DUI Arrests

Mollyanne Kamalie Beal, 39, Rancho Viejo – Tuesday, February 13

Clara Elizabeth Maiberger, 29, Laguna Beach – Sunday, February 11

Alejandro Vasarivera, 20, Aliso Viejo – Sunday

Incident Reports

Tuesday, February 13

Victoria Street | 2700 Block | Attempted Burglary

8:22 p.m. The RP checked their security camera footage and saw a subject attempting to break into the location. There was no loss or damage reported.

S. Coast Hwy | 100 Block | Warrant

Eric Lawrence McGuffick, 53, no fixed address, was arrested on a Harbor Court warrant for being drunk in public, bail  $1,500

S. Coast Hwy | 600 Block | Grand Theft

2:54 p.m. The RP had their leather bag stolen after having placed it on a bench as he was locking up the location for the evening. Items inside the bag which in total exceeded $10,000 in value, included jewelry pliers, several spools of 14 karat gold, silver, and rose gold wire, an assortment of assorted gems, and sunglasses.

Forest Avenue | 500 Block | Petty Theft

11:54 a.m. The RP’s ID and passport were taken from a restaurant earlier the same day.

S. Coast Hwy | 1200 Block | Resisting an Officer

7:31 a.m. A man was at the location yelling at customers. Farid Rafael Trinidad, 39, Lake Forest, was arrested for resisting an officer.

Coast Hwy | 31800 Block | Vandalism

7:17 a.m. A transient man hit the hood and roof of a Jaguar parked at the location. The man then boarded an OCTA bus. The police attempted to call the bus for their location in order to find the man, but the man had already gotten off the bus, and were unable to locate the man after a search was performed.

Aster Street | 300 Block | Petty Theft

6:46 p.m. A man on a skateboard was seen going through the RP’s son’s vehicle. The RP’s son confronted the man, who stated that he was looking for a phone, took the $20 he had found in the vehicle and skateboarded away towards Coast Hwy, but was placed in custody at 7:09 p.m. Jeremy Patrick Hensley, 33, Garden Grove, was arrested for petty theft.

Wave Street | 200 Block | Fraud

1:14 p.m. Someone used the RP’s credit card to make fraudulent charges. The approximate loss was $300.

S. Coast Hwy | 100 Block | Warrant

11:33 a.m. Javier Hommy Blas, 31, Laguna Beach, was arrested on a Harbor Court warrant for being drunk in public, bail $1,500.

S. Coast Hwy | 2500 Block | Domestic Violence Causing Corporal Injury

5:06 p.m. Cathy Lynn Lewis, 44, Studio City, was arrested for domestic violence causing corporal injury, bail $50,000

S. Coast Hwy | 100 Block | Parole

Michael Cowan, 46, Laguna Beach, was arrested on a parole hold with no bail amount issued.

Police Files

Update on officer-involved shooting: audio and video recorded the interchange between cops and distressed woman

The 36-year-old Huntington Beach woman who was shot by police on Sunday after emerging from her vehicle with a gun in her hand, has been medically upgraded from critical to stable condition, said LBPD spokesperson Sgt Jim Cota on Wednesday. 

“LBPD will seek charges against the female suspect,” said Sgt Cota.

An investigation is currently underway by both LBPD and the Orange County District Attorney’s Office to determine the exact circumstances surrounding the incident. Video and audio recordings from patrol vehicles and residences are being reviewed, which will shed light on the interchange between cops and the distressed woman, who is reported to have threatened to take her own life, as well as the number of bullets fired.

 “Officers verbally attempted several times to let them help her with her ongoing issues,” said Sgt Cota. “(They) were very patient and attempted to help her.”

Stu News will continue to follow and report on this story in the coming weeks.


Three suspects arrested and charged in connection with assault at The Saloon

On August 11, 2017, at 1:30 a.m., Laguna Beach Police Officers responded to a fight in progress in the 400 block of South Coast Highway. Officers contacted two separate victims of an assault and began an investigation into who committed these acts of violence. 

At the conclusion of the initial investigation, it was determined that three male subjects assaulted two male Laguna Beach bar patrons and a Good Samaritan female who tried to intervene. Both male victim sustained injuries, including broken bones and lacerations. The female victim sustained minor injuries.

