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Local Crime

| Police Blotter | December 7, 2018

Three massage therapists were arrested for prostitution with prior knowledge of AIDS, including a 50-year-old from Alhambra, a 47-year-old from Monterey Park and a 56-year-old from Baldwin Park.

A 64-year-old security officer from Canyon Country and a 35-year-old Northridge resident were arrested for corporal injury on a spouse/cohabitant/etc.

An unemployed 50-year-old Santa Clarita resident was arrested for failure to appear after written promise.

A 27-year-old unemployed Santa Clarita resident was charged with terrorizing/causing fear. And a 29-year-old unemployed Lancaster resident was brought up on charges of identity theft.

An 18-year-old Castaic resident was arrested for terrorizing/causing fear.

A 36-year-old self-employed Santa Clarita resident was arrested for battery against a former spouse.

DUIs with prior arrests include:

23-year-old train builder from Palmdale
28-year-old cook from Canyon Country
34-year-old unemployed Newhall resident
29-year-old mail carrier from Chatsworth
21-year-old instructional assistant from Pearblossom
45-year-old customer service agent from Palmdale
29-year-old mail carrier from Chatsworth
25-year-old self-employed Canyon Country resident
32-year-old technician from Canyon Country
27-year-old auto detailer from Canyon Country

Charges of possession of a controlled substance went to:

29-year-old unemployed Newhall resident
30-year-old carpenter from Canyon Country
34-year-old board and caretaker from Mission Hills
46-year-old unemployed Santa Clarita resident
25-year-old security officer from Pacoima
45-year-old unemployed Saugus resident
25-year-old unemployed Palmdale resident
23-year-old self-employed Lancaster resident
42-year-old technician from Stevenson Ranch
34-year-old unemployed Palmdale resident
41-year-old billing assistant from Valencia

Human Trafficking Suspects Arrested

| Police Blotter | December 7, 2018

Recently, San Bernardino County investigators arrested two women on suspicion of pimping, pandering, and human trafficking of a minor. The investigation began when detectives were alerted to an online posting that appeared to be advertising an underage girl for prostitution. According to the ad, the girl appeared to be being prostituted out of the ironically-named Best Ontario Inn on Mission Boulevard in Ontario. Upon further investigation, deputies tracked the girl down at an apartment complex in Highland.

On Wednesday, November 28 at around 9 a.m., deputies arrived at the apartment complex to serve a warrant and conduct surveillance when they noticed a teenage girl fitting the victim’s description walking along with a juvenile male. The two were detained by law enforcement and taken to the apartment where it was believed that the suspect was staying. Police served the warrant at the apartment and arrested two women, one 40-years-old and one 44-years-old, and took them as well as the two juveniles to the sheriff station for questioning.
During questioning, detectives affirmed that the 17-year-old girl they had detained was indeed the victim, though the juvenile male was deemed to be unrelated to the case and was subsequently released to his mother. After questioning, the two middle-aged suspects were arrested. Another young girl, this one 15, who also lived in the apartment was located later on and put into protective custody while an investigation into whether or not she was also a victim of prostitution takes place.

Pimping and pandering are covered under California Penal Codes 266h and 266i PC and are described as knowingly receiving financial support from someone engaged in prostitution or receiving compensation for soliciting a prostitute (pimping), and procures, persuades, encourages, or otherwise assists someone into becoming a prostitute (pandering). Both crimes are felonies in California, and the possible penalties include three to six years in California State prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000. However, since the victim was a minor, the suspects face up to eight years in prison and mandatory registration as a tier-three sex offender.

Human trafficking is a separate crime that often goes along with pimping and/or pandering charges. Human trafficking of a minor is covered under California Penal Code 236.1 PC and is described as depriving someone of their personal liberty with the intent to:
Obtain forced labor from them
Violate California laws against pimping and pandering, child pornography, or extortion and blackmail
Persuading or attempting to persuade a minor to engage in a commercial sex act, with the intent to violate one of those same laws.

Human trafficking is always a felony in California and the possible penalties include five to twelve years in California State prison and a fine of up to $500,000. For those who are convicted of human trafficking in order to commit a crime in relation to a commercial sex act, the potential prison sentence is increased to 20 years.

Local Crime

| Police Blotter | December 1, 2018

Three individuals from Bakersfield were arrested for burglary from a vehicle, including two 18-year-old construction workers and an unemployed 19-year-old.

A 43-year-old repo driver from Lancaster was arrested for terrorizing/causing fear. And a 32-year-old unemployed Castaic resident was arrested for trespassing.

A 20-year-old bus boy from Newhall was charged with assault likely to produce great bodily injury (GBI).

Two individuals were arrested for corporal injury on a spouse/cohabitant/etc., including a 32-year-old caregiver and a 24-year-old warehouse worker from Stevenson Ranch.

A 45-year-old unemployed Santa Clarita resident was arrested for violating probation.

A 23-year-old barber from Santa Clarita was charged with battery against a former spouse. And a 30-year-old unemployed Canyon Country resident was arrested for tampering with a vehicle.

DUIs with prior arrests include:

53-year-old unemployed Santa Clarita resident
18-year-old cook from Tustin
29-year-old registered nurse from North Hollywood
54-year-old DWP worker from Castaic
36-year-old machinist from Canyon Country
49-year-old credit card processor from Santa Clarita
21-year-old student from Saugus
26-year-old cashier from Ventura
25-year-old assistant director from Woodland Hills
33-year-old mechanic from East Los Angeles
25-year-old unemployed Palmdale resident
41-year-old landscaper from Saugus
40-year-old unemployed Canyon Country resident

Charges of possession of a controlled substance went to:
31-year-old construction worker from Saugus
54-year-old waitress from Santa Clarita
34-year-old machinist from Palmdale
36-year-old construction worker from Saugus
46-year-old caterer from Stevenson Ranch
26-year-old gardener from Newhall
27-year-old construction worker from Saugus
19-year-old unemployed Canyon Country resident

Felon Confronts Deputies at Santa Clarita Gas Station

| Police Blotter | November 29, 2018

In the early morning hours of Friday, November 23, deputies were called to a Chevron gas station on Lyons Avenue to respond to a report of an altercation. Once they arrived on scene, the suspect in the altercation immediately confronted the deputies and the row quickly got physical. The suspect is reported to have assaulted a deputy before trying to flee the scene on foot. He was arrested a short while later and charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm, assault on a police officer and evading a police officer.

