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Bad Boys and Girls

| Police Blotter | December 15, 2017

A 26-year-old Inglewood man who works in shipping/receiving was cited for building fires on posted property.

An unemployed 55-year-old Santa Clarita man and an unemployed 45-year-old Hollywood man were charged with indecent exposure/illegal entry of an occupied dwelling. An unemployed 21-year-old Newhall man was brought up on charges of refusing to leave a property upon request.

An unemployed 45-year-old Newhall man was charged with resisting an officer. And an unemployed 32-year-old Saugus woman was arrested as a fugitive from justice.

A 22-year-old carpenter from Van Nuys was arrested for terrorizing/causing fear.
A 28-year-old landscaper from Agua Dulce was charged with carrying a switchblade knife on his person.

A 46-year-old Canyon Country woman with an unknown occupation was charged with battery on a non-cohabitating former spouse. A 50-year-old recycler was arrested for battery against a former spouse.

A 20-year-old stock clerk from Saugus was arrested for robbery. A 40-year-old driver from Van Nuys and an unemployed 21-year-old Castaic woman were charged with receiving known stolen property.

An unemployed 18-year-old Hollywood man was charged with possession of machinery to make a false access card.

An unemployed 23-year-old Canyon Country man was charged with possession of a device/instrument/paraphernalia.

Possession of a controlled substance charges went to:
23-year-old unemployed Newhall man
34-year-old mechanic from Canyon Country
37-year-old electrician from Saugus
25-year-old gymnastics employee from Newhall
37-year-old Santa Clarita man

An unemployed 30-year-old Canyon Country man was charged with a hit and run, runaway vehicle/property damage. And a 29-year-old cashier from Canyon Country was charged with a hit and run: property damage.

A 22-year-old auto detailer from Valencia and a 30-year-old unemployed Canyon Country woman were charged with taking a vehicle without the owner’s consent.

A 33-year-old clerical worker from Castaic was charged with driving with a license that was suspended/revoked for another reason. A 22-year-old construction worker from Van Nuys was cited for driving with knowledge that his license was suspended/revoked.

DUIs with prior arrests included:
53-year-old supervisor from Santa Paula
36-year-old San Fernando man with an unknown occupation
26-year-old unemployed Sun Valley man
25-year-old construction worker from Saugus
26-year-old bartender from Lancaster
26-year-old salesman from Canyon Country
23-year-old marine from Oceanside
30-year-old retail worker from Canyon Country
24-year-old server from Valencia
37-year-old editor from Valencia

California Penal Code 496 PC – Receiving Stolen Merchandise

| Police Blotter | December 14, 2017

‘Tis the season of giving, and all the better if you can get a good deal at the same time, right? Shopping online has exploded in popularity over the past several years, and with good reason; some of the best prices aren’t found in stores. Unfortunately, getting a good price on something can land you in hot water if the item turns out to be stolen. Stolen property is bought and sold online all the time on websites like Craigslist and eBay, as unsuspecting shoppers are all too excited to get their hands on the latest gadgets and fashion trends.

Receiving stolen merchandise is covered under California Penal Code 496 PC and is described as buying, receiving, selling, concealing, or withholding from the owner any property which they know has been stolen. The property can be stolen in any way, including grand theft, petty theft and embezzlement. For example, an individual buys a computer from someone on Craigslist for $400 that’s advertised everywhere else for $1,500. The computer is in great condition other than the serial number is missing, but the buyer doesn’t ask about the mysteriously missing number and completes the transaction. It’s possible that the buyer in this case could be charged with receiving stolen merchandise.
A 496 PC can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. The majority of charges are misdemeanors, with the possible penalties of up to one year in county jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000. If charged as a felony, the penalties include 16 months to 3 years in county jail and/or a fine of up to $10,000. The deciding factor on the severity of the charges depends on the value of the stolen property. If the value equals $950 or less, the charges will be filed as a misdemeanor. If the value is greater than $950, the charges could be filed as a felony.

One of the key elements in being charged with violating PC 496 is to know that the person who receives the property knew that it was stolen. Most thieves aren’t going to advertise that their items were stolen, and being ignorant of the fact that it was stolen often leads to no charges being filed. Unfortunately, sometimes a deal can be too good to pass up, and people will buy or otherwise receive stolen property that they know is stolen based on that fact alone. If it can be proven that someone knows the property was stolen, they’ll likely face charges. However, even in the event that the recipient is completely unaware of the fact that the item was stolen, they can still lose big. That’s because when stolen property is located, it’s going to be returned to the owner, and whatever amount the recipient paid for it is usually lost.

If you’re going to buy things from people online, there are a few things you can do to help protect yourself from buying stolen merchandise. For one, be suspicious about really good deals for recently released items that are still in their original packaging. A top of the line gadget that’s still in its original packaging and selling for a lot less than its sticker price should be a red flag. Also, on big-ticket items like cars or boats, always be sure that the seller has all of the appropriate documentation before you hand over any money. One common trick car thieves use to unload recently stolen vehicles is to offer to mail the pink slip to you. Also, take a good look at the product you’re buying before you do so. If any identifying characteristics, such as serial or VIN numbers are damaged or removed — don’t buy it!

Ultimately, the vast majority of private sellers aren’t hawking stolen merchandise, but some of them do. Taking precautions to be extra careful can prevent you from, at best, wasting money and, at worst, facing criminal charges.

Robin Sandoval is a California Licensed Bail Bondsman and owner of SCV Bail Bonds. Robin writes blogs and articles to help increase community awareness of the bail industry. If you have questions or want to suggest a topic, email robin@scvbailbonds.com, visit www.scvbailbonds.com or call 661-299-2245

Bad Boys and Girls

| Police Blotter | December 8, 2017

An unemployed 23-year-old Newhall man was arrested for false imprisonment. A 33-year-old self-employed Canyon Country man was arrested for stalking.

Two men — a 44-year-old mechanic from Simi Valley and a self-employed 50-year-old Canyon Country resident — were charged with entering/remaining on a posted property.

A 27-year-old cook from Castaic and a 21-year-old manager from Saugus were cited for contempt of court, disobeying a court order. An unemployed 21-year-old Canyon Country woman was charged with resisting an officer.

A 24-year-old supervisor from Newhall was cited for possession/purchase of a stun gun by a convicted felon. An unemployed 57-year-old Valencia woman and a senior vice-president from Stevenson Ranch were each arrested for battery against a former spouse.

A self-employed 33-year-old Simi Valley man was charged with driving with a license that was suspended/revoked for another reason.

A 35-year-old nurse from Fresno was charged with transporting/selling a controlled substance.

Possession of a controlled substance charges went to:
22-year-old unemployed Valencia man
35-year-old unemployed Castaic man
25-year-old student from Saugus
26-year-old teller from Valencia

An unemployed 36-year-old Newhall man and two Long Beach men — an unemployed 22-year-old and a 19-year-old man who works in logistics — were arrested for burglary.

