter | August 15, 2019

This past week a 43-year-old electrician from Val Verde was arrested for attempted kidnapping. A 33-year-old man from Canyon Country was taken in for carjacking. A 34-year-old Canyon Country man was arrested for making annoying call to 911 operators. A 52-year-old campus supervisor from Valencia and a 27-year-old lifter also from Valencia were arrested for grand theft of money/property exceeding $400 in two separate cases.

DUI arrests include:

22-year-old barber from Riverside
51-year-old handyman from Huntington Park
25-year-old behavioral tech from Sylmar
26-year-old nurse from Canyon Country
18-year-old student from Panorama City
19-year-old student from Stevenson Ranch
56-year-old Canyon Country resident
65-year-old retired Valencia resident
40-year-old carpenter from Santa Clarita

Charges of possession of a controlled substance went to:

43-year-old camp host from Lebec
37-year-old unemployed Canyon Country resident
41-year-old plumber from Valencia
27-year-old unemployed Canyon Country resident
21-year-old unemployed resident of Newhall
49-year-old assembly worker from Sylmar
30-year-old church employee from Valencia
46-year-old graphic artist from Sun Valley
44-year-old unemployed Valencia resident
32-year-old hostess from Santa Clarita
40-year-old roofer from San Pedro
55-year-old unemployed Castaic resident
32-year-old clerk from Saugus

Prolific Scammer Charged with Identity Theft, Forgery and Grand Theft

| Police Blotter | August 15, 2019

Los Angeles man W. Jackson was arrested recently and charged with identity theft, forgery and grand theft, after a prolific crime spree. Allegedly, Jackson had been contacting women on the internet looking for romance. He would meet up with the women, wine and dine them to gain their trust, and then steal their personal identifying information to either acquire their money or use their bank cards to pay his bills.

The victim who worked to bring him down is Acacia Ouidinot, of Arizona, and her tale is a cautionary one. It begins with meeting Jackson on Facebook. After going back and forth for a little while, Jackson offered to buy Ouidinot a plane ticket so she could meet him in Los Angeles and spend a weekend with him. Ouidinot’s troubles began when she found out the ticket Jackson said he paid for was invalid. According to the victim, Jackson told her that he was having trouble with his bank card and that, if she were to just pay for the ticket herself, he would reimburse her – so she did.

Upon meeting Jackson face-to-face, Ouidinot said he was charming and that they initially had a good time. They talked about family, what they were both hoping for in the future, and other things potential couples discuss to get to know one another better. Ouidinot flew back to Arizona Saturday thinking everything was fine. Unfortunately, when the banks opened on Monday, Ouidinot was shocked to find out that nearly $3,000 was missing. She would go on to lose about $7,000 total to Jackson, who had blocked her from his phone and social media sites so she was unable to contact him.

Not one to take things lying down, Ouidinot tracked Jackson down and, using his known aliases, was able to find over 20 victims from eight different states going back ten years. The victims have since been connecting with each other on Facebook and sharing their stories – all of which were eerily similar. Apparently, Jackson (under one of his many aliases) would meet women looking for love on Facebook and, after meeting them, find a way to get a hold of their identifying information to drain their bank accounts. He even stole one San Jose woman’s rental car, leaving her stranded.

Jackson is facing multiple felonies, as mentioned above, and could be facing more as additional investigations conclude.

As far as what Jackson is already facing goes, identity theft is covered under California Penal Code 530.5 PC and is described as taking another person’s identifying information and using it in a fraudulent or unlawful manner. Identity theft is a “wobbler” that can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances of the case and the defendant’s prior criminal history. The misdemeanor penalties include up to one year in county jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Felony penalties include up to three years in county jail and a fine of up to $10,000.

Forgery is covered under California Penal Code 470 PC and is described as signing someone else’s name, faking a seal or someone else’s handwriting, changing or falsifying any legal document, or faking, altering, or presenting as genuine any legal document that pertains to money, finances, or property. Like identity theft, forgery is a “wobbler.” The misdemeanor and felony penalties are the same as well.

Grand theft is covered under California Penal Code 487 PC and is defined as taking someone else’s property that is worth $950 or more, without the owner’s permission. Grand theft is a “wobbler,” and the potential penalties are the same as the above two crimes.

Bad Boys and Girls

| Police Blotter | August 8, 2019

A 42-year old medical biller from Santa Clarita was arrested for shoplifting with a prior similar conviction, as well as a 40-year mechanic from Canyon Country. A 45-year-old unemployed Valencia man was taken into custody for defacing property. A 31-year-old Valencia project manager was arrested for operating a motor scooter while under the influence of drugs/alcohol.