Under California Penal Code 29800 PC, the acquisition or owning of a firearm or ammunition is illegal for anyone convicted of a felony, several specific misdemeanors, or narcotic drug addicts. Anyone in one or more of the aforementioned groups cannot own, possess, purchase, or receive a firearm and, if they are found to have done so, can lose their gun rights for a minimum of 10 years, and some can have their gun rights revoked for life.

The misdemeanor convictions that make one eligible for charges under PC 29800 include certain violations of PC 245 – assault with a deadly weapon, certain violations of PC 417 – brandishing a weapon, and several California sex crimes. California Penal Code 29800 PC is always a felony, and the possible penalties include 16 months to three years in county jail and/or a maximum $10,000 fine.

California Penal Codes 243(b) and 243(c)(2) PC cover battery on a peace/police officer. The crime can be charged when a suspect commits battery, and the suspect either knew, or should have reasonably known that the victim of the battery was a peace/police officer. Peace/police officers are a class of protected officials which includes custodial officers, firefighters, EMTs, process servers, employees of a probation department, and doctors and nurses providing emergency medical care.

California Penal Code 243(b) is a misdemeanor and is typically charged when battery of a peace/police officer occurs but no injury is inflicted. The potential penalty includes summary probation, up to one year in county jail, and/or a fine of up to $2,000. If injury does occur during the commission of the battery, then it is likely the suspect will be charged under PC 243(c) which can be either a misdemeanor or a felony. If charged as a misdemeanor, the penalties are the same as those previously stated. If charged as a felony, the penalties include formal probation, 16 months to three years in county jail, and/or a fine of up to $10,000.

Finally, evading a peace officer, or resisting arrest, is covered under California Penal Code 148(a)(1) PC and makes it illegal to willfully resist, delay, or otherwise a law enforcement officer or other emergency personnel from performing their duties. The crime is a misdemeanor with the possible penalties including up to one year in county jail and/or a $1,000 fine.

Bad Boys and Girls

| Police Blotter | November 22, 2018

A 27-year-old unemployed Castaic resident was arrested for assault likely to produce great bodily injury (GBI).

A 45-year-old unemployed Newhall resident was charged with damaging property. And a 27-year-old self-employed Canyon Country resident was arrested for carrying a concealed dirk or dagger on his/her person.

A 44-year-old caretaker from Castaic was brought up on charges of obstructing/resisting an executive officer.

Two individuals were arrested for corporal injury on a spouse/cohabitant etc., including a 45-year-old director of information technology from Newhall and a 36-year-old unemployed Canyon Country resident.

Three people were arrested for assault with a deadly weapon (ADW) with firearm, including a 21-year-old self-employed Arleta resident, a 21-year-old self-employed Canyon Country resident and a 33-year-old cook from Canyon Country.

DUIs with prior arrests include:

26-year-old truck driver from Los Angeles
28-year-old children’s clinician from Los Angeles
34-year-old transient from Tulare
27-year-old warehouse manager from Canyon Country
30-year-old landscaper from Newhall
33-year-old makeup artist from Santa Clarita
34-year-old unemployed Palmdale resident
62-year-old unemployed Valencia resident
65-year-old publisher from Canyon Country
29-year-old forestry technician from Canyon Country
33-year-old surgical technician from Canyon Country
55-year-old IT tech from Santa Clarita

Charges of possession of a controlled substance went to:

50-year-old unemployed Castaic resident
38-year-old clerk form Newhall
52-year-old unemployed Newhall resident
39-year-old recycler from Canyon Country
28-year-old unemployed Sylmar resident
50-year-old HVAC repairman from Canyon Country
21-year-old unemployed Canyon Country resident
34-year-old general laborer from Canyon Country
50-year-old self-employed Castaic resident
55-year-old welder from Castaic
28-year-old cleaner form Lancaster
38-year-old driver from Pasadena
29-year-old stucco worker from Canyon Country

Robbery – California Penal Code 211 PC

| Police Blotter | November 21, 2018

On the evening of Saturday, November 17, a man allegedly held up a cashier at the Stevenson Ranch Walmart located on the Old Road. Afterward, the suspect successfully fled with an undisclosed amount of money, as his flight through the parking lot was tracked via security cameras. Eventually, the suspect made it out of the cameras’ field of view. Nobody was hurt during the incident and deputies are currently searching for the suspect.

Robbery is described under California Penal Code 211 PC as “the unlawful taking of property from another person or their immediate presence, against the property owner’s will and by using force or fear to do so. Interestingly, the person in possession of the property does not need to be holding it, nor does the property actually have to belong to them. For example, the cash in the register at the Walmart didn’t belong to the cashier, and they likely weren’t holding it all when the suspect endeavored to relieve them of it. However, the cashier was working the register which held the money, and was therefore in control of it, thus fitting the definition of possession as required by law.

In order for someone to be charged with robbery, as opposed to another of California’s theft crimes, the use of force or fear must be employed when the suspect is attempting to take possession of the property from the victim. Force is defined as physical force for the purposes of robbery charges, and fear is defined as the fear of injury to either the victim, their family, the property being taken, or someone else present during the robbery. Additionally, California courts have held that drugging someone in order to relieve them of property in their possession counts as robbery, even though the use of “force or fear” as defined by PC 211 isn’t necessarily present.

Robbery is divided into two types: first-degree robbery and second-degree robbery. First-degree robbery is always a felony and occurs in situations where the victim is the driver of a bus, taxi, cable car, street car, or other similar form of transportation for hire; the robbery takes place in an inhabited house, trailer, or boat; or the robbery takes place during or immediately after the victim uses an ATM machine. Felony robbery charges include the possible penalties of formal probation, three to six years in California state prison, and/or a fine of up to $10,000.

Second-degree robbery includes any type of robbery that doesn’t meet the criteria for first-degree robbery. The potential penalties include formal probation, two to five years in California state prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.

Robbery also counts as a “strike” under California’s Three Strikes Law.

