Laguna Beach

Police Files

Two men and a woman arrested on total of 19 charges including stealing a vehicle 

A car stop on Goff St at a quarter before midnight last Saturday turned out to be a lot more than the vehicle code violation that attracted an officer’s initial attention.

Vanessa Wilson, 24, Colton, Justin Kimbro, 25, San Bernardino and Anthony Flores, 22, also from San Bernardino, were arrested for 19 charges.

Officers learned post haste that the vehicle had been reported stolen on Friday in Riverside and began treating the incident as a crime scene.

Wilson and Kimbro were both charged with felony vehicle theft and possession of a controlled substance when methamphetamine was located. Wilson also was charged with possession of unspecified stolen property. Flores was held for the meth charge.

In addition to the fresh charges above, all three had warrants.

Wilson had eight outstanding warrants including a no bail warrant out of Pasadena for two counts of ID theft. The other seven were from San Bernardino containing charges of grand theft, drug possession, shoplifting and possession of stolen property. The total bail on those warrants was $105,000.

Flores had warrants with charges of drug possession and shoplifting. His total bail was set at $50,000.

Kimbro had three San Bernardino warrants, each with two charges: one for grand theft and possession of stolen property, one for grand theft and petty theft and the third for being under the influence of a controlled substance and utility theft. Total bail: $70K.

All three were booked here and taken to county jail.

Police Files

Homeless man tries to throw rocks and does spit in officer’s face

Joseph Robert Kirkpatrick, 51, no fixed address, was arrested on three felony charges Tuesday afternoon after officers awakened him from trespassing and sleeping in an underground parking lot in the 900 block of Glenneyre.

Sgt. Tim Kleiser of the LBPD said that when officers made contact, “Kirkpatrick was agitated and threatened to throw some nearby rocks at the officers. During the conversation, he sat up quickly and grabbed several rocks. The officers were able to quickly grab onto his arms to prevent him from throwing the rocks at them.

  “As the officers were trying to detain him, he spat directly in one of the officer’s face.” Police placed a spit mask on Kirkpatrick’s face as soon as he was handcuffed.

Kirkpatrick was charged with felony resisting arrest, felony assault on a police officer and felony bringing a controlled substance into a jail. Sgt. Kleiser said he had methamphetamine, which was found during his booking at the city jail.

Two arrested at campsite ended up in greater trouble

LBPD officers contacted Jose Enrique Faulmendoza, 57, no fixed address and Dawn Purdy Kuehl, 58, no fixed address at a campsite they shared near the animal shelter on Laguna Canyon Road at 7:28 Tuesday morning.

Kuehl initially gave a false name to the officers leading to an arrest for providing false information. She also had marijuana and methamphetamine among her belongings and was charged with misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance.

During her booking, another quantity of methamphetamine on her, which led to a felony bringing a controlled substance into a jail charge.

 Faulmendoza also gave a false ID to officers and was charged with providing false information. Wants and warrants were checked and he was held on a no bail warrant from Los Angeles.

Police Files

Burglary victim sees suspect – wasn’t easy, but cops nabbed him

Steven Edward Cain, 49, no fixed address out of Oklahoma, was arrested for burglary, possession of stolen property and resisting arrest last Thursday night after police received a call from a burglary victim last weekend.

The victim called police at 9:29 p.m. after spotting a suspect the RP had caught on a surveillance camera when his garage was burglarized on June 25. $300 in cash had been taken from a wallet inside the RP’s unlocked vehicle inside the garage.

Police responded to a parking lot in the 31500 block of Coast Hwy where they encountered and detained the possible suspect, Sgt. Tim Kleiser of the LBPD said.

“As they were in the process of investigating the incident, at about 10 o’clock, Cain fled on foot to Table Rock Beach. Other officers responded along with the OCSD’s airship to the area and eventually found him hiding on the rocks. Officers located his car nearby and found several stolen items inside,” Sgt. Kleiser added.

Cain was taken into custody at gunpoint at 10:24.