DUI arrests include:

30-year-old dishwasher from Newhall
29-year-unemployed Canyon Country resident
34-year-old warehouse manager from Saugus
66-year-old caregiver from Newhall
28-year-old machinest from Valencia
29-year-old painter from Canyon Country
48-year-old construction worker from Panorama City
31-year-old waitress from Sylmar
21-year-old manager from Canyon Country
66-year-old unemployed Newhall resident
25-year-old busboy from Palmdale

Charges of possession of a controlled substance went to:

64-year-old handy man from Canyon Country
39-year-old warehouse worker from Stevenson Ranch
22-year-old home theater tech from Sylmar
25-year-old plastic inspector
31-year-old unemployed resident of Newhall
28-year-old mechanic from Canyon Country
25-year-old delivery driver from Saugus
25-year-old unemployed Valencia resident
40-year-old unemployed Newhall resident
36-year-old self-employed Palmdale resident
58-year-old unemployed Newhall resident
22-year-old independent contractor from Stockton
25-year-old agriculture worker from Bakersfield

Keeping Teenagers Safe From Kidnappers

| Police Blotter | August 8, 2019

Recently, a man was taken into custody after attempting to lure a teenager girl into his vehicle on two separate occasions. The suspect, B. Fentner, is alleged to have attempted to lure a 15-year-old girl into his vehicle at the intersection of Esplanade and San Jacinto avenues. The first incident occurred on Monday, July 29th and the second on Tuesday, July 30th. He was taken into custody for the second time on the morning of Wednesday, July 31st, on suspicion of annoying or molesting a child.

Some people believe that younger children are at most risk of kidnapping – but that’s not always true. Teenagers (and teenage girls in particular) make up about 80% of child abductions. The reason for this is probably because smaller children, while technically easier to overpower or deceive, are often accompanied by adults, while young teens are not. They’re just beginning to desire a sense of independence and as a result, often prefer to go about their days without adult supervision.
It’s important to talk with children, when they’re young, entering their teens, and even when they’re college age, about the dangers they may face while out and about on their own. For younger kids, it’s up to parents to inform them of the dangers that exist and how best to react if they ever find themselves in a dangerous situation.

When it comes to older teens, the best place to start may be by asking questions to gauge their awareness. Once parents know how aware they are of their current situation, they can move forward in advising them.

The first thing teens should put into practice, if they aren’t already, is to keep in touch with family and friends. If kids are of college age, they may not need to be in constant contact with parents all the time, but they should be in contact with someone.

Keeping in contact with parents is most important during times and situations in which they may deviate from their normal routines. For example, if they’re going to take a weekend trip with friends, ask them to let you know where they’re going and when they expect to be back.

Another extremely important safety tip is to employ the buddy system (especially when it comes to girls).

Finally, prepare your teen or college-aged student to defend themselves if need be. Sometimes, something as simple as a whistle can defuse a dangerous situation by bringing attention that a would-be assailant or kidnapper wouldn’t want. For active individuals, such as joggers or runners, pepper spray can be extremely useful. It should be kept in hand to be prepared to use if accosted by a stranger.

Ultimately, the threat of kidnapping is a very real danger for kids of all ages. The best line of defense is to help educate them regarding which actions to take and which to avoid, at every stage of their life.

Bad Boys and Girls

| Police Blotter | August 1, 2019

A 30-year-old artist from Los Angeles was arrested and charged with being a fugitive from justice. A 20-year-old iron worker from Lancaster was arrested for having an illegal speed contest. Two 18-year old students from West Covina were arrested for a grand theft money/property attempt exceeding $400.

DUI arrests include:

28-year-old food delivery person from Santa Clarita
27-year-grocery stocker from Palmdale
65-year-old unemployed Stevenson Ranch resident
49-year-old ultrasound tech from Winnetka
55-year-old project manager from Agua Dulce
25-year-old vet tech from Castaic
33-year-old bartender from Littlerock
41-year-old wood finisher from Panorama
54-year-old sheet metal worker from Santa Clarita
31-year-old clerical worker from Canyon Country
28-year-old EMT from Castaic
36-year-old operations manager from Newhall
23-year-lighting tech from Valencia

Charges of possession of a controlled substance went to:

43-year-old construction worker from Frazier Park
27-year-old construction worker from Santa Clarita
27-year-old grip from Lancaster
68-year-old mechanic from Studio City
34-year-old unemployed resident of Saugus
24-year-old unemployed Canyon Country resident
27-year-old sales employee from Santa Clarita
25-year-old body piercer from Canyon Country
33-year-old laborer from Santa Clarita
21-year-old grocery clerk from Santa Clarita

Grand Theft Fiream

| Police Blotter | August 1, 2019

On Thursday, July 25th, a Castaic woman returned to her home to find it had been burglarized. Deputies were sent to investigate after the victim called, arriving at the scene at about 2:30pm. Per their preliminary investigation, it was determined that the burglary must have occurred at some point between 6 a.m. and 2 p.m. that same day. The victim told deputies that her home had been ransacked and several items were missing– two of which being semi-automatic rifles with accompanying ammunition.

