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Laguna Beach

Police Files

Armed robbery at Union Bank on Broadway

A masked tall man wearing all dark clothing walked up to a teller inside Union Bank on Broadway on Thursday afternoon, brandished a silver revolver and demanded money.

Sgt. Tim Kleiser of the LBPD said officers responded right after the robbery but were unable to locate the suspect. “He was described as being about 6’4” wearing a black long sleeved shirt, black pants, a mask and black gloves.”

LBPD detectives and the FBI are jointly investigating the robbery.

Sgt. Kleiser said that about an hour after Union Bank was robbed, a man with a similar description robbed a bank in Seal Beach at gunpoint.

Car stop in the wee hours nets drug dealer

An officer stopped a vehicle at Third Ave and Coast Hwy early Saturday morning and it resulted in the arrest of Anaheim resident Matthew Kundrat, 20, on felony charges of possession of dangerous drugs for sales and transportation of dangerous drugs for sales.

Sgt. Tim Kleiser of the LBPD said details were slim and the case is still being investigated.

Police Files

Serial roof jumper might be wearing orange jump suit

Remember these?

Our July 18 edition

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Photos by John Thomas

The man who jumped off the roof of the home above at Table Rock Beach in July into the ocean was arrested by LBPD Wednesday morning. Anthony Booth Armer, 28, Laguna Niguel, was charged with two misdemeanor counts of unauthorized entry of a dwelling and one of trespassing with intent to interfere with a business. 

Armer is accused of climbing over a retaining wall onto the gated property of the private residence, climbing onto the roof and jumping into the ocean near Table Rock Beach. Armer posted a video of his jump on YouTube. The Laguna Beach Police Department investigated the incident and the homeowner confirmed that Armer did not have permission to access their property. 

On Sept. 29, Armer is accused of climbing over a wall and accessing employee-only areas of the Surf and Sand Hotel. Authorities say he climbed to the fifth floor of the hotel and jumped into the gated, guest-only pool. Hotel employees reported the event to LBPD. 

On Oct. 6, at approximately 9 a.m., Armer is accused of entering Newport Towers, a private residential building on West Coast Highway in Newport Beach. He is accused of running up several flights of stairs and jumping from the building’s roof to the harbor below. Newport Towers security reported the trespassing to the Newport Beach Police Department (NBPD). 

LBPD arrested Armer Wednesday at approximately 7:45 a.m. LBPD and NBPD are investigating this case.

Man, 93, rolled over on High Drive – was still seated when fire dept. arrived   

LBPD photo

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A 93-year-old man was driving this sedan Tuesday afternoon around 4:40 when he lost control at High Drive near Linden Street and rolled over onto the car’s top. The crash remains under investigation. Sgt. Tim Kleiser of the LBPD said the man was still seat belted upside down when fire personnel arrived on scene. He sustained unspecified injuries and was taken to Mission Trauma Center.


Woman tried to knock down cop as she ran from Gelson’s with vodka

Police responded to Gelson’s Market in South Laguna Tuesday afternoon after a woman who had been told by the manager to stay out of the store forced her way back inside. As an officer approached her, she bolted and tried to push over the officer while holding onto a stolen bottle of vodka.

She was arrested for felony commercial burglary, battery on a peace officer and resisting arrest. The officer was not injured.

Police Files

Criminals really do return to the scene of the crime - sometimes

There’s an old adage that criminals “always return to the scene of the crime.” TV shows are filled with such scenarios.

Research has shown that murderers and arsonists frequently do return to the scene of the crime but most criminals who commit so-called crimes of opportunity usually hightail it away…but, as we learned, not always.

A resident in the 400 block of Cliff Drive found a burglar in his home Sunday morning and managed to chase him off. 

The RP then called police and said the man had broken in through a window after removing the screen.

As he was calling, the suspect came back but when he saw the RP on the phone, he took off running.

Officers located the suspect, identified as Steven Hernandez, 29 of Aliso Viejo, nearby and took him into custody. They found jewelry that belonged to the RP on him. 

Hernandez was charged with felony residential burglary with bail of $50,000.

