Police Files

LBPD honors the critical work of our dedicated public safety dispatchers 

LBPD posted on their Facebook page that they’re giving our public safety dispatchers their due, honoring them during public safety dispatchers week this week.

Many people do not stop to think about these seemingly nameless, faceless individuals until they experience an actual emergency themselves. These professionals demonstrate poise under pressure, aid, and compassion in times of distress. Many times, they are responsible for the difference between life and death.

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Courtesy of LBPD Facebook

LBPD honors the life-saving work and dedication of our public safety dispatchers during this nationally recognized week to celebrate them

Across the nation, 9-1-1 dispatchers will be celebrated as part of National Public Safety Telecommunicators’ Week. Congress designated the second full week in April as a time to honor all 9-1-1 dispatchers who answer the calls for help and give emergency aid to the public and emergency public safety responders.

“Laguna Beach Public Safety Dispatchers are the best in the business. Daily they multi-task dispatching Police, Fire, and Marine Safety resources throughout the city. Our public safety departments could not do what they do without them. Happy Dispatcher Appreciation Week,” said an LBPD Spokesperson.

The statistics of the service LBPD’s dedicated dispatchers give to help save lives is jaw dropping. In 2017, there were 14,998 emergency 9-1-1 calls and 60,463 non-emergency calls, for a total of 75,461 calls in all.

 

LBPD joins together to race in the Run to Remember 

Also according to the LBPD Facebook page, on Sunday, members of LBPD joined together to race in the Run To Remember Los Angeles to honor the officers who made the ultimate sacrifice. Who could say no to this cause, they said.

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Courtesy of LBPD Facebook

LBPD joins together to remember officers who made the ultimate sacrifice in the Run to Remember in LA on Sunday

 

Fire Files

LBFD is the biggest, red-hot ticket item at LOCA’s 25th anniversary fundraiser, stokes recipients

A home-cooked meal by LBFD’s finest was the big-ticket item at LOCA’s 25th birthday bash, fetching top dollars with a $3,000 winning bid by Greg and Barbara MacGillivray. (Actually Barbara)

Pat Cary and James Lin of LBFD were the two hot commodities at LOCA, really cooking up the high bids.

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Mary Hurlbut

LBFD was the hottest ticket with the highest bid at LOCA’s 25th anniversary fundraiser event

“We are members of the Laguna Beach Firefighters Association and we are here auctioning off a dinner for eight people in the community. Our firefighters will come off duty and cook a meal at (your) house. We’ll coordinate the meal and we’ll do all the shopping, cooking and then clean up,” said Cary. “All this is done off duty by our members donating our time back to the community for such an important non-profit like LOCA.”

“We’ve done this before in the past. We’ve done it with the seniors at the Susi Q Center. This is our third dinner,” said Lin. 

The members of LBFD enjoy helping out for a worthy cause and being interactive with the community they proudly serve.

 “What we like about LOCA is that LOCA gives back doing art for a lot of the youth in the community. The arts are such an integral part of Laguna Beach,” said Lin.

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Greg and Barbara MacGillivray beat out the crowd with the highest bid at $3,000 to receive an exciting culinary experience with eight LBFD firefighters

The MacGillivrays are looking forward to the rare treat to share it with friends and family. It’s a win for LOCA, LBFD and for them.

 “My wife bid on the eight firefighters who will come to your house, and not only cook and bring dinner, but they’ll clean up afterwards. And they’ll entertain you by serving you,” said Greg MacGillivray. “I don’t know if they dress like firefighters or not, but I think it will be a great deal of fun. So we need to get some lively people for dinner.”

They’re contemplating holding the hot dining event in the heat of August. 

“As for the menu, they can do seafood. We don’t eat meat, so the seafood would be great with lots of vegetables and salads,” said MacGillivray.

He said he thinks his wife was interested in bidding on the firefighters because she thinks they’re charming. 

“She’ll say that the fire crew was so cute that she just had to bid on them,” MacGillivray said laughing.

He was absolutely right.

