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Incident Reports

Saturday, March 16

Cleo St | 100 Block | DUI

11:24 p.m. A 30-year-old San Clemente man was arrested on suspicion of DUI. Bail was set at $2,500.

Glenneyre St & Pearl St | Information Only

4:57 p.m. According to the RP, a skateboarder ran into their vehicle the day prior after the RP tried to swerve, because he was skateboarding aggressively.

Cliff Drive | 300 Block | Warrant, Possession of Controlled Substance Paraphernalia

11:18 a.m. Shane Christopher Hardin, 43, Laguna Beach, was arrested on an undisclosed warrant (bail was set at $10,000) and for possession of controlled substance paraphernalia (bail was set at $500). 

N Coast Hwy | 100 Block | Found Property

10:16 a.m. LBPD received a report in reference to found property. According to police records, the RP found a pipe inside the bathrooms with residue inside. The RP was advised to it throw away.

Broadway St | 200 Block | Possession of a Controlled Substance, Possession of Controlled Substance Paraphernalia

8:26 a.m. Kelly Russlee Smith, 35, Laguna Beach, was arrested for possession of a controlled substance (bail was set at $500) and for possession of controlled substance paraphernalia (bail was set at $500). 

S Coast Hwy | 300 Block | Robbery and Battery

12:14 a.m. Zachary Steven Wheeler, 27, Laguna Beach, was arrested for felony robbery (bail was set at $2,500) and for battery (bail was set at $1,500). 

Friday, March 15

S Coast Hwy | 30800 Block | DUI with 1 prior

10:04 p.m. John Paul Hunt, 29, Trabuco Canyon, was arrested on suspicion of DUI with one prior. Bail was set at $10,000.

Broadway St | 200 Block | Possession of Controlled Substance Paraphernalia, Destroying/Concealing Evidence, False Identification, Warrants

7:21 p.m. Darren Lawrence Gallagher, 50, Costa Mesa, was arrested for possession of controlled substance paraphernalia (bail was set at $500), destroying/concealing evidence (bail was set at $500), providing false identification to a specific peace officers (bail was set at $2,500), and warrants for possession of controlled substance paraphernalia (bail was set at $10,000) and sleeping outdoors (bail was set at $2,500).

Morningside Drive | 1500 Block | Check On

3:15 p.m. LBPD received a report in reference to orange cones placed in front of a residence. The cones were removed from the roadway.

El Paseo | 300 Block | Warrant, Possession of a Controlled Substance, Possession of Controlled Substance Paraphernalia

2:08 p.m. Michael Fiscina, 51, Irvine, was arrested on an undisclosed warrant (bail was set at $10,000), possession of a controlled substance without a prescription (bail was set at $500), and possession of controlled substance paraphernalia (bail was set at $500). 

Glenneyre St | 800 Block | DUI with 1 prior

11:28 a.m. William Aroldo Goody Escobar, 36, Santa Ana, was arrested on suspicion of DUI with one prior. Bail was set at $10,000.

N Coast Hwy & Broadway St | Warrant

1:20 a.m. Tam Hoang Le, 40, Baldwin Park, was arrested on an undisclosed warrant. Bail was set at $30,000.

Laguna Canyon Road | 600 Block | DUI

12:41 a.m. A 40-year-old Laguna Beach woman was arrested on suspicion of DUI. Bail was set at $2,500.

S Coast Hwy | 30600 Block | Warrants

12:25 a.m. Raul Olivares Garcia, 25, Santa Ana, was arrested on three warrants, for driving with a suspended license, driving without a valid license (bail was set at $40,000), and on an undisclosed warrant (bail was set at $100). 

Thursday, March 14

S Coast Hwy | 100 Block | Check On

7:36 p.m. LBPD received a report in reference to someone releasing approximately six Chinese lanterns with an open flame into the air.

Morningside Drive | 1500 Block | Check On

6:20 p.m. LBPD received a report in reference to orange cones at a residence. LBPD went to the location and the cones were removed.

N Coast Hwy & Emerald Bay Drive | Patrol Check

8:36 a.m. LBPD received a report in reference to an alleged incident involving an aggressive driver. According to the RP, the driver was exiting El Morro Elementary School and turning left toward town when they flipped the RP off after being cut off. The car was described as a white compact vehicle with an Uber sticker in the front side of the vehicle.