The potential sentences for robbery charges are eligible for significant enhancement if the defendant used a gun during the commission of the crime. Under California Penal Code 12022.53 PC, California’s 10-20-Life Use a Gun and You’re Done law, the defendant will receive an additional 10 years for personally using a firearm during the robbery, 20 years for personally and intentionally firing a gun during the robbery and, 25 years to life by causing great bodily injury or death with a firearm during a robbery. Since nobody was hurt during the robbery of the Stevenson Ranch Walmart, and the gun was not fired, the suspect stands to have their penalty enhanced to an additional 10 years in California state prison.

Bad Boys and Girls

| Police Blotter | November 15, 2018

Two Santa Clarita residents were charged with robbery, including a 23-year-old assembly technician and a 29-year-old welder.

Both a 59-year-old warehouse worker from North Hills and a 29-year-old hair stylist from Canyon Country were charged with corporal injury on a spouse/cohabitant/etc.

A 34-year-old Canyon Country resident who listed his/her occupation as “cookchef” was arrested for taking a vehicle without the owner’s consent.

A 29-year-old unemployed San Diego resident was charged with concealing illegal proceeds.

A 30-year-old leasing agent from West Covina was arrested for battery.

A 33-year-old unemployed resident was brought up on charges of assault likely to produce GBI (great bodily injury).

DUIs with prior arrests include:

36-year-old audio video worker from San Diego
24-year-old unemployed Canyon Country resident
64-year-old customer service employee from Canyon Country
45-year-old unemployed Canyon Country resident
22-year-old waiter form Simi Valley
42-year-old teacher from Stevenson Ranch
40-year-old stocker from South Gate
23-year-old dishwasher from Littlerock
42-year-old nurse from Monrovia
20-year-old student from Fontana
33-year-old teacher from Sanger

Charges of possession of a controlled substance went to:

31-year-old construction worker from Los Angeles
44-year-old unemployed Huntington Beach resident
34-year-old recycler from Newhall
33-year-old unemployed Santa Clarita resident
28-year-old warehouse worker from Lancaster
47-year-old unemployed Newhall resident
33-year-old gardener from Newhall
32-year-old caretaker from Canyon Country
37-year-old construction worker from McFarland
32-year-old unemployed Santa Clarita resident
31-year-old unemployed Long Beach resident

Zero Tolerance for Hate Crimes

| Police Blotter | November 15, 2018

Last September, on the Jewish Holiday of Yom Kippur, a man in North Hollywood snatched the wig from an 80-year-old Jewish woman’s head. The man then smiled at the elderly lady before handing the wig back to her and walking away. Later that day, he attempted to snatch the wig from a 36-year-old woman walking down the street in the same area. Then on Tuesday, November 6, the same man approached a 58-year-old woman and tore off her wig. Afterward, he threw the wig to the ground while sarcastically claiming to be “sorry” before walking away. After the third wig-snatching incident, police released information about the suspect and made an arrest shortly thereafter.

Normally, someone doing something like this would probably be charged with battery and little else. However, due to special circumstances in these incidents, the man is facing possible hate crime charges as well.

In California, a hate crime is defined as harming, harassing, or threatening someone because of their disability, gender, nationality, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation. Since all three of the suspect’s alleged victims were Jewish women, and the wigs, scarves, or other hair coverings are considered symbols of modesty in Orthodox Jewish culture, it’s possible that the man’s actions were motivated by anti-Semitism. When a person harms, harasses, or threatens someone and the motivation to do so stems, at least in part, from the fact that the victim has one or more of the aforementioned characteristics, it’s possible to have the crime they are charged with upgraded to a hate crime.

Hate crimes don’t have to include assault, battery, or even happen in front of the victim. Vandalism, for example, can be considered a hate crime if it fits the above criteria. Additionally, it’s possible to commit a hate crime in California even if the intended victim didn’t actually possess any of the characteristics protected under law. What matters is if the suspect is motivated by the belief that the victim had one or more of the characteristics.

The penalties for hate crimes are much harsher than those of the underlying crime, and it’s possible to be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony hate crime. If the underlying crime an individual is charged with is also a hate crime, a misdemeanor-level offense becomes a “wobbler” which could be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. If charged as a misdemeanor, the penalties include informal probation, up to 1 year in county jail, a fine of up to $5,000, and/or up to 400 hours of community service. If charged as a felony, the penalties include formal probation, 16 months to three years in prison, and/or a fine of up to $10,000.

If the underlying crime for which the defendant is charged is a felony and not a misdemeanor, the sentence for that underlying crime is enhanced to include an additional prison sentence of one to three years – on top of the sentence for the underlying crime. So, if a person were to commit felony robbery as a hate crime and receive a sentence of five years in prison, they would receive an additional one to three years in prison as an enhancement.

The International Day for Tolerance falls on November 16 and is an annual observance day declared by UNESCO to generate public awareness of the dangers of intolerance. Read more about it and do your part to help end any hate in your community.

Bad Boys and Girls

| Police Blotter | November 9, 2018

A 25-year-old unemployed Santa Clarita resident was arrested for assault likely to produce great bodily injury.

A 25-year-old plumber from Valencia was charged with vehicle burglary.

There were several individuals charged with battery against a former spouse, including a 39-year-old nurse from Valencia, a 59-year-old healer from Calabasas, a 41-year-old manager from Valencia, and a 46-year-old firefighter from Saugus.

A 23-year-old unemployed Canyon Country resident was charged with making obscene/threatening telephone calls.

A 39-year-old janitor from Canyon Country was arrested for entering/remaining on posted property.

