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Police Files

Man arrested for allegedly stealing resident’s car in the Canyon

On Saturday, June 22, at 9:55 p.m., LBPD officers responded to a report of a vehicle that had just been stolen from a residence on Sun Valley Drive. The vehicle was seen traveling inbound on Laguna Canyon Road. 

Police Files MatekelcAccording to LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota, “Officers located the vehicle northbound in the 400 block of North Coast Highway. The driver made a U-turn and stopped along the west curb at the intersection of Jasmine Street and North Coast Highway. A high-risk traffic stop was conducted and the driver, local homeless subject Michael Matekel, was arrested.”

“The registered owner of the vehicle was still on 911 with LBPD dispatch and responded to the scene to make a positive identification as well as retrieve his vehicle. Matekel was transported to LBPD for booking and later taken to OC Jail,” Sgt Cota said. 

Michael Hays Matekel, 30, was arrested for alleged possession of a stolen vehicle.

Bail was set at $20,000.

According to Stu News records, Matekel has been arrested by LBPD an additional 15 times since May 2018 for various alleged offenses.

Suspects arrested for allegedly stealing beer and bologna, also for meth

On Saturday, June 22, at 5:33 p.m., LBPD officers were contacted by employees at Pavillions, at the 600 block of N Coast Hwy, regarding two subjects who allegedly shoplifted items and were running to their vehicle. 

According to Sgt Cota, “Officers immediately located and detained the subjects in the parking lot. An investigation was conducted as were searches of their persons and vehicle. A third subject was located inside the vehicle pretending to be sleeping.”

 Sgt Cota said, “It was discovered that the two subjects had stolen two cases of beer, a bag of chips, and a package of bologna. The store requested prosecution for the shoplifting. The items were located inside of the suspect’s vehicle as was two methamphetamine pipes and a small amount of methamphetamine.” 

Two of the subjects were identified as Moses Alderette and Kevin De La Cruz. The third subject was a 16-year-old juvenile male. 

“While inside of the store, the juvenile recognized De La Cruz and asked for a ride home. Once he secured the ride, the juvenile left the store with De La Cruz and headed towards his vehicle to leave,” Sgt Cota said.

Kevin Ulices De La Cruz, 25, of Costa Mesa, was arrested for alleged shoplifting, possession of a controlled substance, and possession of a narcotic pipe. Moses Jasso Aldrette, 26, of Montclair, was arrested for alleged possession of a narcotic pipe.

The juvenile was detained and transported to LBPD. He was released to the custody of a juvenile home in north Orange County.

De La Cruz’s bail was set for $1,500. Alderette’s bail was set at $500.

Editor’s Note: An arrest contains allegations that a suspect has committed a crime. Every suspect is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.

-By Suzie Harrison


Police Files

Suspect arrested in alleged head butting incident at the library

On Monday, June 17, at 10:31 a.m., LBPD officers responded to the Laguna Beach Library for a reported fight in progress. According to LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota, when officers arrived, they found local transient John Wilson, 58, and another transient as well as witnesses to the front of the library. Wilson was extremely agitated.

According to a witness, Wilson had head butted another transient during an argument. During the argument a library staff member tried to intercede and was reportedly spat upon by Wilson.

Police Files library

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

LBPD officers respond to alleged head butting incident at the library on Monday

According to Sgt Cota, Wilson was screaming at and taking an aggressive stance with officers, but eventually calmed some. 

“He threatened to seriously injure the other transient because he believes that transient is dealing drugs and he also threatened officers on scene. He was arrested for the battery, threatening officers, and [making] terrorist threats...he was transported directly to OC Jail,” said Sgt Cota.

Wilson’s bail was set at $50,000.

Couple busted for allegedly trying to cash a counterfeit money order at the Post Office

On Wednesday, May 19, at 4 p.m., an employee of the Laguna Beach Post Office called LBPD to report a fraud in progress. The employee said that a male was attempting to cash a counterfeit Postal Money Order. 