S Coast Hwy | 31100 Block | Card Fraud, Identity Theft, Burglary

3:08 a.m. Carl Douglas Whaley, 29, Artesia, was arrested for credit card fraud (bail was set at $500), identity theft (bail was set at $500) and burglary (bail was set at $20,000). 

Laguna Canyon Road | 600 Block | DUI

12:41 a.m. A 21-year-old Diamond Bar man was arrested on suspicion of DUI. Bail was set at $2,500.

Wednesday, March 13

Holly St | 400 Block | Soliciting

6:20 p.m. LBPD received a report in reference to an unwanted solicitor. According to police records, the subject came to the RP’s door attempting to sell something.

Anita St & Wilson St | Soliciting

3:16 p.m. LBPD received a report regarding unwanted solicitors. According to police records, the RP stated that there was a group of males going door-to-door asking for money. According to police records, LBPD had received multiple calls regarding the same subjects over the last couple of days. The caller stated that a vehicle drops them off.

Nyes Place | 400 Block | Disturbance

3:13 p.m. LBPD received a report in reference to loud music. According to police records, the RP stated that loud music was coming from the construction site at the location.

Catalina St | 2000 Block | Check On

3:01 p.m. LBPD received a report in reference to orange cones at a residence.

S Coast Hwy | 100 Block | DUI

1:24 a.m. A 38-year-old Aliso Viejo man was arrested on suspicion of DUI. Bail was set at $2,500.


Police Files

Man reportedly tries to throw meth pipe on roof, instead lands next to LBPD officer

On Friday, March 15, at 7:21 p.m., an LBPD officer conducted a pedestrian stop on a male subject, later identified as Darren Gallagher, at the 200 block of Broadway Street. 

“While the officer was talking with the subject, Gallagher attempted to throw a glass object onto the roof of the Whole Foods store. The glass object did not land on the roof and fell next to Officer Meyer and Gallagher,” LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota said. “The object was found to be a methamphetamine pipe.” 

Darren Lawrence Gallagher, 50, of Costa Mesa, was arrested for possession of narcotic paraphernalia and destruction of evidence. 

“It was later found that Gallagher originally gave a fictitious name and was also charged with violation of giving a police officer a false name,” Sgt Cota said.

Bail was set at $15,500.

Sad song, violin and parts stolen valued at $53,500 

On Thursday, March 14, at 10:10 a.m., a report was taken at the LBPD station concerning a possible burglary from Stephen R. Davey Violins at 31662 South Coast Hwy. The reporting party said that about two to three weeks ago during the rainstorms, he noticed an antique violin and miscellaneous violin parts missing from his shop.

“The missing violin was valued at $50,000, which was on consignment,” Sgt Cota said. “The violin parts are valued at approximately $3,500.”

According to Sgt Cota, there is no surveillance video available and there are no witnesses to the crime.

The total loss is estimated at $53,500.

Paparazzi reportedly stalk Justin Bieber at Montage pool

On Saturday, March 16, at 11:26 a.m., LBPD received a report of paparazzi trespassing and stalking a VIP at the Montage, at the 30800 block of S Coast Highway.

According to police records, a “high priority VIP on the property in the pool area” was being stalked by paparazzi. The star-struck subjects reportedly took off running toward the celebrity. Once LBPD arrived, the subjects were advised not to come back on the property.

According to Sgt Cota, “It was Justin Bieber. The paparazzi were trying to get photos.”

-By Suzie Harrison


Incident Reports

Tuesday, March 12

No arrests

Monday, March 11

Park Ave & Bern Court | Soliciting

2:20 p.m. LBPD received a report in reference to unwanted solicitation.

N Coast Hwy | 100 Block | Possession of a Controlled Substance, Controlled Substance Paraphernalia

8:17 a.m. Jason Hale Lobe, 47, Laguna Beach, was arrested for possession of a controlled substance (bail was set at $500) and possession of controlled substance paraphernalia (bail was set at $500).