California Penal Code 487(d)(2) PC is a type of grand theft that is usually charged when the item stolen was a firearm. A few years back, before prop 47 was passed which reduced the severity of several crimes in an effort to help control California’s crisis of overcrowded prisons, any theft of a firearm was considered grand theft. Now, however, the theft of a firearm is only considered grand theft if it falls under one of the two following criteria:

The stolen firearms were worth more than $950
The defendant has a prior conviction of either a California sex crime that requires them to register as a sex offender, or one or more crimes on a short list of violent felonies.

The most common type of grand theft firearm encountered by law enforcement is that of grand theft firearm by larceny. It’s defined as taking possession of a firearm owned by someone else without the owner’s consent or that of one of their agents; by taking it, you intended to deprive the owner of its use either permanently or for long enough that the owner would be deprived of a major portion of the firearm’s value; you moved the firearm a small distance and kept it for a period of time no matter how brief.

Larceny is more or less the most straightforward and to-the-point way that anyone steals anything. If you pick something up that’s owned by someone else and take it from them without their permission, with the intention of keeping it, you’re committing larceny.

There are other possible ways to steal a firearm and subsequently be charged with grand theft firearm, too, including theft by false pretenses. This occurs when the defendant knowingly and willingly deceives a gun owner or their agent by lying to them with the goal of getting them to allow the defendant to take possession of the firearm, and they do so because they relied on your false pretenses.

Whatever the case, grand theft firearm is a felony in California and the potential penalties include felony probation, 16 months to 3 years in California state prison, and a fine of up to $10,000. It’s considered a “serious felony” under California’s Three Strikes Law, and will therefore also result in a “strike” on the defendant’s record.

If a firearm is stolen but it does not fit the criteria to count as grand theft firearm, the crime will be charged as petty theft per the 2014 passage of prop 47. Petty theft is a misdemeanor that carries the possible penalties of up to 6 months in county jail and a fine of up to $1,000.

Bad Boys and Girls

| Police Blotter | July 26, 2019

A 56-year-old Valencia resident was arrested for terrorizing another individual causing fear. A 35-year-old office manager was taken into custody for the embezzlement of $400. A 28-year-old unemployed Chicago resident was arrested for opening up a line of credit with someone else’s ID. A 35-year-old construction worker was arrested for riding a bike on the wrong side of the street.ww

DUI arrests include:

49-year-old marketing executive from Granada HIlls
31-year-manager from Newhall
38-year-old cashier from Bakersfield
27-year-old advisor from San Fernando
23-year-old Castaic resident from the motion picture industry
60-year-old car dealer from Mission Hills
35-year-old foreman from Palmdale
48-year-old truck driver from Canyon Country
56-year-old engineer from Santa Clarita
21-year-old supervisor from Pacoima

Charges of possession of a controlled substance went to:

61-year-old transient from Santa Clarita
39-year-old electrician from Saugus
36-year-old unemployed Santa Clarita resident
29-year-old supervisor from Castaic
43-year-old mechanic from Lebec
50-year-old unemployed Castaic resident
26-year-old Walmart employee from Visalia
30-year-old unemployed Newhall resident
36-year-old construction worker from Panorama City
33-year-old unemployed Canyon Country resident
42-year-old construction worker from Saugus
37-year-old construction worker from Arleta

Penal Code 632 PC – California’s Eavesdropping Laws

| Police Blotter | July 25, 2019

Recently, Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar was placed on leave as LAPD detectives investigate the possibility that illegal recordings were made in the Councilman’s office. Investigators are not naming the staffer, nor releasing what may have been illegally recorded, though no arrests have been made as of yet.

The illegal recording allegations come amid other scandals that Councilman Huizar is currently dealing with. His offices and home were raided by the FBI last November, and several boxes were removed, with one of them being clearly marked “fundraising.” Additionally, real estate developers who do fundraising in the councilman’s district have received subpoenas to turn over any information on fundraising and communications with the councilman and his employees.

While no arrests have been made regarding the FBI investigation of the councilman, the aid may be in trouble if it is found that they made illegal recordings of the councilman’s dealings. Under California Penal Code 632 PC, it’s illegal to record someone by any electronic, amplifying or recording device, without the consent of all parties to a confidential communication.