Copter used to hoist stranded victim from rocks at Thousand Steps

Fire and police responded to Thousand Steps Beach at 7:47 Saturday morning to assist two young women who had become stranded on the rocks offshore. 

Sgt. Tim Kleiser of the LBPD said, “Due to difficulty in extracting one patient from the rocks, OCSD’s helicopter/rescue team responded and was able to rope hoist the victim from the rocks.” She was taken to hospital with minor injuries, authorities said.

The other, uninjured, victim was assisted to shore by lifeguards.

Police Files

Witnesses said man hit by car seemed to have walked into oncoming traffic purposefully – police aren’t sure

Police and fire units responded to the 3200 block of Laguna Canyon Road last Wednesday afternoon at 4:16 for a report of a vehicle vs. pedestrian collision.

Two 9-1-1 witnesses, according to the police log, told the dispatcher that “…the man appeared to go into traffic on purpose.” The police investigation is still ongoing and there was no confirmation immediately available.

Sgt. Tim Kleiser of the Laguna Beach Police Department said the vehicle was heading towards town and the pedestrian, a 28-year-old Laguna Beach man, had been standing in the center turn lane before he was struck within the traffic lane.

“He was transported to the hospital for injuries to his neck, knees and had minor abrasions,” Sgt. Kleiser said. 

People who steal stuff from unlocked cars don’t always get away

On June 11, a Saturday, the owners of two unlocked vehicles were victimized by having their wallets stolen on Acapulco Street.

 One of the victims told LBPD that a credit card had been used at a Santa Ana hotel. LBPD contacted SAPD and two persons were arrested.

The total charge made with the credit cards from the one victim was $540. 

Both victims were unaware of the theft or chose not to make a police report for several days.

Drunk driver runs red light – three injured in crash

Wilmon McKeever Gosline, 25, Laguna Beach, was arrested for felony DUI and misdemeanor hit and run last Thursday night when he allegedly ran a red light while headed southbound on Coast Highway at Cleo Street.

He crashed into a car with four occupants at about 11 p.m., police said. Three passengers of the car were taken to hospital for non-life threatening injuries. 

Before that crash, police said he had struck a parked car elsewhere in town.

Police Files

Sheriff’s deputies nab pair casing cars in two Wilderness Park lots

OC Sheriff’s deputies called for LBPD assistance after the deputies had observed a man tampering with parked cars at Nix Nature Center and Laguna Canyon Road on the Laguna Coast Wilderness Park property.

The man left the Nix lot in a car driven by a woman and began tampering with cars in the Laguna Canyon Road lot, police said.

Sgt. Tim Kleiser of the LBPD said, “Nothing was taken from either vehicle, but the one at Nix Nature Center had some damage to electrical wires. LBPD detectives searched the vehicle the two suspects were in and found burglary tools.”

There have been several reports of vehicle burglaries at the parking lots recently, but there is no direct connection with this incident.

LBPD detectives interviewed the suspects and arrested them both for felony conspiracy, attempted vehicle theft and possession of burglary tools.

They were identified as Jose Luis Soto-Tobar, 25, no fixed address and Brenda Cansino-Leon, 28, from Florida.

They were both booked at the police station and taken to county jail with bail set at $20,000 each.

Motorcycle Safety Enforcement Operation set for this Saturday

The Laguna Beach Police Department will be conducting a specialized Motorcycle Safety Enforcement Operation this Saturday, June 18, in an effort to lower deaths and injuries. Extra officers will be on duty patrolling areas frequented by motorcyclists and where motorcycle crashes occur. 

Officers will be looking for violations made by drivers and riders alike that can lead to motorcycle crashes. They will be cracking down on both those operating regular vehicles and motorcycles who are violating traffic safety laws.

Motorcycle fatalities jumped dramatically in California by over 28 percent from a decade low of 352 in 2010. In 2013, 453 motorcyclists lost their lives, which is at a five year high. California collision data reveals that primary causes of motorcycle-involved crashes include speeding, unsafe turning and impairment due to alcohol and other drugs by both riders and drivers alike. 

Operations like this are aimed at curbing any more raises in motorcycle deaths and sending the numbers back downward.

