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Laguna Beach

Police Files

Fatal car crash, man found Thursday morning near Nix Nature Center ejected from BMW

On Thursday, Nov 8, at approximately 6:30 a.m., CHP Orange County received a call from a concerned motorist reporting a solo black vehicle over the side on SR-133 northbound at Nix Nature Center.

“Upon arrival, CHP officers found the vehicle and the solo male occupant, who appeared to be ejected from the BMW as a result of the collision,” CHP OC Information Officer Rafael Reynoso said. The driver of the BMW was pronounced deceased at the scene by OCFA.

“For reasons still under investigation, the male driver lost control of the vehicle sometime last night [Wednesday], and veered off the road near the embankment,” Officer Reynoso said. “At this time, it is still unknown if drugs and/or alcohol were a factor in the collision.”

The deceased man’s name will be released by OCSD Coroner’s office pending notification to next of kin.

The man has been identified as a 46-year-old Wildomar resident. He was driving a black 2006 BMW 3 Series when the solo fatality occurred.

“The vehicle collided with a tree, then a rock ditch, which caused the vehicle to overturn several times,” Officer Reynoso said.

Asked if there were any tire marks that would indicate that the driver tried to break or swerve to avoid the accident, Officer Reynoso responded, “There were no signs of tire friction marks at the scene.” 

The time of the fatal collision is still under investigation as is the cause of the accident. It is still unknown how fast the driver was traveling. However, he was not wearing a seatbelt. 

Officer Reynoso said, “Yes, it absolutely could have changed the outcome had he been wearing a seatbelt.”

The most prevalent causes of single car fatalities include speed, DUI, drowsy and distracted drivers, and not wearing seat belts among other factors.

LBPD mourns loss of hero Sgt Ron Helus of Ventura County Sheriff’s Dept, killed in nightclub shooting

“With incredible sadness, the Laguna Beach Police Department mourns the loss of Ventura County Sheriff’s Department Sergeant Ron Helus and the victims that were killed in this horrific act of violence. An incident like this can happen anywhere, so please always stay vigilant to your surroundings and please call us immediately if you feel something does not seem right or someone exhibits behavior that you feel warrants a law enforcement contact. Our police department is fully committed to this city and the safety of its citizens at all times,” said LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota. 

Police Files Helus

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Courtesy of LBPD

LBPD mourns the death of VCSD Sgt Ron Helus, a hero killed in the tragic mass shooting on Wednesday

Sgt Helus was a 29-year veteran of the department and a member of its SWAT team for several years. Sgt Helus was one of the first officers to answer the call of an active shooter, rushing inside the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks late Wednesday.

According to authorities, Sgt Helus exchanged gunfire and was shot several times before another officer dragged him away from the line of fire. He later died at the hospital. He was one of 12 people who died in the tragic mass shooting.

Handguns found in three separate incidents this week

On Sunday, Nov 4, at 6:59 p.m., LBPD officers responded to Pavilions, at the 600 block of N Coast Hwy, regarding a loaded handgun found in the men’s restroom. The person who called in the gun locked the restroom door until LBPD arrived on scene. Per the reporting person, the subjects who reported it to store management were pacing and acting very suspicious.

“A records check showed the handgun belonged to a Carrying Concealed Weapon (CCW) permit holder who lived in Thousand Oaks. Dispatchers were able to contact the subject, who verified that he had been in Laguna Beach earlier in the day and had used the restroom at the Pavilions,” Sgt Cota said. “He drove back from Thousand Oaks and picked up his handgun at the PD after being positively identified as the owner and validation of his CCW license. The weapon was a Glock 26 (9mm).”

On Tuesday, Nov 6, at 1:56 p.m., an officer responded to the Surf and Sand Hotel, at the 1500 block of S Coast Hwy, for a loaded handgun found in a recently vacated room. The reporting person locked the gun in a safe until officers arrived on scene.

“The gun was a Beretta .25 ACP. When the gun was checked, it did not show a registered owner. The handgun was secured and brought back to the police department to be booked in for safekeeping,” Sgt Cota said. “Detectives will verify if the handgun was used in any prior crimes. An informational report was generated to document the incident.”

Also on Tuesday at 10:41 p.m., a reporting person from the Pacific Edge Hotel, at the 600 block of S Coast Hwy, called to report they had found a firearm in a recently vacated room. The guests had left the gun behind in the nightstand. It was being held in the safe until LBPD could arrive on scene.

“The firearm was registered, the owner was contacted and agreed to come back to Laguna Beach to pick it up,” Sgt Cota said. “However, due to DOJ requirements it had to be booked for safekeeping. The registered owner was directed to DOJ to retrieve his firearm.”

Two arrested for stolen vehicle in high-risk stop

On Monday, Nov 5, at 11:36 a.m., officers were alerted by LBPD dispatchers of a stolen vehicle in the city. An officer spotted the red 2008 Toyota Highlander on Laguna Canyon Road near the ASL and trailed it as it turned onto El Toro Road and then onto S/B SR-73 until other officers arrived to assist. OCSD units also responded to assist. 

Police Files Lisa StinesPolice Files Andrew Fluor“A high-risk vehicle stop was initiated just off the Greenfield off-ramp. Two individuals were detained and through the course of the investigation it was discovered the vehicle was stolen out of Newport Beach the day prior and the driver, Lisa Stines, knew it was stolen,” Sgt Cota said. “The male passenger, Andrew Fluor, also knew the vehicle was stolen and used his friends’ name and DOB to conceal his identity. Once his true identity was revealed, it was discovered he was a restrained person from Stines.” 

A search of the vehicle also revealed Fluor was in possession of burglary tools. Both suspects were taken into custody and brought to the station and booked. 

Andrew Chase Fluor, 35, of Newport Beach, was charged with impersonation of another individual, possession of stolen property, violation of a restraining order, and possession of burglary tools. Bail was set at $35,000.

Lisa Renee Stines, 31, of Laguna Beach, was charged with possession of stolen property. Bail was set at $20,000.

Local goat herding dog Shandu lost then found thanks to locals’ efforts

LBFD put out an alert Thursday morning reporting they needed the community’s help in finding the City’s goat herding dog, Shandu.

 “Shandu went missing this morning at 7 a.m. from the area of Morningside and Starlit in Bluebird Canyon. If located, please contact Ana Neira in the Fire Department at (949) 497-0305 or (949) 497-0701,” LBFD officials said. 

Police Files Goat herding dog found

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Courtesy of LPBD

Lost goat-herding dog, Shandu, rescued Thursday by concerned locals

Good news. According to Sgt Cota, “Shandu was found by a search party by residents who live in the 3000 block of Mountain View Drive. They said that social media helped them to recognize him.”

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