In order to be charged with violating PC 632, a few criteria need to be met. The first is that the recording must be intentional, as opposed to accidental. Second, all parties to the communication must give consent to the recording. Even if one party consents and the other doesn’t, it’s still eavesdropping. Third, the conversation must be confidential. For a conversation to be considered confidential, it has to take place under circumstances that reasonably indicate that at least one party intends for it not to be overheard. Finally, the eavesdropping must include an electronic amplifying or recording device. It doesn’t count as eavesdropping if someone just overhears something they weren’t supposed to.

It’s also possible to be charged with eavesdropping if a person intercepts a phone call between two cell phones, two cordless phones, a cell phone or cordless phone and a landline, or a cell phone and a cordless phone, with criminal intent and without the consent of both parties involved.
Interestingly, but perhaps not surprisingly, recordings that were obtained via illegal means, such as eavesdropping, are not admissible in court. So, whatever it was the aid in Councilman Huizar’s office may or may not have been trying to record would not be useful anyhow.

Eavesdropping is a “wobbler” in California Law, which can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. Misdemeanor penalties include up to one year in county jail, a fine of up to $2,500, or both. If charged as a felony, the possible penalties include 16 months to three years in a California state prison, a fine of up to $2,500 or both. If a person has a prior conviction for eavesdropping on their record, and they are convicted again, the fine is increased to $10,000.

Police Blotter

| Police Blotter | July 18, 2019

A 57-year-old Canyon Country resident was arrested for discharging a firearm in public. Five people we arrested for robbery, including an unemployed 22-year-old and 38-year-old both from Newhall, a 22-year-old waitress from Saugus, a 57-year-old marketer from Canyon Country and a 29-year-old transient from Boulder, CO.

DUI arrests include:

24-year-old unemployed Pacoima resident
43-year-unemployed Quartz Hill resident
19-year-old unemployed Valencia resident
22-year-old unemployed Saugus resident
28-year-old manager from Saugus
28-year-old service advisor from Santa Clarita
31-year-old air traffic controller from Atlanta, GA
24-year-old delivery person from Santa Clarita
19-year-old server from Canyon Country
47-year-old self-employed Canyon Country resident
34-year-old salon owner from Newhall

Charges of possession of a controlled substance went to:

53-year-old unemployed Palmdale resident
36-year-old self-employed Castaic resident
52-year-old unemployed Granada Hills resident
37-year-old unemployed Santa Clarita resident
44-year-old carpenter from Santa Clarita
31-year-old unemployed Acton resident
23-year-old unemployed Castaic resident
45-year-old dental office clerk from Los Angeles

What are Robbery Charges, a.k.a., 211 PC?

| Police Blotter | July 18, 2019

Tips from the public recently lead to the arrest of a suspect in a Newhall massage parlor robbery.

Shortly after noon on Thursday, July 11th, L. Gonzalez, 22, of Santa Clarita, was arrested by police on suspicion of armed robbery for the crime that occurred at a Newhall massage parlor on June 27th. According to police, Gonzalez went to the business where he received a massage. When it was time to pay, he allegedly brandished a firearm in his waistband and robbed the place instead. Fortunately, the entire incident was caught on camera.

On Wednesday July 10th, deputies released images of the suspect in hopes that the public would provide information regarding his whereabouts – and they did. Tips began to come in quickly and, within 24 hours, deputies had tracked down and arrested Gonzalez. He is currently being held in lieu of $100,000 bond.

Robbery is covered under California Penal Code 211 PC and is described as taking property from someone’s person or immediate presence, against the victim’s will, through the use of force or fear. The definition of robbery in California includes the classic image of robbing a liquor store or gas station at gunpoint, but it also extends to some surprising situations.
One child intimidating another into giving up their lunch money could constitute a robbery charge if reported to police
Stealing someone’s possessions after drugging them
After being caught trying to steal something (an offense that would otherwise be petty theft/grand theft), threatening the owner of said property with harm in order to get away
As you can see, what makes something robbery isn’t so much the stealing as it is the way in which something is stolen. When you use force or fear, whether via threats or actual violence, you’re committing the crime of robbery. When you do not, you’re committing the crime of theft (whether its petty theft or grand theft will depend on the value of the item(s) stolen).

Similar to burglary, robbery is divided into two separate classifications: first-degree robbery and second-degree robbery. First-degree robbery is charged when the victim is the driver or passenger in a bus, taxi, cable car, street car or other similar vehicle; the robbery takes place in an inhabited house, boat or trailer, or; the robbery takes place immediately after the victim uses an ATM. First-degree robbery is always a felony and the possible penalties include felony probation, three to six years in California state prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.

Second-degree robbery is charged in any other case of robbery that does not fit into the classification for first-degree robbery. The potential penalties include felony probation, two to five years in California state prison, and/or a fine of up to $10,000.