The 9-1-1 call was received at 7:34 and Hernandez was in handcuffs at 7:45 a.m.

Police Files

Using your driver’s license to scrape drugs is not a smart idea

San Clemente resident Corey David, 29, was pulled over for speeding at S. Coast Hwy and Agate St at 4:10 last Thursday morning. When he handed the police officer his driver’s license, the officer realized that there was drug residue on the license.

David was detained and his car was searched.

8.92 grams of heroin, over a gram of methamphetamine, a small amount of cocaine and 26 hypodermic needles along with an electronic scale were found. 

He was placed under arrest for felony possession of narcotics for sales, felony transportation for sales, misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.

Bail was set at $30,000. 

Woman on bicycle injured when hit by car on LCR

An unidentified Laguna Beach woman suffered injuries to her shoulder, hip and ankle when a car struck the rear wheel of her bicycle in the 20600 block of Laguna Canyon Road at 7:07 Thursday morning.

Details were limited but Sgt. Tim Kleiser of the LBPD said it did not appear that alcohol was a factor in the collision.

The crash remains under investigation, he said. 

Body found on Cliff Drive Saturday morning

A caller reported that a man appeared to be passed out in a vacant lot in the 1300 block of Cliff Drive at 11:48 Saturday morning. According to the police log, there were several liquor bottles near him.

An officer arrived on scene and realized the man was deceased.

The OC Coroner responded and nothing suspicious was found Sgt. Tim Kleiser of the LBPD said Monday.

The 52-year-old man’s name has not been released.

Police Files

Man tried to use a stolen credit card with woman’s photo on it

Paul Ogle, 60, no fixed address, was arrested Tuesday afternoon on three felony charges after a S. Coast Hwy motel told police he had tried to use a stolen credit card with a woman’s photo on it to pay for a room.

LBPD Sgt. Tim Kleiser explained, “We were told that the suspect had put the credit card back into his wallet before leaving the front lobby.

“Officers did an area search and located Ogle a short time later.”

Kleiser said Bank of America had blocked the card after fraudulent use on Sunday after the woman who had the card reported having lost it while visiting in Laguna Beach.

Ogle was taken into custody on felony charges of identify theft, burglary and grand theft and misdemeanor charges of shoplifting and defrauding an innkeeper.

He was booked and bail was set at $20,000.

Man rampages 3 blocks of S. Coast Hwy causing $5750 in damage

Playa Del Rey resident Onigwe Milindo Echikunwoke, 33, was arrested for felony vandalism after he admitted to police that he had smashed windows in businesses and cars and kicked in doors from the 1100 to 1500 block of S. Coast Hwy Wednesday morning.

Police said the rampage started at 5:37 a.m. and went on for about a half hour causing an estimated damage total of $5,750.

Police did not say if Echikunwoke gave them any explanation.

Police Files

Police respond to a minor crash – come away with auto theft suspect

A woman behind the wheel of a black Saab 900 told police officers that she had gotten inside the car then released the emergency brake and it rolled forward and struck a parked car near Carmelita and Cress Street.

This happened Friday night at about 10:30 and officers were suspicious of her overall story – especially when they learned she was not the registered owner.

After a lengthy investigation/interview, Keila Margarita Gamraoui, 31, Newport Beach, was arrested for felony vehicle theft.

Police Files

High-speed chase through town in the wee hours Tuesday saw speeds up to 100 MPH up and down Coast Hwy

An Artesia man, Neehar Thakor, 23, was arrested for DUI and reckless driving at 3:43 Tuesday morning after LBPD units chased him through town at speeds reaching 100 MPH. He was first spotted in North Laguna headed southbound then turned around and went northbound before being stopped at Reef Point.

Sgt. Tim Kleiser said an officer spotted a gray Toyota 4Runner driving recklessly at a high speed heading southbound in North Laguna at 3:37 a.m. The officer tried to catch up with the 4Runner but lost sight near Cleo Street.

Police located the SUV heading northbound from the area of Nyes Place. Kleiser said Thakor sped up at Thalia Street when police tried to make a car stop.

Thakor reached 100 MPH as he sped through town according to the police log.