“They were just so charming, and they were so excited about coming. We’ve already talked about the menu and they’re gung ho, they’re just great,” Barbara MacGillivray said. “We paid $3,000 because it was such a popular item. Everybody was telling us how lucky we are because we got it.” 

Regarding whether or not she wants them to wear their uniforms, Barbara laughed, “That would be great for my grandkids to see, they would be very impressed.”


Police Files

Intoxicated teen airlifted by helicopter at Thousand Steps Beach on Tuesday

On Tuesday, April 3 at 5:23 p.m., an alert message came in from City of Laguna Beach, LBGOV, via text: “Don’t be alarmed, a helicopter will be landing at Thousand Steps Beach for a medical aid.”

According to LBPD, the medical helicopter landing at Thousand Steps Beach was to help an intoxicated juvenile.

“It involved an underage juvenile who was heavily intoxicated,” said LBPD Spokesperson Sgt Jim Cota.

Photo from LBFD Instagram

Tuesday’s rescue at Thousand Steps Beach

On LBFD’s Instagram page, it said, “Our firefighters along with @ocfirefighters @ocfairdrops (Orange County Firefighters and Orange County Fire Air Drops) working together today to extract a patient from the beach. Patient was transported to nearest hospital for further evaluation.”

It is important to report these types of incidences to the police. Call 9-1-1 if it is an emergency or LBPD for non-emergency help at (949) 497-0701.

 

Party time? Local woman gets quite the surprise when her Rolex goes missing at birthday bash

A surprise birthday party became quite the surprise for a local woman who found out her $21,600 Rolex Daytona watch was missing après the festivities. The grab and go guest was at the fete held at the 0 Block of Lagunita Drive.

“It was an adult party. This was a surprise birthday party that grew to approximately 30 people, which included three to four uninvited guests,” said Sgt Cota.

Pictured here is a Daytona Rolex, this is not the actual watch stolen

The crime is considered to be grand theft. 

“Detectives will be looking into the incident. A female is suspected,” said Sgt Cota. “There was no surveillance.”

 

Vegetation fire near Castle Rock gets quickly extinguished

LBPD officers were dispatched with LBFD for a vegetation fire in the canyon near Castle Rock on Thursday, April 5 at 2:33 p.m.

“A Laguna Beach animal control officer was the first to arrive on scene and with the help of two citizens, the three of them were able to extinguish the fire with fire extinguishers,” said Sgt Cota.

The inbound lane of LCR was blocked but the center lane was used as a traffic lane. Traffic was moderately impacted with spectator traffic for about 20 minutes.

Safety precautions from LBFD’s website include great tips in case of a fire and how to prepare before it’s too late. 

“Protect your home from wildfire. We call it «Ready, Set, Go!» as a way to remember what you should do to be READY for the time a wildfire approaches your home, SET knowing which personal items you need when you evacuate, so you can GO quickly to stay safe.”

Visit LBFD’s website for more information on fire prevention at www.lagunabeachcity.net/cityhall/fire/fire_prevention/default.htm.


Police Files

Unlucky 17 for Hobie vandal caught on video breaking bad

On Friday, March 30 at 9:36 p.m., officers responded to a report of a shattered front window at Hobie Surf Shop on Forest Avenue. 

Initial witness reports indicated that four male subjects may have been associated with the crime. When LBPD located the subjects a few blocks away, they fled from the officers, but two were caught and detained. It turned out that they were juveniles in possession of alcohol. At the time, there was nothing linking them to the vandalism. They were transported to the police station where parents were notified to pick them up. 

So the minors were in the clear, when officers cleared the business and found no one inside, and no evidence that any suspects made entry.

On the scene shortly after the incident was Hobie owner Mark Christy. “Police responded and called me even before we got the alarm call. We have high-definition cameras all over all of our stores, so they had a clear image of the guy within five minutes of the incident,” said Christy. 

The surveillance video showed a male suspect kick the window, breaking it. He was described as a white male, wearing a black shirt with the number 17 on it, black pants, and black shoes.

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Submitted Photo

The window at Hobie Surf Shop boarded up the morning after

Less than an hour later, at 10:26 p.m., officers responded to a report of a man disturbing the peace at Laguna Beach Brewery & Grille located in the 200 Block of Ocean Avenue. The man matched the exact description from the surveillance video down to a T, a black tee jersey with the number 17.