DUIs with prior arrests include:

23-year-old cook from Canyon Country
28-year-old unemployed Stevenson Ranch resident
22-year-old baker from Newhall
33-year-old unemployed Saugus resident
28-year-old unemployed Los Angeles resident
55-year-old handyman from Torrance
23-year-old cocktail server from Santa Clarita
38-year-old accountant from Newhall
41-year-old railroad worker from Paramount
23-year-old cashier from Northridge
27-year-old mechanic from Lancaster
28-year-old self-employed Valencia resident
24-year-old bartender from Saugus
29-year-old grocery manager from Hawthorne
58-year-old mechanic from Santa Clarita
18-year-old Dominos worker from Newhall
30-year-old dental tech from

Charges of possession of a controlled substance went to:

18-year-old unemployed Canyon Country resident
44-year-old unemployed Newhall resident
41-year-old unemployed Newhall resident
23-year-old unemployed Saugus resident
26-year-old unemployed Santa Clarita resident
49-year-old ranch worker from El Monte
41-year-old construction worker from Newhall
65-year-old retiree from Frazier Park

Child Abuse – California Penal Code 273d

| Police Blotter | November 8, 2018

On Friday, November 2, a 64-year-old teacher was arrested under suspicion of child abuse after he is alleged to have punched a student multiple times. According to a cell phone video caught by another student in the class, the situation started when a 14-year-old student confronted the teacher for allegedly having spoken ill about the boy. Initially, the teacher took a passive stance, so the student’s provocation increases to cursing and calling him by a racial epithet. Eventually, the teacher snapped and began hitting the boy repeatedly, using the hand that was holding his cell phone to do so.

Eventually, the fight was broken up, and after a call to the LASD, the on-campus police related what had occurred. After that, the teacher was arrested on suspicion of child abuse charges and held in lieu of $50,000 bond. He was released from jail the following day and is scheduled to be arraigned on November 30.

Child abuse is covered under California Penal Code 273d and is described as the willful infliction of either:
Cruel or inhuman corporal punishment, or
An injury that results in a traumatic condition on a minor who is under 18

Under California law, the term “corporal punishment” refers to the punishing of the body, as opposed to the emotions. A “traumatic condition” is any wound, minor or serious, caused by the direct application of physical force. “Willfully” indicates that the person who inflicted the punishment or injury intended to do so at the time. For example, punching a child in the face in an attempt to injure them would be considered willful. Accidentally elbowing a child in the face that you didn’t know was there would more than likely not.
PC 273d applies to many types of abuse or applications of force other than punching, including slapping, kicking, choking, pushing, shaking, and more. However, spanking is not covered under PC 273d provided that it is done for disciplinary purposes and isn’t excessive under the circumstances. It should be noted that the description of when spanking is not considered child abuse is deliberately vague. There are strong opinions both for and against spanking as a punishment, and while it is legally allowed today, things may change tomorrow.

Like many of California’s laws, Penal Code 273d 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 possible penalties include summary probation or up to one year in county jail and/or a fine of up to $6,000.

For felony charges, the penalties include a jail sentence of two, four, or six years and/or a fine of up to $6,000. It is also possible that the defendant is sentenced to formal (felony) probation for part (or all) of their sentence instead of jail.

Bad Boys and Girls

| Police Blotter | November 2, 2018

Three unemployed Santa Clarita residents were arrested for burglary, including a 31-year-old, a 23-year-old and a 25-year-old.

A 47-year-old doctor from Huntington Beach was arrested for taking a vehicle without the owner’s consent.

A 42-year-old self-employed Canyon Country resident was arrested for cruelty to a child likely to produce great bodily injury (GBI) or death.

A 31-year-old Santa Clarita resident was arrested for loud/unreasonable noise.

A 51-year-old contractor from Burbank was arrested for stalking. And a 26-year-old chef assistant was arrested for garage burglary.

A 63-year-old investor from Saugus was arrested for committing a sex act with a child under 10 years of age.

DUIs with prior arrests include:

33-year-old manager from Valencia
23-year-old meat cutter from Long Beach
22-year-old cook from Canyon Country
31-year-old security guard from Valencia
25-year-old caregiver from Newhall
27-year-old car washer from Lancaster
22-year-old material handler from Palmdale
27-year-old driver from Canyon Country
33-year-old construction worker from Lakewood

Charges of possession of a controlled substance went to:

27-year-old unemployed Canyon Country resident
37-year-old unemployed Canyon Country resident
31-year-old “actor plumber” from Canyon Country
23-year-old unemployed Canyon Country resident
27-year-old fork lift driver from Pacoima
42-year-old unemployed Newhall resident
22-year-old salesman from Cherry Valley
27-year-old construction worker from Pacoima
33-year-old waste management worker from Lancaster
32-year-old salesman from Canyon Country

California Penal Code 284 PC – Marrying the Husband or Wife of Another

| Police Blotter | November 1, 2018

In the State of California, it’s illegal to marry someone if that person is already married to someone else. California Penal Code 284 PC is the mirror-image of California’s bigamy law (PC 281) which makes it illegal to marry someone when you are already married to someone else.

Under California Law, a person can be charged with violating Penal Code 284 if they get married to someone who is still married to someone else, as long as they do so knowingly and willfully. For example, if Bob asks Jan to marry him, and Jan does so knowing full-well that Bob is already married to another woman somewhere else, then Jan is eligible to be charged with a crime. However, if Jan marries Bob without knowing he was already married, she isn’t eligible to be charged.

It may seem a little out there, but California Penal Code 284 does come into play from time to time. People generally don’t marry someone who is already married to someone else with whom they are also cohabitating. It usually occurs when one person wants to marry another, but one of the parties is separated from his or her current legal spouse and/or has tried unsuccessfully to get a divorce or if the spouse of the person who is already married lives in another country. In order to legally marry someone who has already been married, the previous marriage must have been annulled, declared void, or dissolved by a court with the jurisdiction to do so (this includes divorce).

There is a specific set of circumstances that exist under which it’s possible to knowingly marry someone who is already married. First, the married person’s spouse must have been absent for five years in a row. Second, during those five years, the person you want to marry has not known for a fact that their spouse is still alive.

Bigamy, that is, being married to one person and also marrying someone else is a “wobbler” in California that can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. Surprisingly, the flip-side of this law, marrying someone who is already married, is a felony offense in California. The possible penalties include 16 months to three years in jail and/or felony probation and/or a fine of no less than $5,000 and no more than $10,000.

Bad Girls and Boys

| Police Blotter | October 26, 2018

A 23-year-old aesthetician and a 31-year-old janitor from Alameda were arrested for robbery.

A 46-year-old “professional transient” was brought up on charges of failure to appear after written promise.

A 30-year-old unemployed Sunland resident was arrested for defacing property.

A 42-year-old construction worker from Castaic was arrested for hit and run causing injury/death.