Laguna Beach Police Detectives began a lengthy investigation in the search for the individuals responsible for the assault. Over a dozen interviews were conducted during the investigation and hours of video reviewed. At the conclusion of the investigation, three male suspects were ultimately arrested for Assault with a Deadly Weapon and Battery with Serious Bodily Injury.

The three males were identified as City of Ontario resident Jeremy Bishop (pictured here), Daniel Little (not pictured), and Joshua Little (not pictured). Both Daniel and Joshua Little reside in Prescott Valley, Arizona.

“This lengthy and time-consuming investigation serves as a reminder that our police department will pursue any individual(s) who commit acts of violence in Laguna Beach. Our Investigations team did an outstanding job identifying, locating, and arresting these three suspects,” said LBPD Captain Jeff Calvert.

--From a press release


Laguna Beach enjoys an overall reduction in crime for 2017, although burglary is up 10 percent

The Laguna Beach Police Department is happy to report a reduction in crime for 2017. The Police Department tracks crime and a number of other statistics on a yearly basis in an overall effort to evaluate their effectiveness as well as identify areas of community outreach and enforcement.

While larcenies have dropped significantly, there has been an increase in residential burglaries. These burglaries are attributed to unlocked doors and open garage doors. “This is a reminder that we can prevent a majority of property crime by taking the time to properly secure our homes,” said Chief Farinella. The decrease in larcenies are directly related to the increased staffing of Beach Patrol Officers which were funded through Measure LL and the Strategic Plan. These once part-time positions are now full-time, providing a much-needed added layer of presence on the beach, which is where we saw the decrease in the crimes.

Other highlights:

No fatal traffic collisions: Second year in a row

Traffic collisions are down 12%

Total calls for service are up 4%, equaling 1,919 additional calls

Citations are up almost 100%, which is attributed to the additional Beach Patrol Officers enforcing local municipal codes such as no alcohol and glass on the beach.

CERT is now over 300 members strong, CERT Academy graduated Class #9

Citizen Academy participates are now over 400 strong with the graduation of Class#24

The below are Laguna Beach statistics for 2017 Part I Violent Crimes, as compared to previous years. 

Tables courtesy of LBPD

The below are Laguna Beach statistics for 2017 Part I Property Crimes, as compared to previous years. 

Every police department is mandated to report Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) statistics to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on a yearly basis, so that increases and decreases in crime can be tracked and evaluated on a national level. The reporting of crime is separated into two classifications, Part I and Part II. Comparing these statistics year-to-year can tell a story both locally and nationally, and help police agencies strategically focus their resources. Part I crimes are the only crimes that are mandated to report. Reporting of Part II crimes is not mandated, and include crimes such as forgery, vandalism, and drug abuse violations. The Laguna Beach Police Department does track these crimes in an effort to identify trends.

--From a press release

DUI Arrests

Caleb Nathaniel Russell, 40, Rancho Cucamonga – Sunday, February 11

Annette Marie Richardson, 47, Costa Mesa – Saturday, February 10 With One Prior

Barbara Lynn, 72, Laguna Beach – Friday, February 9 With One Prior

Incident Reports

Saturday, February 10

Arrests for Being Drunk in Public

Erik McGuffick, 54, San Clemente

Rodwell Stephen Pascacio, 30, Riverside

Nicole Vee Webber, 46, Nevada

Mohammad Hadi Hedayati, 22, Lake Forest

Ryan Kobe Dolan, 22, Lake Forest

S. Coast Hwy | 3100 Block | Trespassing, Warrants

10:43 p.m. Eli Richard Lopiccola, 45, no fixed address, was arrested for trespassing, and for 14 Harbor Court warrants: 11 warrants for being drunk in public, bail $1,500 each; two for trespassing, bail $1,500 each; and one for resisting arrest, bail $1,500.

Glenneyre Street | Structure Fire | Structure Fire

10:09 p.m. The RP called about flames coming from an oven in their 12-unit apartment building. Fire Department units were staged and on standby at Glenneyre and Legion, and southbound traffic was closed. Southbound traffic was then reopened at 10:23 p.m.

