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Laguna Beach


Police Files

Hardly a scratch for two after Honda Civic hits a parked VW van, a large dumpster and a utility pole 

A Honda Civic, which police said, “…speed may be a factor…” couldn’t make all of the turns at Big Bend heading out of town at 2:33 Wednesday morning. The result wasn’t good – the Honda ran into a parked VW van before hitting a large dumpster hard enough to have knocked it over a knoll into two more parked cars.

The Honda continued until it was stopped – by a utility pole.

Sgt. Tim Kleiser of the LBPD said, “The two occupants of the car only sustained minor injuries and were not transported to hospital. Alcohol was not a factor in the collision, but speed may be. The exact cause of the collision is under investigation.”

Pair in stolen Jeep had heroin, credit card blanks, a credit card embossing device and a replica handgun

Last Monday night at 11:36, a stolen Jeep Grand Cherokee from Santa Ana was spotted near S. Coast Hwy and Nyes Place. Sufficient patrol units were assembled so that a felony car stop could be made just inside the entrance to Montage Laguna Beach.

The driver, Jake Querry, 27, Laguna Niguel, and passenger Jena Kreuiter, 26 of Huntington Beach, were cleared from the Jeep and detained. While officers questioned them, a search was made of the Grad Cherokee.

 LBPD Sgt. Tim Kleiser said, “Inside the Jeep, officers found 1.2 grams of heroin, credit card blanks, a credit card embosser and a replica handgun.”

When officers spoke with a Montage manager they learned that the pair, along with another unidentified man, had earlier attempted to book a room earlier with a credit card, which was declined.

Querry was arrested on a felony charge of vehicle theft and narcotics possession. Kreuiter was taken into custody for misdemeanor drug possession.

The case remains under investigation by detectives.


Police Files

Woman robbed walking home on Brooks Street Tuesday night

A woman called police Wednesday morning to report that she had been strong-armed by an assailant who then robbed her taking her purse and cell phone.

 LBPD Sergeant Tim Kleiser told us, “She told officers that while she was walking home from a downtown bar at around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday on Brooks Street, someone had pushed her from behind, causing her to fall to the ground. The victim said her purse and cell phone were taken.” 

Sgt. Kleiser said she neither saw nor heard the assailant.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call LBPD at 497-0701.

Sunday morning rollover on Coast Highway

Click on photo for a larger image

 

Dennis Rooney

Dennis Rooney took this photo before police arrived on scene Sunday at 6:05 a.m. The Honda Pilot heading southbound in the 400 block of N. Coast Highway struck a parked car and rolled over. Police said the single occupant was uninjured and that no charges were pending. The cause is still being investigated, police said.


Police Files

DUI Checkpoint somewhere in town tonight

Police aim to save lives with ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ crackdown 

If you’re enjoying the holidays with a drink, the Laguna Police Department has a message for you: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over. Due to the increase in impaired driving-related fatalities around the holidays each year, law enforcement agencies across America will be actively searching for and arresting impaired drivers from December 18th to January 3rd. 

As part of the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement campaign period; police, sheriff and the CHP will be conducting DUI checkpoints and DUI saturation patrols during the upcoming 17-day DUI enforcement campaign throughout the region. 

The Laguna Beach Police Department will be conducting a DUI Checkpoint on December 18, 2015, at an undisclosed location within the City limits, between the hours of 8 p.m. and 3 a.m. 

There are 10,000 reasons to crackdown: in 2013, 10,076 people were killed in crashes involving a drunk driver. In December 2013 alone there were 733 people killed in crashes involving at least one driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. Twenty-three of those deaths occurred on Christmas Day. California was witness to 98 deaths and another 1,852 injured in alcohol-involved collisions in December 2013. 

Lieutenant Jeff Calvert said, “Drunk driving is a choice you make, and when you make that choice, people can get hurt or die. That’s why we’re joining with law enforcement nationwide to share the message: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.” “The safest way to get home,” Lieutenant Calvert added, “is to drive sober or catch a ride with a sober, designated driver.” 

Recent statistics reveal that 30 percent of drivers in fatal crashes had one or more drugs in their systems. A study of active drivers showed more tested positive for drugs that may impair driving (14 percent) than did for alcohol (7.3 percent). Of the drugs, marijuana was most prevalent, at 7.4 percent, slightly more than alcohol. Everyone should be mindful that if you’re taking medication – whether prescription or over-the-counter – drinking even small amounts of alcohol can greatly intensify the impairment affects.