“Officers arrived and detained the male suspect inside the Post Office. During the investigation, his girlfriend entered the Post Office and was identified by another Post Office employee as having passed a counterfeit money order the day before,” Sgt Cota said. 

The woman’s vehicle was reportedly backed into a parking space in the Post Office parking lot. A search of her vehicle recovered an additional counterfeit money order.

Dejuan Antoine Beverly, 32, and Asia Brenae Taylor, 28, of Palmdale, were arrested for commercial burglary, grand theft from a building, and making/passing a fictitious check.

The couple was booked at LBPD for and later transported to OC Jail. 

Bail was set at $20,000 for both of them.

More juvies harassing the city’s goats?

On Sunday, June 16, at 7:01 p.m., LBPD officers responded to the 3200 block of Alta Laguna Blvd in response to reports of goat harassment by local juveniles.

According to police records, a “group of juvies [were] agitating the goats… taking Instagram shots with the goats.” The small group of juvies was reportedly on the fire road.

Two days later on Tuesday, June 18, at 2:59 p.m., at Sommet Du Monde, LBPD received a report regarding a “group of juvies chasing and harassing the goats.” 

The goat herder was advised.

• • •

Editor’s Note: An arrest contains allegations that a suspect has committed a crime. Every suspect is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.


Police Files

Local grocery store employee reportedly assaulted, punched in the face

On Saturday, June 15, at 9:56 a.m., LBPD officers responded to Whole Foods, at the 200 block of Broadway Street, in reference to a felony battery investigation. The victim was a male employee. 

“Without instigation, the RP said the suspect ran towards the victim and punched him in the face,” LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota said. “The suspect fled the scene and was located shortly after in the 500 block of S Coast Highway. The force of the punch fractured the victim’s nose.” 

The suspect, Fernando Ramirez, 29, of San Clemente, was positively identified by an independent witness and the victim. He was subsequently taken into custody for felony battery.

Bail was set at $20,000.

Group of juvies reportedly assaults developmentally disabled adult

On Wednesday, June 12, at 2:09 p.m., LBPD officers responded to West Street Beach for the report of an assault that allegedly occurred earlier at the 31500 block of Bluff Drive.

“When officers arrived, the parties had been separated and they found approximately 13 juveniles and one adult had been involved,” LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota. “The fight was alcohol-induced and the victim was a 20-year-old developmentally disabled adult.”

Sgt Cota said, “The altercation began when a group of about thirteen 16-year-olds was hanging out on the beach. The 20-year-old walked over and attempted to mix in with the group and a fight ensued.”

According to Sgt Cota, all of the involved parties were identified and a report was taken. All of the juveniles were picked up by their parents and counseled.

Minor injuries were treated at the Lifeguard Tower. No medics were needed.

Local transient arrested after breaking into home

On Saturday, June 15, at approximately 3:06 a.m., LBPD officers were conducting a foot patrol in the area of Marine Way. The officers were doing resident checks due to the recent burglaries in the area. 

“While checking a residence in the 1000 block of Marine Way, officers noticed a broken pane of glass on the upper portion of the side kitchen door,” Sgt Cota said. “Officers made entry into the residence and eventually located a male subject in one of the upstairs bedrooms.” 

The subject was detained and later identified as local transient Daniel Moretti. Moretti admitted to throwing a rock through the window in order to gain entry to the residence, Sgt Cota said. 

Daniel James Moretti, 40, of Laguna Beach, was transported to LBPD for booking and charged with vandalism and trespassing.

Bail was set at $20,000.

Local woman threatened by scammers who said they would “cripple her” 

On Friday, June 14, at 8:19 a.m., a local woman reported to LBPD that she had received threatening phone calls. The calls began at 6 a.m. from an unidentified person stating they were the Publishers Clearing House and requested she send them money. 

According to police records, the subject told her that she had won a prize, a couple of million dollars. But in order to receive her prize she was asked to send money.