Ocean Avenue | 200 Block | Drugs

8:51 p.m. Samuel Joseph Bockock, 31, Laguna Beach, was arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia, and was held due to a probation.

S. Coast Hwy | 1000 Block | Warrant

2:26 p.m. Matthew Phillip Robinson, 32, Laguna Niguel, was arrested on a Harbor Court warrant for possession of narcotics.

Friday, February 9

Arrests for Being Drunk in Public

Jeffrey Joseph Soboleski, 44, San Juan Capistrano

Lookout Drive | 300 Block | Petty Theft

8:07 p.m. $120 worth of Amazon packages were taken from the RP’s front door 20 minutes prior.

S. Coast Hwy & Bluebird Canyon | Grand Theft

10:27 a.m. The RP stated that someone had checked out and took the $300 - $400 TV, and had cut the TV’s chord.

Beach Street | 100 Block | Warrant

2:29 a.m. Eric Christian Hillseth, 56, no fixed address, was arrested on a Harbor Court warrant.

S. Coast Hwy | 600 Block | Drugs

1:27 a.m. Anthony Booth Armer, 29, Laguna Niguel, was arrested for possession of a methamphetamine, as well as for carrying a switchblade.

Cliff Drive | 700 Block | Warrant

12:50 a.m. Arielle Thompson, 27, Huntington Beach, was arrested on a Huntington Beach warrant, as well as for driving with a suspended license.

Thursday, February 8

Canyon & Laguna Canyon Road | Drugs

1:26 a.m. Amy Elizabeth Allen, 43, Laguna Beach, was arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia.

Police Files

Man urinates on street, refuses to cooperate with police: Forgets he has a large firecracker in his pants

On Saturday, Feb 10 at 12:52 p.m., on the 1100 block of S Coast Hwy, Randy R Sison, 41, of Mission Viejo, was cited for urinating in public – normally a relatively minor infraction – but he refused to sign the necessary citation. 

“If you don’t sign a citation, you automatically get arrested and go to jail,” LBPD spokesperson Sgt Jim Cota told Stu News.

That’s when things got interesting.

After Sison was taken into custody and prior to entering the jail, officers asked him if he had any contraband on him, otherwise he would be charged with an additional crime.

“Upon booking him, officers found a large firecracker in his possession,” Sgt Cota said.

The firecracker was an M-250, with a fuse three inches long, measuring three quarters of an inch in diameter – that is to say, a large firecracker.

And the large firecracker was in his right front pant pocket.

“I forgot I had it on me,” Sison said, according to LBPD.

Sison was charged with “possession of a dangerous [and illegal] firework or explosive,” in jail with him.

He was transported to Orange County Jail and faces a felony charge.

Officer-involved shooting rattles community: Woman had gun in hand upon emerging from vehicle

At 2:41 p.m. on Sunday, Feb 11, the Laguna Beach Police Department received a call about an apparently distressed woman in a blue gray Lexus SUV driving erratically.

“More than one call came in. At least one (or more) caller(s) indicated that this person appeared to have a handgun visible in her possession,” said LBPD spokesperson Sgt Jim Cota.

While officers were responding, another caller reported speaking to a woman who had a gun in the area of St. Ann’s and Gaviota. The woman with the firearm had asked the bystander to call the police because she wanted to take her own life.

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Scott Brashier

Police gather at the crime scene

Officers arrived in the 100 block of St. Ann’s and made contact with the distressed woman, later found to be a 36-year-old Huntington Beach resident. She was parked at the far end of the cul de sac on Saint Ann’s facing the beach, alone in her car.

“She was initially uncooperative with the officers,” said Sgt Cota. “One officer approached her on foot. The other officer pulled up behind her vehicle and exited on foot. Then the woman emerged from the car with a gun in her hand. The officer on foot discharged his weapon. The woman was struck in the upper torso.”

Officers immediately rendered aid and called paramedics, who also worked on her. She was transported to Mission Hospital – Mission Viejo, where she underwent surgery.

As of last night, she remained in critical condition. 

No officers were injured during the incident. 