Sunday, March 10

Laguna Canyon Road | 20600 Block | Trespassing

6:55 p.m. Brian Kieth Michael O’Connor, 56, Laguna Beach, was arrested for trespassing. Bail was set at $500.

S Coast Hwy | 100 Block | Disorderly Conduct – Alcohol

2:04 p.m. A 56-year-old Laguna Beach man was arrested for disorderly conduct related to alcohol. Bail was set at $500.

Marilyn Drive | 30600 Block | Warrants, False Impersonation, Possession of a Controlled Substance, Possession of Controlled Substance Paraphernalia

8:29 a.m. Imiko Ariel Maki, 22, Laguna Beach, was arrested on a warrant for possession of a controlled substance (bail was set at $10,000), a warrant for possession of controlled substance paraphernalia (bail was set at $10,000), a warrant for possession of methamphetamine (bail was set at $10,000), false impersonation to make another person liable (bail was set at $20,000), possession of a controlled substance (bail was set at $500), and possession of controlled substance paraphernalia (bail was set at $500).

Marilyn Drive | 30600 Block | Violating Parole

11:54 a.m. Fernando Najar, 27, San Juan Capistrano, was arrested for violating parole (no bail was set), possession of a controlled substance (bail was set at $500), and possession of controlled substance paraphernalia (bail was set at $500).

S Coast Hwy | 1100 Block | Disorderly Person

11:18 a.m. According to police records, someone told LBPD that he was “tired of the Greeters [sic]. Keeps continuing to set up on the sidewalk across yelling.” The RP wanted LBPD to contact him and ask him to move to another location.

Marilyn Drive | 30600 Block | Warrants, False Impersonation

8:29 a.m. Amy Elizabeth Allan, 35, Laguna Beach, was arrested on warrants for driving with a suspended license due to a DUI (bail was set at $15,000) and DUI – driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or higher (bail was set at $15,000), and for false impersonation to make another person liable (bail was set at $20,000).

Laguna Canyon Road | 2200 Block | DUI, Driving with a Blood Alcohol Content 0.08% or Higher

3:20 a.m. A 34-year-old Irvine man was arrested on suspicion of DUI (bail was set at $2,500) and driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or higher (bail was set at $2,500).


Police Files (Cont.)

Mercedes crew arrested for meth and more

On Sunday, March 10, at 8:29 a.m., LBPD officers responded to a suspicious vehicle in the 30600 block of Marilyn Drive. 

According to police records, the caller advised officers of what appeared to be some type of drug activity, stating that LBPD responded approximately a week ago, at which times the suspects allegedly fled when units arrived.

Five occupants were contacted in a black Mercedes SUV, including three males and two females. According to LBPD, two of the males were in possession of drug paraphernalia and issued citations. 

“One male was identified as Fernando Najar. He was in possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia,” LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota said. 

He was issued a citation and taken into custody on a probation hold. 

“The females were identified as Amy Allan and Imiko Maki. Both females originally falsely personated another person because they each had outstanding warrants,” Sgt Cota said. “They were taken into custody for impersonation and the outstanding warrants.”

Fernando Najar, 27, of San Juan Capistrano, was arrested for violating parole and being in possession of methamphetamine and controlled substance paraphernalia. No bail was set.

Imiko Ariel Maki, 22, of Laguna Beach, was arrested on warrants for possession of a controlled substance, possession of controlled substance paraphernalia, and possession of methamphetamine. Maki was also arrested for false impersonation, and again for possession of a controlled substance and possession of controlled substance paraphernalia.

Bail was set at $51,000.

Amy Elizabeth Allan, 35, of Laguna Beach, was arrested on warrants for driving with a suspended license due to a DUI and for a DUI. At the time of the incident, Allan was also arrested for false impersonation.

Bail was set at $50,000.

Lexus stolen after woman reportedly leaves doors unlocked and keys in car

On Tuesday, March 12, at 7:33 p.m., an LBPD officer responded to a parking lot in the 1900 block of South Coast Highway for a stolen vehicle report. 

According to Sgt Cota, “The unlocked vehicle was a white 2006 Lexus 430 and the ignition key was left in the center console. The vehicle has personalized plates with a bedazzled license plate frame.”

A report was taken.