 “When the RP said no, she hung up. She received approximately 10 more calls and at one point they told her if she did not send the money, they would cripple her,” Sgt Cota said. 

While there was no loss of money, LBPD took action and added extra patrol checks for her address.

Dog snatched by coyote on Catalina Street

On Saturday, June 15, at 7:52 a.m., LBPD received a report regarding a coyote attack at the 900 block of Catalina Street.

According to police records, the RP’s brown dog was taken by a coyote early that morning. The RP stated that they had a video of the dog being snatched, and wanted to inform LBPD and also emailed Animal Services officers. 

 According to the Dog Tales website (www.dogtales.ca), suggestions to avert a coyote attack on your canine include not feeding coyotes or any wild animals; avoid off-leash walks in high risk areas; pick up the pooch’s poop, as it can attract predators; always be there and ensure your pet is safe at all times; build a fence at least 8 feet by 12 feet, as coyotes are expert climbers; stay calm if you encounter a coyote while with your dog, at the same time wave your arms and stomp your feet; stick to lighted areas or carry your own light source, as coyotes are less likely to be in well-lit areas; clean your garden, so there is nowhere for predators to hide; report any sightings; and spread the word. 

Editor’s Note: An arrest contains allegations that a suspect has committed a crime. Every suspect is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.

-By Suzie Harrison


Police Files

Unidentified man found dead in Laguna Canyon on Monday, autopsy to be performed this week

On Monday, June 10, at approximately 7 p.m., Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) was notified by LBPD that the body of a deceased male was found in a brush area off Laguna Canyon Road near Woodland Drive. 

LBPD was called to the area at approximately 6 p.m. after a person in the area found the body. It was determined that the area was county unincorporated, not in LBPD’s jurisdiction, so OCSD personnel responded.

“From initial on-scene examination by the coroner, the body appears to be that of an adult male, age unknown, and has not been identified,” OCSD PIO Carrie Braun said. 

Braun added, “The body was decomposed and investigators are unable to determine a preliminary cause of death due to the decomposition and environmental factors. The environmental factors may have factored into the condition of the body, but this will be determined.”

It’s unknown at this time how long the body had been there. 

The coroner investigators are handling the ongoing death investigation to include determining the identity of the decedent and additional information surrounding the circumstances of the death.

“Due to the condition of the body at the time of discovery, it is being handled as a death investigation unless the autopsy and investigation provide additional information,” Braun said. “As is the case in all deaths where the cause is not immediately known”.

The deceased will be examined during an autopsy to be performed later this week.

Unresponsive Laguna Beach male at Main Beach revived by Emergency Services and taken to hospital 

On Wednesday, June 12, at 5:15 p.m., LBPD, LBFD, and Marine Safety personnel were dispatched to Main Beach for an unresponsive male subject.

“Lifeguards arrived on scene and administered Narcan to a local homeless subject,” Sgt Cota said. 

Sgt Cota said the Narcan was successful in reviving the 46-year-old Laguna Beach subject and that he was transported to the hospital for medical treatment.


Police Files

Dead body found in Laguna Canyon

On Monday, June 10 at approximately 7 p.m., Orange County Sheriff’s Department responded to a call from LBPD that a body was located in a brush area off Laguna Canyon Road near Woodland Drive. 

LBPD was called to the area at approximately 6 p.m. after a person in the area found the body. It was determined that the area was county unincorporated, and Orange County Sheriff’s Department personnel responded.

According to an official statement from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, the body was decomposed, and investigators were unable to determine a preliminary cause of death due to the decomposition and environmental factors. The decedent is an adult male, age unknown, and has not been identified. 

At this time, Coroner investigators are handling the ongoing death investigation, to include determining the identity of the decedent and additional information surrounding the circumstances of the death, and he will be examined during an autopsy to be performed later this week.

Resident reports suspicious man offering to “wash her windows”

On Thursday, June 6, at 5:30 p.m., LBPD officers responded to a suspicious persons call at a residence in the 1600 block of Bluebird Canyon Drive. 

