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Laguna Beach

Police Files

Helicopter assists in stolen car arrest ending in Taco Bell parking lot

On Thursday, July 11, at 6:45 p.m., LBPD officers responded to the area of Ledroit Street and North Coast Highway regarding a vehicle possibly involved in a robbery in Santa Ana with two named suspects. 

According to LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota, “The black Dodge Charger was used in an armed robbery in Santa Ana on Saturday, June 22, and frequents Laguna Beach…A helicopter was requested and responded to assist in our area search of the vehicle. Officers were unable to locate the Dodge Charger.”

Sgt Cota said, “While looking for the robbery vehicle, officers were notified of a stolen vehicle entering Laguna Beach. The Chevy Prism had been stolen out of Santa Ana on Monday, July 8. An officer located the stolen vehicle at Legion Street and South Coast Highway, occupied by four passengers”. 

Additional LBPD officers arrived on scene and assisted. A high-risk vehicle stop was conducted in the Taco Bell parking lot. 

According to Sgt Cota, “The driver, Manuel Garcia, knew the vehicle was stolen but bought it from a friend for $300.”

Manuel Arreola Garcia, 28, was arrested for alleged possession of a stolen vehicle, taking a vehicle without owner consent, possession of burglary tools, and driving with a suspended driver’s license. 

The rear left male passenger, Juan Jesus Belman, 19, had a no bail warrant for his arrest regarding weapons violations.

The two female passengers were juveniles and later released to parents.

“Belman and Garcia were booked at LBPD and later transported to Orange County Jail,” Sgt Cota said.

Bail was set at $21,500 for Garcia and no bail was set for Belman.

$2,000 in wet clothes stolen from laundromat 

On Friday, July 12, at 9:41 p.m., at Legion Laundromat, at the 300 block of Legion Street, a victim noticed some of her laundry had gone missing.

According to Sgt Cota, “The victim placed her clothes in four separate washers and then went outside to her vehicle where she waited. During that time, a 20-30-minute period, an unknown person(s) took her designer clothes, including pants, jackets, and dress shirts, but left her socks and underwear.”

 The approximate loss is allegedly between $2,000 to $3,000.

Man arrested after allegedly kicking officer in the shin

On Saturday, July 13, at 11:58 p.m., downtown foot patrol officers contacted Sun City resident Steven Jackson, who had run across traffic from Skyloft to Laguna Avenue and El Paseo Street. 

According to Sgt Cota, “Jackson was uncooperative and aggressive with officers so he was detained in handcuffs during their investigation. Jackson continued to be upset and aggressive towards officers. Jackson charged an officer and kicked him in the shin.” 

Steven Michael Jackson, 41, was placed under arrest for alleged battery on a peace officer, resisting an executive officer, and resisting arrest. 

Sgt Cota said, “He was later transported to Orange County Jail. While in a cell at LBPD, Jackson flooded the cell and pushed water into the hallway.” 

Bail was set at $25,000. 

Editor’s Note: An arrest contains allegations that a suspect has committed a crime. Every suspect is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.

-By Suzie Harrison

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