Law enforcement emphasizes the preventable nature of impaired driving reminding everyone that all it takes is a little planning ahead. Designate a sober driver or call a cab. But whatever you do, don’t drink and drive. The California Office of Traffic Safety DDVIP (Designated Driver VIP) mobile app is now available for free download on iOS and Android devices. Launched last year, the new DDVIP app offers enhanced features, allowing users to “Map a Spot” with their current location to find DDVIP partnering establishments in their area or a “List of Spots” to search all participating bars and restaurants throughout California. Users will be offered free incentives at each bar to celebrate their life saving role. They can stay up-to-date with the latest from DDVIP and see what other users are saying via its social tab. 

Also through the app, for those who want to imbibe but also make it a point to plan ahead, users can easily order a sober ride from Uber, Lyft or Curb – all from one screen. 

Laguna PD reminds everyone to follow these simple tips to stay safe: 

Plan a safe way to get home beforeyou attend the party. Alcohol impairs judgment, as well as reaction time. If you’re impaired you’re more likely to choose to drive drunk. 

Designate a sober driver; take public transportation, a car service, or a call a sober friend of family member to get home. 

Walking while impaired can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. Designate a sober friend to walk you home. 

If you see someone you think is about to drive while impaired, take their keys and help them get home safely. 

If you’re caught driving impaired you could face jail time, fines, loss of driver’s license, towing fees, and other DUI expenses, totaling $10,000 on average. That’s not a small price, and that doesn’t even count the heftier price you could pay: the price of your life or someone else’s. 

In addition to reminding all drivers to drive sober, Lieutenant Calvert is calling on everyone to be alert and ‘Report Drunk Drivers – Call 911! If you see a dangerous driver call immediately! If someone you know is about to drive after drinking, take their keys and help them get home safely. “We’ve got to work together to make our roads safer this December and year-round,” he said. 

Remember, driving after drinking should never be an option. Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over. 

Funding for this holiday campaign is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 

For further information, please contact: Lieutenant Jeff Calvert at (949) 464-6655 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Police Files

Car stop for tinted windows nets drugs, stolen credit card and 4 arrests

A car stop near Coast Hwy and Emerald Bay resulted in four arrests last Wednesday night.

LBPD Sergeant Tim Kleiser explained Monday, “An officer stopped a car near for tinted windows. The officer had seen the car leave the Shell Gas station prior to the stop.

“While speaking with the driver, the officer smelled marijuana coming from the car and the driver told the officer his driver’s license was suspended. There were also three passengers in the car. The officer searched the car and found methamphetamine and methamphetamine glass pipes. 

“While on scene, the officer recalled an earlier report of a theft from a vehicle on the 100 block of Cypress Drive where a credit card was taken and used at Shell. The officer located the stolen credit card in the car. All four occupants in the car were arrested. 

“34-year-old Sarah Frazier from Riverside was arrested for possession of a controlled substance, possession of stolen property, possession of a narcotic, possession of drug paraphernalia, and conspiracy. Brandon Hill, 28, from Riverside was arrested for possession of a controlled substance, possession of stolen property, possession of a narcotic, possession of drug paraphernalia, driving on a suspended license, and conspiracy. 

Crystal Mitchell, 25, no fixed address, was arrested for possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. Jacob Neufeld, 32 from Rialto, was arrested for possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.”   

LBPD booking photos


Police Files

Man steps off bus in SoLag and is threatened by man with a knife 

A man called 9-1-1 and reported that when he stepped off a bus at 3rf Avenue and Coast Hwy in South Laguna at 8:57 a.m. Sunday, another man dressed in a camouflage outfit approached him with a knife.

“He asked if I wanted to fight,” the RP told police. 

LBPD Sergeant Tim Kleiser said the RP turned and walked away and called 9-1-1. 

Officers responded and located William Thomas Moore, 52, no fixed address, and placed him under arrest for felony assault with a deadly weapon. 

Bail was set at $25,000.

68-yr-old bicyclist injured when he struck SUV Monday afternoon

Police and paramedics responded to Laguna Canyon Road and the 73 Toll Road at 2:44 p.m. Monday for a traffic crash involving a bicycle and a SUV.

Sergeant Tim Kleiser of the LBPD said, “The rider was a 68-year-old male from Laguna Beach and he was taken to Mission Trauma Center. The bicycle rider was making a right turn and struck the left corner of the SUV. The exact cause of the collision is under investigation.”