Officers detained and arrested Los Angeles resident Jeremiah Johnson, 32, for felony vandalism.

 “Johnson seemed as though he had been drinking. He did not mention any other motivating factors for the vandalism,” said LBPD’s Jordan Villwock. “Johnson was uncooperative with officers.”

Bail was set at $20,000.

“It was an incredible response by the police department and I suspect a moment the perpetrator will regret,” said Christy.

 

Plans go up in smoke, lead to felony charges for Laguna Beach man

Not only is smoking unhealthy, it can also lead to an arrest as LBPD can attest from an incident that occurred in the 200 Block of Ocean Avenue, outside of Hennessey’s Tavern, on Sunday, April 1 at 10:36 p.m. 

Brian Patrick Taylor, 44, of Laguna Beach, was smoking in public when officers made contact with him for the LBMC violation he had in hand – Smoking in Public. 

While detained, the officers discovered Taylor was on probation out of San Luis Obispo. During a search, a fixed blade knife was located, which was a violation of his probation for carrying a weapon.

Taylor was then placed under arrest and transported to the Laguna Beach Jail. During a more thorough search, methamphetamine was discovered in his sock. As a result, he was charged not only with the violation of probation misdemeanor, but also with a possession of a controlled substance misdemeanor and last, but hardly least, a felony charge for bringing a controlled substance into jail.

No bail was set. “Probation violations are 99.9 percent no bail,” explained Villwock. 

 

Hippity hop, LBPD plays Easter Bunny at the 2nd Annual Easter Egg Hunt at Boys & Girls Club

Easter came early for the Laguna Beach Boys & Girls Club when Laguna’s finest, LBPD, hosted its second annual Easter Egg Hunt last Thursday after school. 

The Easter Bunny brought a bounty of candy in his basket with hundreds of eggs hidden with candy and other goodies inside.

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Courtesy of LBPD

Not only that, four “golden eggs,” two eggs for each age group, were hunted down with a big cash prize of $10 in each egg, surprise! 

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Courtesy of LBPD

However, the generosity didn’t end there. When one Club member didn’t collect any eggs in time, LBPD decided to put together a fifth “golden egg” with $5 inside. This brought the total cash pot to $45 between all five lucky recipients, and LBPD’s Station Number is 45…how fitting. The kids surely gave the LBPD high-fives, 45 times over at least.


Police Files

LBPD says aloha to gun-toting man in Hawaiian shirt

It’s bad enough that the suspect was smoking in public, which is illegal in Laguna Beach, but the real smoking gun turned out to be the one he had concealed.

That’s what was discovered on Wednesday, March 28 at 6:39 p.m., when officers contacted two subjects smoking cigarettes while sitting on the roof of a car in the Circle K parking lot, located at the 800 Block of Glenneyre Street. 

LBPD spokesperson Sgt Jim Cota explained, “Las Vegas resident Dakoda Scott Mah, 20, was found to have a loaded Glock 19 handgun concealed in his waistband. He was arrested for carrying a concealed firearm and possession of a loaded firearm.”

Obviously, the smokers were not patrons since Circle K is closed for renovations, so parking there wasn’t the right thing to do either, which sparked another reason for Mah, a truck grill installer, to be grilled.  

Mah was booked at the Laguna Beach Police Department and later released. Bail was set at $1,000. The Vegas man must have had Lady Luck on his side: no smoking violation tickets were issued. First offense for smoking in public in Laguna Beach can carry a $100 fine and up to $500 for a third violation.

“If any of our citizens see an individual with a gun or any weapon that can be used in a violent action, please call 9-1-1,” advised Sgt Cota. “If you see anyone smoking in public in Laguna Beach, please call our non-emergency line at (949) 497-0701.”

 

Battery suspect’s phone leads to his arrest: he gets slapped with assault and a DUI

Early morning Wednesday,March 28 at 1:27 a.m., LBPD responded to a call reporting an assault in the 1400 Block of South Coast Highway. 

