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Police Files

Rare dolphin stranded multiple times at Emerald Bay sadly needs to be euthanized 

On Saturday, Dec 1, at 11:45 a.m., Pacific Marine Mammal Center received a call about a rare dolphin that had stranded itself multiple times at Emerald Bay, according to LBPD Civilian Services Administrator Jim Beres. 

“PMMC sent a rescue team and decided to bring the dolphin back as the animal was clearly in distress,” PMMC Events and Public Relations Coordinator Krysta Higuchi said. “Upon further examination, humane euthanasia was determined as the best course of action. The dolphin was seizing, had severe raking, a severe jaw injury and was in respiratory distress.” 

According to Higuchi, a necropsy was performed Sunday and it was determined that the animal was a striped dolphin, rare for coastal California waters, normally found in tropical waters.

“The dolphin was found to have serious jaw injuries directly causing other life threatening complications,” Higuchi said. “Injuries were determined to not be human caused but possibly from fights with other dolphins or species over food sources or aggressive mating behaviors.” 

Police Files Dolphin one

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Photo by Mark Girardeau/Courtesy of PMMC

A rare dolphin strands itself multiple times at Emerald Bay, sadly needs to be euthanized

The dolphin was determined to be a juvenile female. Two have been reported,  both within the last 30 days, in Northern California.

“PMMC is hoping this isn’t a sign that warmer waters are again hitting our coastline; changes in ocean patterns like these can adversely affect marine life and our coastal ecosystems,” Higuchi said.

She lauded others involved who played an integral part in facilitating looking out for the well-being of the dolphin.

“Thank you to Newport Coastal Adventure and the public beach goers for reporting the animal so quickly,” Higuchi said. “Though it was a sad outcome, the animal was clearly suffering and the quick and respectful direction and action from everyone at the beach created what would be best for that animal.” 

Mark Girardeau, a wildlife photographer aboard the Newport Coastal Adventure boat, captured the attempted rescues via a live video on social media that showed the young dolphin as it tried to get back to shore.

PMMC is located at 20612 Laguna Canyon Road. For more information about PMMC or to make a donation, visit www.pacificmmc.org or call (949) 494-3050.

Arson at Bus Depot, LBFD and LBPD quick to respond 

On Sunday, Dec 2, at 9:23 a.m., LBFD and LBPD officers responded to the Bus Depot public restrooms in reference to an arson investigation in the men’s restroom. 

According to LBPD Spokesperson PIO Jim Cota, it was determined the toilet paper dispenser in the handicap stall had been set on fire. Several feet of wall tile were damaged as a result. The estimated damage cost is $2,500. 

“A homeless subject was in the area at the time of the incident. He approached officers and claimed he put the fire out with his spare clothes,” Sgt Cota said. “His actual involvement is unknown at this time.”

Alleged graffiti tagger gets tagged by LBPD

Police Files Jason RobertsOn Monday, Nov 12, at 5:27 p.m., LBPD officers responded to the 200 block of Ocean Avenue regarding reports of vandalism that had just occurred. Employees at Ocean at Main reportedly observed a suspect spray-painting graffiti on five walls located behind Ocean at Main, behind the former theater, and on the side of Dan Miller Jewelry.

“The restaurant manager tried to detain the suspect and place him under a private person’s arrest. The suspect fled on foot but was caught by the manager and a couple of his employees a short distance away,” Sgt Cota said. “They put the resistive suspect on the ground and held him until officers arrived.”

Laguna Beach resident Jason Travis Roberts, 41, was placed under arrest for vandalism.

Bail was set at $25,000.


Police Files

LBPD seizes arsenal of 57 guns, Nazi regalia during criminal threats investigation

On Thursday, Nov 15, at 6:48 p.m., at the 800 block of Cliff Drive, a Laguna Beach resident reported receiving threatening phone calls and texts involving suspect Mitchell Todd.

Todd owns and operates the business Orange County Dove Release, which provides the release of doves at events, primarily at weddings and funerals. 

Todd was hired by the reporting party to release doves at his son’s funeral. According to reports, based upon a dispute on the day of the funeral involving scheduling and payment, Todd did not render his services nor was he paid. 

Police Files Arsenal one

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Courtesy of LBPD

During criminal threats investigation, LBPD finds arsenal of guns at suspect’s home

Following the funeral, according to LBPD, Todd began sending the victim text messages and voicemail messages demanding payment and making threats.

“Upon listening to the voicemail messages from Todd to the victim, Todd first threatened with court proceedings, but quickly appeared to become upset and further threatened to have specific people come to his work and to his relatives’ home until he was paid,” LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota said. “The last voicemail message from Todd to the victim was the distinct sound of a handgun slide being pulled back and released as if a cartridge (bullet) was being chambered.”

In a voicemail to the reporting party, Todd allegedly said that it was time for him to go where his son went.

Police Files Arsenal two

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Courtesy of LBPD

Laguna Beach resident reports receiving threatening voicemails and text messages that escalated

Upon service of the search warrant on Todd’s Huntington Beach residence, 57 firearms of various styles and calibers were seized, along with thousands of rounds of ammunition. Todd also had numerous Nazi paraphernalia that was photographed and documented by LBPD. Out of the 57 guns seized, only 12 were registered to him and many others were not registered at all, according to Sgt Cota.