Local man hits utility pole and city-owned electronic sign board in the Canyon

On Wednesday, March 13, at 7:23 p.m., LBPD and LBFD personnel responded to the 2000 block of Laguna Canyon Road for the report of a traffic collision involving a vehicle that had struck a utility pole. 

“Emergency personnel arrived and found that an inbound Toyota had struck a city-owned electronic sign board and a utility pole. The sign board was knocked onto its side, but the utility pole did not appear damaged,” Sgt Cota said. “The driver of the Toyota was identified as a 44-year-old Laguna Beach resident. He was examined by paramedics but declined transportation to the hospital.”

The sign board was transported to the city parking lot and a report was taken. Inbound traffic was diverted into the center double left turn lane. The road was cleared and traffic was back to normal within 20 minutes.  

-By Suzie Harrison


Police Files

Locals charged in largest college bribery scandal in history

On Tuesday, March 12, more than 50 people were charged by the Department of Justice in the largest college admissions scam in US history. Dubbed “Varsity Blues” by the FBI, the arrests include Laguna Beach residents, prominent business executives Douglas Hodge and Robert Flaxman, as well as fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli and his wife, actress Lori Loughlin, who owned a home in Laguna Beach for many years.

According to the 204-page affidavit, dozens of individuals indicted and arrested, including 13 defendants in Orange County and Los Angeles, were allegedly involved in the nationwide conspiracy that aided admission of students to elite universities through facilitated cheating on college entrance exams and purported athletic recruits.

Suspects allegedly paid bribes to sports coaches and administrators to help get the students admitted to top college institutions, including University of Southern California, University of California Los Angeles, Yale, Stanford, Georgetown, and Wake Forest University, among others, regardless of athletic or academic abilities. At this time, no university admissions personnel are suspected of any wrongdoing or crimes. 

At the center of the scandal is Newport Beach resident William “Rick” Singer, 58. Singer has acknowledged collecting approximately $25 million dating back at least a decade, through his for-profit college counseling and preparation business company, Edge College & Career Network, also known as “The Key,” and a nonprofit corporation he started as a purported charity.

Singer was charged with racketeering conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy, and obstruction of justice.

Those with Laguna Beach ties facing charges include Douglas Hodge, 61, Laguna Beach, former CEO of prominent investment management companies. According to reports, prosecutors allege Hodge used bribery to get his children admitted to USC and Georgetown as purported athletic recruits.

Hodge was charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. The defendant appeared in Boston on Wednesday, March 13, and was released on conditions including a $500,000 secured bond. 

Founder and CEO of real estate development firm Robert Flaxman, 62, of Laguna Beach, was charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. His initial appearance in federal court in Boston is set for March 29 at 2:30 p.m.

Fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, 55, and his well-known actress wife Lori Loughlin, 54, of Los Angeles, were charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. The defendants made their initial appearance in the Central District of California and were each released on $1 million bail. 

Loughlin and Giannulli used to own a home in Laguna Beach, which they reportedly listed for sale in 2009 for $12.99 million.

According to court documents, Giannulli and Loughlin submitted to USC’s admissions offices photos of their daughters on rowing machines. The couple allegedly paid $500,000 to have their two daughters attend the university by way of the school’s crew team, even though neither was reportedly a crew athlete.

Loughlin, known for her role as Aunt Becky in Full House and Fuller House, has also starred on Hallmark Channel on myriad projects, including When Calls the Heart. It was announced yesterday that Loughlin has been fired from Hallmark Channel and Netflix, according to reports.

Also charged for her alleged involvement in the scheme is Golden Globe-winning actress Felicity Huffman, among the 33 parents and 13 coaches and associates of Singer’s businesses, including two SAT and ACT test administrators. 

The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

-By Suzie Harrison

Read more Police Files on our Front Page II – click here


Animal Files

More rescues for PMMC, nonprofit calls on community for donations to help

On Thursday, March 7, at 4:20 p.m., the Pacific Marine Mammal Center (PMMC) responded to a live dolphin at Crystal Cove State Beach. 