An unemployed 29-year-old Canyon Country man was brought up on charges of taking a bicycle without the owner’s permission.
DUIs with prior arrests included:
24-year-old line cook from Newhall
57-year-old construction manager from Valencia
20-year-old sandwich artist from Palmdale
36-year-old car salesman from Los Angeles
21-year-old construction worker from Newhall
29-year-old electrician from Winnetka
44-year-old machine operator from Newhall
58-year-old retired Granada Hills man
26-year-old intern from Los Angeles
23-year-old unemployed San Fernando man
41-year-old teacher from Granada Hills
32-year-old electrician from Canyon Country

Holiday Safety Tips

| Police Blotter | December 7, 2017

Empty houses and apartments are a tantalizing target for criminals — especially during the holiday season. It’s the busiest travel period of the year and would-be thieves are well-aware of that. As a matter of fact, many will go out of their way to find out who’s leaving, where they’re going, and how long they’ll be gone. For those who will be traveling during the holiday season, there are several steps you can take to reduce your chances of being victimized. Below are a few things to think about if you plan on heading out of town that will help keep your home and your belongings safe while you’re away.

Phone a Friend

If you have a trusty, responsible friend who’s going to be in town, ask him or her to help you out. The best case scenario here would be to have them act as a full-time housesitter while you’re away, but that’s likely going to be a stretch. At the very least, your friend can stop by your home daily to keep an eye on things. Have them pick up your mail and bring in any newspapers you receive. If you have any cats, your friend can also make sure to feed them and clean out the litter box (if they’re a good friend, that is).

Don’t Post Your Travel Plans Online

Posting about your upcoming Christmas in Hawaii can be tempting, but doing so is better left until you return. Criminals tend to be an ingenious lot, and many of them troll the web looking for information that reveals when a person is or isn’t going to be home. Knowing when someone is going to be gone, and for how long, makes planning a burglary much easier. Additionally, make sure not to mention the fact that you’re away on your voicemail messages either.

Don’t Leave the Lights On

Leaving the lights on is perfectly fine, even advisable, if you’re leaving for the evening. When you’ll be gone for several days, it changes from a safety precaution to an unmistakable message to thieves that you’re not home. If you have someone checking on your house, let them turn the lights on in the evening, or you can take the extra step of buying automatic timers for your lights.

Mind Your Mail

Mail builds up quickly. If you’re going to be gone for more than a couple days, it’s extremely important to do something about your mail. Don’t ask anyone to pick it up for you unless you trust them implicitly; you’ll likely be receiving some Christmas cards in the mail, some of which may or may not contain money or gift cards. It’s possible to stop your mail delivery altogether via the post office, but it’s probably a lot easier to temporarily re-route your mail delivery to a mail service. These places will serve as a mailing address for you, whether or not you’re in town. They’re becoming increasingly popular among home-based and online business owners, serving as a place where mail, faxes, and other business communication needs can be met.

Ditch the Second Key

If you hide a key somewhere outside your home, remove it when you’re away. Casing houses is still a thing, and you never know who’s watching. If you’ve got neighbors watching your home, give the key directly to them. If not, never leave a spare outside.

Bad Boys and Girls

| Police Blotter | December 1, 2017

A 44-year-old handyman from Sunland, a 28-year-old stylist from Los Angeles and a 41-year-old drug counselor from Van Nuys were arrested for burglary. Also, an unemployed 25-year-old Saugus man was arrested for attempted burglary. And an unemployed 28-year-old Canyon Country man was cited for possession of burglary tools.

A 22-year-old bus boy from Valencia, a 19-year-old Castaic woman, a 27-year-old caregiver from Santa Clarita and a 21-year-old retail manager from Canoga Park were charged with taking a vehicle without the owner’s consent.

A 22-year-old lab technician from Lancaster and an unemployed 23-year-old Gardena man were each charged with driving with knowledge of suspended/revoked license.

An unemployed 23-year-old Newhall man was arrested for disorderly conduct: loitering on private property. An unemployed 28-year-old Santa Clarita man and woman were brought up on charges of vandalism.

A 29-year-old manager from Canyon Country was arrested for corporal injury on a spouse/cohabitant. And a 53-year-old office manager from Santa Clarita was charged with battery against a former spouse.

A 27-year-old tree trimmer from Valencia was charged with transporting/selling a controlled substance.

Possession of a controlled substance arrests included:
30-year-old unemployed Newhall woman
45-year-old unemployed Saugus man
21-year-old electrician from Canyon Country
24-year-old gardener from Canyon Country
33-year-old unemployed Canyon Country woman
23-year-old driver from Tujunga
43-year-old unemployed Canyon Country man
38-year-old installer from Saugus
44-year-old accountant from Saugus

DUIs with prior arrests included:
24-year-old unemployed San Fernando woman
29-year-old kitchen manager from Canyon Country
38-year-old realtor from Santa Clarita
36-year-old hospice nurse from Valencia
22-year-old sales associate from Bakersfield
52-year-old caretaker from Palmdale
58-year-old secretary from Castaic
48-year-old landscaper from Van Nuys
33-year-old maintengineer from Valencia
18-year-old host from Santa Clarita
31-year-old custodian from Sun Valley
42-year-old chef from San Francisco

Doing Your Holiday Shopping Online? Follow These Tip to Keep Safe

| Police Blotter | November 30, 2017

This year’s holiday shopping season has begun, and Americans are increasingly turning to the internet to make their purchases. On Black Friday, Americans spent over $5 billion in a 24-hour period — a 16.9 percent increase in dollars spent in the same time frame last year. It isn’t difficult to see why. Christmas shopping has long been associated with lines, stampedes of shoppers trampling over each other, and waiting outside in the cold at ungodly hours hoping to be one of the first few in the door. Now that there’s another option, people are taking advantage of it.

As online shopping continues to grow, so too will the numbers of identity thieves, fraudsters, and other ne’er-do-wells looking to steal what they can and sour your season. Below are some tips that can help you avoid a potentially costly mistake:

  • Keep to brands and businesses that are well-known and have a good reputation. Popular online shopping sites like Amazon, Best Buy or Walmart have systems in place to reduce the chances of their customers being victims of fraud. Shopping with them is a lot safer than with smaller, unknown sites. While you’re safer from fraud using these sites, you’re not necessarily going to get quality merchandise. If the price of something seems too good to be true, it could be a foreign knock-off.
  • Do your due diligence. If you shop at smaller boutique sites, check out some of their reviews, but not necessarily those listed on their website. Google Reviews can be especially helpful in this area to see what people are saying about the company and products. If they’ve been around awhile and have a lot of satisfied customers, odds are you’re going to be one too.
  • Ensure your antivirus is up-to-date and your device is clean of malware. Always update and run your antivirus software prior to shopping online, whether you’re buying a $10,000 couch or a $20 pair of pants. Malware is abundant on the internet, and it can sit quietly on your machine just waiting for you to type in your identifying information and/or credit card/bank account numbers.
    Don’t make purchases over public Wi-Fi. If you’re going to shop online, do it at home over a secured network. It’s easy for thieves to steal your information when you’re transmitting it over an unsecured connection.
  • Pay via PayPal when possible. PayPal isn’t just a convenient way to pay for things; it serves as a protective middle-man between you and the business you’re buying from. It’s a lot easier to stop payments with PayPal than it is with your bank, and if the person you’re dealing with is trying to steal your information, a lot less damage can be done with PayPal info than with your bank account/debit card number.
  • Keep an eye on your transactions. Check regularly for any questionable purchases on your bank and/or credit card statements. If you end up the victim of identity theft, the best thing you can do to mitigate the damage is to find out as soon as possible.
  • During the holiday season, opt not to have several boxes delivered to your front door, especially if you’re not going to be home. There are many “package pirates” scoping out neighborhoods, ready to grab boxes off of your doorstep during the holidays. Sign up to have your boxes delivered to a secure place, such as a mailbox store. On the cheap, they will sign for and hold all your packages until you’re ready to pick them up. Or plan to have someone, such as a good neighbor, accept them on your behalf.

There’s no real way to be 100 percent safe when online shopping, but taking a few precautions like those listed above can considerably reduce your risk level. Most thieves want easy targets, and those who take steps to protect themselves are often not worth the trouble.

Bad Boys and Girls

| Police Blotter | November 24, 2017

A 22-year-old unemployed Newhall man and an 18-year-old student from Reseda were arrested for burglary. A 54-year-old handyman from Agua Dulce was arrested for grand theft auto/horse, etc. An unemployed 26-year-old Santa Clarita man was charged with getting a person’s credit/ID.

A 54-year-old Walmart associate from Buena Park was cited for evading arrest and a 22-year-old construction worker from Mesa, Calif. was arrested for evading a police officer, disregarding safety. An unemployed 49-year-old Frazier Park man and a self-employed 47-year-old Canyon Country man were arrested for battery against a former spouse.

A 34-year-old mechanic from Canyon Country was charged with possession of a device/instrument/paraphernalia. A 22-year-old attendant from Newhall was charged with being under the influence of the controlled substance. A self-employed 20-year-old San Luis, Arizona woman, a 33-year-old field worker from Oroville, a 32-year-old field worker from Los Angeles and a 29-year-old construction worker from Perris, Calif. were charged with transporting/selling a controlled substance.

Charges of possession of a controlled substance went to:
41-year-old unemployed Acton man
31-year-old unemployed Newhall man
27-year-old arborist from Valencia
26-year-old clerk from Canyon Country
35-year-old unemployed Santa Clarita man
34-year-old unemployed Saugus man
35-year-old unemployed Studio City woman
31-year-old caregiver from Los Angeles

DUIs with prior arrests included:
51-year-old laborer from Los Angeles
44-year-old director from Canyon Country
46-year-old construction worker from Lancaster
47-year-old self-employed Canyon Country man
26-year-old car salesman from Newhall
22-year-old unemployed Valencia woman
32-year-old student from Santa Clarita
24-year-old youth pastor from Santa Clarita
21-year-old assistant manager from Palmdale
24-year-old food server from Saugus
24-year-old retail worker from Valencia

Probation Violations Explained

| Police Blotter | November 23, 2017

Probation and parole are two of the most commonly confused terms in the criminal justice system. Both terms sound similar and they both deal with offenders who are under conditional release from custody.

Probation refers to adult defenders placed in supervised, conditional release via a probation agency. It can be the sentence for a crime the offender was convicted of committing, and it can be stand-alone or in addition to jail time. Parole refers to a conditional release from prison when individuals are allowed to serve the remainder of their sentences in the community. Under both conditions, offenders are often monitored by scheduled visits with court agents, as well as unannounced parole or probation checks conducted by the local police department to ensure the offender is following the law and adhering to any conditions their release is contingent upon.

In California, judges are given a wide berth to set the conditions upon which an offender is to be released on probation. Provided the conditions logically relate to the crime the offender was convicted of committing, the judge can set almost anything they want, including:
•Mandatory fines or restitution
•Requirement to not make contact with the victim
•Requirement that the offender not drive with any measurable amount of alcohol in their system
•Community service/Cal-Trans
•Employment requirements
•Requirement that the offender not commit any additional crimes
•Electronic monitoring

Recently in the SCV, a probation check was conducted by deputies working out of the Santa Clarita Sheriff Station during which an offender was found to be in possession of methamphetamine. Probation checks are conducted sporadically and without prior notification of the target(s) to ensure that these individuals are following the conditions of their probation. When the conditions of probation are violated, a suspect is arrested and subject to a probation violation hearing.

A judge will preside over the probation violation hearing instead of a jury, and the burden of proof on the part of the prosecuting attorney is far less than in a criminal trial. The prosecution is also allowed to admit “hearsay” evidence to a probation violation trial — a type of evidence not typically allowed in California criminal courts. The defendant at one of these trials has the same rights he/she would have, were it a criminal trial, which include the right to obtain counsel, the right to call witnesses and use the subpoena power of the court to call witnesses to testify on the defendant’s behalf, the right to present any mitigating or extenuating circumstances that may have contributed to the defendant’s alleged violation, the right to testify on their own behalf and the right to full disclosure of any and all evidence against them.

When both the prosecution and defense have made their cases, the judge will decide the outcome of the probation violation hearing. If a judge finds that an offender did violate his/her probation, the judge will take into account the offender’s prior criminal history, how long the probation was set for, the seriousness of the violation and any recommendations made by the probation department before providing punishment. Once all things are considered, the judge may reinstate the offender’s probation, modify it with new, stricter terms, or revoke it entirely and send the offender to jail for the remainder of the individual’s sentence.

Bad Boys and Girls

| Police Blotter | November 17, 2017

A 52-year-old self-employed Castaic man, an unemployed 42-year-old Stevenson Ranch woman and a 35-year-old x-ray technician from Canyon Country were arrested for battery against a former spouse.

A 21-year-old cashier from Acton and an unemployed 38-year-old Newhall woman were charged with corporal injury on a spouse/cohabitant. A 49-year-old unemployed Saugus man was arrested for disobeying a domestic relations court order. And a 20-year-old waiter from Canyon Country was cited for violation of a domestic violence order to stay away.

A 38-year-old electrician from Canyon Country was arrested for kidnapping.
An unemployed 20-year-old Santa Clarita man was charged with carrying a switchblade knife, while an unemployed 49-year-old Newhall man was charged with carrying a concealed dirk or dagger. A 30-year-old lineman from Orland, Calif. was charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon/addict, etc.

Possession of a controlled substance charges went to:
23-year-old stocker from Sylmar
23-year-old sales rep from Palmdale
34-year-old unemployed Valencia man
36-year-old construction worker from Saugus

Two local men were charged with possession of a device/instrument/paraphernalia—a 24-year-old delivery cook from Castaic and an unemployed 38-year-old from Canyon Country.