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of Kim Pearson

A bullet penetrated a window at the Laguna Riviera: The room was unoccupied

It appears that at least one bullet went through the window of an unoccupied room at the Laguna Riviera hotel during the incident, as seen in this photo provided by hotel owner Kim Pearson. LBPD is not commenting on the number of bullets fired.

Sgt Cota tells us that the Laguna Beach Police Department will conduct an investigation and review of this incident through a multi-step process that evaluates the legal, policy, and tactical considerations surrounding the event. 

The Orange County District Attorney’s Office responded as standard protocol and will conduct a parallel and independent investigation.

--Lynette Brasfield

DUI Arrests

Mubarak Badrm Alabd, 22, Anaheim – Tuesday, February 6

Alejandro Rosario-Barba, 22, Dana Point – Monday, February 5

Incident Reports

Tuesday, February 6

3rd Street | 300 Block | Vandalism

8:09 p.m. The RP’s 2016 Silver Subaru Crosstreck four-door was keyed at around 8:30 a.m. earlier the same day. The RP stated that they have the suspect’s information.

San Remo Drive| 2000 Block | Stolen Vehicle

1:39 p.m. An abandoned 2015 silver Mercedes Benz was recovered.

Cliff Drive | 300 Block | Warrant

3:17 a.m. Fahad Ahmedr Alruwishid, 20, Irvine, was arrested on an Orange County warrant.

Monday, February 5

Thalia Street | 100 Block | Trespassing

11:07 p.m. The RP advised that “vagrants entered vacant home” approximately 5 minutes ago, and began to yell profanities and be loud. The subject had entered through the front gate. Responding officers checked the back of the property. 

Forest Avenue | 500 Block | Fraud

7:09 p.m. Sometime on February 3, someone opened a card in the RP’s name charged $5,000 on it.

S. Coast Hwy | 1500 Block | Petty Theft

3:15 p.m. Someone called from the location on behalf of the RP, who was missing luggage.

Alcapulco Street | 900 Block | Grand Theft

12:27 p.m. The RP stated that sometime between January 18 and January 30, contractors had driven into planters and property walls on two separate occasions. The approximate estimate of the damage was over $1,000. 

S. Coast Hwy | 1300 Block | Warrant

12:24 p.m. Jermaine Austin Sterling, 33, Laguna Beach, was arrested on a Harbor Court warrant.

Cliff Drive | 100 Block | Trespassing

8:20 p.m. Juan Abel Gonzales, 26, Perris, was arrested for trespassing.

Sunday, February 4

Skyline Drive | 1000 Block Cliff Drive | Fraud

2:27 p.m. The RP said he received a call from someone stating that they were from the Sheriff’s Office, and that the RP must pay $2,000 because they had missed jury duty. The RP paid $2,000 to a credit card account.

DUI Arrests

Dior Vonmuff, 61, San Juan Capistrano – Saturday, February 3

Byron Nahum Rodriguez, 23, Hacienda Heights – Saturday

Nathan Tyler Park, 27, Coto De Caza – Saturday with one prior

Jennrye Hall Hughes, 55, Laguna Beach – Saturday

Curtis Glenn Harris, 40, Wildomar – Saturday

Cynthia Iris Mercado, 22, Carson – Friday, February 2

Kyle Scott Geoffrion, 25, Irvine – Friday

Jeffrey Allen Anderson, 35, Texas – Thursday, February 1

David Richard Morse, 56, Laguna Beach – Thursday

Elizabeth Joy Meador, 34, Orange – Wednesday, January 31

Incident Report

Sunday, February 4

Arrests for Being Drunk in Public

Nicholas Pitney Kenard, 36, Pennsylvania

Ronald Jackson King, 36, Corona Del Mar

Pearl & S. Coast Hwy | Warrant

2:46 a.m. Jacob Matthew Stewart, 26, Mission Viejo, was arrested on a Harbor Court warrant.

Saturday, February 3

Arrests for Being Drunk in Public

Eli Lopiccola, 45, no fixed address

Coast Hwy | Battery on an Officer 

10:40 a.m. Andres Lopez, 18, Norco, was arrested for battery on an officer.

Ocean & S. Coast Hwy | Warrant

2:18 a.m. Evan Jay Medelson, 58, Irvine, was arrested on two Harbor Court warrant, both being for carrying a loaded firearm in public.