“PMMC had people in the back bed of our RAM rescue truck holding the dolphin, so we called police to let them know. They in turn gave us a police escort to get the dolphin and the team back to PMMC as quick and safe as possible,” Krysta Higuchi, PMMC Events and Public Relations Coordinator said. “Once back at PMMC our team was able to fully examine her. She had multiple seizures and it was deemed humane euthanasia was the best course of action.”

On Saturday, March 9, at 12:28 p.m., at the 31500 block of Bluff Drive, LBPD and PMMC received reports regarding a whale close to shore.

According to Jim Beres, LBPD Civilian Services Administrator, “A whale in distress was reported to be in the water near the sand at West Street Beach. The reporting party thought the whale might be injured.” 

“The whale swam back out,” Higuchi said. “Right now it is migration season for gray whales so it is fairly common to see these whales off our shores. The moms tend to stash their calves close to shore while they go off and forage.”

Donations badly needed at PMMC to help save pinnipeds

In all, PMMC rescued four pinnipeds over the weekend, including three sea lions from Huntington Beach and one elephant seal from Newport Beach, bringing PMMC’s 2019 rescue count up to a record-high 46.

Higuchi said that donations are badly needed.

“The animals just keep coming in and we have not even hit our typical peak time yet,” Higuchi said. “Right now we are going through fish, medical supplies and funds faster than anticipated. Any amount is greatly appreciated.”

Animal Files bath

Click on photo for a larger image 

Courtesy of PMMC Instagram

California sea lion that was rescued by PMMC

Donations can be made at www.pacificmmc.org/donateor check out PMMC’s wish list at www.pacificmmc.org/our-wish-list for other items in need. 

For more information about PMMC, call (949) 494-3050.

PMMC is located at 20612 Laguna Canyon Rd.


Incident Reports

Saturday, March 9

S Coast Hwy & Vista Del Sol | DUI with 1 Prior

11:52 p.m. Sarah Joanne Longstreth, 23, Laguna Beach, was arrested on suspicion of DUI with one prior. Bail was set at $10,000.

Park Ave | 200 Block | Disorderly Conduct – Alcohol 

9:34 p.m. A 41-year-old Laguna Beach man was arrested for disorderly conduct related to alcohol. Bail was set at $500.

Glenneyre St | 800 Block | Trespassing

8:10 p.m. Armando Navarette, 53, San Rafael, was arrested for trespassing. Bail was set at $500.

S Coast Hwy & West St | Unlicensed Driver, Hit & Run, Reckless Driving

2:22 p.m. Rocio Hernandez Gomez, 52, Laguna Niguel, was arrested for driving without a license (bail was set at $500), hit and run (bail was set at $500), and reckless driving (bail was set at $500). 

S Coast Hwy | 31800 Block | Warrants

12:04 a.m. Lisa Cristina Olamendi, 50, Laguna Beach was arrested on three undisclosed warrants, with bails of $2,500, $1,500, and $10,000.

S Coast Hwy & Ruby St | DUI, Driving with a Blood Alcohol Content 0.08% or Higher

12:15 a.m. A 48-year-old Laguna Beach man was arrested on suspicion of DUI (bail was set at $2,500) and driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or higher (bail was set at $2,500).

Friday, March 8

S Coast Hwy & Ocean Ave | Under the Influence of a Controlled Substance

6:48 p.m. A 61-year-old Los Angeles man was arrested on two charges of being under the influence of a controlled substance (bails were set at $500 and $500).

Cliff Drive & Jasmine St | Throwing Substance at Vehicle, Battery, Vandalism

4:17 p.m. Timothy Michael Libby, 33, Laguna Beach, was arrested for throwing a substance at a vehicle (bail was set at $20,000), battery (bail was set at $10,000), and vandalism (bail was set at $500). 

Loma Terrace | 300 Block | Possession of a Controlled Substance and Narcotic Controlled Substance, Purchase of a Narcotic Controlled Substance for Sale, Felony Possession of a Firearm and Ammunition

2:42 p.m. Salam Mohammed Ballout, 28, Laguna Beach, was arrested for possession of a controlled substance (bail was set at $2,500) and a narcotic controlled substance (bail was set at $500), purchase of a narcotic controlled substance for sale (bail was set at $10,000), and felony possession of a firearm and ammunition for a person previously convicted of a crime (bail was set at $20,000).