And a 28-year-old Bakersfield woman who is a field worker was picked up for transporting/selling a controlled substance. A 26-year-old construction worker from Sun Valley was charged with possession of a controlled substance for sale.
An 18-year-old laborer from Palmdale was charged with vandalism with loss valued at or equal to $400.

Three unemployed San Fernando Valley men were charged with receiving known stolen property valued at more than $950—20-year-old twin brothers and a 20-year-old North Hollywood man.

An unemployed transient, age 49, was charged with intentional interference with public transportation.

DUIs with prior arrests included:
30-year-old forklift operator from Paramount, Calif.
33-year-old construction worker from El Monte, Calif.
54-year-old unemployed Sacramento man
60-year-old retired Newhall woman
41-year-old Reseda man who is in the Air Force
25-year-old registered nurse
33-year-old radiologist from Sun Valley, Calif.

The Statute of Limitations Explained

| Police Blotter | November 16, 2017

The slew of recent sexual assault allegations hitting Hollywood elites has been hard to miss. It seems like every couple of days another person comes out and claims to be the victim of sexual assault on one or more occasion. While most of the victims have been women, a few men have made headlines, as well, when they alleged to be victims of similar crimes. One of those men happens to be actor Cory Feldman, who has long alluded to the fact that sexual predators victimized him and other young people in Hollywood during the 1980s. Once the person who allegedly committed the assault was named, the LAPD opened up an investigation.

Unfortunately for Feldman, the investigation was dropped not long after it began when it was determined that the statute of limitations for the crime had expired.

In every state, there are certain time limits attached to crimes that determine the period of time during which the crime can be investigated and charges pressed. The time limit ranges from 1-10 years, and was put in place to create general practicability and fairness when filing lawsuits. While the limitations may seem unfair to victims, it’s viewed as equally unfair to the accused to have a lawsuit hanging over his/her head indefinitely. By creating a time limit during which the crime can be investigated and charges pressed, it allows a legal conflict to have a definite end, thereby giving both parties a path to moving forward with their lives.

The statute of limitations typically begins on the date that the alleged crime occurs. For example, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice in the State of California is one year. So, for instance, someone who became the victim of medical malpractice on July 1, 2017 would have until July 1, 2018 to speak up and get a lawsuit together.
In California, the statute of limitations for sexual abuse of a minor is 8 years past the age of majority (the age of majority is 18, and so the statute of limitations would be when the child turns 26). However, California is one of 28 states that adopted an extension to the statute of limitations on sexual abuse of a child based on the “discovery” of the abuse or its effects. The “discovery” rule allows civil trials to go forward when the trial occurs “within three years of the date the individual discovers, or should have reasonably discovered, that psychological injury or illness was present and that the psychological injury or illness was caused by the sexual abuse.” Essentially, a person has 3 years to file a claim upon “discovery” of the memories of past sexual abuse. The rule was designed to allow those with repressed memories of abuse who discovered them years later in therapy pursue justice.

In 2016, California eliminated the statute of limitations on rape cases. Rape is considered a specific type of sexual assault that includes one or more forms of penetration, and as such is given its own set of laws covering the crime, which stand apart from simple sexual assault. Before the law eliminating the statute of limitations on rape cases was signed into law, the previous legal procedure was to allow for a statute of limitations on rape cases of 10 years, with exceptions being made for cases where DNA evidence was discovered later on.

As of right now, the sexual assault allegations targeting major players in Hollywood are continuing to come to light; only time will tell if any of them go to criminal or civil trials. In the meantime, the battle continues to rage in the court of public opinion.

Bad Boys and Girls

| Police Blotter | November 10, 2017

A 52-year-old landscaper from Castaic and a 22-year-old dishwasher from Canyon Country were arrested for terrorizing/causing fear.

A 46-year-old Los Angeles man was arrested for illegal possession/concealing a firearm, with prior convictions.

An unemployed 65-year-old Saugus man and a 58-year-old retired Saugus man were arrested for corporal injury on a spouse/cohabitant. A 22-year-old barber from Sylmar and a 20-year-old construction worker from California City were arrested for battery against a former spouse. Also, a 42-year-old auto body painter from Union City, Calif. was charged with cruelty to a child likely to produce great bodily injury/death.

An unemployed 30-year-old Palmdale man was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon, not a firearm, with great bodily injury.

A 47-year-old construction worker from Valencia was charged with violation of parole: felony. An unemployed 24-year-old Canyon Country woman was brought up on charges of evading arrest.

A 29-year-old comic book publisher from Newhall was arrested for trespassing.

A 41-year-old Los Angeles man was charged with transporting/selling a controlled substance.

A 27-year-old car salesman and a 38-year-old Saugus woman were charged with receiving known stolen property valued at more than $950.

A 23-year-old unemployed Reseda man was arrested for burglary. A 20-year-old rapper from Las Vegas was cited for unlawful mail theft.

An unemployed 26-year-old Castaic man, an unemployed 28-year-old Canyon Country man, and a 26-year-old bartender from Saugus were charged with taking a vehicle without the owner’s consent.

A 36-year-old construction worker from Saugus was brought up on charges of driving with a license that was suspended/revoked for another reason.

DUIs with prior arrests included:

29-year-old lift operator from Burbank
21-year-old electrician from Castaic
45-year-old Newhall woman who works in patient care
38-year-old manager from Palmdale
22-year-old maintenance man from Panorama City
25-year-old bartender from Santa Clarita
26-year-old sales administrator from Santa Clarita
42-year-old salesman from Palmdale

 

Violent Crime in Los Angeles My Be Higher than Previously Thought

| Police Blotter | November 9, 2017

The LAPD periodically releases crime statistics to keep the public informed about crime levels throughout the Los Angeles area. Recently, a captain with the police force has accused high-ranking LAPD officials of purposely misclassifying violent crimes in an effort to mislead the public in regards to crime levels throughout Los Angeles.

According to an article in the Los Angeles Times, a claim was filed last week by Capt. L. Carranza, overseer of the Van Nuys Police Station, which states that she had been notifying LAPD superiors since 2014 about underreporting of crime in the Foothill area. The area includes Pacoima, Sunland and Tujunga, and Capt. Carranza’s claim states that no action was taken regarding the information she brought forward.

Capt. Carranza assumed control of the LAPD’s Van Nuys Police Station in 2015 and, upon doing so, began to conduct her own analysis of violent crimes stored in the department’s database. The claim did not include the raw data that Capt. Carranza collected regarding crime, though it did state that, according to her own analysis, aggravated assaults in 2016 were underreported by 10 percent in the Pacific and Central divisions. She does not claim that the crimes went unreported, but that they were instead classified as less serious offenses in an effort to alter violent crime statistics in the area.