“Officers responded to the rear of Main Street Bar & Cabaret (aka Bounce). Officers went there in response to the report of an assault and battery that had just occurred,” said Sgt Cota. “The victim suffered minor injuries after confronting the suspect, whom he said was using homophobic slurs towards him and a friend.”

The suspect, Ryan Ross Harris, 22, of Huntington Beach, reportedly punched the victim in the face and then fled the scene, accidentally leaving his cell phone behind. Officers were able to locate him in the 2700 Block of Victoria Drive, as he attempted to flee in a vehicle, said Sgt Cota.

After the victim positively identified Harris as the assailant, Harris was not only arrested for threat of force and battery, but also for a DUI. Bail was set at $2,500.

“This is a very unfortunate situation that has taken place in town that will not be tolerated. Laguna Beach Police Department acted swiftly in getting the suspect into custody for several charges, while making sure the victim was cared for in an appropriate manner,” said Sgt Cota.

 

School bus was hit but luckily no one was injured

On Monday, March 26 at 3:09 p.m., a non-injury accident involving a school bus with over 20 kids on board occurred at Aster Street. Luckily, no one was injured.

Deborah Paswaters, who teaches art masters at El Morro Elementary, said, “My daughter was in the bus along with several of my students when the accident occurred.”

 “I’d called Durham when she hadn’t arrived home, then finally got through to someone,” she said. “I was informed the bus was hit. We had to wait over an hour before we could take our children off the bus.”

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Courtesy of Deborah Paswaters

Paswaters’ children Dani and Bear Ward, pointing to “the big scrape”

While everyone seemed physically ok, Paswaters continued, some of the children were obviously shaken and emotional.

“It got swiped turning right onto Aster Street on the lower right side of the middle of the bus,” Paswaters said. “The kids were being good spirits and good sports.”

 

LBPD is not only outstanding in service but also at getting a laugh on social media

While humor is not a requirement to be an LBPD officer, it might just win the department an award. 

“The LBPD Media Team is honored to be named as a finalist for a 2018 Golden Post Award in Best Use of Humor on Social Media” from Government Social Media,” said LBPD in a recent Facebook post.

Laguna’s entry was “Crime Reports with a Literary Twist.”

The GSMO recognized the LBPD for “how we effectively communicate our crime log with some light humor,” said Jordan Villwock, Emergency Operations Coordinator.

The Government Social Media Organization (GSMO) is an advisory institute and networking group for government social media managers nationwide. 

The GSMO award committee reviewed 175 entries to select finalists in five categories. The winners in each category will be revealed during a ceremony at the 2018 Government Social Media Conference & Expo (GSMCON) in Denver, Colorado on April 25. #Lagunaforgold!


Police Files

Downtown clown needs to clean up his act

On Friday, March 23, some clown, yes, in a clown suit, was seen running around downtown causing quite the scene, thrashing trashcans and pulling out trash. The incidents happened in the 200 Block of Park Avenue with myriad trashcans being indiscriminately attacked and rid of their rubbish.

Laguna Beach Police Department received the call at 1:46 a.m., describing the scene of a man in his 40s, dressed in clown regalia, causing the untidy mayhem.

Courtesy of the Internet

Clowning around downtown on Friday (not the real clown, just a representation for illustrative purposes)

LBPD Spokesperson Sgt Jim Cota said, “Officers searched for this clown and they couldn’t find him anywhere. We have never known of a clown doing damage in the city like this.”

“I’ve seen the greeters, I’ve seen mimes, I’ve seen people in front of businesses dressed up in animal suits to generate business…but I’ve never seen a clown digging through trash,” said Sgt Cota.

Obviously, this clown needs to clean up his act.

 

Laguna residents heard booms when reportedly a balloon collided with power lines, knocking out power

Laguna Beach residents and businesses were without power yesterday, primarily in north, downtown, and central Laguna. In total, the power outages were experienced by approximately 5,200 Edison customers.

According to Sgt Jim Cota, “A balloon appears to have been the cause, seen on the power line above 164 Acacia Drive. A total of three explosions were heard from three power poles. Acacia Drive between Broadway Street to Cypress Drive was closed immediately following the explosions.” 