The RP stated that a male came to her door and offered to wash the windows to her house. 

“He further stated that the RP’s son ordered it and wanted to pay it forward,” Sgt Cota said. “Once the male at the door saw that the resident was not alone, he immediately fled the area in a small silver Toyota.”

According to police records, the suspect was described as a man with a dark complexion, “wearing a white shirt, gray tight jeans, and a nice watch.” 

Officers checked the area but did not locate the subject.

Rear window of home smashed, bed and shower used without owner’s permission

On Wednesday, June 6, at 10:44 a.m., LBPD officers were dispatched to the 1200 block of Ocean Front in reference to a burglary investigation. 

“One of the rear windows to the property was smashed. It was determined no property was stolen, however a bed and shower were used,” Sgt Cota said. 

According to police records, the RP said that he thought the suspect was living on the property. “A long-term renter just left, the RP just had the place clean[ed] on Tuesday, and everything was fine at the time. Now there [is] possibly some damage to the floors from moving furniture.”

An unknown piece of hair was located and collected as evidence, according to police records. The incident was forwarded to the Investigations Division.

Bouncer at local bar arrested for alleged battery of patron

On Saturday, June 8, at 1:16 a.m., LBPD officers were dispatched to a local bar, at the 200 block of Forest Avenue, for a report of a physical fight that had allegedly just occurred. 

“It was reported that a member of the security staff had assaulted a patron. Officers arrived on scene and located a male victim, who had swelling on his forehead,” Sgt Cota said. 

According to Sgt Cota, the victim’s friends stated they had cell phone video of the incident. The victim was treated by LBFD after reportedly being struck in the face and hitting his head on the sidewalk. 

“Officers were able to locate and detain the security staff member. Officers conducted a thorough investigation and watched the video of the incident,” Sgt Cota said. 

At the conclusion of LBPD’s investigation, Nicholas David Avenado, 20, of Buena Park, was arrested for alleged battery. 

The victim was transported to Mission Hospital, Laguna Beach for medical treatment, according to Sgt Cota.

Bail was set at $500.

Editor’s Note: An arrest contains allegations that a suspect has committed a crime. Every suspect is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.

-By Suzie Harrison


Police Files

Alleged DUI driver involved in hit and run collision seen driving on wrong side of road

On Saturday, June 1, at 2:21 a.m., LBPD and LBFD personnel were dispatched to a report of a traffic collision involving a vehicle crashing into the Royal Hawaiian. 

As emergency personnel were enroute, the suspect, driving a black Toyota SUV, was seen leaving the scene, driving on the wrong side of the road. 

As officers approached Forest Avenue, the heavily damaged Toyota was seen driving directly at them in their lane of travel, according to LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota. Fortunately, the Toyota was going slowly and swerved back into its lane to avoid a collision. 

“Officers initiated a traffic stop and the driver of the Toyota yielded by driving onto the sidewalk in front of 577 S Coast Hwy,” Sgt Cota sad. “The driver was immediately detained.”

According to Sgt Cota, the suspect did not claim any injuries, but was examined by paramedics as a precaution. 

“During the investigation, officers learned the that the Toyota was proceeding southbound when it struck a parked 1964 Chevrolet van. The van was propelled onto the sidewalk and came to rest approximately 70 feet away,” Sgt Cota said. “The van struck and damaged the metal patio fence of the Royal Hawaiian, but the building was not damaged.” 

The driver of the Toyota was identified as William Louis Alton, 54, from Carlsbad. He was arrested on suspicion of DUI and for hit and run.

Bail was set at $3,000.

Man caught stealing booze takes police on foot chase

On Tuesday, June 4, at 6:31 p.m., LBPD officers responded to CVS, at the 30800 block of S Coast Hwy, in reference to a male subject reportedly stealing liquor and placing it in his duffle bag. 

The suspect left the store and fled to a nearby white Honda with temporary plates. 