Another analysis conducted by Capt. Carranza, this time of the Hollenbeck and Mission divisions, showed a 10 percent undercounting of aggravated assaults in 2017. In her claim, Capt. Carranza states that the LAPD “engaged in a highly complex and elaborate cover-up in an attempt to hide the fact that command officers had been providing false crime figures to the public attempting to convince the public that crime was not significantly increasing.”

The LAPD chose not to comment on the allegations in Capt. Carranza’s claim. However, LAPD spokesman Josh Rubenstein did issue a statement praising the accuracy of the department’s crime statistics and explained that there was a special unit developed designed to scrutinize the data and ensure it was accurate. Rubenstein went on to state, “Integrity in all we say and do is a core value for the department and any accusation related to the accuracy of our reports will be taken very seriously and investigated as a potential disciplinary matter.”

This is not the first time that Capt. Carranza made claims regarding the accuracy of the LAPD’s crime reports. She said that she was told in September that she would be denied a promotion to commander due to her “meddling into others’ business.” She is currently seeking damages for lost wages and pension money, as well as emotional distress and unspecified physical injuries.

Another investigation, this time performed by the Los Angeles Times, found that the department had misclassified 1,200 violent crimes in a one-year span that ended in September of 2013. According to an auditor, the misclassification stemmed from “a combination of systemic issues, procedural deficiencies, department-wide misconceptions about what constitutes an aggravated assault, and, in a small number of cases, individual officer error.”

Bad Boys and Girls

| Police Blotter | November 3, 2017

A 22-year-old construction worker from Saugus and a 40-year-old warehouse worker from Compton were cited for petty theft. An unemployed 30-year-old Palmdale man and an unemployed 51-year-old Canyon Country man were arrested for burglary.

Two 21-year-old women from Wasco and a 24-year-old unemployed Canyon Country man were arrested for grand theft of money/property valued at $400 or more. A 23-year-old clerk from Santa Clarita was arrested for embezzlement.

A 20-year-old graphic designer from Santa Clarita was cited for shoplifting after a specified prior conviction.

A 53-year-old police officer from Saugus, a 28-year-old Canyon Country teacher, an unemployed 56-year-old Castaic woman and a 30-year-old tire tech from Glendora were arrested for battery against a former spouse. Also, a 42-year-old deputy sheriff from Saugus was brought up on charges of corporal injury on a spouse/cohabitant.

A 34-year-old plumber from Castaic and an unemployed 34-year-old Lancaster man were each arrested for terrorizing/causing fear.

A 26-year-old Bakersfield man was cited for evading arrest. An unemployed 23-year-old Santa Clarita woman was charged with contempt of court—disobeying a court order.

A 33-year-old Los Angeles who refused to give her occupation was cited for being under the influence of a controlled substance. And an unemployed 21-year-old Castaic man was cited for possession of a device/instrument/paraphernalia.

Charges of possession of a controlled substance included:

26-year-old unemployed San Jacinto man
34-year-old contractor from Palmdale
49-year-old unemployed Canyon Country man
38-year-old construction worker from Valencia
25-year-old server from Valencia

DUIs with prior arrests included:
32-year-old self-employed Stevenson Ranch woman
29-year-old lab tech from Lancaster
49-year-old Palmdale man who works in the auto glass industry
46-year-old unemployed Compton man
32-year-old unemployed Canyon Country man
26-year-old compliance analyst from Valencia
45-year-old Canyon Country woman who works in accounts payable
27-year-old counselor from Acton

 

Skimmer Discovered on Bank ATM

| Police Blotter | November 2, 2017

The LASD is warning people to be on the lookout for credit card skimming devices when going about. One of the devices was recently discovered at Cathay Bank in Rowland Heights, and detectives from the Walnut/Diamond Bar station are currently investigating. It isn’t known yet if, or how many, people may have been victimized.

Skimmers are card readers that take the data from an unsuspecting victim’s credit or debit card. They typically fit conveniently over the actual reader on ATMs, gas pumps and other often-used pieces of technology. When someone swipes their card through a device that has a skimmer on it, the skimmer will steal the data from the magnetic strip on the back of the card and store it in a file on the device. Then, the thief has to return to the skimmer to obtain the file with which they can create cloned credit cards or simply steal money from an individual’s accounts. While some skimmers are more obvious to spot than others — for those who know to look — the scariest kind are those that don’t interfere with the official reader on the machine. In other words, a person can be using an ATM that has a skimmer on it and still complete their bank transaction as if the device wasn’t there.

Skimmers aren’t new, but thieves have been getting savvier with their use. Advancements in technology have allowed skimmers to get smaller and smaller over the years, conveniently fitting over actual card readers on machines. Additionally, thieves have been planting small hidden cameras near their skimmers to capture their victims’ PIN numbers or other valuable passwords.

As the holiday shopping season heats up, thieves are going to be working overtime to steal people’s credit card or other identifying information. This time of year is when it’s more important than ever to be on the lookout for these devices when you’re out and about. Here are a few things you can look for:
Check for signs of tampering at the ATM before you use it. Graphics or pieces that don’t line up correctly, different colored materials, or other signs of obvious tampering at the top of the ATM or near the speakers could mean that the machine is compromised.
If you’re someplace where there’s more than one ATM in a row, such as a bank, do a quick comparison and make sure both ATMs look identical — they should. If one looks different than the other, don’t use either one and report it to bank management.
Gas pumps are another common target for skimmers, and the above rules both apply to those as well. It can be harder to tell with gas pumps, as they’re usually not as well-maintained as ATMs, but if anything feels fishy, you can always pay inside instead.
PINs are essential for thieves, so even if everything looks safe with the ATM you’re using, cover your hand as you type in your PIN. If there’s a camera installed, it’s a lot less likely to catch that crucial piece of information.

The vast majority of card readers available to the public are skimmer-free, of course, but a little caution now can save a ton of headaches down the road.

Bad Boys and Girls

| Police Blotter | October 27, 2017

A 42-year-old Santa Clarita transient was picked up for trespassing on closed lands. A 25-year-old security man from Canoga Park was cited for trespassing.

An unemployed 23-year-old Santa Clarita man was arrested for escaping/attempt to escape from a police officer, causing injury. And a 21-year-old Newhall man who works in retail was cited for failure to obey a peace officer.

A 29-year-old handyman from Newhall was arrested for assault likely to produce great bodily injury. An unemployed 55-year-old Canyon Country man was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon with great bodily injury. A 22-year-old artist from Calhoun, Ga. and a 29-year-old Canyon Country woman who works in shipping were arrested for assault with a deadly weapon, not a firearm, with great bodily injury.

An unemployed 21-year-old from Canyon Country was charged with manufacturing/selling/giving/lending/possessing metal knuckles.
A 19-year-old construction worker from Newhall was charged with exhibiting/drawing a deadly weapon, not a firearm.

An unemployed 24-year-old Saugus man was arrested for terrorizing/causing fear.