LBPD and LBFD were on the scene until Edison arrived.

Edison’s website reported that there were two separate power outages in Laguna Beach. One outage affected 2,483 customers; the other outage affected 2,790 customers. The outages were first reported at 4:31 p.m., with power trickling back on for different people at different times, until 5:55 p.m., when power was restored to all of Laguna Beach and Acacia Drive was re-opened. 

Rich Garrett, a resident on Poplar Street, was in his backyard reading when the explosions occurred.

“I heard it and I was like, whoa, what was that? It didn’t sound like anything familiar. It almost sounded like a big tractor with a shovel on the front of it, just hit the ground to asphalt, because it had sort of a hollow sound to it,” Garrett said. “It happened a total of three times.”

Garrett had no problem putting down his book. 

“I was craving an In-N-Out burger anyway, so I decided to leave my house and go get my burger,” he explained.

Edison advises what to do in an outage situation.

 “When power outages occur, we ask you to make safety your top concern until our crews can locate and repair damage. Remember: Never go near a downed power line. Restoration times vary depending on the level of damage. Our teams are trained to restore power through a three-phase process to get your lights back on as quickly and safely as possible.”

 

Cyber criminals stash $48,000 in cash from a local business’s bank account

A local business and business owner had their Wells Fargo business account compromised of $48,700. The fraud incident was reported on Friday, March 23 at 8:01 p.m., in the 900 Block of Hillcrest Drive.

Sgt Cota said, “The business owner has had the same payroll account for over 15 years. Wells Fargo has reimbursed the business owner and has now become the victim. Wells Fargo Bank wants to prosecute.”

The financial loss from cybercrime in the U.S. exceeded $1.3 billion in 2016, a rise of 24 percent, according to a report issued by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Internet Crime Complaint Center.

According to the report, some of the most prevalent and most damaging forms of cybercrimes today include business email compromise (BEC), ransomware, tech support fraud, and extortion.

 LBPD detectives are looking into who may have committed fraud against this business. If you have any information, please contact LBPD at (949) 497-0701.

 

Stolen silver is worth its weight in gold 

On Tuesday, March, 20 at 7:29 a.m., a resident in the 1700 Block of Santa Cruz reported that 300 ounces of silver and three watches were taken from their home within the last week. The type of watches and silver items, weighing 18.75 pounds, have not been released.


LBPD welcomes two new officers into its ranks

LBPD has welcomed two new officers into its ranks, Officer Wade Kraus and Officer Ryan Radel. Both men graduated from the Golden West College Police Academy on March 16.

Courtesy of LBPD

Officer Wade Kraus

Officer Wade Kraus was born in Laguna Beach and raised in Laguna Niguel. His previous employment includes working as a Guest Services Captain for Towne Park Valet Service in Dana Point, a varsity football coach at Dana Hills High School, and an electrician’s assistant for Pacific Coast Electric.  

Kraus started his college education at the University of North Dakota and will be completing his Bachelor’s degree through Arizona State University.

Courtesy of LBPD

Officer Ryan Radel

Officer Ryan Radel worked for CARE Ambulance Service as an EMT for four years while completing his Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration from the California State University of Fullerton.  

Prior to that, he worked as an office assistant at a local church, was a line cook in a family restaurant, volunteered at the Children’s Hospital of Orange County from 2011-2014, and also earned his Eagle Scout rank in the Boy Scouts of America.


Police Files

LBPD warns of phone scams, encourages residents to “call the PD” for verification of caller’s identity

One quick way to lose your hard-earned cash is to fall prey to a scam, only to find out it’s a sham! Don’t worry, LBPD’s tips can help you thwart these dangerous callers and get them collared.

According to LBPD Spokesperson Sgt Jim Cota, “The big three scams right now are fake calls from the IRS, calls claiming a family member has been kidnapped that demand an immediate ransom [usually around $1,000], and the one that tries to extort money from someone for missing jury duty.”