Of course, using a gun in any type of robbery subjects the defendant to greatly enhanced penalties if convicted. Under California’s 10-20-Life Law, using a gun in a robbery nets the suspect an additional 10 years in prison. Firing the weapon in a robbery adds 20 years, and a sentence of 25 years to life is added if the defendant inflicts great bodily injury or death on someone while using a firearm during a robbery.

Since Gonzalez didn’t fire his weapon during the robbery, and just had it in his pants, it’s likely he will only face an additional 10 years in prison – which is itself enough.

Finally, robbery is considered a violent felony in California. Therefore, when convicted, defendants will receive a “strike” on their record under California’s Three Strikes Law. Additionally, anyone with a robbery conviction on their record will face twice the normal sentence if charged with another subsequent felony.

Bad Boys and Girls

| Police Blotter | July 12, 2019

It was a busy Fourth of July weekend for arrests!

One 27-year-old from Newhall was arrested for an assault with a deadly weapon, and one 23-year-old from Newhall was arrested for openly displaying an imitation firearm. A 24-year-old unemployed woman from Los Angeles was arrested for prostitution.

DUI arrests include:

25-year-old unemployed New Jersey resident
38-year-old safety supervisor from Arleta
52-year-old engineer from Thousand Oaks
33-year-old production worker from Arleta
30-year-old gardener from Los Angeles
23-year-old cashier from Newhall
24-year-old manager from Newhall
55-year-old general contractor from Pasadena

Charges of possession of a controlled substance went to:

28-year-old server from Valencia
35-year-old machinist from Lake Hughes
28-year-old construction worker from Newhall
23-year-old unemployed Encino resident
21-year-old transient from Venice
44-year-old car washer from Newhall
26-year-old transient from Newhall
36-year-old unemployed Canyon Country resident
22-year-old Walmart employee from Canyon Country
22-year-old bather from Glendora

Woman Posing as Social Worker Charged with Attempted Kidnapping

| Police Blotter | July 12, 2019

An Orange County woman was recently arrested and charged with the attempted kidnapping of a child under 14 and attempting to take a child from a parent – both felonies.

According to police, the suspect, S. Orozco Magana, knocked on the door of a new mother’s home posing as a social worker and told the woman that she was there to take her newborn child. When asked by the mother why she was there to take the baby, Magana replied that a doctor had “probably reported child abuse.” Upon being asked for credentials, Magana refused to provide them. Magana then threatened to call the Sheriff’s Department if the mother continued to refuse to hand over the 1-week-old child.

The mother continued to refuse to hand over the child, even after being threatened with police action, and her sister filmed Magana as she left the residence. One day later, after seeing the footage on television, Magana turned herself in to authorities. After being arrested and charged with the two felonies, Magana was released on $100,000 bond.

Simple kidnapping is covered under California Penal Code 207 PC and is described as moving a person a substantial distance, without that person’s consent, by using force or fear to do so. However, since Magana posed as a social worker in an attempt to trick the mother into handing over her baby, her crime could actually be considered aggravated kidnapping, which has a similar description to simple kidnapping, but with added criteria including fraud.

The penalties for simple kidnapping include 3 to 8 years in California state prison, and a maximum fine of $10,000. For aggravated kidnapping, the potential penalties include 5 to 11 years in California state prison if the victim is under 14 years of age. However, since the kidnapping didn’t actually occur, Magana’s charge and subsequent penalties will be altered as per California Penal Codes 21a and 664 PC – California’s “attempted crimes” law.

To be charged with an attempted crime in California, a person must do two things: they must intend to commit a certain crime and then perform a direct, but ineffective, act toward committing that crime. It’s possible to be convicted of attempting a crime even if an individual changes their mind part of the way through and abandons efforts to complete the crime’s commission.

Generally, when someone is convicted of an attempted crime, their penalty is reduced to half that of the original crime. So, since the penalty for aggravated kidnapping includes 5 to 11 years in California state prison, Magana’s penalty, if convicted, could be 2.5 to 5.5 years. When someone is convicted of an attempted crime that has a sentence of life in prison, they are typically sentenced to 5, 9, or 11 years. The one exception to this rule is attempted murder, which can still carry a sentence of life in prison.

Magana’s second charge falls under California Penal Code 278 PC and is described as attempting to take a minor from a legal guardian without the legal right to do so. 278 PC is a “wobbler” which can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the defendant’s prior criminal history. If charged as a misdemeanor, the possible penalties include up to 1 year in county jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000. For felony charges, the penalties include up to 4 years in California state prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

New California Laws Taking Effect Monday, July 1, 2019

| Police Blotter | July 3, 2019

As of July 1, there are several new laws taking effect in California. The laws are going to affect some pretty important things, including gas prices, background checks, and ammunition. Below are a few that are likely to affect the most people throughout the state.