An unemployed 21-year-old Castaic man was arrested for battery against a former spouse. And a 45-year-old carpenter from Santa Clarita and a 56-year-old engineer from Newhall were arrested for corporal injury on a spouse/cohabitant. A 64-year-old bus driver from Union City was arrested for corporal injury on a child.

A 25-year-old driver from Lancaster was arrested for forgery of a check/bill/note, etc. exceeding $950. A 22-year-old unemployed Winnetka man and a 25-year-old unemployed Saugus man were arrested for burglary.

A 24-year-old electrical worker from Sylmar was charged with bringing/sending a narcotic/controlled substance/alcohol to jail.

A 26-year-old unemployed Valencia man was picked up for possession of a controlled substance and a 39-year-old home repairman from Saugus was charged with possession of a device/instrument/paraphernalia.

DUIs with prior arrests included:
59-year-old retired Palmdale man
23-year-old cook from Newhall
30-year-old tow truck driver from Sylmar
34-year-old bartender from Saugus
39-year-old price setter from California City
59-year-old Palos Verdes man who works in flooring
21-year-old loader from Palmdale
31-year-old server from Palmdale

Conspiracy to Commit Fraud – California Penal Code 182 PC

| Police Blotter | October 26, 2017

Two transient women were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit fraud when it was discovered they were lying to passersby to elicit donations. C. Doll, 26, of Loma Linda was arrested on the corner of Tippecanoe Ave. and Coulston St. in San Bernardino where she was panhandling. An hour later, another woman, this time 41-year-old M. Love of Yucca Valley, was arrested on the same corner for the same reason.

During the booking and processing procedure, it was discovered that the two women were linked — the women were working together to make signs in order to get donations from the public. The sign that the two women created was a large poster that had a baby’s face on it, which they used to ask the public for donations to pay the baby’s funeral costs. Deputies working with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department determined that the baby on the poster didn’t belong to either woman, nor was there any need for funeral and burial costs. Both women were charged with conspiracy to commit fraud.

According to California Penal Code 182 PC, a criminal conspiracy takes place when at least two or more individuals agree to commit a crime and at least one of them commits an overt act in furtherance of that crime. For example, if two people agree to burn down someone’s house, and one of them buys an accelerant and some matches, both parties will be vulnerable to conspiracy charges. For someone to be charged with conspiracy, it isn’t necessary that the planned crime actually takes place, nor will they be charged for simply planning to commit a crime. For someone to be eligible for conspiracy charges, they must plan to commit a crime with someone else and do something to bring those plans to fruition. The act doesn’t necessarily have to be criminal in nature. As mentioned above, there’s nothing illegal about purchasing matches and an accelerant (light fluid, gasoline, etc.). However, buying those items becomes a crime once it’s been agreed upon by two or more people to use them to commit a crime.

Interestingly, there doesn’t need to be a formal or explicit agreement between the parties; it’s possible for investigators to establish that an agreement existed by examining the parties’ actions. Additionally, when people are charged with violating 182 PC, they become criminally responsible for any crimes committed by co-conspirators in furtherance of the conspiracy. So, if the person in the example above chose to steal the accelerant and matches, and got caught for it, then the other conspirator would be responsible for the theft, even if they weren’t involved in it or knew it was happening.

Conspiracy to commit fraud is a “wobbler” under California law, meaning it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. If charged as a misdemeanor, the penalties include a maximum fine of $10,000 and up to one year in county jail. If charged as a felony, the fine is the same, but the jail time is increased to 16 months to three years in county jail.

Bad Boys and Girls

| Police Blotter | October 20, 2017

A 19-year-old Long Beach man was arrested for burglary, and a 38-year-old handyman from Saugus was cited for possession of burglary tools.

A 22-year-old director from Reseda and a 20-year-old secretary from Los Angeles were arrested for grand theft of money/property valued at or greater than $400.

A 27-year-old stocker from Lancaster and a 27-year-old security guard from Newhall were charged with theft of personal property. An unemployed 24-year-old Valencia woman was cited for shoplifting after a specified prior conviction.

A 19-year-old stocker from Newhall was charged with vandalism with loss valued at or greater than $400.

An unemployed 21-year-old Stevenson Ranch man and a 43-year-old waitress from Canyon Country were arrested for taking a vehicle without the owner’s consent.

A 38-year-old cook from Newhall was charged with carrying a concealed dirk or dagger. And an unemployed 39-year-old Pacoima man was arrested for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon/addict, etc.

An unemployed 47-year-old Canyon Country woman was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon, not a firearm, with great bodily injury.
A 27-year-old auto salesman from Newhall, an 18-year-old construction worker from Los Angeles and a 44-year-old security guard from Canyon Country were arrested for corporal injury on a spouse/cohabitant. Also, a 40-year-old construction worker from Lancaster and a 44-year-old forklift operator from Newhall were charged with battery against a former spouse.
An unemployed 34-year-old from Winnetka was arrested for cruelty to a child likely to produce great bodily injury/death.

A 37-year-old foreman from Canyon Country was arrested for escaping jail, etc. while charged with a felony.

A 22-year-old gardener and an unemployed 22-year-old woman, both from Watsonville, were charged with transporting/selling a controlled substance.

Possession of a controlled substance charges went to:
20-year-old construction worker from Newhall
20-year-old unemployed Burbank man
25-year-old unemployed Saugus man
26-year-old Newhall transient

DUIs with prior arrests included:
24-year-old salesman from Valencia
24-year-old chef from Newhall
70-year-old retired Agua Dulce man
21-year-old cook from Castaic
23-year-old salesman from Newhall
30-year-old counsel aid from Northridge
49-year-old unemployed Saugus man

Sexual Harassment in the News – California Penal Code 243.4

| Police Blotter | October 19, 2017

Just recently, an investigation by the New York Times blew the lid off of one of Hollywood’s dirty little secrets. Acclaimed producer Harvey Weinstein was accused of having sexually assaulted several Hollywood actresses, and has reportedly reached settlement on at least eight court cases regarding similar offenses stretching back to 1990.

Once the first accusation was made, they kept on coming. Many A-listers, including Gwyneth Paltrow and Kate Beckinsale, have come forward stating they’ve been the victims of sexual harassment and/or assault by the movie mogul in the past. Currently, the LAPD and LASD are urging individuals who feel they may have been victims of sexual assault by Harvey Weinstein to come forward.

There is no criminal investigation as of yet being conducted in Los Angeles, though the NYPD is investigating an incident that occurred in 2004, and police in London are currently investigating a separate occurrence. Weinstein was recently fired from his company once the allegations came to light, and has voluntarily entered rehab.