The man’s injuries included a concussion but he was stabilized. 

DUI enforcement patrols will deploy Friday night and a bike-pedestrian enforcement is set for this Sunday

Officers from the Laguna Beach Police Department’s DUI Enforcement Team will be deploying this weekend to stop and arrest alcohol and drug-impaired drivers in the Department’s ongoing traffic safety campaign. DUI Saturation Patrols will deploy on Friday, December 11, between the hours of 9 p.m. and 3 a.m. in areas with high frequencies of DUI collisions and/or arrests. 

On Sunday, LBPD will step up Bike & Pedestrian Safety Enforcement Operations with focused enforcement on collision causing factors involving motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists.

The department has mapped out locations where pedestrian and bike collisions have occurred along with the violations that led to those crashes. Extra officers will be on duty patrolling areas where bike and pedestrian traffic and crashes occur in an effort to reduce deaths and injuries.

Funding for these programs is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

For further information, please contact: Lieutenant Jeff Calvert at (949) 464-6655 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Police Files

Pair arrested with heroin in North Laguna

An observant and concerned resident in the 200 block of Grandview Street called police at 2:19 Friday afternoon. The RP told the dispatcher that two men had been in and out of a Chevy Blazer and had changed clothes “several times.”

Officers responded and while speaking with one of the two men near the Chevy Blazer, the other man went inside a nearby home.

Sgt. Tim Kleiser of the LBPD said Monday, “An officer went to the residence and spoke to the male and noticed that he appeared to be under the influence of a drug. He admitted to the officer he had used heroin.  He was also carrying a pack of cigarettes with a metal spoon that had been used to do heroin…”

LBPD booking photos

Bradford Belinda, 23 of Mission Viejo, was arrested for being under the influence of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia – both misdemeanors.

The Blazer was searched and, Sgt. Kleiser said, a digital scale, two packages containing heroin and used syringes were located as a result of the search.

David Phillips, 27, Aliso Viejo, was arrested for felony possession of heroin for sales and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Which came first?

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo courtesy LBPD

A dumpster ended up on the hood of BMW Friday morning at Coast Hwy and the exit from Blue Lagoon. Which was first – the dumpster of the BMW. According to the police log, the Waste Management truck backed up onto the 2012 BMW. That is unconfirmed but we do know that no one was injured in the 10:12 crash. 

 

Off duty detective spotted counterfeit suspect at Irvine Spectrum

On Nov 19, Montage Laguna Beach reported that a counterfeit $100 bill had been used by a man who made a small purchase there. The suspect had left the location.

LBPD Detective Larry Bammer was assigned the case and eventually identified a possible suspect. While off duty at Irvine Spectrum late Friday afternoon, Detective Bammer spotted the suspect and called Irvine PD.

Christopher Grier, 22, Mission Viejo, was arrested for felony burglary, felony credit card fraud and felony bad checks/drafts.

He was also held without bail for probation violation.

His car was searched and 11 counterfeit $100 bills were found inside.

Man threatened to “explode” a photog’s car when photo shoot canceled

A woman photographer called 9-1-1 Thursday morning and reported that a client who had showed up too late at Aliso Beach for a photo shoot was following her on Coast Highway. 

Sgt. Tim Kleiser of the LBPD explained, “The suspect became upset and sent the victim a text message stating that he would explode her car. When the victim was driving on Coast Highway the suspect approached her in his car and cut her off. He also repeatedly applied the brakes on his car while in front of her in an attempt to have her rear end him. He allegedly also nearly struck a pedestrian in a crosswalk. 

“Officers spoke to both parties involved and arrested the male, 26-year-old Mickael Dessino from West Hollywood, for felony criminal threats and assault with a deadly weapon. Bail was set at $50,000.     

Reminder – police will be out enforcing pedestrian safety today

The Laguna Beach Police Department will step up Pedestrian Safety Enforcement Operations today, Dec 8, with focused enforcement on collision causing factors involving motorists and pedestrians.

The department will be focusing on locations, since January 2011, where pedestrian involved collisions have occurred along with the violations that led to those crashes. Officers will be conducting directed enforcement at those locations looking for traffic offenses made by drivers and pedestrians alike that can lead to life changing injuries. 

Special attention will be given to drivers speeding, making illegal turns, failing to stop for signs and signals, failing to yield to pedestrians in cross walks or any other dangerous violation. 