Friday, February 2

Arrests for Being Drunk in Public

Ursula Patricia Platt, 54, no fixed address

Jonathan Shakill, 32, Laguna Niguel

Dolphin Way | 200 Block | Petty Theft

8:10 p.m. The RP had their laundry stolen sometime after they had left it in the laundry room. The approximate loss was $400 - $500. 

Park Avenue | 900 Block | Petty Theft

1:03 p.m. The RP’s mail was stolen on February 1.

S. Coast Hwy | 400 Block | Warrant, Drugs

4:02 a.m. Alexander Douglas Legrand, 22, Missouri, was arrested on a West Court warrant, as well as for possession of narcotics.

Cliff Drive | 200 Block | Warrant

1:39 a.m. Gregory Raia, 55, no fixed address, was arrested on a Harbor Court warrant for DUI.

Ocean Avenue | 200 Block | Obstructing a Police Officer

1:23 a.m. Austin Lee Rammelsberg, 22, Coto De Caza, was arrested for obstructing a police officer.

S. Coast Hwy | 1100 Block | Petty Theft

1 a.m. The RP stated that a phone was stolen.

Thursday, February 1

Arrests for Being Drunk in Public

Evan Eugene Daley, 29, Capo Beach

Kenten Nicholas, 28, British Columbia

S. Coast Hwy | 800 Block | Petty Theft

4:05 p.m. A man with a backpack stole a pair of $45 shorts from the location. The man walked away heading southbound on Coast Hwy, and then turned on Diamond. Andrew Farias, 38, Tehachapi, was arrested for petty theft.

8th Avenue | 3100 Block | Vandalism

11:14 a.m. The RP thinks that someone had been poisoning their tree.

Forest Avenue | 500 Block | Fraud

11;11 a.m. Accounts were opened under the RP’s name the night prior.

Coast Hwy & Cress Street | Warrant

2:45 a.m. Jose Trujillo, 28, Anaheim, was arrested on an Orange County warrant.

S. Coast Hwy | 1300 Block | Warrant

2:18 a.m. Mario Guzman Jr., 28, Laguna Hills, was arrested on an Orange County Warrant

Wednesday, January 31

Broadway Street | 200 Block | Warrant

10:09 p.m. Paul Richard Smith, 48, Santa Ana, was arrested on an Orange County warrant.

Broadway Street | 200 Block | Petty Theft

4 p.m. $20 skate shoes were taken from the location. The RP had video of the theft. The suspect had been told to stay away from Whole Foods.

Treetop Lane | 21600 Block | Petty Theft

2:45 p.m. A purse was scuffed, and $273 was taken.

S. Coast Hwy | 1500 Block | Grand Theft

11:40 a.m. The RP stated that a $2,700 watch was missing.

Coast Hwy | 31800 Block | Petty Theft

9:37 a.m. A $500 laptop was taken out of the RP’s toolbox two weeks prior.

Thursday, January 30

Mountain & S. Coast Hwy | Drugs

10:50 p.m. David Alexander Emanuel Jouni, 24, Newport Beach, arrested for possession of narcotics.

Skyline Drive | 1100 Block | Trespassing

3:31 p.m. George Steven Machorro, 24, Fullerton, was arrested for trespassing

N. Coast Hwy | 600 Block | Petty Theft

3:21 p.m. Reese Mitchel Westenberger, 52, Laguna Beach, was arrested for petty theft.

Laguna Canyon Road | 20000 Block | Warrant

2:54 p.m. Bradford Arthur Sturtevant, 54, Laguna Beach, was arrested on a Harbor Court warrant.

Ocean Avenue | Petty Theft

1:47 p.m. The RP let a transient sleep in their car, who then took approximately $350 worth of items, which included a passport and a license. The incident occurred on December 20.

S. Coast Hwy | 2400 Block | Burglary

9:33 a.m. A suspect broke into the location in order to sleep. The suspect left their property at the location, but was not there at that time.

Police Files

Graffiti on the rise in Laguna? LBPD says no, but it happens, and if you see it, report it

Walls, trees, you name it, are susceptible to graffiti. Even plants, sometimes. We’ve all seen writing on some of the succulents in Heisler Park.