SB 1001 – Bot Disclosure

Have you ever been answered your phone and thought you were speaking with an actual person on the other end, only to find out later you were dealing with a machine? If so, you’ll be glad to know that SB 1001 mandates that companies will now have to disclose whether you’re dealing with an automated system (known as a “bot”) either by telephone, website, or social network. The point of the law is to reduce the ability of companies to trick people into buying products or services, or to influence their voting practices.

SB 1 – Gas Tax Increase

We’re used to gas prices going up in the Summer time. As a matter of fact, Southern California typically sees some of the most expensive gas prices in the country this time of year. Now, as of July 1st, the gas tax is going up a whole 6 cents (making the tax a grand total of 60 cents per gallon). The rise in tax prices comes as a result of voters last year rejecting a repeal of the gas tax increase. It’s expected to generate upwards of $54 billion dollars over the next decade.

AB 748 – Police Body Cameras

Body cameras have been a controversial issue since it was determined that police officers and sheriff’s deputies were required to wear them. Sometimes the footage is available to the public, sometimes it wasn’t. Now, thanks to AB 748, police departments in California are required to release audio and video recordings within 45 days of an incident occurring that involves police. The law only applies to incidents involving a police officer firing their weapon or is involved in the use of force where someone is seriously injured or killed.

Proposition 63 – Background Checks

Whenever someone wants to buy ammunition, they are now required to undergo an instant background check that looks for felonies on their record. Each instant background check will cost $1 that the would-be ammunition consumer will have to pay. However, the law does not limit the amount of ammunition one is able to buy.

AB 1973 – Marijuana Convictions

This one has been a long time coming for many an advocate of prison reform. AB 1973 gives the Department of Justice until July 1, 2019 to review people’s criminal records and identify past marijuana convictions that would have been legal today under Proposition 64, California’s new legal recreational marijuana law. In San Francisco and Los Angeles Counties alone, more than 63,000 marijuana convictions have been expunged thus far.

SB 1448 – Doctor Disclosure
How well do you know your doctor? Under SB 1448, doctors (including physicians, chiropractors, acupuncturists, and surgeons) are now legally required to disclose to patients before beginning treatment if they (the doctor) has been placed on probation for for certain violations, including gross negligence, sexual misconduct, substance abuse, or inappropriately prescribing medications. When placed on probation, providers can continue to practice under restricted licensure.

AB 406 – For-Profit Charter Schools

For-profit charter schools are now banned in California. There were never many for-profit charter schools in California, with the recent tally being only 34 throughout the state.

AB 1871 – School Lunches
Charter schools that are not operating on a for-profit basis, the only legal type of charter school in California, must now provide students from low-income families one free or reduced-price meal per day. This means that an estimated 340,000 low-income students will now have greater access to meals at school.

Bad Boys and Girls

| Police Blotter | July 3, 2019

Three individuals were arrested for battery with great bodily injury, including a 27-year-old cashier from Bakersfield, a 19-year-old student from Bakersfield, and a 35-year-old custodian from Santa Clarita.

A 40-year-old songwriter from Newhall was charged with evading arrest. And a 54-year-old North Hollywood resident was arrested for burglary.

DUIs with prior arrests include:

25-year-old unemployed Castaic resident
27-year-old financial advisor from Canyon Country
24-year-old patient transporter from Palmdale
23-year-old gardener from Newhall
33-year-old marketer from Santa Clarita
23-year-old babysitter from Palmdale
35-year-old Jack-in-the-Box employee from Canyon Country

Charges of possession of a controlled substance went to:

34-year-old Shadow Hills resident
31-year-old tow truck driver from Newhall
23-year-old unemployed Newhall resident
29-year-old unemployed Lancaster resident
33-year-old unemployed Santa Clarita resident
37-year-old unemployed Santa Clarita resident
42-year-old self-employed Los Angeles resident
45-year-old construction worker from Santa Clarita
30-year-old stylist from Newhall
32-year-old nanny from Agoura Hills
25-year-old laborer from Saugus
25-year-old unemployed Sunset Beach resident

Bad Boys and Girls

| Police Blotter | June 28, 2019

A 59-year-old retired Canyon Country resident was arrested for indecent exposure. And a 24-year-old server from Canyon Country was arrested for rape by force/fear.

A 31-year-old painter from Castaic was arrested for Vandalism. And a 26-year-old transient from Newhall was arrested for identity theft.

An unemployed 66-year-old Los Angeles resident was charged with battery.

Two individuals were arrested for illegal speed contests, including a 32-year-old Los Angeles resident who works in transportation and a 21-year-old Canyon Country merchandiser.