Additionally, enforcement action will be taken against pedestrians committing violations such as crossing the street illegally or failing to yield to drivers who have the right of way. 


Police Files

Car crash knocks down light pole – four people hurt

Four people were injured when a four-door black Infinity sedan and a Toyota pickup truck collided on S. Coast Hwy and Upland Road at 5:03 Friday evening.

Photo courtesy LBPD

The Infinity then ran into a concrete city light standard knocking it over onto the southbound lanes of Coast Highway (as shown in the photo above).

Sgt. Tim Kleiser of the LBPD told us Monday, “The cause of the collision was not alcohol related and four were taken to Mission Laguna Beach Hospital.”

None of the injuries were said to be life threatening.

SCE responded to the scene to disable the power before the pole could be moved out of the roadway. Traffic was delayed for about three hours. 

 

Arizona man arrested for carrying concealed loaded 9mm pistol  

A patrol unit made a traffic stop on Laguna Avenue at 11:34 Thursday night and arrested the driver for carrying a concealed weapon.

After speaking with the driver and passenger, LBPD Sgt. Tim Kleiser said, “The officer asked the driver of there were any weapons in the vehicle and the driver said there was knife inside the car. The officer had the driver exit the car and noticed he adjusted something on his waistband. The officer became concerned and searched the driver and found a loaded Ruger P89 9mm in his waistband.”

Dillon David Nelson, 23, Tucson, Arizona was arrested for misdemeanor carrying a concealed firearm.

In Arizona, it is legal to carry a concealed weapon. It isn’t legal in California.


Police Files

Drunk driver drives through Broadway & Coast onto Main Beach

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo courtesy LBPD

A drunk driver drove down Broadway across Coast Hwy straight onto Main Beach

A cell caller informed police that a BMW was possibly being driven into downtown on Laguna Canyon Road Monday night at nine o’clock. Police responded to the downtown area on Broadway just in time, according to Sergeant Tim Kleiser, to see the black BMW “…drive west on Broadway, through the intersection at Broadway and Coast Highway, up and over the curb at Main Beach where it came to rest in the sand.”

Ashish Harji Kalthia, 41, Irvine, was arrested for drunk driving.

No one was injured.

Man charged with robbery steals from two Broadway stores

Police arrested Jerald Cousian for felony robbery at lunchtime Monday after it had been reported that he had accosted a Whole Foods employee who asked to see his receipt for items Cousian was holding as he left the store. The employee was not injured, police said.

Cousian left Whole Foods then allegedly walked down to Coast Hardware and swiped two flashlights.

Police did an area search and located Cousian, 47, no fixed address, hiding in an apartment complex close by. 

Cops will have increased DUI patrols for the weekend

From a LBPD press release

Officers from the Laguna Beach Police Department’s DUI Enforcement Team will be deploying this weekend to stop and arrest alcohol and drug-impaired drivers in the Department’s ongoing traffic safety campaign. 

DUI Saturation Patrols will deploy on Saturday, Nov 28 between the hours of 9 p.m. and 3 a.m. in areas with high frequencies of DUI collisions and/or arrests.

In California, this deadly crime led to 867 deaths and over 23,000 serious injuries in 2013 because someone failed to designate a sober driver. Nationally, the latest data shows over 10,000 killed by an impaired driver. 

Over the course of the past three years in Laguna Beach officers have investigated 169 DUI collisions, which have claimed three lives and resulted in another 55 injuries.

Officers will be looking for signs of alcohol and/or drug impairment with officers checking drivers for proper licensing delaying motorists only momentarily. When possible, specially trained officers will be available to evaluate those suspected of drug-impaired driving, which now accounts for a growing number of impaired driving crashes.

Recent statistics reveal that 30 percent of drivers in fatal crashes had one or more drugs in their systems. 

A study of active drivers showed more tested positive for drugs that may impair driving (14 percent) than did for alcohol (7.3 percent). Of the drugs, marijuana was most prevalent, at 7.4 percent, slightly more than alcohol. Everyone ought to be mindful that if you’re taking medication – whether prescription or over-the-counter – drinking even small amounts of alcohol can greatly intensify the impairment affects.

Law Enforcement emphasizes the preventable nature of drunk driving reminding everyone that all it takes is a little planning ahead. Designate a sober driver or call a cab. But whatever you do, don’t drink and drive. 