According to LBPD’s Sgt Jim Cota, these markings are not on the rise in Laguna Beach, despite recent reports, for example of the graffiti at Victoria Beach. 

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of Aurora Clabaugh

Recent graffiti at Victoria Beach

However, they want to be sure, as we all do, to keep our town as free of graffiti as possible.

The LBPD suggests that anyone who happens to observe someone in the act of applying graffiti should call the police immediately, but not make any sort of contact with the suspects.

If suspects are caught, they face a misdemeanor vandalism charge (if the damage is under $400). 

If graffiti is seen after the fact, police will ask the reporting party to explain as much information as they can about the case.

Either way, the community is urged to be vigilant to prevent our beautiful beaches and buildings from being vandalized.

DUI Arrests

Myles Clayton Regan, 21, Laguna Beach - Sunday, January 28 With One Prior

Efren Maurilo Guerreroliquin, 29, Colton - Sunday

Matthew Andrew Okoro, 35, Capistrano Beach - Sunday With One Prior

Pattrick Joseph Canavan, 48, Laguna Beach - Sunday

Marie Garcia Dana, 29, Long Beach - Saturday, January 27

Alexis Rodriguez Alan, 18, Riverside - Saturday

Incident Report

Tuesday, January 30

Matthew Michael Parsons, 35, Chicago

Oak Street & S. Coast Hwy | Drugs

12:44 a.m. Melissa Ann Connell, 38, Buena Park, was arrested for possession of a controlled substance.

Monday, January 29

Arrests for Being Drunk in Public

Douglas Paul Dumaurier, 70, no fixed address

S. Coast Hwy | 600 Block | Warrant

11:16 p.m. Dustyn Robert Wilson, 34, Santa Fe Springs, was arrested on a North Court warrant.

Wesley Drive & Coast Hwy | Drugs

8:46 p.m. Kirk Walter Williams, 56, Garden Grove, was arrested for possession of a controlled substance, and for possession of drug paraphernalia.

Jewel Avenue | 31600 Block | Stolen Vehicle

8:08 p.m. A white 2014 Chevy Silverado that was left parked and unlocked on January 29 was stolen in the 31000 block of Jewel Avenue. The vehicle was located in the city of Anaheim on January 31 with damage to the front fender, a dent on the right rear bumper area, and both license plates had been removed. The RP had two sets of keys with them, and stated that no one else had permission to drive the vehicle.

Laguna Canyon Road | 20600 Block | Warrant

6:43 p.m., Donald Douglas Kramer, 46, no fixed address, was arrested on an Orange County warrant.

Laguna Canyon Road | 2100 Block | Hit & Run

6:15 p.m. The RP reported sustaining minor injuries when a blue and silver sedan type struck their vehicle. The RP pulled to the side of the road, was in shock, but was speaking coherently.

Laguna Frontage & Laguna Canyon Road | Warrant

4:36 p.m. Wahba Salama Sherif, 52, Huntington Beach, was arrested on a Harbor Court warrant for DUI, bail $15,000.

Oro Street | 1000 Block | Fraud

4:34 p.m. The RP’s name was used to make purchase for euro coins. The RP was not sure what other information of hers might have been taken.

Forest Avenue | 500 Block | Fraud

2:52 p.m. Checks were written using the RP’s name. The approximate loss was $5,000.

Bluff Drive | 31500 Block | Warrants

1:45 p.m. Macario Salinas Res, 32, Santa Ana, was arrested on two Harbor Court warrants. The first warrant was for DUI, and for a felony driving with a suspended license, no bail. The second warrant was for driving with a suspended license, for driving without proof of insurance, and for driving while operating a cellphone, bail $10,000.

9th Avenue | 31800 Block | Medical

12:43 p.m. Several calls were received when something slid off a delivery truck and caused a vehicle to drive into a pole. The man driving the vehicle that hit the pole was not trapped, but it was assessed that they might have had a head injury. The man was being transported by medical units, and a request was made to tend to the pole that was snapped upon impact.

Dumond Drive | 100 Block | Vandalism

9:32 p.m. The words “members only” were found written in graffiti at the location. The RP says it happened within the last two days.