Riders are urged to get training through the California Motorcyclist Safety Program. Information and training locations are available at or 1-877 RIDE 411 (1-877-743-3411).

Funding for this program is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The message to all drivers and motorcyclists is: share in the responsibility and do your part by safely “sharing the road.”

Police Files

Two different drunk drivers were more than just DUI

Julie Sabol, 54, Fullerton, was arrested for drunk driving and misdemeanor battery on a police officer Saturday afternoon. A cell caller reported that a woman driver was swerving, stopping in the roadway and that she had hit a parker car, according to Sgt. Tim Kleiser of the LBPD. She was heading into town on N. Coast Hwy.

A patrol unit saw the car the caller had described in the Shell gas station and made contact with Sabol.

After she exited the car and was being interviewed by the officer, she kicked him.

She was placed under arrest.

At 1:20 a.m. Saturday, a cell caller reported that a car had struck a metal dumpster and a parked car, totaling the car in the 3000 block of Laguna Canyon Road.

Sgt. Kleiser said that when an officer arrived on scene, “…he saw two males walking away from the collision and detained them. The driver, 25-year-old Mamerton Gomez-Juarez from Lake Forest was arrested for misdemeanor evading, DUI with a prior, driving with a suspended license, and resisting arrest. He also had an outstanding $15,000 warrant. 

The passenger, Eliseo Lopez, 22, from Lake Forest, was arrested for resisting arrest.

Police Files

Clerk refused sale of beer to intoxicated man who then pulled a knife

Jorge Gonzalez-Alvarez, 52, no fixed address, walked into the market area of the Chevron station at S. Coast Hwy and Legion St last Sunday night. He wanted to buy beer but the store clerk denied him because Gonzalez-Alvarez appeared to be too intoxicated.

A few minutes later, police received a 9-1-1 call from the store clerk reporting that a man had pulled a knife and verbally threatened to use it on the two clerks there. The clerks were unharmed.

The man took off on foot and police were unable to locate him.

Officers reviewed the in-store surveillance tape and were able to ID the suspect, according to LBPD Sgt. Tim Kleiser.

On Monday afternoon, officers spotted Gonzalez-Alvarez in the 1900 block of Laguna Canyon Road near the ACT V parking lot.

He was arrested and charged with felony commercial burglary, felony criminal threats and misdemeanor carrying a concealed knife. 

Officer sees hand-to-hand meth deal go down – buyer & seller arrested

A patrol officer called for a back up unit after seeing a hand-to-hand transaction take place at S. Coast Hwy and Ocean Avenue at 10:57 Tuesday morning.

The two men who made the transaction were watched until sufficient units were in the area and they were contacted at the Broadway bus depot.

After questioning and an investigation, Jayson Lee McGee, 49, no fixed address, was arrested for felony possession of methamphetamine for sales with $25,000 bail.

Reese Westenberger, 51, Laguna Beach, was arrested for misdemeanor possession of methamphetamine with $500 bail. 

Police Files

Woman investigated for misdemeanor theft was carrying a gun

Police were called to a business in the 300 block of Ocean Avenue Wednesday at 6:15 p.m. when an employee suspected a woman who had been in the store might have stolen an iPhone.

Police located Marjorie Ann Kress, 50, San Clemente after an area search and began an investigation for misdemeanor theft after the caller identified her in the field.

During a search, police found a pistol that had been reported stolen according to the police log.

LBPD Sgt. Tim Kleiser said Monday that Kress had been arrested for carrying a concealed weapon and that other charges could follow.

She was taken into custody at about 7:30. 

North Laguna business victimized by “SC Edison” scam

Another Laguna Beach business fell victim to scammers claiming to represent So Cal Edison last week.

The business received a phone call advising that their power would be cut off that day unless they paid a $1998 past due bill.

Sgt. Tim Kleiser of the LBPD said, “The caller requested the victim purchase prepaid cards and call back with the numbers. The victim did this and later became suspicious and learned she had been a victim of a scam.”