A 53-year-old construction worker from Lancaster was arrested for grand theft money/property greater than $400.

A 48-year-old contractor from Lebec was booked for failure to appear after a traffic warrant.

A 48-year-old construction worker from Woodland Hills was arrested for obstructing/resisting an executive officer.

DUIs with prior arrests include:

19-year-old barber from Acton
37-year-old housekeeper from Wilmington
25-year-old Sun Valley resident
25-year-old construction worker from Santa Clarita
29-year-old construction worker from Newhall
29-year-old cook from Newhall
57-year-old dental technician from Canyon Country

Charges of possession of a controlled substance went to:

53-year-old network administrator from Newhall
25-year-old electrician from Bakersfield
32-year-old clerk from Lancaster
37-year-old construction worker from Newbury Park
35-year-old Walmart associate from Newhall
31-year-old self-employed Canyon Country resident
23-year-old unemployed Newhall resident
33-year-old audio installer from Quartz Hill
37-year-old unemployed Granada Hills resident
32-year-old unemployed Saugus resident
28-year-old unemployed Newhall resident
53-year-old recycler from Lancaster
41-year-old unemployed Canyon Country resident

Halloween 2018 Events and Safety Tips

| Police Blotter | October 25, 2018

Halloween is just around the corner, and there are a ton of events going on this year in the Santa Clarita and Los Angeles areas. From haunted houses to haunted hayrides, L.A. County knows how to do Halloween right. If you’re a horror-lover, party fiend, or someone for whom the past couple years haven’t been scary enough, below are various, tantalizingly terrifying events to attend.

Halloween in SCV
With so many different events going on around Santa Clarita, there were just too many to mention here. So along with the Jack the Ripper Virtual Reality Haunted House, the Haunted Jailhouse, The Lazer Street Dark Ops Lazer Tag event, Fright Fest at Six Flags, the Coffinwood Cemetery Home Haunt, Halloween Fiesta, Trunk or Treat, Monster Mash Senses Block Party, Costume Contests, Fall Festivals, Pumpkin Patches and so much more, we direct you to the Santa Clarita guide link for all the gory details! https://santaclaritaguide.com/HarvestFunSCV.html

Halloween & Mourning Tours Oct. 27-28
If you’re into history and the macabre, the Heritage Square Museum in Montecito Heights has something special just for you. On October 27, you’ll be able to learn all about the death and mourning etiquette during the Victorian Era, including how clothing played a role in mourning, a crash-course in spiritualism, and even a bit of fortune-telling. Afterward, you’ll be able to attend a period-specific funeral in one of the historic homes. If you have kids you’d like to bring, there will be period-specific games, 19th century arts and crafts, and ghost stories!

Los Angeles Haunted Hayride Oct. 18-31
The Annual Haunted Hayride in Griffith Park will be in full-swing once again. For those who aren’t in the know, this is no ordinary romp through the pumpkin patch. Ghosts, demons, and other untold horrors await those who dare to venture forth this Halloween. There will also be a “scary-go-round” for little kids and cowards, and pitch black mazes teeming with both demons and maniacs.

West Hollywood Costume Carnival Oct. 31
No list of Halloween events in Los Angeles would ever be complete without mentioning the largest Halloween street party in the world. If you don’t like crowds, then this event may not be for you since roughly half a million people tend to show up every year. The festivities this year include dancing, drinking, costume contests, a parade, and more!

There’s a whole lot more going on this month in Los Angeles in celebration of Halloween – too much to list. Whatever you choose to do though, drive extra carefully, and never get behind the wheel if you’re going to consume alcohol.

Like every holiday, law enforcement will be out on the streets looking for anyone showing signs of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Also, if you’re going to be out and about in residential areas, be alert – there will be scores of children out on the streets both before and after dark. Kids are unpredictable and like to dart out into traffic without warning, so whenever you’re driving around children, take it extra slow. Have a fun, safe and happy Halloween!

Bad Boys and Girls

| Police Blotter | October 19, 2018

This week, there were several individuals who were arrested for corporal injury on a spouse/cohabitant, including a 37-year-old unemployed Valencia resident, a 39-year-old water and power employee from Santa Clarita, a 40-year-old self-employed Stevenson Ranch resident, a 54-year-old retired Saugus resident, and a 51-year-old Disney Animator from Canyon Country.

A 42-year-old construction worker from Castaic was charged with hit and run causing injury/death. And a 27-year-old bouncer from Santa Clarita was arrested for Vandalism.

A 38-year-old unemployed Burbank resident was arrested for taking a vehicle without the owner’s consent.

A 29-year-old unemployed Palmdale resident was brought up on charges of terrorizing/causing fear.

DUIs with prior arrests include:

27-year-old human resources worker from Arleta
25-year-old server from Canyon Country
29-year-old self-employed Newhall resident
31-year-old material handler from Las Vegas, Nev.
35-year-old plumber from Palmdale
41-year-old engineer from Lancaster
42-year-old Janitor from Newhall
30-year-old construction worker from Newhall
27-year-old landscaper from Canyon Country
32-year-old self-employed San Fernando resident
26-year-old call center worker from Lancaster
36-year-old chef from Sylmar
29-year-old construction worker from Newhall
57-year-old dental technician from Canyon Country
25-year-old Sun Valley resident who refused to give his/her occupation

Charges of possession of a controlled substance went to:

24-year-old pharmacy technician from Canyon Country
23-year-old unemployed Canyon Country resident
31-year-old surfer from Los Angeles
28-year-old unemployed Lancaster resident
28-year-old DirectTV employee from Sylmar
26-year-old unemployed Canyon County resident
31-year-old self-employed Canyon Country resident
23-year-old unemployed Newhall resident
43-year-old audio installer from Quarts Hill
37-year-old unemployed Granada Hills resident
28-year-old unemployed Newhall resident
53-year-old recycler from Lancaster
41-year-old unemployed Canyon Country resident

California Penal Code 4800 PC – Executive Clemency

| Police Blotter | October 18, 2018

It’s possible for an inmate who is serving time in a California prison or jail to petition the governor to have their sentence commuted. When a sentence is commuted, it doesn’t mean that the person is no longer guilty of the crime, nor does it alter their criminal record. It just reduces or eliminates a prisoner’s sentence, or it can make a prisoner immediately eligible for parole. Whether or not that prisoner is released on parole will still be up to the California’s Board of Parole hearings.