“The vehicle fled southbound on Coast Highway where an officer located it. An enforcement stop was conducted on a female driver and the suspect in the passenger seat,” Sgt Cota said. “The male suspect began reaching into his waistband and was fidgeting around in the vehicle. Additional officers were requested.” 

Once officers were attempting to get the passenger out of the vehicle, he chose to flee on foot. A short foot pursuit ensued and the suspect was apprehended. 

“A search of his person revealed a magnet device to remove the alarm scanner from alcohol and clothing,” Sgt Cota said. “The suspect was identified as 24-years-old Los Angeles resident Joe Medina.” 

Joe Perez Medina, 24, of Los Angeles, was arrested for resisting arrest, burglary, possession of burglary tools, and on an outstanding warrant out of Texas.

“The female driver fled the scene during the foot pursuit but she was later identified,” Sgt Cota said.

No bail was set.

Woman busted for drugs at gas station

On Friday, May 31, at 8:23 p.m., LBPD officers responded to the Mobil gas station, at the 100 block of N Coast Hwy, for the report of a possible drug transaction involving the female driver of a white Honda Accord.

“Officers located the Honda and conducted a traffic stop. Laguna Hills resident Heather Pflug was arrested,” Sgt Cota said. 

 Heather Tiffany Pflug, 43, of Laguna Hills, was arrested for possession of narcotics, possession of dangerous drugs, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Bail was set at $1,500.

Concerned citizen turns in note threatening to kill cops

On Sunday, June 2, at 5:04 p.m., LBPD Officers responded to the lifeguard headquarters for a note that was turned in, which referenced a “cop killer.” 

According to Sgt Cota, the note said, “I’m a cop and I’m going to kill cops.”

It was unknown who wrote the note. But it was found by a concerned citizen in front of the Mobil gas station, at the 100 block of N Coast Hwy. LBPD Investigations Division was notified.

Editor’s Note: An arrest contains allegations that a suspect has committed a crime. Every suspect is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.

-By Suzie Harrison


Police Files

Man arrested for repeatedly disturbing marine life, says LBPD

On Thursday, May 30, at 3:46 p.m., LBPD officers responded to Main Beach in reference to a suspect reportedly disobeying lifeguards and disturbing protected wildlife.

“Robert Peralta was disturbing protected marine life in the tide pools and was advised by lifeguards to stop,” LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota said. “He refused to discontinue his actions and was subsequently taken into custody for two Laguna Beach Municipal Codes.” 

Robert Ruiz Peralta, 38, of Laguna Beach, was arrested for failure to obey a lifeguard and unlawful taking/disturbing of marine wildlife. 

Bail was set at $1,000.

Statue mistaken for naked man exposing himself

On Thursday, May 30, at 6:13 p.m., a delivery driver reported that a naked male was standing in front of the window at a residence in the 300 block of Dartmoor Street. 

According to police reports, the RP said, “All of his blinds are open and he’s just standing by the window.”

“She requested officers talk to him because it made her uncomfortable,” Sgt Cota said. “The naked man was an art sculpture.”

Canine sniffs out alleged trespasser in North Laguna

On Friday, May 31, at 6:34 a.m., LBPD officers were dispatched to a residence in the 100 block of Crescent Bay Drive in reference to a trespassing investigation.

According to LBPD, the reporting party observed a male transient enter the property. Officers detained a male matching the description in the area. The male was identified as Daniels Moretti. 

“A broken window was observed to the front of the residence. It was believed that there might possibly be a suspect still inside the residence. A perimeter was established and a canine from Newport Beach PD was requested,” Sgt Cota said. “The interior was searched and no suspects were located.”

According to LBPD, property belonging to Moretti was located inside the residence and the reporting party also positively identified Moretti as the person observed entering the residence. 

Daniels James Moretti, 40, of Laguna Beach, was taken into custody for trespassing and vandalism. His bail was unknown.

Neighbor helps nab suspects

On Sunday, June 2, at 4:06 p.m., a neighbor contacted LBPD to report two male subjects inside of a residence in the 100 block of Nyes Place. The reporting party believed the subjects inside were burglarizing the location. 

