Police Files

Scam alert from the LBPD – their officers never solicit money – but there are scammers claiming to be with the LBPD who are 

Late last week the Police Department was made aware of telephone scam where the calling party identified themselves as a Police Captain with the Laguna Beach Police Department and appeared to be calling from its non-emergency number. The individual demanded that they withdraw $2,000 in order to not be arrested for a supposed warrant for not attending jury duty.

Neither the Laguna Beach Police Department nor any governmental agency will ever call and solicit money for fines and does not solicit warrant information by phone. The Police Department will never ask you to get a money order, gift card, or wire transfer. If you receive this type of phone call, always verify who the caller truly is, do not use a phone number they provide you as verification. Usually, the number provided by the thief will go to a voice recording/message. 

Call the Laguna Beach Police Department to verify any solicitation.

If you have sent money or believe that you are a victim of a crime, please call the Laguna Beach Police Department to report the incident.

Anyone with information regarding this crime can contact Sgt. Tim Kleiser, Public Information Officer, mailto: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 949-464-6671.

Police Files

Video shows man who passed bogus bills at Orange Inn

This month, the Orange Inn and other local businesses have received counterfeit bills – both fifties and hundreds. The Orange Inn was hit with one of each last week.

The restaurant reviewed its surveillance video with the employees who were working when the bills were passed and placed the bogus bills with one man. The images were turned over to the LBPD and a Crime Bulletin was created to ask for any information you may have and to alert other merchants to be on the lookout for the man.

The LBPD Bulletin:

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Animal services “relocates” rattlesnake from fire road

Eileen Moskow took this photo of Animal Services Officer John Thompson as he convinced a rattlesnake to move off the fire road near Moulton Meadows Tuesday.

Eileen wrote, “The snake was sunning itself on the fire road and folks walking almost stepped on it and called the PD. The pesky snake wanted to stay!” 

Police Files

Trio has poor timing for a grab and run burglary from downtown store; a cop was driving up the street as they ran to getaway car 


An officer was on routine patrol in the 200 block of Forest Avenue at 6:08 p.m. Saturday when he saw a young female and a male running from Robin’s Jean. Both had “…arms full of merchandise…towards a getaway vehicle parked on Forest Avenue,” according to a Thursday afternoon press release from LBPD spokesman Jordan Villwock.

“After a short foot pursuit and with the assistance of additional officers, a total of three suspects were detained at the getaway vehicle and subsequently arrested.”

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A suspect is taken into custody after the female had been apprehended

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A second suspect was removed from the vehicle and arrested

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Officers approach the vehicle to be sure it was cleared per standard protocol

The press release identified the two men arrested as Matthew Morgan, 21 and Geron Funches, 20, both of Los Angeles. The female, 16, also from LA, was held and later released to a parent at the police station. All three were charged with felony burglary and conspiracy to commit a crime.

The two leaving the store dropped merchandise valued at $11,553 in the street where it was recovered and held as evidence. 

Forest Avenue was opened a short time later according to the press release.

Police Files

Teen brandished a handgun when interrupted by the owner of a vehicle he was trying to hot wire Monday

The owner of an El Camino parked at Glenneyre and Park Avenue saw a male teenager inside trying to hot wire the vehicle Monday morning. The owner yelled to the teen to get out and the teen lifted his shirt exposing what appeared to be a handgun, LBPD spokesman Jordan Villwock said.

Villwock added, “While the victim was calling the police the suspect advised it was not a real gun however that was never confirmed and the incident is still under investigation.”

According to the police log, the suspect was last seen running down Ramona Avenue. Police did an area search but were not able to locate him.

Laguna PD joins national campaign to end distracted driving 

Distracted driving is such an important safety issue that April is recognized as National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. In California, Police, Sheriff and CHP officials are joining the Office of Traffic Safety, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), as well as law enforcement throughout the country, working together to focus on education as well as enforcement. 

The purpose of the campaign is to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving in an attempt to change behavior and save lives, not just in April but also year-round. The Laguna Beach Police Department will join statewide enforcement campaigns this month, “zero tolerance days,” when all agencies will be especially vigilant for distracted drivers. 

Distracted driving continues to be a problem, especially as the use of Smartphones increases. Although such crashes are often difficult to prove, California had at least 84 fatal distracted driving collisions in 2013, 85 in 2014 and 67 in 2015, with the actual number of cases likely higher. The number of injury collisions for the same three-year period shows an increase: 10,078 in 2013; 10,463 in 2014, and 11,023 in 2015. NHTSA data for 2014 show nationwide, 3,179 people died in distracted driving collisions, which is 10% of all crash fatalities. An additional 431,000 people, or 18%, were injured in motor vehicle collisions involving distracted drivers. 

“As we rely on our cell phones more and more in our everyday lives, we seem to be kidding ourselves in thinking that they don’t affect our driving,” said OTS Director Rhonda Craft. “Crashes are up. The scientific evidence is solid. The dangers are real, and they apply to all of us. We need to silence the distractions.” The problem of distracted driving is significant, and no surprise to drivers day in and day out. 