S Coast Hwy & Victoria Drive | DUI, Driving with a Blood Alcohol Content 0.08% or Higher

1:09 a.m. A 43-year-old Laguna Beach man was arrested on suspicion of DUI (bail was set at $2,500) and driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or higher (bail was set at $2,500).

N Coast Hwy & McKnight Drive | Warrants

1 a.m. Quy Huynh, 42, Huntington Beach was arrested on a warrant for property crimes (bail was set at $25,000) and on a warrant for petty theft (bail was set at $25,000). 

Thursday, March 7

Highway 1 & Crown Valley Pkwy | DUI

11:35 p.m. A 54-year-old Laguna Beach man was arrested on suspicion of DUI. Bail was set at $2,500.

Highway 1 & Crown Valley Pkwy | DUI, Driving with a Blood Alcohol Content 0.08% or Higher

11:29 p.m. A 44-year-old San Clemente woman was arrested on suspicion of DUI (bail was set at $2,500) and driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or higher (bail was set at $2,500).

S Coast Hwy & Wesley Drive | DUI

11:29 p.m. A 53-year-old Laguna Niguel man was arrested on suspicion of DUI. Bail was set at $2,500.

S Coast Hwy & Camel Point Drive | DUI, Driving with a Blood Alcohol Content 0.08% or Higher

10:44 p.m. A 38-year-old Laguna Beach woman was arrested on suspicion of DUI (bail was set at $2,500) and driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or higher (bail was set at $2,500).

S Coast Hwy & Bluebird Canyon Drive| DUI, Driving with a Blood Alcohol Content 0.08% or Higher

11:40 p.m. A 41-year-old Ladera Ranch man was arrested on suspicion of DUI (bail was set at $2,500) and driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or higher (bail was set at $2,500).

Forest Ave| 500 Block | Parole Violation

9:05 a.m. Ephraim Jay Bautista, 35, Westminster, was arrested for violating parole. No bail was set.

Wednesday, March 6

N Coast Hwy 600 Block | Fighting in a Public Place, Trespassing, Resisting Arrest

9:55 a.m. Gordon Lawrence Weider, 71, Laguna Beach, was arrested for fighting in a public place (bail was set at $500), trespassing (bail was set at $500), and resisting arrest (bail was set at $500).


Police Files

Two virtual kidnapping scams in 24 hours have Laguna parents on high alert

On Thursday, March 7, a Laguna Beach resident reported to LBPD that he had become the victim of a fraud involving the fake kidnapping of his daughter.  

“At 2:30 p.m., the victim received a cell phone call from a suspect who stated he had kidnapped the victim’s daughter and was holding her, and wanted $5,000 or he would kill her. The suspect ordered the victim to stay on the phone with him throughout the incident,” LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota said. “The victim became fearful for his daughter and after briefly hearing a female scream into the phone stating she had been kidnapped, he went to his bank and withdrew $5,000.”  

The victim was then directed to go to various wire transfer locations outside the city where he transferred the money to an account in Mexico.  

“At about 6:30 p.m., as the victim was completing the last transaction, he received a call from his daughter who was fine in Laguna Beach,” Sgt Cota said. “His daughter had not been kidnapped and had no knowledge of what was occurring.”

The father had just completed the last transaction and could not stop the transfer of the funds.

LBPD thwarts wire transfer in second virtual kidnapping scam

Then, the next day, on Friday, March 8, at 11:42 a.m., LBPD received another virtual kidnapping call similar to the one received on Thursday.

“The incident involved another Laguna Beach resident withdrawing money, however, we, LBPD, were able to intervene prior to the money being wired to an account in Mexico,” Sgt Cota said. “The resident contacted her daughter, who is a college student in Chicago and found out she was safe.”

“SRO Ashton created an information piece that was immediately sent to all of the schools in Laguna Beach, including private schools, for dissemination to the parents,” Sgt Cota said. “Two virtual kidnapping incidents within 24 hours is unacceptable. Luckily, we were able to stop the second one.”

The success of a virtual kidnapping scheme depends on speed and fear. Criminals know they have a limited amount of time before the victim catches onto the scam or law enforcement gets involved.