Anyone who is convicted of a crime in California is eligible for commutation, with the exception of impeached government officials. However, a governor doesn’t have the power to commute the sentence of just anyone. If the prisoner was convicted of a federal crime, a military offense or a violation of the law in another state or country, the governor cannot commute their sentence. Additionally, if a prisoner was convicted of two or more felonies, the governor cannot commute their sentence without a majority consent on the California Supreme Court. On their own, the governor has the power to grant the commutation of sentence for any number of misdemeanors, but only one felony.

To apply for commutation of a sentence, a prisoner must notify the District Attorney’s office in the county where the crime was committed, and complete and mail a notarized application to the governor. Upon receiving the application, the governor is not required to consider an application for clemency – let alone grant it. When the governor decides to do so, the application is typically referred to the Board of Parole Hearings who will then conduct an investigation and recommend to the governor whether or not the prisoner’s request should be granted.

Having a sentence commuted is not the same as receiving a pardon. Pardons are issued on rare occasions when someone has been rehabilitated of a crime, and it can remove some of the restrictions set upon someone who has been convicted of a crime. Some of the benefits of receiving a governor’s pardon can include: the right to serve on a jury, relief from the duty to register as a sex offender, restoration of gun rights (though not always), the right to be employed as a county probation officer or state parole officer, and the right to apply for state professional licensing without being automatically denied.

A governor’s pardon does not seal a person’s criminal record, nor does it expunge the crime from said record. It’s still possible for an employer to learn about the conviction (though a pardon can often improve one’s chances of being hired). Also, if the defendant was convicted of a crime using a dangerous weapon (gun, knife, metal knuckles, concealed explosive), their gun rights will not be restored upon receiving a pardon.

It should be noted that a pardon is not required for someone convicted of a felony to restore their ability to vote. The right to vote in California is automatically restored once the person convicted of a felony has been released from prison and successfully completes their parole.

Most people convicted of a crime can petition for a governor’s pardon after a certain period of rehabilitation (usually 7 to 10 years). The time begins when the defendant is released from custody and completes their probationary period or parole, and the defendant cannot commit any crimes over the duration of the rehabilitation period.

Bad Boys and Girls

| Police Blotter | October 12, 2018

This week, a 35-year-old dispatcher from Frazier Park was arrested for battery, and a 32-year-old Chatsworth resident who works in retail was arrested for reckless driving.

A 53-year-old Uber driver from Studio City was arrested for identity theft. And a 52-year-old massage therapist from Newhall was arrested for sex penetration: force/etc.

A 19-year-old Canyon Country resident who works in customer service was brought up on charges of battery against a former spouse. Another 19-year-old unemployed Canyon Country resident was charged with defacing property.

A 55-year-old dance instructor from Newhall was charged with battery.

DUIs with prior arrests include:

64-year-old nurse from Long Beach
27-year-old welder from Santa Clarita
22-year-old stocker from Saugus
23-year-old unemployed Valencia resident
41-year-old construction worker from Santa Clarita
28-year-old clerk from Canyon Country
27-year-old animal trainer from Lakewood
46-year-old unemployed Valencia resident
41-year-old construction worker from Santa Clarita
36-year-old unemployed Castaic resident
28-year-old unemployed Simi Valley resident
28-year-old unemployed Canyon Country resident
30-year-old caregiver from Hollywood
21-year-old unemployed El Monte resident

Charges of possession of a controlled substance went to:

32-year-old unemployed Castaic resident
46-year-old mechanic from Canyon Country
43-year-old dental assistant from Canyon Country
29-year-old unemployed Canyon Country resident
26-year-old unemployed Chatsworth resident
32-year-old caregiver from Palmdale
31-year-old field worker from Salinas
50-year-old unemployed Santa Clarita resident
52-year-old fisherman from Carpentaria
18-year-old unemployed Palmdale resident
31-year-old unemployed Stevenson Ranch resident
48-year-old unemployed Canyon Country resident
29-year-old unemployed Santa Clarita resident
25-year-old driver from Stevenson Ranch

California Penal Code 1001.36 PC – Mental Health Diversion

| Police Blotter | October 11, 2018

In recent years, both police and the courts have been paying more attention to the mental health status of suspects with whom they come into contact. Under California Penal Code 1001.36 PC, recently enacted in June of 2018, a qualifying defendant can undergo mental health treatment after they’ve been charged with a crime and, upon successful completion of the treatment program, have their charges dismissed.

Known as California’s Mental Health Diversion Program, PC 1001.36 is part of a broader pretrial diversion system designed to allow defendants in certain situations seek treatment before their trial continues. Treatment can be requested at any point in the defendant’s criminal case before they are sentenced.

A person’s mental health status isn’t the only qualifier that can render them eligible for one of California’s diversion programs. Penal Code 1000 PC describes California’s Pretrial Drug Diversion Program that defendants who are being charged with some non-violent drug crimes involving simple possession to undergo drug treatment.
If they successfully complete their treatment, the charges will be dismissed. There’s even a “bad check” diversion program, where a defendant who is convicted of writing bad checks can request an alternative sentencing program that will allow them to pay restitution toward the victim and, at their own expense, attend an intervention program.

Not every defendant will qualify for one of California’s Diversion Programs. Under Penal Code 1001.36 PC, both misdemeanor and felony defendants can qualify for a mental health intervention if:

  • The defendant suffers from a mental condition other than pedophilia, borderline personality disorder, or antisocial personality disorder
  • The defendant’s mental disorder played a significant role in the commission of the crime
  • A qualified mental health expert believes the defendant would respond to treatment
  • The defendant consents to diversion and waves their right to a speedy trial
  • The defendant agrees to comply with the treatment as a condition of diversion
  • The court is satisfied that the defendant will not pose an unreasonable risk of danger to the community

When a defendant undergoes mental health treatment as part of the diversion program, the treatment can last up to two years and can consist of in-patient and/or out-patient therapy. If the defendant successfully completes the treatment, the court will dismiss the charges against them at the end of the treatment period. If the defendant does not successfully complete treatment, they aren’t sent to jail. Instead, the criminal proceedings in the defendant’s case are resumed and will continue to move toward trial.