The California Office of Traffic Safety, Police, Sheriff and the CHP reminds everyone that best way to end distracted driving is to educate all Americans about the danger it poses.

Police Files

Stolen car hits 100 MPH thru Laguna Canyon while being chased by Santa Ana PD; stop made in No Lag

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Tom Crank

Santa Ana PD, OC Sheriff’s units, CHP and LBPD all pursued the stolen Honda in this photograph before it was stopped headed the wrong way on Monterey Drive near Poplar Street in North Laguna last Thursday afternoon. The Honda hit speeds of 100 mph on Laguna Canyon Road, police said. LBPD officers used a spike strip in the 600 block of Laguna Canyon Road flattening the two tires on the left side. The driver managed to keep going until being stopped in North Laguna. Santa Ana officers detained and arrested the suspect at about 3:30 p.m.

If you get drunk, yell and fight in a car, put the top up

9-1-1 callers last Wednesday afternoon reported that a female passenger in a convertible was screaming loudly that she wanted to be let out of the car. The callers said the convertible, with its top down, had left northbound.

Police stopped the car on Hillcrest Drive near Riddle Field at 4:35.

After speaking with the man who was driving and the woman passenger who had been screaming, LBPD officers arrested Newport Beach resident Gemma Johnson, 37, for being drunk in public, violation of a court protective order and felony domestic battery. Her bail was $50,000.

Police Files

Goats escape their enclosure on Bluebird Canyon Dr.

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Photo by Carter Fraser

It was goats, goats and more goats on Bluebird Canyon Drive late Monday night. Carter Fraser, LBHS senior, wrote that the goats leased by the city to mitigate the potential fuel supply for wildfires had escaped the enclosure by the tennis courts along the creek bed. They meandered down to the intersection of Oriole Drive devouring plants along the way. Oh, that’s at least one thing they’re known for…

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Photo by Mike Johnson

Cops arrive on scene in time to thwart potential burglar in business complex on Laguna Canyon Rd

At 4:45 Tuesday morning, a 9-1-1 caller reported that a man’s shadow had been seen and the door to the caller’s studio had been nudged. The call came from a business complex that houses a number of artists’ studios in the 3200 block of Laguna Canyon Road.

Once on scene, it didn’t take police long to locate and detain Buena Park resident James Marinow, 31.

Police said Marinow was arrested for felony attempted burglary with bail set at $50,000. His probation officer was contacted per protocol and immediately ordered that he be held without bail for probation violation.

DUI enforcement operations planned Saturday overnight

Officers from the Laguna Beach Police Department’s DUI Enforcement Team will be deploying this weekend to stop and arrest alcohol and drug-impaired drivers in the Department’s ongoing traffic safety campaign. 

DUI Saturation Patrols will deploy on Saturday, April 2, between the hours of 9 p.m. and 3 a.m. in areas with high frequencies of DUI collisions and/or arrests. 

Over the course of the past three years in Laguna Beach officers have investigated 169 DUI collisions, which have claimed three lives and resulted in another 55 injuries. 

Law Enforcement emphasizes the preventable nature of drunk driving reminding everyone that all it takes is a little planning ahead. Designate a sober driver or call a cab. But whatever you do, don’t drink and drive. The cost of a ride home is cheap, nothing compared to a $10,000 DUI conviction and the ‘inconvenience’ of not driving your car home is nothing compared to the inconvenience of spending time behind bars. 

Funding for this DUI operation is provided to the Laguna Beach Police Department by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, reminding everyone to ‘Report Drunk Drivers – Call 9-1-1’.

Police Files

Yes – that really was an adult sea lion on Coast Hwy

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Still from a video courtesy

of Danny Rendon of

Stop N Go – North Laguna

An adult sea lion stopped traffic in both directions for several minutes when it tried crossing N. Coast Hwy near Cajon Street Monday morning before 7 a.m. Police responded and held off the traffic until animal services and a rescue unit from Pacific Marine Mammal Center arrived. It was gently coaxed off onto a lot next to Midas where PMMC safely captured it and took it for observation.

Felony hit and run driver pulled over on 405 Fwy

Police and paramedics responded to a report of a hit and run injury crash outbound on Laguna Canyon Road near the dog park at 5:22 p.m. Saturday. One person was injured, police said.

One LBPD patrol unit hurried out Laguna Canyon Road and located the suspect vehicle on the 133 heading onto the northbound 5 Freeway. A stop was made near Jeffrey Road and the 405.

In the process, the hit and run driver, Allan Anthony Bulsiewicz, 68, Seal Beach, was involved in another crash. Details of the second crash were unavailable Monday.

Bulsiewicz was arrested for DUI and felony hit and run causing injury.