The California Office of Traffic Safety DDVIP (Designated Driver VIP) mobile app is now available for free download on iOS and Android devices. Launched last year, the new DDVIP app offers enhanced features, allowing users to “Map a Spot” with their current location to find DDVIP partnering establishments in their area or a “List of Spots” to search all participating bars and restaurants throughout California. Users will be offered free incentives at each bar to celebrate their life saving role. 

They can stay up-to-date with the latest from DDVIP and see what other users are saying via its social tab. Also through the app, for those who want to imbibe but also make it a point to plan ahead, users can easily order a sober ride from Uber, Lyft or Curb – all from one screen.

The cost of a ride home is cheap, nothing compared to a $10,000 DUI conviction and the ‘inconvenience’ of not driving your own car home is nothing compared to the inconvenience of spending time behind bars.

Funding for this DUI operation is provided to the Laguna Beach Police Department by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, reminding everyone to ‘Report Drunk Drivers – Call 9-1-1’.


Police Files

Motorcycle crosses into on-coming lanes on Broadway Thursday afternoon - slides into SUV injuring the 28-yr-old rider from Irvine

 

Photos by Ellen Coleman-Germano

Click on photo for a larger image

 

The above photo was taken just after the crash that happened at about 12:50 p.m.

A Harley Davidson motorcycle ridden by a 28-year-old Irvine man apparently took the inbound turn at Broadway and Forest Avenue too fast at about 12:50 Thursday afternoon. The bike went out of control and despite trying to lay it down on Broadway when he realized he would cross into on-coming traffic, the rider and bike slid into an outbound Ford Flex SUV.

The rider was stabilized at the scene by LBFD paramedics and taken by ambulance to Mission Hospital Trauma Center in Mission Viejo. He suffered some severe road rash and a possible broken leg, police said. 

Click on photo for a larger image

 

The motorcycle rider was stabilized by paramedics and taken by ambulance to Mission Trauma Center with what appeared to be non-life threatening injuries.

 

Have you ever received a “Job Offer” email?

Then scammers are hammering a new avenue of finding consumers to defraud. Many people have received emails with a subject line of “Job Offer”. Opening the email there is a message telling the recipient that “mystery shoppers” or “customer service survey assignments” are being sought in “your” area.

The ruse has all the appearances of legitimacy with the use of certified checks or even wire transfers to the “employee” to go shopping after sending the mark impressive and official looking packets with products and survey data.

Of course, to show your good faith and that you won’t run off with their money, you are asked to send them certified funds in a much lesser amount by some manner.

A South Laguna resident sent $1500 by Western Union last week after receiving a check for a larger amount and depositing it at his bank as instructed.

It was a bogus check and the victim is out $1500.


Police Files

Cops observe man push his girlfriend to the pavement downtown on Ocean Avenue early Saturday morning

Mir Hosseini Arash, 25, Laguna Beach, was arrested for felony domestic battery and resisting arrest at 12:56 a.m. Saturday after approaching officers saw him forcibly push a woman causing her to fall on the sidewalk.

The incident happened in the 200 block of Ocean Avenue.

Sgt. Tim Kleiser of the LBPD said, “Patrol officers first saw the male and female arguing in the middle of the street. They walked into a club but were quickly escorted out by security.”

The officers began to approach them when another man tried to stop the argument. Before the officers reached the couple, they saw Arash push the woman causing her to fall, according to Sgt. Kleiser. “The female sustained a cut to her face from the fall,” Sgt. Kleiser added. Police later learned that they were boyfriend and girlfriend and that the other man was the suspect’s brother.

The officers detained Arash after a short struggle.

He was booked with bail set by statute at $50,000.

Did all those sirens on Coast Hwy awaken you Friday?

We heard from several residents who were awakened in the wee hours Friday by sirens and a helicopter rushing northbound through the city on Coast Highway.

The OC Sheriff’s Department began chasing a stolen Mazda sedan in San Juan Capistrano at about 3:15. The Mazda, with three occupants, headed into Dana Point then northbound on PCH and into Laguna Beach.

Sgt. Tim Kleiser said one Laguna patrol unit followed the chase through town beginning at 3:22. The Mazda and the six or more Sheriff’s units and the copter kept going north and into Newport Beach before entering the southbound 73 toll road.

The OCSD used a spike strip in Aliso Viejo to stop the Mazda and arrested the three men – all documented as San Clemente gang members – for felony possession of stolen property. 

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