Bad Boys and Girls

| Police Blotter | October 5, 2018

A 30-year-old Lyft driver was arrested for raping a victim incapable of consent.

Three unemployed individuals were charged with entering/occupying property without the owner’s consent, including two Santa Clarita residents, ages 24 and 28, and a 21-year-old Canyon Country resident.

A 31-year-old self-employed Canyon Country resident was booked for prostitution with prior knowledge of AIDS. And a 21-year-old unemployed Lancaster resident was arrested for burglary.

A 32-year-old sales associate from Santa Clarita was arrested for violating probation.

An 18-year-old unemployed Nuevo resident and a 27-year-old unemployed Palmdale resident were charged with battery. No, not Duracell.

A 27-year-old gardener was arrested for carrying a loaded firearm as a gang member.

DUIs with prior arrests include:

37-year-old associate from Agua Dulce
30-year-old staffer from Palmdale
38-year-old consultant from Sparks, Nev.
22-year-old floor salesman from Canyon Country
21-year-old server from Newhall
32-year-old surgical technician from Saugus
33-year-old unemployed Palmdale resident
32-year-old self-employed Stevenson Ranch resident
36-year-old owner from Fillmore
28-year-old construction worker from Van Nuys
48-year-old driver from Pasadena

Charges of possession of a controlled substance went to:

28-year-old unemployed Lancaster resident
53-year-old cherry picker from Santa Clarita
40-year-old unemployed Valencia resident
22-year-old unemployed Canyon Country resident
31-year-old unemployed Saugus resident
46-year-old musician from Palm Desert
41-year-old contractor from Santa Clarita
27-year-old laborer from Hesperia
49-year-old unemployed Saugus resident
29-year-old project manager form Newhall
29-year-old self-employed Canyon Country resident
29-year-old meat department employee from Newhall
47-year-old masonry worker from American Fork, Utah.
29-year-old unemployed Valencia resident

California Penal Code 503 PC – Embezzlement

| Police Blotter | October 4, 2018

Recently, a Santa Clarita woman was arrested on suspicion of embezzling money from the Girl Scouts of America and a cancer organization. The suspect had been the volunteer treasurer for the Girl Scouts of America for 20 years, and also served as the CFO for the Beverly Hills Cancer Center.

The investigation began just over a year ago when a Girl Scouts group alerted law enforcement to financial irregularities and suspected that the woman was stealing. When police began looking into it, their investigation quickly widened. After the suspect’s arrest on September 25, investigators served a search warrant in her home where they located additional evidence of theft. It’s believed that the suspect embezzled $58,000 over the past five years from the Girl Scouts, and another $30,000 from the time when she was serving as CFO for the Beverly Hills Cancer Center. According to police, the suspect didn’t live an extravagant lifestyle and it’s believed the embezzlement occurred due to financial struggles on the part of the suspect.

Embezzlement is covered under California Penal Code 503 PC and is described as fraudulently appropriating property that belongs to someone else and has been entrusted to you. In TV and movies, embezzlement is usually associated with the theft of very large sums of money and high-powered executives, but in realty, embezzlement frequently involves very small amounts of money or property and suspects have a wide range of jobs and relationships.

Interestingly, it’s possible to be charged with embezzlement even if the suspect doesn’t intend to keep the property they appropriated. For embezzlement to occur, the owner of money or property must entrust it to the suspect because they trust them. Simply being an employee of a given company or a member of an organization doesn’t imply a position of trust, and when someone steals under these conditions, it’s usually charged as theft. You can think of the crime of embezzlement as betraying the trust of someone who entrusted you with money or property because they trust you – not necessarily just because it’s part of your job.

The penalties for violating California Penal Code 503 PC will depend on the value and type of property that was embezzled. If the amount of money or value of the property was worth more than $950 dollars, was an automobile, or was a firearm, the defendant will face the penalties for grand theft (PC 487) – which is a “wobbler” that can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. If charged as a misdemeanor, the possible penalties include misdemeanor probation, up to 1 year in county jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000. If charged as a felony, the possible penalties include felony probation, 16 months to three years in county jail and/or a fine of up to $10,000. If the value of the money or property stolen was exceptionally high, the defendant faces additional and consecutive penalties of as many as four years in jail.

If the value of the money or property embezzled totals less than $950, the crime will likely be 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.

Bad Boys and Girls

| Police Blotter | September 28, 2018

A 28-year-old contractor from Canyon Country was charged with kidnapping.

Two unemployed 18-year-old Los Angeles residents were arrested for burglary, and a 23-year-old safety instructor from Lancaster was also brought up on burglary charges.

Two individuals were arrested for corporal injury on a spouse/cohabitant/etc., including a 52-year-old operations manager from Canyon Country and a 27-year-old Jersey Mikes employee from Altadena.

A 50-year-old lighting technician from Agua Dulce was arrested for taking a vehicle without the owner’s consent.

A 38-year-old unemployed Lancaster resident was charged with resisting an officer. A 24-year-old caregiver from Stevenson Ranch was arrested for furnishing marijuana to a minor over the age of 14.

DUI’s with prior arrests include:

33-year-old manager from Simi Valley
23-year-old unemployed Santa Barbara resident
30-year-old security guard from South Gate
48-year-old server from Saugus
32-year-old musician from Lancaster
35-year-old self-employed Canyon Country resident
32-year-old Los Angeles resident
40-year-old unemployed Santa Clarita resident
34-year-old clerk from Palmdale
46-year-old actor from Northridge

Charges of possession of a controlled substance went to:

30-year-old D.J. from Brea
33-year-old manager from North Hollywood
28-year-old landscaper from Santa Clarita
45-year-old construction worker from Santa Clarita
56-year-old unemployed Lake Elizabeth resident
37-year-old caretaker from Valencia
19-year-old unemployed Canyon Country resident
56-year-old prospector from Lake Elizabeth
38-year-old Valencia resident who works in air conditioning
32-year-old stocker from Sylmar
27-year-old Canyon Country resident
26-year-old construction worker from Bakersfield
28-year-old technician from Santa Clarita
36-year-old construction worker from Turlock
43-year-old recycler from Newhall

California Penal Code 262 PC – Spousal Rape

| Police Blotter | September 27, 2018

It’s a subject in the news quite a bit, but for some, difficult to discuss … Rape – having sexual intercourse with someone without their consent – is illegal no matter who the person is, even if it’s the defendant’s spouse. A lot of people may not realize that spousal rape (also referred to as marital rape) is a crime, but it is, and it’s been on the books since the late 1970s.