Police Files

Suspect arrested in Dana Point Tuesday for rape of unconscious woman here early on Sunday morning

Laguna Beach detectives went to Dana Point Tuesday afternoon to arrest Daniel Stephen Brinton, 29, on charges of felony rape of an unconscious person and misdemeanor sexual battery. 

Sgt. Tim Kleiser of the LBPD said Brinton and the 24-year-old female victim were among several people staying the night at a home in the 400 block of Shadow Lane. At about 5 o’clock Sunday morning, according to Sgt. Kleiser, a witness saw Brinton allegedly sexually assaulting the woman who was sleeping.

“The witness yelled at the suspect who stopped what he was doing and left the home on Shadow Lane,” Kleiser said.

The victim reported the incident at 8:24 a.m. Sunday.

Brinton was booked here with bail of $100,000.

Home burglary interrupted on Park Ave Thursday night – cops and Sheriff’s helicopter searched area

From a press statement by LBPD Sgt. Tim Kleiser at 12:15 a.m. March 25:

Last night at 7:16 p.m., officers responded to a residence on the 1900 block of Park Avenue for a residential burglary that was interrupted by the resident when he came home. The RP pulled into the driveway and saw a truck in front of the garage with items from his home in plain sight. 

He then saw someone get in the truck and begin to drive away. The resident tried to block the truck from leaving with his vehicle, but the truck was able to go around his car and flee. The truck also struck the RP’s car when fleeing. Shortly thereafter the resident saw another male run away from his home. 

Officers checked the area with the assistance of an Orange County Sheriff’s helicopter, but were unable to locate the truck or the male that ran. 

LBPD detectives responded to assist with the investigation and the Orange County Crime Lab also responded to process the crime scene at the home. 

The loss is estimated to be in excess of $50,000. The RP is completing an itemized list of the property stolen from the home.

Drunk driver crashed into a house on S. Coast Hwy

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Ryen Caenn

The Ford F250 pickup above crashed into a multi-unit building in the 2700 block of S. Coast Hwy late Thursday afternoon. No one was injured. Before running into the structure, the pickup smashed into the rear of a southbound car.

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Torryn Nunyo

This photo clearly shows the structural damage the pickup truck caused hitting the building. The driver, Edgar Angon, 38, Lake Forest, was arrested for DUI.

Woman with 7 warrants nabbed at ASL Monday night

Officers learned that a suspect with seven warrants, one for a felony charge was at the Alternative Sleeping Location Monday evening. They were able to take Leslie Jan Shacklett, 53, into custody for the warrants and added two new charges as well.

The total bail for her was set at $60,000.

The charges on the warrants included felony domestic battery, violation of a protective order (two warrants), DUI, contempt of court, trespassing and battery.

Police added fresh charges of violating a protective order and contempt of a court order at the time of her arrest.

She was taken to county jail.

Police Files

Man arrested in men’s room after pulling a knife on another man

Chad Garcia, 30, Garden Grove, was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon just after midnight Friday after brandishing a knife and threatening another man.

A security guard was also in the Marine Room men’s room at the time and heard the threats. The guard escorted Garcia outside where they awaited the arrival of Laguna Beach Police officers.

Garcia was taken into custody for the felony charge without incident according to LBPD Sgt. Tim Kleiser. 

Bail was set at $25,000. 

Hacienda Heights man arrested after trying to smash store window

Police responded to the 300 block of Forest Avenue at 11:35 p.m. Saturday after a man was seen trying to smash the window of a store with a rock.

Jake Tineo, 20, of Hacienda Heights was detained while still in front of the store window when officers arrived on scene. The witness who had called 9-1-1 verified that the cops had their man.

Sgt. Tim Kleiser said Monday, “The window at the business had marks on it from a rock that the male was using to try and break it. They also saw that a nearby mailbox was opened and mail was scattered on the ground. Some of the mail had been opened.”

Tineo was arrested for felony attempted burglary and misdemeanor mail theft.

He was booked here and taken to county jail with bail of $20,000.

Police Files

Boy, 17, with no license, nabbed for speeding with 5-yr-old in car

A Laguna Beach PD motor officer stopped a car on North Coast Highway near Irvine Cove Drive for speeding at 9:49 Sunday morning.

When the officer spoke to the driver, he learned that he was a 17-year-old without a driver’s license. He had also been reported as a missing juvenile but police were able to confirm that he had returned home but that had not been reported to police.

There were three passengers with the 17-year-old – boys 5 and 13 who were his brothers and a 19-year-old friend.

The officer also detected something else – a definite odor of marijuana. Once an additional officer was on scene, an investigation for pot began. The 19-year-old soon admitted to having more marijuana and a small amount was located in his shirt. He was issued a citation for possession of less than an ounce of marijuana.

Police detained the three juveniles from Costa Mesa and took them to the police station where they were released to an adult family member after further investigation.

It is possible that additional charges might stem from the incident.


Shaena Stabler and Stu Saffer are the co-owners. Shaena is the Publisher and Stu is the Editor-in-Chief.

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