If you suspect a real kidnapping is taking place or you believe a ransom demand is a scam, please contact the Laguna Beach Police Department at (949) 497-0701.

Signs of a virtual scam:

--Callers go to great lengths to keep you on the phone, insisting you remain on the line

--Calls do not come from the supposed victim’s phone

--Callers try to prevent you from contacting the “kidnapped” victim

--Callers include demands for ransom money to be paid via wire transfers to Mexico; ransom amount demands may drop quickly

If you receive a phone call from someone demanding a ransom for your family member, the following should be considered:

--In most cases, the best course of action is to hang up the phone

--If you don’t want to risk ending the call, drive to the nearest police station

--Try to remain calm and slow the situation down

--Do not share any information about your family during the call and don’t use the alleged victim’s name

--If you hear the a voice or screaming in the background, try to ascertain if it really is your child

--Attempt to contact the “kidnapped” victim via phone, text, a messaging app or social media to see where they are and if they are safe

--Ask to speak to the victim

--Ask questions that only the victim would know

--Ask the caller to call back using the victim’s phone

--Try to buy time by repeating the caller’s demands and telling the caller you need to write things down or need time to complete the transaction

--Don’t challenge or argue with the caller

--Write down the phone number the caller is calling from

For additional information, please contact School Resource Officer Cpl Cornelius Ashton at (949) 497-0773.


Incident Reports

Tuesday, March 5

S Coast Hwy | 300 Block | Under the Influence of a Controlled Substance 

7:53 p.m. A 27-year-old Laguna Beach woman was arrested for being under the influence of a controlled substance. Bail was set at $500.

S Coast Hwy | 1500 Block | Trespassing

1:45 p.m. Rosario De La Torre, 50, Laguna Beach, was arrested for trespassing. Bail was set at $500.

Magnolia Drive | 300 Block | Battery

12:51 p.m. Klaus Poehler, 75, Laguna Beach, was arrested for battery. Bail was set at $10,000.

Monday, March 4

Park Ave | 200 Block | Disorderly Conduct – Alcohol

6:33 p.m. A 41-year-old Laguna Beach man was arrested for disorderly conduct related to alcohol. Bail was set at $500.

Cedar Way & High Drive | Traffic Hazard

4:10 p.m. LBPD received a report in reference to a traffic hazard. According to police reports, the RP stated that a large tree branch fell and was blocking the roadway. The tree was pulled out of the roadway and Public Works was emailed to pick it up.

S Coast Hwy | 600 Block | Trespassing

1:50 p.m. Rosario De La Torre, 50, Laguna Beach, was arrested for trespassing. Bail was set at $500.

Broadway St | 300 Block | Shoplifting

1:31 p.m. Pedro Mondragon, 18, Laguna Beach, was arrested for shoplifting. Bail was set at $500.

S Coast Hwy | 1600 Block | Vandalism

9:13 a.m. LBPD received a report in reference to vandalism. According to police records, the RP stated that the vehicle tires of several guests were slashed.

Glenneyre St | 500 Block | Warrant 

2:08 a.m. Nicolas McNeil Kelley, 22, Laguna Beach, was arrested on a warrant for shoplifting. Bail was set at $2,500.

Moss St | 100 Block | DUI

12:41 a.m. A 31-year-old Santa Ana man was arrested on suspicion of DUI. Bail was set at $2,500.

Sunday, March 3

N Coast Hwy | 200 Block | Disorderly Conduct – Alcohol

2:51 p.m. A 56-year-old Laguna Beach man was arrested for disorderly conduct related to alcohol. Bail was set at $500.

Glenneyre St | 800 Block | Forgery

4:10 p.m. LBPD received a report in reference to forgery. According to police reports, the incident occurred the night before during three separate transactions involving three fake $100 bills.

N Coast Hwy | 1300 Block | Trespassing

12:21 p.m. Ira Lloyd Britton, 41, Huntington Beach, was arrested for trespassing. Bail was set at $500.

Broadway St | 200 Block | Battery

11:58 a.m. Jason Michael Adams, 44, Laguna Beach, was arrested for battery. Bail was set at $500.