A Laguna Beach resident fell victim to the latter scam this week, according to police logs. The woman, a resident on Monterey Street, gave her personal and financial information to a scammer who said they were from the sheriff’s department. The caller demanded that she pay an immediate fine for missing jury duty or risk arrest and prosecution. The Laguna woman was defrauded of $560.

“If anybody receives a telephone call or email that they find suspicious in the least, please call the police department and we will verify that the information you are receiving or the person that is calling you,” said Sgt Cota. “Don’t give credit card information, don’t give your social security number, and if at any point, you don’t recognize the number, the person or the company contacting you, call us to verify they are legit. One of our staff will personally call that number to make sure they are who they say they are.”

“We are here to help,” Sgt Cota adds. “It literally breaks my heart to see people, specifically our elderly, taken advantage of in this way.”

If you believe you have been victim of a fraudulent phone or email scam, contact LBPD at (949) 497-0701.

 

Audi crashes into Berkshire Hathaway building in South Laguna

An Audi driver accidentally took a little too much pedal to the metal on Thursday morning, driving into the Berkshire Hathaway office in South Laguna at 10:18 a.m. 

 

Courtesy of LBPD

Luckily, according to Sgt Jim Cota, nobody was injured and the collision caused only minor damage to the building glass and to the vehicle. 

Both the LBPD and LBFD responded to the incident.


Police Files

Road-rager assaults local woman, grabs her by the hair and slams her to the ground

On Saturday, March 17, at 5:21 p.m., a Laguna Beach resident reported that a man got out of his vehicle and assaulted her at Glenneyre Street and Laguna Avenue, near the Laguna Beach Library.

The woman and her friend said that the man first yelled derogatory comments and hate slurs at them while they were crossing Glenneyre Street in a marked crosswalk. The suspect then got out of his vehicle, grabbed the woman by her hair and pushed her, causing her to fall to the ground.

According to the report, the woman was trying to de-escalate the situation when she was slammed to the ground. 

The suspect is described as a heavy-set Hispanic man in his forties, approximately 5’ 5” tall. At the time of the incident, he was wearing a white t-shirt, black shorts, baseball cap, and sunglasses. 

LBPD detectives are currently working on the case. Anyone who has any additional information or who may have seen the incident is encouraged to call the police department at (949) 497-0701. 

 

Suspected drug dealer leaves car running for hours on Anita St, is no longer running his business

Also on Saturday, in the 400 block of Anita Street, at 12:52 p.m., it was reported that a gray 2010 Nissan Altima had been parked with the car running for three hours and 32 minutes, since 8:20 a.m. that morning.

According to a witness, the vehicle had very dark windows, so it wasn’t possible to see in. The concern was that someone might be inside and need help but caution was obviously necessary.

LBPD responded to the report and Jared Shouna, 23, of Laguna Niguel, was arrested for possession of drugs for sale, transportation of a controlled substance, and possession of a controlled substance.

Drugs found in the car included baggies of heroin that weighed 2.8 gross grams and 2.9 gross grams, a baggie of methamphetamine, weighing 1.6 gross grams, marijuana in a tin, weighing 5.5 gross grams, and marijuana from a red canister, weighing 4.5 net grams. 

“Per the suspect’s comment [at the time of his arrest], the cost of heroin is $70 per gram,” said LBPD Spokesperson Jordan Villwock.

Shouna was taken into custody with bail set at $30,000.


Police Files

Not so fast, reckless driving leads to drugs and stolen gun charges

On Monday, March 12, an LBPD officer saw a group of about 10 vehicles driving recklessly on South Coast Highway at Legion Street at 12:47 a.m. An Aston Martin Vantage left the pack, as it turned west onto the 100 Block of Cleo Street. After noticing the vehicle didn’t have front or rear license plates, a traffic stop was initiated.

Aaron Joseph Vasquez, 29, Irvine, was identified as the driver. Vasquez consented to be searched. A small amount of cocaine and approximately $650 cash was found in his pants pocket. Vasquez was placed under arrest for cocaine possession.