Sunday, January 28

Arrests for Being Drunk in Public

Michael Hawkins Aaron, 37, Laguna Hills

Eric Michael Ogburn, 34, Mission Viejo

Alexander James Stoeffler, 22, Laguna Niguel

S. Coast Hwy & Diamond Street | Warrants

7:05 p.m. Laurey Ann Montague, 61, Big Bear Lake, was arrested on one warrant for DUI, and a second warrant for DUI, bail $15,000, and for driving with a suspended licence, bail $15,000.

Park Avenue | 600 Block | Traffic Collision

12:46 p.m. A child was injured when they were hit by a vehicle. The information was secondhand.

Saturday, January 27

Arrests for Being Drunk in Public

John D Gentile, 52, New Hampshire

Omar Nafiz, 44, Orange

Cress Street | 500 Block | Burglary

8:19 p.m. Officers responded to the location for a burglary that had just occurred. The RP came home and found a woman had entered the house through a window, and had a bag full of the RP’s belongings. The suspect was detained by the homeowner. Alexandra Leanza Gasmena, 22, Rancho Santa Margarita, was arrested for burglary, bail $50,000. All the property was returned to the homeowner.

Coast Hwy | 30800 Block | Grand Theft

7:23 p.m. An unknown suspect stole a tan golf cart from a storage bin. The golf cart was not registered with the DMV, and had no license plates. The approximate loss was $3,000.

Cliff Drive | 100 Block | Burglary, Vehicle

5:47 p.m. An unknown suspect broke into a black Kia with paper plates, and stole the RP’s purse. The approximate loss was $900.

Laguna Avenue & S. Coast Hwy | Assault, Warrant

4:58 p.m. Christopher Burl Nichols, 36, Westminster, was arrested for assault, as well as on three warrants. The first warrant was a West Orange Court warrant for assault. The second warrant was for assault with a deadly weapon, bail $15,000. The third warrant was for resisting an officer, bail $5,000.

Coast Hwy | 30800 Block | Warrant

2:12 p.m. Carla Miramontes, 31, Capistrano Beach, was arrested on a North Orange Court warrant.

Victoria Drive | 2600 Block | Petty Theft

8:07 a.m. A phone charger, registration to vehicle, and a pocket knife were stolen from the RP’s unlocked black Ford F150 sometime the night prior.

Legion Street | 200 Block | Trespassing, Vandalism

2:36 a.m. Anthony Herbert Lucas, 21, San Clemente, was arrested for trespassing, and for vandalism.

Friday, January 26

Glenneyre Street | 500 Block | Drugs

10:59 p.m. Daniel Joseph Costanzo, 23, Laguna Niguel, was arrested for possession of narcotics.

Alta Vista Way | 700 Block | Vandalism

10:30 p.m. A named suspect broke the RP’s glass door, and smashed their window. The approximate loss was $1,200.

Canyon Acres & Laguna Canyon Road | Warrant, Suspended License, Ignition Interlock Device

7:29 p.m. Chandler Louis Connor, 29, Long Beach, was arrested on a warrant for assault, bail $30,000. Additional charges included driving with a suspended license, and for unlawfully operating a vehicle with an ignition interlock device.

Terry Road | Petty Theft

2:36 a.m. A subject stole a $700 silver Fuji bike that the RP left leaning against a mailbox at approximately 2:36 a.m.

Broadway Street | 300 Block | Warrant

1:12 p.m. Scott Anthony Rogholt, 50, Lakewood, was arrested on a parole warrant

Glenneyre Street | 1400 Block  | Vandalism

7:40 a.m. Large clay pots from the location had been turned over and broken.

Police Files

Scam alert: Letter claims to know about “secrets you are keeping from your wife”

A reader sent us a copy of a letter he received from a scam artist and would-be blackmailer, delivered via snail mail. The reader knew he had no reason to be concerned but was shocked, naturally, that this scam was in play. He dropped the letter off at the police station.

Stu News asked police to comment but at press time had not heard back. Common sense suggests that residents ignore these demands and advise police should they hear from “BadBird-93.”