Glenneyre St | 500 Block | Warrant 

2:08 a.m. Daniel Paul Schneider, 53, Laguna Beach, was arrested on a warrant for shoplifting. Bail was set at $1,500.

St Anns Drive | 200 Block | Trespassing

11:07 a.m. Ira Lloyd Britton, 41, Huntington Beach, was arrested for trespassing. Bail was set at $500.

S Coast Hwy & Moss St | DUI

1:50 a.m. A 50-year-old Laguna Niguel man was arrested on suspicion of DUI. Bail was set at $2,500.

S Coast Hwy | 700 Block | DUI, Driving with a Blood Alcohol Content 0.08% or Higher

12:33 a.m. A 37-year-old Irvine man was arrested on suspicion of DUI (bail was set at $2,500) and driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or higher (bail was set at $2,500).


Police Files

Convicted killer charged a second time for brutal 1978 murder of Laguna man 

Walter Lawrence Dalie, a 60-year-old convicted killer, was charged for a second time for the brutal 1978 murder of Laguna Beach resident Brent Stapleton Tobey. On Monday, March 4, he pleaded not guilty to charges that were previously dismissed by prosecutors on August 18, 2015.

According to Rebecca Moss, Public Affairs Specialist, OC District Attorney’s Office, “Dalie is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on March 19, in Department H-1, Harbor Justice Center, Newport Beach. He was arraigned and pleaded not guilty to all charges on March 4.” 

According to the criminal complaint, Dalie is charged with one count of murder “with malice and aforethought” and two sentencing enhancements for murder during the commission of a robbery, and for “personally using a knife as a dangerous and deadly weapon,” in the commission of murder.

Police Files Dalie

Courtesy of OCDA

Walter Dalie was 19 years old in 1978 when local architect Brent Tobey was brutally murdered

Tobey, a prominent local architect, 55 at the time of his death, was stabbed 17 times in the back, head, and chest on November 20, 1978.

The original 2011 case against Dalie was dismissed in part by prosecutors because two critical witnesses had died since a preliminary hearing in the Tobey killing. And at the time, the Orange County Crime Lab was unable to conduct a detailed forensic analysis of evidence from the crime scene.

The day of his murder, Tobey and a friend, who lived nearby, had plans to have dinner together to celebrate the conviction of local James Scramlin for the 1977 murder of their friend Albert Willard. The two friends had found Willard’s dead body in his home.

With not enough to go on, the case went cold. Unsolved for 33 years, it wasn’t until 2002 that the OC Crime Lab found another person’s DNA on Tobey’s clothes. In 2010, they learned that it matched Dalie’s DNA.

When the DNA match was found, Dalie was serving a 50-year prison sentence in Connecticut for the murder of his girlfriend in 1985 with a hammer. With the new DNA evidence LBPD reopened the case.

At the time of the murder, Dalie was 19 and working as a gardener in Laguna Beach and lived in Newport.

Dailie grew up in nearby Dana Point and was a graduate from Dana Hills High School.

Moss said, “No further details about this case will be available until they are presented in court.”

Man arrested twice in four hours for trespassing at same location

On Sunday, March 3, at 8:33 a.m., LBPD officers responded to Stop N Go, 1390 N Coast Hwy, in reference to a man refusing to leave the property.

According to police reports, the caller stated that customers were afraid of the man and that they requested the clerk walk outside with them.

 “Officers made several attempts to persuade Ira Britton to leave the property, however he still refused and was subsequently arrested for trespassing and released after the booking process at LBPD,” LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota said. “At 12:21 p.m., Ira Britton returned to Stop N Go and continued to trespass and refused to leave. He was arrested again and transported to OCJ.”

Ira Lloyd Britton, 41, of Huntington Beach, was arrested for trespassing. Bail was set at $500.

 

Male allegedly disrobes and exposes self at beach

On Tuesday, March 5, at 11:49 a.m., LBPD officers responded to Table Rock Beach following reports of a male allegedly disrobing and exposing himself to beach goers.

“The subject approached women asking if they wanted him to rub lotion on them, then asked another group of girls if they wished to be in a porn movie with him,” LBPD Sgt Cota said. “The subject was contacted near the beach and cited for public nudity.”

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