“Officers surrounded the location and called out the occupants. Two males and a female exited and were detained,” Sgt Cota said. 

The investigation led to the arrest of the two males for probation violations and additional charges. The homeowner reportedly knows both of the subjects and allowed them in his house.

Trong Tran, 31 of Lawndale, was arrested for identity theft. Bail was set at $500.

Brandon Huerta, 30, of Anaheim, was arrested for a no-bail probation violation. 

Editor’s Note: An arrest contains allegations that a suspect has committed a crime. Every suspect is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.


Police Files

Homeowners and realtors beware: crimes at open houses on the rise

On Sunday, May 26, at 6:36 p.m., LBPD received a report regarding a petty theft incident during an open house, at the 700 block of Manzanita Drive.

“As the victim, a local realtor, was cleaning up for the day, she placed her purse near the front door. As she was leaving, she could not find her purse,” LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota said. “She suspects that a male/female couple that had just come through before closing up took it and fled.”

Her purse contained a driver’s license, a credit card, an iPhone, and approximately $20 in cash. According to reports online, the suspects began using her credit card in nearby cities immediately, before being shut down.

The victim reported that there were two suspects. One was described as a thin white male, 5’10” to 5’11” tall with “reddish” hair, 20 to 30 years old, wearing all black and having tattoos. The second suspect is a white female, 20 to 30 years old, with short dark hair and wearing mostly black clothing.

“An officer took a report and the incident will be submitted to Investigations for follow up,” Sgt Cota said.   

A second open house incident occurred on Monday, May 27, at 1:12 p.m.

“During an open house at a residence on North Vista De Catalina, an unknown suspect(s) entered the residence and stole approximately $4,700 in camera equipment, personal items, and jewelry,” Sgt Cota said. “A report will be taken and forwarded to Investigations.”

 Laguna Board of REALTORS® provided a link to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) Realtor Safety Program with helpful tips to protect realtors and their clients belongings at www.nar.realtor/safety/56-safety-tips-for-realtors.

Some of the safety tips include: 

--Show properties before dark. 

--Limit the amount of personal information you share. 

--Always let someone know where you are going and when you will be back.

--Leave the name and phone number of the client you are meeting and schedule a time for your office to call you to check in. 

--Don’t assume that everyone has left the premises at the end of an open house. Check all of the rooms and the backyard prior to locking the doors. 

--Be prepared to defend yourself, if necessary. 

--Whenever possible, take your own car to a showing. When you leave your car, lock it.

--Tell your sellers not to leave personal information like mail or bills out in the open where anyone can see it. 

--And be sure to lock down your computer and lock up your laptop and any other expensive, easy-to-pocket electronics, like iPods, before your showing.

Buzzed BBQ buddies cause havoc at Heisler

On Sunday, May 26, at 5:26 p.m., LBPD officers responded to the lawn bowling area at Heisler Park. According to Sgt Cota, four male subjects had been there congregating most of the day, BBQ-ing and consuming alcohol. Officers received several calls for service about them causing disturbances throughout the day. 

“Beach Patrol Officers contacted the suspects, who had their personal belongings and trash scattered all over the area,” Sgt Cota said. “At the time of the last call for service, one of the suspects, Kyle Winton, was consuming from a bottle of vodka when Beach Patrol Officers asked him to put the vodka down. Winton chose to finish the vodka and then left the area. Beach Patrol Officers requested patrol officers to assist.”

According to Sgt Cota, Winton returned to the area shortly thereafter. 

When patrol officers and a supervisor arrived on scene, Cota said that Wilson and Winton were climbing through the bushes, screaming, and yelling at other park goers. Both Wilson and Winton were reportedly intoxicated and placed under arrest for public intoxication.

Kyle Albert Winton, 39, of Laguna Beach, and John Andrew Wilson, 59, of Laguna Beach were both arrested for disorderly conduct related to alcohol.

Bail was set at $1,000 for Winton and $500 for Wilson.