The officer then saw a backpack in plain view on the passenger floorboard. Vasquez initially admitted the backpack belonged to him. The arrest search found a scale, approximately $1,600 in cash, a stolen .25 caliber handgun, and a large amount of cocaine in the backpack. Vasquez then denied ownership of the backpack after the illegal items were discovered.

The passenger was identified as Alex J Klein, 29, of Anaheim. Klein, who refused to cooperate with the investigation, had about $2,600 in cash on him.

Because the backpack was near both Vasquez and Klein, they were both taken into custody for possession of cocaine for sales, possession of a controlled substance while armed, and carrying a loaded stolen firearm.

An on-duty Newport Beach Police department canine unit responded and conducted a sniff of the vehicle. The canine alerted to the trunk area, where three large bags of marijuana were found (approximately two pounds) and cash. As a result, Vasquez and Klein both received an added possession of marijuana for sales charge. Additional charges are pending.

Vasquez, who stated he is unemployed, and Klein, who stated he is self-employed doing eBay sales, were both taken into custody and transported to Orange County Jail. Bail amounts have not been listed yet.  

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of LBPD

Cocaine, cash, a stolen gun and marijuana were found by LBPD during a traffic stop early Monday

 

LBPD is calling for vandals who damaged red telephone booth

On Monday, March 12 at 4:50 p.m., the red telephone public art piece on Forest Avenue was reported to be vandalized.

The piece, Nine Billion,” created by artist Douglas Turner, was found with broken windows, including the door.

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Dianne Russell

Vandals will be calling from the other side when they say hello to jail time

According to LBPD Spokesperson Sgt Jim Cota, “The phone booth door was slightly ajar, and a small piece of the phone booth window was cut out. The phone booth door is normally nailed shut, as it is not normally meant to be opened.”

A nearby store had video surveillance but their system was inoperable, said Sgt Cota. “The extent of the damages is unknown to LBPD.”

 

LBPD extends a big welcome back to officer Rock Wagner

On Thursday, Laguna Beach Police Officer Rock Wagner received a warm welcome back by the police department. Officer Wagner is back on the job, after he was exonerated of any wrongdoing inconnection to an investigation by the Fullerton Police Department.

He was placed on paid administrative leave while both the criminal and internal investigations took place.

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy LBPD Facebook

Officer Rock Wagner is welcomed back to the LBPD after being on paid administrative leave since November

On the department’s Facebook page, kind sentiments were posted: “Welcome back dayshift briefing for Ofc. Wagner. We are proud to have you back.”


Police Files

Laguna Beach Police Officer Rock Wagner is exonerated of any wrongdoing

On November 28, 2017 Laguna Beach Police Officer Rock Wagner was arrested by the Fullerton Police Department in connection with an elder abuse and fraud investigation. Since that time, Officer Wagner was placed on paid administrative leave while both the criminal and internal investigations took place.

Both of these investigations have concluded and after thorough review of the evidence produced, it has been determined that allegations of misconduct could not be supported. It has also been determined by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office that evidence of a crime did not exist.

“I am happy to report that Officer Rock Wagner will return to full duty and is a valued member of the Laguna Beach Police Department,” stated LBPD Chief Laura Farinella.

--From a press release 

 

Door to door solicitor who tried to get money from residents arrested on metal knuckles warrant

On Friday afternoon, March 9, a Laguna Beach resident called LBPD to report a group of men that were going door to door soliciting people in the Skyline/Mystic Hills area. According to the resident, the men were riding in an “older white panel van with no windows” with a female driver, when one of them – described as “well dressed with a gold chain” – got out and came to his door to ask him for money on behalf of what the man said was a non-profit called Excellent Sales. 

LBPD approached and stopped the man in question on Pitcairn Place. According to LBPD Spokesperson Sgt Jim Cota, he possessed a notebook with “customer names”, including multiple Laguna Beach residents with their addresses identified.

The man, identified from his Missouri identification card as Jearl Perry, 34, was stopped as a result of the city’s municipal code section on door to door solicitation, which makes such behavior illegal. 

“It is against the law to solicit door to door in Laguna Beach,” said Sgt Cota.

Perry had an outstanding Orange County warrant (possession of brass knuckles) out for his arrest and was taken into custody.

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