Police Files

Laguna cops may have nabbed two ‘baddest’ of the bad 

Police dispatchers received a call from a 12-year-old boy at 10:50 Monday night who was calling from the Treasure Island Beach parking lot. They were able to get his name as a police officer was dispatched to the location.

He was a runaway from a group home in Ventura County.

The boy ended the call before the officer arrived on scene. After checking the area, the officer asked a Montage Laguna Beach security officer if he had noticed the boy. He had and the boy had gotten into gray Audi. As they spoke, the Audi was seen as it began to drive out of the parking lot.

Sgt. Tim Kleiser of the LBPD said, “The officer stopped the Audi in the lot and spoke to a female driver later identified as Liberty Rohkar, 39 of Simi Valley. There was also a man, Carlos Torres, 32, San Jose, and a 15-year-old girl in the backseat. Other officers arrived and it was soon learned that the vehicle had been reported stolen by Simi Valley Police on May 25.”

As officers questioned the four occupants, they learned that the girl was also a runaway from the same Ventura County group home.

The officers called detectives to the scene soon after beginning a search of the stolen Audi.

 Sgt. Kleiser said, “They found an unloaded .22 handgun in the trunk and pieces of stolen mail from several cities (none from Laguna residents). They also found 5.84 grams of methamphetamine, 113.26 grams of marijuana, and six glass meth pipes.”

Detectives arrived - their investigation revealed startling revelations

Sgt. Kleiser: “Liberty Rohkar is the mother of the 15-year-old girl and the detectives learned that the female juvenile had been sexually assaulted by the adult male and her mother prior to our officers arriving and detaining them. They also determined that the mother did not have legal custody of her daughter.

“Rohkar and Torres were both arrested for felony child abduction, felony cruelty to a child, felony sexual assault, felony vehicle theft, felony lewd acts with a child, felony possession of a controlled substance, felony transportation of a controlled substance, misdemeanor contributing to the delinquency of a minor, misdemeanor immoral acts in front of a child, and felony conspiracy. 

“Additionally, both of the juveniles had warrants for being runaways and were later taken to a group home in Orange County. 

Rohkar and Torres were taken to county jail.

Sgt. Kleiser added one more comment: “I can tell you the officers and detectives spent several hours on this case.”

Police Files

16-yr-old Laguna Beach boy arrested for robbery Saturday night

Officers responded to the 1400 block of S. Coast Hwy at 7:33 Saturday night for a report of a robbery by fore – no weapons.

A Laguna Niguel man said a teenager had forcibly taken his BMX bicycle and his skateboard then took off.

Police did an area check and located a 16-year-old Laguna Beach boy with the stolen items.

Sgt. Tim Kleiser of the LBPD said Monday that the suspect was “…detained in the alley behind the Koffee Klatch and arrested for robbery.

No other details were immediately available, Sgt. Kleiser said. 

Woman suffered leg injury at Tablerock was hoisted out by copter

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by John Thomas

An injured woman and a paramedic being hoisted from Tablerock Beach

Fire rescue paramedics responded to Tablerock Beach at 3 o’clock Monday afternoon after a 9-1-1 caller reported a woman with a leg injury.

She was at Little Cove and unable to walk. Fire personnel called for an OC Fire Authority helicopter to perform a hoist rescue because the tide was rising quickly.

Paramedics stabilized the woman on the beach and the hoist rescue was handled without any difficulties. The copter brought her on board along with a paramedic and she was flown to hospital in less than an hour after the 9-1-1 call was received.

Three young children who were with the woman were taken to the hospital by LB police officers.   

First date was the last date – woman told police

A woman called 9-1-1 at 9:56 Saturday night from a S. Coast Hwy restaurant and said her date had hit her in the face. She added that it was their first date and that she wasn’t sure of his name.

He had left the restaurant on a motorcycle, she said.

A patrol officer stopped a motorcycle a short time later headed outbound in the 600 block of Laguna Canyon Road and investigated and arrested the male rider for DUI.

It didn’t take police too long to connect the rider, Gregory Louis Piazza, 46 from Mission Viejo, to the 9-1-1 call.

The woman who had called said she was sure this was their first and last date.

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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