Editor’s Note: An arrest contains allegations that a suspect or defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.


Police Files

Laguna male nanny charged with alleged child molestation and possession of child pornography

A man who served as a male nanny for families across Southern California, including in Laguna Beach, faces four felony child molestation charges for allegedly victimizing two young boys under his care. He is also charged with one felony count of possessing child pornography.

Matthew Antonio Zakrzewski, 30, of Costa Mesa, was arrested on May 17 by Laguna Beach Police Department detectives at a local airport after deplaning an international flight. 

Zakrzewski is charged with three felony counts of alleged lewd and lascivious acts with a minor under the age of 14, and one felony count of oral copulation of a child under the age of 10. He was also charged with one felony count of possession of child pornography.

If convicted, Zakrzewski could face 90 years to life in prison for victimizing children in his care.

Zakrzewski pled not guilty on Tuesday, May 21. He is currently being held at the Orange County Jail on $1 million bail.

In early May, a Laguna Beach couple reported to LBPD that their babysitter, Zakrzewski, had touched their 8-year-old son inappropriately and they were concerned for the safety of their son and potentially other children. 

The couple hired Zakrzewski to care for their 8-year-old child through one of his several babysitting websites. LBPD’s Major Crimes & Intelligence Unit immediately opened an investigation, which led to the identification of a second 7-year-old victim in Los Angeles.

Police Files Matthew Zakrzewski

Courtesy of LBPD

Matthew Zakrzewski

On one of his professional websites, www.sitterbuddy.org, the suspect says, “I’m Matthew, the original Sitter Buddy! In the 8th grade I discovered what a joy it was to work with children and be a positive impact in their lives through my school’s ‘Buddy Program.’ Now, I am a full-service TrustLine Certified provider of regular & on-demand child care, as well as mentoring services for children.”

Zakrzewski’s www.matthewthemanny.com website is similar. He calls himself “a Professional Manny & Sitter/Buddy” as well as a “babysitter, big brother, role model and mentor.” His services include “regular care, overnights, travel care, mentoring, and occasional.” Dozens of videos and pictures of Zakrzewski interacting with children fill his online galleries.

LBPD is asking for the public’s help in locating any other potential victims. Anyone who has information related to this investigation or any other unreported incidents involving Zakrzewski is urged to call the Investigations Division line at (949) 715-1300.

“This investigation could last several months and that is fine with us. We will continue working with our law enforcement partners to ensure that Mr. Zakrzewski remains in custody for a long time,” Sgt Cota said. “We will continue to pursue every lead we receive till we feel this investigation is exhausted and all children he had contact with are safe.”

Zakrzewski is scheduled to appear at the Harbor Justice Center, Department H1 at 8:30 a.m. on May 31. Senior Deputy District Attorney Heidi Garrel of the Sexual Assault Unit is prosecuting this case.

Guns drawn at Mozambique over stolen Range Rover

On Monday, May 20, at 2:44 p.m., LBPD officers were advised of a stolen vehicle from the city of Escondido. The vehicle, a 2019 black Range Rover, was located parked in the Mozambique parking lot. 

“Officers positioned their police vehicles away from the restaurant and a plain clothes detective walked into the restaurant and contacted the manager so he could review security video to identify who had exited the vehicle,” Sgt Cota said.

 “While inside and without looking at the video, he identified two subjects who may have driven the vehicle. As the two subjects exited the restaurant, an officer watched them approach and then enter the vehicle,” Sgt Cota said. 

Guns were drawn and officers converged on the vehicle to prevent the vehicle from leaving the lot. The driver and passenger were detained. According to Sgt Cota, the driver lied about his name and was arrested for possession of a stolen vehicle. The passenger was arrested for an outstanding drug and theft warrant out of San Bernardino. 

“At the station, their fingerprints provided officers with the driver’s true name and revealed he had an outstanding no-bail warrant,” Sgt Cota said.

Guillermo Sandoval, 32, of South Gate, was arrested for possession of a stolen vehicle, false impersonation, and on an outstanding felony warrant. No bail was set.