DUIs with prior arrests include:

44-year-old plumber from Santa Clarita
38-year-old salesman from Canyon Country
23-year-old assembler from Northridge
33-year-old server from North Hills
28-year-old bagger from Newhall
19-year-old Santa Clarita resident
40-year-old self-employed Oxnard resident
52-year-old clerk from Valencia

Charges of possession of a controlled substance went to:

51-year-old construction worker from Long Beach
36-year-old Saint Francis resident
25-year-old actor from Palmdale
29-year-old self-employed Palmdale resident
33-year-old unemployed Santa Clarita resident
39-year-old “electrical helper” from Stevenson Ranch

Reckless Driving – What is it?

| Police Blotter | June 27, 2019

In the early morning hours of Sunday, June 23, 29-year-old rapper YG was cited for reckless driving in West Hollywood. Upon being pulled over, police conducted a DUI investigation, though it didn’t result in an arrest.

Bystanders claim the rapper was “swarmed by deputies” after being pulled over, and that the situation was tense, and the rapper became uncooperative with police and was subsequently handcuffed. YG was heard shouting expletives at police who he claimed were “riling up the crowd.”

Reckless driving is covered under California Vehicle Code 23103 VC and is described as driving on a highway or in an off-street parking facility with a wanton disregard for people and/or property. For the purposes of California Law, a “highway” is considered any street that is publicly maintained and open to the public for the purpose of vehicular travel. An “off-street parking facility” is any parking area open for use by the public for parking vehicles, including publicly owned facilities and privately owned facilities open to retail customers where no fee is charged for parking.

When a person is acting with “wanton disregard” for safety, they are aware that their actions present a substantial and unjustifiable risk of damage or harm, and the person intentionally ignores that risk. Basically, if you’re doing something you know could get someone else hurt, or their property damaged, and you do it anyway, you’re acting with “wanton disregard” for safety.

Typically, reckless driving is a misdemeanor in California, with the possible penalties including five to 90 days in county jail, and/or a fine of between $145 and $1000. However, under certain circumstances, the penalties can be significantly harsher, and the crime itself can be upgraded to a felony. For example, if, while driving recklessly, a third party receives a minor injury, the potential penalty is increased to 30 days to one year in jail and/or a fine of between $220 and $1000.

When someone other than the driver is injured as a result of reckless driving, the crime becomes a “wobbler” that can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances of the case and the defendant’s prior criminal history. When charged as a felony, the possible penalties include up to three years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000. If someone is killed as a result of reckless driving, it’s possible that the charge will be upgraded to vehicular manslaughter or even second-degree murder. If charged with vehicular manslaughter, the punishments include up to six years in California state prison. For second-degree murder, it’s 15 years to life.

Resisting Arrest – What is it?

| Police Blotter | June 21, 2019

Resisting arrest is covered under California Penal Code 148 PC and is described as resisting, delaying, or otherwise obstructing, a law enforcement officer or emergency medical technician while they are attempting to perform their duties. The duties can include arresting someone, but 148 PC actually covers a wide range of duties, including traveling to the scene of a crime or accident, interviewing people while attempting to investigate a crime, and/or monitoring a criminal suspect who is in custody.

A typical example of resisting arrest involves obstructing or delaying a police officer trying to arrest you. You could run, fight, squirm, etc. and, by doing so, would be in violation of 148 PC. However, thanks to the broad definition of the law, it’s possible to be charged with resisting arrest if you jeer at officers attempting to arrest someone else, obstruct an EMT vehicle en route to an injured person, or even by giving a false name to police officers attempting to investigate a crime.

It’s important to understand that the law includes the word delaying in its description. This means that trying to avoid arrest altogether isn’t necessarily required for charges of violating 148 PC. One can be charged with the crime even if they know they’re going to be arrested and choose to take some action that’s going to keep it from happening temporarily. These actions include running and hiding from police, but also interacting with someone under investigation after police asked you not to. For example, person A is sitting in the back of a squad care while their vehicle is being processed by police when person B, who knows person A, walks up and starts talking to him. Person B ignores the officers’ warning to stay away from Person A, who is currently in custody, but refuses to do so because they “aren’t breaking the law by talking.” In this case, person B is delaying the officers’ processing of the vehicle by interacting with person A, and is thus eligible for charges of resisting arrest even though they weren’t originally under investigation for anything.

Of course, there are a few rules governing the actions that would otherwise qualify for charges of resisting arrest. For one, it’s important that the act of obstructing happens willfully. If you’re standing in the way of an EMT trying to perform their duties and aren’t aware that you’re in the way, you probably won’t be charged with a crime because your obstruction wasn’t willful. That’s why police and medical personnel often ask for bystanders to back up or move out of the way. If you ever find yourself observing police or emergency medical technicians in the line of duty and they ask you to move, do it! If they ask and you refuse to comply, your actions could be considered willful and therefore put you on the wrong side of 148 PC.