Sexual assault is covered under California Penal Code 243.4 PC and is described as touching the intimate parts of another human being for the purpose of sexual gratification, arousal or abuse. Sexual assault differs from rape (PC 261) in that for someone to be charged with rape, actual penetration or sexual intercourse needs to have occurred; with sexual assault, touching will suffice. It should be noted that for someone to be accused of sexual assault, the touching must be unwanted.
Sexual assault is a “wobbler,” meaning it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances of the case and the defendant’s prior criminal history. Misdemeanor charges typically include things like the intentional fondling of someone’s breasts, or placing a hand on their backside without their consent. The crime can be charged as a felony if the victim:
Was unlawfully restrained
Was unaware that the touching was sexual in nature because they were convinced it was for professional purposes (think doctors)
Was institutionalized and mentally incapacitated or seriously disabled
Was forced to touch the intimate body parts of the defendant
When charged as a misdemeanor, the possible penalties include up to six months in county jail, a fine of up to $3,000 and/or summary probation.

For felony offenses, the possible penalties include formal probation, 2-4 years in California state prison with a possible addition of 3-5 years if the victim suffered great bodily injury, a maximum $10,000 fine and/or mandatory registration as a sex offender.

Bad Boys and Girls

| Police Blotter | October 13, 2017

A 26-year-old self-employed Santa Clarita man was cited for possession of burglary tools. An unemployed 48-year-old La Puente man, a 23-year-old unemployed Acton man and an unemployed 22-year-old Long Beach man were each arrested for burglary. A 34-year-old unemployed transient was arrested for robbery. A 49-year-old Santa Clarita transient was charged with petty theft. And a 29-year-old gardener from Pacoima was picked up for receiving known stolen property valued at $950 or more.

A 46-year-old homemaker from Newhall and an unemployed 19-year-old Santa Clarita man were charged with vandalism, and a 34-year-old construction worker from Canyon Country was brought in for vandalism with loss valued at or greater than $400. An unemployed 46-year-old Canyon Country man was cited for refusing to leave a property upon request of the owner.

A 46-year-old laborer from Canyon Country was arrested for carrying a concealed dirk or dagger.

An unemployed 19-year-old Castaic woman was charged with corporal injury on a spouse/cohabitant. Also, a 28-year-old North Hollywood man who does general labor was brought up on charges of battery against a former spouse. An 18-year-old nursery worker from Gardena was arrested for battery with great bodily injury. Also, an unemployed 40-year-old Santa Clarita man was arrested for cruelty to a child likely to cause great bodily injury or death.

A 46-year-old production designer from Los Angeles was charged with failure to appear for a traffic warrant. And a 19-year-old unemployed Saugus man was arrested for a probation violation.

A 24-year-old surrogate mother from Parlier, Calif. was charged with being drunk with drugs. A 22-year-old heating and air conditioning man from Castaic was cited for being under the influence of a controlled substance.

 

Charges of possession of a controlled substance went to:
21-year-old unemployed Castaic man
34-year-old caregiver from Lancaster
22-year-old unemployed Arleta man
48-year-old laborer from Frazier Park
36-year-old construction worker from Little Rock, Calif.
25-year-old unemployed Burbank man
26-year-old transient
37-year-old massage therapist from Canyon Country
46-year-old unemployed Newhall man

DUIs with prior arrests included:
19-year-old with an unknown occupation from Val Verde
50-year-old construction worker from Glendale
22-year-old administrative assistant from Valencia
27-year-old artist from Lancaster
32-year-old construction worker from North Hills
22-year-old bartender from Santa Clarita
30-year-old construction worker from Newhall
28-year-old driver from Woodland Hills
71-year-old broker from Santa Clarita
33-year-old postal service driver

Teaching Kids Awareness: The Dangers of Kidnapping

| Police Blotter | October 12, 2017

On Friday, October 6, a 12-year-old girl reported that she was grabbed by a man who tried offering her a ride while she was running with her soccer team in the Bridgeport neighborhood of Santa Clarita.

The soccer team had been running from the 23500 block of Bridgeport Lane to an adjacent neighborhood when the victim fell behind. It was then that she said a man asked her if he could give her a ride somewhere. When she declined the offer, the man grabbed her by the arm and dragged her a few feet before the victim was able to break free. Once the suspect lost his grip on the girl, he fled to his black car, believed to be a Toyota or Honda, and sped away.

Instances like the one above occur frequently all over the world, and the unfortunate truth is that in many of them, the victim doesn’t escape. This victim was extremely lucky that she was not only able to break free of the suspect’s grasp, but that he didn’t attempt to chase her down, but instead took off.

Kidnapping is a danger for children of any age, from the young and helpless to those in their teens, and it’s important that you speak with your children and make sure they know what to do if they ever find themselves in a situation like this. Below are a few tips to help you out:

  • Always be aware of your surroundings. Whether your child is walking alone or with friends, they should always take a look around once in awhile to make sure they aren’t attracting any undue attention. People who look like easy targets tend to be easy targets, while those who are more alert have a much better chance of thwarting a would-be attacker.
  • If possible, call the police right away. This one might seem obvious, but that’s not always the case when it comes to teenagers. When panicked, teens have been known to text friends, significant others or even make posts on social media before thinking to call the police. If your child is kidnapped and has access to their phones, tell them to immediately dial 911 and keep the phone on speaker. Cell phones can be traced, and their chances of being found increase significantly if they can leave their phone on while being tracked.
  • Use what you can. When someone is grabbed, they typically focus on trying to free the part of their body that’s being handled. Instead, teach your kids to focus on using the parts of their body that are free. For example, if a kidnapper grabs them by the arms, your child can still use his/her legs to stomp on the fragile bones of their assailant’s feet, kick the attacker in the groin, the knee, or use a free arm to scratch at his/her face.
  • Be loud and be clear. During an attempted kidnapping, children and teens should, if nothing else, make sure to scream loudly for help and state that the kidnapper is not their father/mother. The more commotion that’s created will bring more attention to the attempted crime, and possibly spook the kidnapper into flight. If not, bystanders may be able to come and help.

Planning is easy, but being able to act in the moment can be something else entirely. Make sure your kids are well-versed in what to do if they find themselves in a situation like this.

Bad Boys and Girls

| Police Blotter | October 6, 2017

A 34-year-old pool man from Ukiah, Calif. was arrested for oral copulation of an unconscious victim. An unemployed 18-year-old Canyon Country man was arrested for terrorizing/causing fear.

An unemployed 19-year-old Saugus woman, a 43-year-old salesman from Newhall and a 50-year-old Valencia man who refused to give his occupation were arrested for corporal injury on a spouse/cohabitant. A 55-year-old contractor from Saugus and a 33-year-old Canyon Country man who works in the health industry were each arrested for battery against a former spouse.

An unemployed 43-year-old Santa Clarita man was charged with throwing a substance at a vehicle with the intent of causing great bodily injury.

A 36-year-old mover from Newhall was arrested for carrying a switchblade knife on his person.

A 22-year-old mechanic was cited for issuing a false representation of himself.

A 22-year-old barber from Saugus and a 63-year-old retired maintenance manager from Sylmar were arrested for burglary.

A 29-year-old truck driver from North Hollywood was picked up for getting credit/another person’s ID.

A 48-year-old transient carpenter was charged with receiving known stolen property.