At 3:41, an officer told dispatch that the SUV “…was all over the road.”

A stop was made at Reef Point at 3:43 where Thakor was arrested.

Police Files

Mississippi driver arrested for DUI after Nyes Pl crash

Photo by Christmas Enright

The white Chevy Impala in the background was driven by a drunk driver heading northbound on Coast Hwy at Nyes Place Sunday night. The driver, Maurice Eubanks, III, 19, from Mississippi, was trapped for a short time. He was taken to the hospital for treatment of a head injury and arrested for drunk driving. He was speeding, police said, when he hit the parked pickup truck and locksmith’s van.

Two charged with assault with a deadly weapon after one charged the other with a knife at ASL Wednesday

Officers responded to the Alternative Sleeping Location at 6:49 Wednesday night for a report of two men fighting. The caller said one man had a knife.

Carlos Robert Noriega, 59, no fixed address and Michael Eric Newman, 53, no fixed address, were contacted by police on scene.

Sgt. Tim Kleiser of the LBPD said Noriega charged Newman wielding a knife. “Newman took Noriega to the ground and then struck him with a chair twice,” Sgt. Kleiser said Monday.

Both men were arrested for felony assault with a deadly weapon and bail was set at $25,000 each.

Noriega had been arrested earlier in the day after he allegedly attacked another man in the street at Coast Hwy and Broadway. He was charged with simple assault.

Police Files

Five vehicle crash Friday in NoLag snarls traffic, injures two 

Photo by Mike Nelson

Two of the five vehicles involved in a crash Friday afternoon

Police said two people sustained moderate injuries and were hospitalized late Friday afternoon as the result of a five-vehicle rear end crash in the 1200 block of N. Coast Hwy.

N. Coast Hwy was closed at Chiquita Street for about an hour as police made their investigation and firefighters cleaned up spilled gas and other chemicals.

No other details were available at press time.

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Photo by Jose Delgado

Firefighters sweep up absorbent material used to remove spilled chemicals from the surface of N. Coast Hwy Friday afternoon. A police Sgt. offered assistance.


Woman refuses to leave ER, defrauds a restaurant – tries, but fails same thing at hotel – arrested 3 times

Elaine J. Davault, 61, no fixed address, was arrested three times late last week for trespassing and defrauding an innkeeper. 

Police said she ordered food and ate in a restaurant in the 1800 block of S. Coast Hwy and then informed the manager that she was unable to pay her bill. Police were called and she was arrested.

Earlier Friday, Davault attempted to charge items to rooms that she was not staying in at Hotel Laguna. Officers responded and she refused to leave and was soon arrested.

The night before, she was arrested for trespassing at Mission Hospital’s ER after she refused to leave after a doctor had discharged her.

Police Files

This little piggy went for a ride in a police car

We all know the story of the three little pigs – well; this is about another pig.

A patrol unit was waved down at 9:02 Tuesday night at Brooks and Pedro in South Laguna – either by or for a loose pig…the log wasn’t perfectly clear.

A stray potbelly pig was running loose on Brooks and managed to keep some distance from the pursing LBPD officers for over ten minutes before being corralled.

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Photo courtesy LBPD

The 80-pound pig was place in the back seat of a patrol unit and taken to the animal shelter for safekeeping.

Three-car crash involving drunk driver injures pregnant woman

A pregnant woman sustained unspecified injuries Monday afternoon in the 1500 block of S. Coast Hwy when the vehicle she was riding in rear-ended another vehicle that subsequently hit a third. The crash happened at 4:11 p.m.

According to police, Cesar Jonathan Enriquez-Lopez, 25, Laguna Hills, the driver of the car she was in, was determined to be at fault and was also driving under the influence of alcohol.

He was arrested for felony DUI with bail set at $100,000.

Shaena Stabler is the Owner, Publisher & Editor.

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Alexis Amaradio, Barbara Diamond, Dennis McTighe, Diane Armitage, Lynette Brasfield, Marrie Stone, Maggi Henrikson, Samantha Washer, and Suzie Harrison are our writers and/or columnists. Scott Brashier is our photographer.

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