Today, spousal rape is illegal in all 50 states, but the punishments can vary pretty widely. In California, rape of a spouse is treated similarly to rape of a stranger (PC 261), and all of the penalties are nearly identical.

Under California Penal Code 262 PC, rape of a spouse must be accomplished using one of the following criteria: force, violence, duress, menace, or fear of bodily injury. Additionally, a person can be charged with spousal rape under PC 262 if they engage in sexual intercourse with their spouse and:

  • The defendant knows that the spouse is unable to resist due to intoxication with drugs, alcohol or medication
  • The spouse is unconscious of what’s going on
  • The defendant persuades the spouse into having intercourse by threatening kidnapping, inflicting extreme pain, serious bodily injury or death AND there is reasonable possibility that the threat will be carried out
  • The defendant coerces the spouse into having intercourse by making them believe that the defendant is a public official who can arrest, incarcerate or deport the spouse

According to California Law, for sexual intercourse to occur, there must be some form of penetration, no matter how brief or how slight. The state defines “consent” as being able to act freely and voluntarily, and knows the nature of the act they are agreeing to.
Interestingly, requests for contraception or birth control before performing intercourse does not show that the victim consented to have sex in the eyes of the law. For example, suppose a spouse is threatened into having intercourse by an abusive partner and the victim requests that his or her spouse use protection during the intercourse. The victim in this situation isn’t considered to be giving consent, as far as the law is concerned, simply because the individual requested that a condom be used.

As previously mentioned, the penalties for spousal rape are similar to those for rape of a stranger. The crime is a felony and the penalties include: three, six, or eight years in California state prison, increased by three to five years if the victim suffered great bodily injury, up to $10,000 in fines, and possible mandatory registration as a sex offender. If the defendant has been convicted of multiple sex crimes, and the spousal rape was accomplished using force, fear, or threats of death or great bodily injury, it’s possible to receive a sentence of life in prison.

Bad Boys and Girls

| Police Blotter | September 20, 2018

A 24-year-old security guard from Lancaster was arrested for sexual battery by restraint.

A 34-year-old campus supervisor from Tustin was brought up on charges of sexual battery forcing victim to masturbate.

Two individuals from Bakersfield were arrested for burglary, including a 39-year-old unemployed resident and a 46-year-old unemployed resident.

Two individuals were arrested for battery against a former spouse: a 27-year-old cook from Downey and a 29-year-old unemployed Santa Clarita resident.

A 60-year-old Castaic resident was brought up on attempted murder charges.

Two 24-year-old landscapers from Los Angeles were arrested for attempted burglary. And two 18-year-olds were arrested for vandalism, including a Valencia resident and a Castaic resident.

A 60-year-old Las Vegas resident was arrested for attempted kidnapping.

DUIs with prior arrests include:
23-year-old floor person from Santa Clarita
34-year-old police officer from Sylmar
62-year-old retired Santa Barbara resident
49-year-old machinist from Palmdale
29-year-old home theater associate from Lancaster

Charges of Possession of a controlled substance went to:

30-year-old self-employed Castaic resident
35-year-old unemployed Santa Clarita resident
33-year-old sales rep from Stevenson Ranch
65-year-old delivery driver from Canyon Country
24-year-old unemployed Castaic resident
32-year-old cashier from Glendale
29-year-old messenger from Glendale
25-year-old unemployed Newhall resident
38-year-old construction worker from Saugus
35-year-old real estate investor from Lancaster
25-year-old janitor from Santa Clarita
27-year-old Newhall resident to works in retail

How a Bail Bondsman Serves the Community and Assists Law Enforcement Officers

| Police Blotter | September 20, 2018

Bail Bondsmen and women provide a valuable service to both the community and to law enforcement by monitoring defendants and ensuring that they attend their court mandated appointments without putting further stress on law enforcement officers and individual tax payers.

Additionally, the bail process itself serves as a powerful motivation for a defendant to return to court. No one wants to lose tens of thousands of dollars, nor would a defendant want to be the reason that their friends and/or family lost money by his or her not returning to court. Bail provides defendants a financial incentive, along with the family or friends that cosign on the bail bond.

When someone is arrested and taken into custody, generally, the first stop they will make is the local police or sheriff station in the area where they were arrested. They will go through the booking and processing procedure, which includes having their fingerprints recorded, photograph taken, and a comprehensive national background check is conducted to check for any outstanding warrants. Once all of these processes are complete, bail will be set for those who are eligible, depending on the nature and severity of the crime they have been charged with. A bail bondsman can help to administrate all of the details post-arrest, giving the defendant important information and guidance they’ll need to get through the court process in a smooth, trouble free way.

A bail bondsman doesn’t have to go through the court system to bail someone out of jail; they can bail someone out of just about every police station, sheriff station, jail or any time of day or night, including weekends and holidays. They can also bail out people directly from court.

When people work with a bail bondsman, they choose to not have to pay the full amount of bail set by the judge. For example, if an individual wants to bail someone out who has been charged with a $20,000 Felony, they would only pay 10 percent or less, instead of the full twenty-thousand dollars. This makes it easier for families to help their friends or loved one deal with their charges from the outside, not from the inside of a jail cell. Additionally, working with a bail bondsman allows people to choose to finance the bail bond at low monthly payments, instead of paying it all in one lump-sum. No taxes, interest, fees, or other charges are levied when a bail bond is financed.

The way the bail process currently stands, if a defendant does not fulfill all of their court-related obligations, it is the bail bondsman – not the police, or already over-worked staff of law enforcement in charge of locating a defendant and bringing them back to jail. The bail process via a bondsman has never cost the tax payer any money, and is a sound part of criminal justice system that has worked well for many, many years.

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