A 49-year-old light tech and a 37-year-old framer from Canyon Country were charged with possession of a controlled substance with specific prior arrests.

A 32-year-old electrician from Saugus, a 28-year-old insurance agent from Valencia, and a 41-year-old self-employed Canyon Country man were each charged with possession of a controlled substance. A 21-year-old construction worker from Castaic and an unemployed
19-year-old unemployed Frazier Park man were charged with possession of controlled substance paraphernalia.

A 31-year-old L.A. actor was picked up for possession of a controlled substance for sale.

A 41-year-old dog trainer from Acton and a 32-year-old cook from Palmdale were cited on charges of driving without a license.

DUIs with prior arrests included:
31-year-old case manager from Saugus
21-year-old benefits coordinator from Canoga Park
58-year-old Lancaster man
49-year-old warehouse worker from Canyon Country

 

It’s Illegal to be in Possession of a ‘Destructive Device’ 18710 PC

| Police Blotter | October 5, 2017

LASD deputies received a call on Thursday, September 28 from concerned residents reporting a suspicious vehicle parked in front of a Lawndale home. When deputies arrived, they located the suspicious vehicle and questioned its two occupants. Upon conducting a search of the vehicle, deputies discovered a handgun and detained the male suspect while a female was later released. A further investigation of the home ensued, during which deputies came across nearly 30 pieces of military-grade ordnance.

According to authorities, the ordnance included grenades, ammunition, and a variety of shells of various sizes that appeared to date back to WWII. The home where the devices were discovered had been owned by a WWII veteran who passed away a few months prior to the incident. After the veteran’s death, the house remained empty until it was overtaken by transients.

Upon discovering the cache of weaponry, residents of the surrounding homes were evacuated for about 14 hours while members of the bomb squad analyzed the items. Most of the grenades and explosive devices were deemed to be inert, though some of the ammunition found on-site caused concern among investigators. Authorities are still looking into the cache of grenades, mortar rounds, artillery shells and ammunition to find out where it came from, how long it had been there, and to whom it belonged.

If the items are traced back to the previous owner of the house, it wouldn’t be the first time someone had such items in their possession. Under California Penal Code 18710 PC, it’s illegal to possess a “destructive device,” including grenades, bombs, explosive missiles, certain rockets and rocket-propelled projectiles or projectiles containing any kind of explosive or incendiary material. Under this definition, it isn’t required that the explosive device be a military-grade bomb or projectile; homemade items like Molotov cocktails count as explosive devices. For someone to be charged with violating 18710 PC, they must simply possess the destructive device — it isn’t necessary that the individual planned to explode it or use it in any way.

18710 PC is a “wobbler,” meaning that it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances of the case and the defendant’s prior criminal history. Potential misdemeanor penalties include up to one year in county jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.

For felonies, the potential penalties are enhanced and include 16 months to three years in California state prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000. The felony penalty is enhanced to include 2-6 years in California state prison if the defendant is found to have possessed the explosive device near a public street or highway, private residence, public building (such as a theater, school, church or college), near any vessel for hire that carries passengers (trains, planes, cable cars, etc.) and in or near any public place that is ordinarily passed by human beings.

Bad Boys and Girls

| Police Blotter | September 29, 2017

An alleged fugitive from justice — a 21-year-old entertainer from Fort Lauderdale — was arrested in Santa Clarita.

A 34-year-old assembly line worker from Stevenson Ranch was arrested for disobeying a domestic relations court order. And an unemployed 25-year-old Castaic woman was charged with violating a promise to appear for a work release program.

An unemployed 29-year-old Santa Clarita transient was arrested for murder.

A 44-year-old driver from Saugus, and two Canyon Country men — an unemployed 24-year-old man and a self-employed 48-year-old man — were arrested for corporal injury on a spouse/cohabitant.

A bee remover — a 22-year-old Sylmar man — was arrested for passing false checks/receipts/certifications, etc. And an unemployed 54-year-old Santa Clarita man was charged with acquiring access to a credit card in four or more names in fewer than 12 months.

An unemployed 50-year-old Santa Clarita woman was cited for shoplifting after a specified prior conviction.

A 33-year-old unemployed Newhall man was charged with possession of a device/instrument/paraphernalia and an unemployed 30-year-old San Fernando man was picked up for possession of controlled substance paraphernalia.

A 24-year-old host from Los Angeles and a 48-year-old auto repair man from Newhall were charged with possession of a controlled substance.

An unemployed 24-year-old Stevenson Ranch man was charged with driving with a license that was suspended/revoked for another reason.

DUIs with prior arrests included:
32-year-old construction worker from Newhall
23-year-old set dresser from Lancaster
26-year-old independent contractor from Palmdale
31-year-old self-employed Bakersfield man
21-year-old student from Canyon Country
21-year-old cashier from Acton
24-year-old unemployed Bakersfield man
35-year-old driver from Val Verde
45-year-old manager from Los Angeles

Criminal Threats – PC 422

| Police Blotter | September 28, 2017

Recently, a woman was arrested for entering a Kardashian-owned boutique in West Hollywood and threatening employees. The suspect, M. Medrano, is suspected of entering the boutique in the late morning on Thursday, September 21, and proceeding to point a firearm at employees of the store while demanding that they “stay away from Cuba.” She then knocked over several items as she exited the store. Two hours later, Medrano returned to the store with a 16-inch machete and swung it at reporters and bystanders outside while claiming, “The Kardashians will be executed if they step on communist territory.”

Nobody was injured during either altercation, and Medrano was able to escape before authorities arrived on both occasions. Thanks to video footage, deputies were able to track down Medrano at her home. After serving a search warrant, investigators discovered two pellet guns, one of which looked similar to the weapon brandished in the boutique. The suspect was arrested at her home on suspicion of assault and making criminal threats. She is currently being held in lieu of $50,000 bond.

Criminal threats are covered under California Penal Code 422 PC and are described as threatening to physically harm or kill someone, thereby putting the victim in a state of fear for his/her own safety, or that of the individual’s family.

The 422 PC is 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. If charged as a misdemeanor, the penalties include up to one year in county jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000. If charged as a felony, the penalties include up to three years in California state prison and/or a maximum fine of $10,000. If the defendant uses a deadly or dangerous weapon to communicate a threat (which Medrano apparently did), an additional and consecutive sentence of one year in California state prison can be added.

Assault is covered under California Penal Code 240 PC and is described as willfully doing something that was likely to result in the application of force against someone else while the defendant has the ability to apply force to another person. The defendant doesn’t actually have to apply force to another person in order to be charged with assault. The suspect simply needs to willfully act in a way that’s likely to result in the application of force while in a position to be able to apply that force. For example, throwing a dinner plate at someone, even if it misses, could be considered assault. However, throwing a dinner plate at someone who is much too far away to be hit by that plate would likely not result in assault charges.

Assault is typically charged as a misdemeanor, with the possible penalties of misdemeanor probation, up to six months in county jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.

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