Celeste Ann Hernandez, 38, of Los Angeles, was arrested on an outstanding drug and theft warrant. Bail was set at $25,000.

Two vehicles stolen off Laguna streets

On Monday, May 20, a local man parked and locked his vehicle, a 2005 black Toyota Prius, in the 300 block of Popular Street. The next day, on Tuesday, he returned and the vehicle was gone. A report was taken.

During the same time period, on Tuesday, May 21, at 11:14 a.m., the owner of a silver Mercedes Benz CLS 500 reported that his vehicle was stolen from the 700 block of Summit Way. The theft occurred between 9 p.m. the previous night and just prior to the time of the call.

According to police records, the RP said the suspect is unknown.

Driver runs red light causing multi-collision accident, luckily, only minor injuries reported

On Tuesday, May 21, at 10:31 a.m., a FedEx van and another vehicle were traveling northbound on the 73 Toll Road off-ramp at El Toro Road. The light was green and they proceeded into the intersection. 

“The driver of a vehicle traveling westbound on El Toro Road failed to see the westbound light was red and entered the intersection. The van struck the westbound vehicle at the driver’s door,” LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota said. “The impact spun the westbound vehicle causing it to strike a light pole and come to rest against the curb. The vehicle next to the FedEx van struck the left rear side of the van causing additional minor damage.” 

The driver of the westbound vehicle was transported with minor injuries. The other two drivers were uninjured.

An arrest or indictment contains allegations that a suspect or defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.

-By Suzie Harrison


Police Files

Man allegedly tries to stab White House staff with fork

On Friday, May 17, at 9:29 p.m., LBPD officers were contacted by White House security in reference to a male subject who allegedly attempted to stab a security guard from the establishment at the 300 block of South Coast Hwy. 

“Officers arrived on scene and immediately detained Laguna Beach citizen Craig Dunlap for the assault. An investigation was conducted and it was determined that Dunlap was inside of the establishment and making a large scene. When he was asked to leave, he tried to stab a security guard with a fork,” LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota said. 

Security was able to stop the attack and escort Dunlap outside and hold him until police arrived.

Craig Bland Dunlap, 67, of Laguna Beach, was arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon.

Bail was set at $25,000.

Laguna man arrested in alleged bike theft

On Thursday, May 16, at 7:41 p.m., LBPD officers responded to the 1100 block of Glenneyre Street for a report of an attempted theft. 

The RP reported the suspect had jumped the fence into her yard and tried to take her bicycle. 

“Officers arrived in the area and based on the description given detained a male just down the street near the entrance to Bluebird Beach,” Sgt Cota said. “She positively identified the male as the suspect and was desirous of prosecution.”

According to police records, the RP said that when she confronted the suspect he said, “I’m sorry, I just needed a bike.”

Laguna Beach resident Ryan Terrance Conley, 18, was arrested for violation of trespassing, loitering, and attempted theft.

According to Stu News records, this is the fifth arrest for Conley by LBPD in the last year. Other arrests by LBPD included arrests on suspicion of shoplifting and battery, among others.

Bail was set at $1,000.

Cut & rescue crash, man transported to hospital

On Sunday, May 19, at 11:05 p.m., LBPD and LBFD personnel responded to Laguna Canyon Road and Phillips Road in reference to a cut and rescue traffic collision.

“Upon the officers’ arrival, the male driver, a 22-year-old Lake Elsinore resident, had extricated himself and was standing outside his vehicle,” Sgt Cota sad. “He had collided with a yellow parking pole, a fire hydrant, the Phillips Road street sign and an Edison pole before overturning his vehicle.” 

Police Files cut and rescue

Photo provided by LBPD

A 22-year-old Lake Elsinore man is in the hospital after a cut and rescue 

car collision in the Canyon 

According to Sgt Cota, the suspect was arrested for suspicion of DUI and transported to Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo for medical assistance.

-By Suzie Harrison

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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