As of 2015, photographing or recording an officer as they perform their duties was clarified by the California Legislature as to not count under 148 PC. You can record and take pictures, provided you doing so does not obstruct or delay officers in the performance of their duties. However, the photographing/recording must take place in a public place where the person doing it has the legal right to be.

Resisting arrest is a misdemeanor in California law, and the possible penalties include up to one year in county jail, a fine of up to $1,000, and/or probation.

Bad Boys and Girls

| Police Blotter | June 13, 2019

Two unemployed individuals were arrested for burglary, including a 47-year-old Porter Ranch resident and a 36-year-old Van Nuys resident.

A 32-year-old caregiver from Newhall was charged with rape by force/fear. And a 19-year-old unemployed Canyon Country resident was booked for resisting an officer.

Three individuals were arrested for corporal injury on a spouse/cohabitant/etc., including a 33-year-old unemployed Saugus resident, a 26-year-old sales representative from Northridge and 37-year-old firefighter from Saugus.

DUIs with prior arrests include:

24-year-old server from Agua Dulce
20-year-old care salesman from Canyon Country
28-year-old baker from Saugus
52-year-old film editor from Stevenson Ranch
26-year-old loan officer from Malibu
36-year-old cook from Canyon Country
25-year-old laborer from Canyon Country
25-year-old occupational therapist from Corona

Charges of possession of a controlled substance went to:

31-year-old cashier from Canyon Country
46-year-old unemployed Lancaster resident
26-year-old salesman from Canyon Country
20-year-old unemployed Porter Ranch resident
40-year-old unemployed Canyon Country resident
25-year-old “stage setter” from Canyon Country
54-year-old contractor from Porterville
35-year-old tow truck driver from Palmdale
28-year-old mechanic from Canyon Country

Arraignments – What are They?

| Police Blotter | June 13, 2019

N. J. Garcia, 50, the leader of Mexico-based church La Luz del Mundo, has been arrested and charged with several heinous sex crimes, including forcible rape of a minor, committing lewd acts on a child, extortion, and others. According to the charges against him, it’s alleged that the crimes occurred between June 2015 and April 2018.

A spokesperson for the church has denied the allegations. Garcia’s attorney has been quoted as saying that the crimes Garcia is being charged with are not in his character, and that he is instead the target of a “high-tech hit job.”

Along with two other defendants, Garcia was arrested last week at LAX and was being held in lieu of $50 million dollars bail. The others, A. Ocampo and S. M. Oaxaca – both women – are also being charged with sex crimes including forcible rape of a minor, and are being held in lieu of $25 million bail and $5 million bail respectively. A fourth suspect, A. R. Melendez, is still at large and being sought by police. According to prosecutors, all four defendants are believed to have forced their victims into performing sexual acts because disobeying “the apostle” (Garcia) would anger god.

The defendants are set to be arraigned in Los Angeles Superior Court soon.

The Arraignment Process

The arraignment is usually the first part of the criminal procedure that occurs before a judge or magistrate in a court room. The purpose of the arraignment is to provide the accused with a read of the charge, or charges, that are being held against them. This right is guaranteed under the 6th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution to protect defendants from being held in custody for long periods of time without knowing what they’re being charged with or why they’re being held. Arraignments must occur within 72-hours of someone’s arrest, or else it’s possible that the defendant can argue that their right to a “fair and speedy trial” has been violated.

The rules surrounding an arraignment will depend on whether the defendant is being charged with state or federal-level crimes, as well as the specific laws of the state in which the arraignment is taking place. The rules often differ regarding felonies and misdemeanors, as some crimes may not require an arraignment. Generally though, if there’s a possibility that the defendant will be receiving a jail sentence if convicted, they’ll be given an arraignment.

Arraignments can have more than one step before they’re complete. First and foremost, the point is to get the defendant before a judge to explain the charges being brought against them. The defendant will also be notified of their right to representation, and, if no private counsel can be found, a public defender will be appointed to their case. When no representation has been obtained prior to the arraignment, and a public defender needs to be appointed, it will happen during this first step and the actual arraignment will be postponed to another day when counsel is available.

Once counsel is available and the charges have formally been read to the defendant, he or she will be allowed to enter a plea of guilty, not guilty, or no contest. In some cases, the right to an arraignment can be waved by the defendant and they can enter their formal plea without having the charges read. This usually happens as part of an exchange with the prosecuting attorney who will be able to speed up the court process.

At the arraignment, the issue of bail and whether it should be raised, lowered, or if it even needs to be set, will also be discussed. The court can also announce the dates and times of additional hearings, including pre-trial hearings and the actual trial date.

Since the charges Garcia et. al. face are serious, and their bail has been set in the range of many millions of dollars, it’s unlikely those amounts will change much – if at all.

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Doug’s Rant – Video Edition

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