Police Files

Grand theft suspect arrested for allegedly stealing rings from downtown jeweler

On Monday, Sept 30, at 4:19 p.m., a grand theft report was taken for Richard Tawtel Jewelry at the 200 block of North Coast Highway. 

According to LBPD Emergency Operations Coordinator Jordan Villwock, “The reporting party stated two displays of rings were stolen at approximately 11 a.m. The RP discovered the grand theft while reviewing surveillance footage. The approximate loss totaled $4,000.

Based on surveillance footage, an officer located a subject matching the description. Realizing it was the same suspect as in the surveillance, the officer placed him under arrest,” Villwock said.

The suspect was also identified by the victim in a photographic lineup.

“Further investigation revealed that that suspect pawned two of the three rings at a pawn shop in Dana Point. The victim positively identified the two rings and they were returned,” Villwock said. 

The suspect, John Louis Whelpley, 49, of San Clemente, was arrested for alleged grand theft and violating parole.

No bail was set.

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.

Spate of properties vandalized via eggs

On Sunday, Sept 29, there seemed to be a spate of vandalism across town involving eggs.

The first incident occurred at 8:34 a.m. at the 3100 block of Alta Laguna Boulevard. LBPD received a report regarding vandalism that occurred at the caller’s residence. The house was reportedly egged the night before.

Then, at 10:55 a.m., at Hillcrest Drive and Grandview Street, LBPD received a report in reference to a “vehicle getting egged.”

The third egging incident was reported at 12:14 p.m. at the 800 block of Bluebird Canyon Drive. Again, another house was the egged target.

“It’s unknown if they are related, however, none of the victims had permanent damage and were not desirous of a report,” Villwock said.

LBPD Road Safety Expo is coming up next Sunday 

Hundreds of people are expected to attend LBPD’s popular Road Safety Expo on Sunday, Oct 13, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at TOW Elementary School, located at 21601 Treetop Lane.

The expo will include a BMX freestyle team performance by Robert Castillo’s team, Skatedogs Mobile Skatepark Clinic, featuring quarter pipes, rails, boxes, and launch ramps, an auto-extrication demo from LBFD, a bicycle obstacle course, raffle prizes, face painting, a bounce house, a booth where child identification cards will be made, and much more.

According to LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota, “Attendance of the event is free for all ages. Food trucks will be at the event and have food items available for purchase.” 

For more information, visit LBPD’s Facebook page at

-By Suzie Harrison