Here are excerpts from the letter:

“My name is BadBird-93 and I know about the secret you are keeping from your wife and everyone else. More importantly, I have evidence of what you have been hiding. I won’t go into the specifics here in case your wife intercepts this, but you know what I am talking about. “

“You don’t know me personally and nobody hired me to look into you. Nor did I go out looking to burn you. It is just your bad luck that I stumbled across your misadventures while working a job around Laguna Beach. I then put more time than I probably should have. Frankly, I am ready to forget all about you and [redacted] and let you get on with your life. So I am going to give you two options that will accomplish that very thing. These two options are to either ignore this letter, or to simply pay me $8,150.

Let’s examine those two options in more detail. 


Option 1 is to ignore this letter. Let me tell you what will happen if you choose this path. I will take this evidence and send it to everyone in your life, especially [redacted] And as insurance against you intercepting it before she gets it, I will also send copies to her friends, family, associates, and all your neighbors on and around [where you live/redacted]. So even if you decide to come clean to your wife, it won’t protect her from the humiliation she will feel when everyone she knows finds out your sordid details from me. 

Option 2 is to pay me $8,150. We’ll call this my “confidentiality fee.” Now let me tell you what happens if you choose this path. Your secret remains your secret. You go on with your life as though none of this ever happened. Though you may want to do a better job at keep your misdeeds secret in the future. 

“Letter cannot be traced to me”

At this point you may be thinking, “I’ll just go to the cops.” Which is why I have taken steps to ensure this letter cannot be traced back to me. So that won’t help, and it won’t stop the evidence from ruining your life. I’m not looking to break your bank. I just want to be compensated for the time I put into investigating you. 

“Confidentiality fee”

Let’s assume you have decided to make all this go away and pay me the confidentiality fee. In keeping with my strategy to not go to jail, we will not meet in person and there will be no physical exchange of chas. You will pay me anonymously using bitcoin. If you want me to keep your secret, then send $8,150 in BITCOIN to the Receiving Bitcoin Address listed below. Payment MUST be received within 9 days of the postmark date on this letters envelope. If you are not familiar with bitcoin, attached is a “How-To” guide. You will need the below two pieces of information when referencing the guide.”

The letter then goes on to explain exactly how to pay the scammer via Bitcoin.

Don’t be taken in. We’ll update this story when we hear from the LBPD.


Bookkeeper charged with defrauding Laguna Beach business owner of over $265,000

On January 22, 2016, Laguna Beach Police Detectives began a grand theft investigation against Nhora Johanna Tellez, a resident of Costa Mesa. The investigation began when a Laguna Beach business owner identified his bookkeeper/office manager, Tellez, as the person who defrauded him of over $80,000 from his marketing business, Laguna Coast Corporation.

Tellez was the bookkeeper and office manager at the victim’s business and had access to the victim’s financial information. It was discovered that Tellez had accessed and changed the login information for all of the victim’s investments and credit card accounts. Tellez created passwords for each online account and notifications of access or fraud to these accounts was rerouted to an email address held by Tellez.

This lengthy investigation revealed that Tellez devised and executed a scheme to defraud and obtain money from Laguna Coast Corporation by gaining the trust of the owner, who allowed her to gain control over the financial accounts. Documents and business records obtained in this investigation were forwarded to the Orange County District Attorney Major Fraud Unit, which, upon further review, determined that Tellez had embezzled approximately $265,390.67. Tellez used the money embezzled from the victim for a variety of personal expenses including veterinarian visits, entertainment expenses, living expenses, and vacations that involved the purchase of airline tickets. Cash advances were also conducted at various ATM’s throughout Orange County. Images of the ATM cash advances were obtained, and Tellez was positively identified as being the individual who completed the fraudulent transactions. To date, none of the embezzled funds have been returned by Tellez to the victim.

On January 24, 2018, Laguna Beach Police Department Detectives arrested Nhora Johanna Tellez in the City of Costa Mesa for California Penal Code 487-Grand Theft.

“This lengthy and time-consuming investigation serves as a reminder that our police department will pursue any individual(s) in positions of trust who take advantage of businesses and innocent victims. We brought in every available resource, including our partners from the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, to ensure that this case would be appropriately investigated, prosecuted, and justice would be served,” said Captain Jeff Calvert, LBPD.

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