Police Files Arsenal three

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Courtesy of LBPD

57 firearms of various styles and calibers were seized, along with thousands of rounds of ammunition and Nazi paraphernalia

“I am extremely proud of all of the detectives for the teamwork they exhibited on the Mitchell Todd investigation and arrest. They arrested a person that clearly showed behavior that was extremely dangerous,” Sgt Cota said. “Additionally, they took 57 weapons away from someone who clearly should not be in possession of them. As a supervisor of the Investigations Division, I am very pleased with the outcome.”

Police Files Mitchell Todd

Courtesy of LBPD

Mitchell Ralph Todd 

Mitchell Ralph Todd, 51, of Huntington Beach, was taken into custody by LBPD detectives for criminal threats without incident. According to Sgt Cota, further charges may be added.

Bail was set at $50,000.

Panga boat lands at West Street Beach on Thursday – 9 detained, authorities search for more suspects

Police Files Panga boat two

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Courtesy of LBPD

Another panga boat landing, this time at West Street Beach

On Thursday, Nov 29, at 6:58 a.m., LBPD received two calls from residents reporting a panga boat landing at West Street Beach. Both callers said that all the occupants ran from the boat as soon as it came ashore. 

According to Sgt Cota, “They were last seen running towards the cliff area below Coast Highway.”

Police Files Panga life vests

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Courtesy of LBPD

Residents report panga boat landing on Thursday morning 

LBPD, LB Marine Safety, and LBFD immediately responded to the area and worked alongside the US Customs and Border Patrol, US Coast Guard, State of California Department of Parks and Recreations, and OC Sheriff’s Department. 

“With the assistance of all the partner agencies, a thorough search of the area was conducted and ended with the capture of nine adults,” Sgt Cota said. “Seven came from the panga boat and two were waiting in vehicles parked on Coast Highway.”

Police Files Panga Authorities on scene

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Courtesy of LBPD

LBPD and Marine Safety rushed on scene working with a handful of agencies

The investigation remains ongoing as law enforcement continues to search for outstanding subjects. 

For further information, contact the lead agency, US Customs and Border Patrol, at (619) 216-4182.


Police Files

Vodka-fueled threats and racial slurs land man in jail for 5th time

On Friday, Nov 23, at 3:37 p.m., LBPD officers contacted known homeless subject Braden Bolton, who was reported to be highly intoxicated carrying a bottle of vodka, at S Coast Hwy and Forest Ave. According to reports, Bolton had no shirt on and was provoking fights.

Police Files Braden Bolton“Upon contact with Bolton, he called the officers the “N” word and threatened to assault them. Bolton has had numerous contacts with LBPD over the years,” LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota said. “Bolton was taken into custody for public intoxication but resisted to walk to the police vehicle. He continued with the threats, insults, profanity, and racial slurs.”

According to police logs, he was saying, “You don’t want to mess with me,” as he “threatened people with a bottle of Absolute Vodka.” LBPD received several calls reporting the incident.

Braden Elliot Bolton, 34, of Laguna Beach, was arrested for disorderly conduct related to alcohol. He was transported to OCJ in lieu of the LBPD jail. 

According to Stu News Laguna records, this is Bolton’s fifth arrest with LBPD in eight months.

Bail was set at $500.

7-person rescue at Sleepy Hollow Beach, swimmers caught in riptide

On Friday, Nov 23, at 12:31 p.m., at the 600 block of Sleepy Hollow Lane, Marine Safety received a 911 call for six people caught in a rip current approximately 100 yards off shore at Sleepy Hollow Beach. They were described as male adults.

“For us it’s a multiple person rescue, so we sent two of our lifeguard units to Sleepy Hollow to make the rescue. When we got on scene, we found that the number was actually seven people,” LBPD Marine Safety Capt Kai Bond said. “We had four lifeguards swim out and rescue the seven people from the rip current and bring them into shore.”

Marine Safety considers a rescue to be a multiple rescue when it involves more than one person.

“Multi-victim rescues can happen often, especially when there is large surf and the rip currents are strong,” Capt Bond said. “On Friday, the surf was 2 to 4-feet; it was green flag conditions. But we did have some significant west wind, which tends to push people down the beach, when they swim offshore. They happened to get into a rip current.”

It’s always a good idea to be aware of the conditions when swimming in the ocean.

“The first thing someone can do to be safe is to swim in front of an open lifeguard tower. Then they can get the most updated information on where those rip currents are from the tower lifeguard. That’s the most important thing,” Capt Bond said.

But as far as identifying a rip current, look for brown discolored water that is forming and going out to sea. Sometimes it’s easy to identify, while other times it’s difficult.

“If you’re in the water and you feel like you’re getting pulled out, you could possibly be in a rip current,” Capt Bond said.

If you get caught in a rip current, Capt Bond offers the following key advice:

“The best thing you can do is swim parallel to shore until you’re out of the rip current,” Capt Bond said. “And if you’re in a situation where you’re in need of a rescue, raise your hand and call for help.” 

Rip currents occur on a daily basis in varied conditions, so there could be a small wave day where there are a lot of rip currents. That’s not abnormal. Typically during yellow flag days and red flag days, there are usually more large, identifiable rip currents. Rip currents can occur on green flag days as well, as it was on Friday, when the multiple-erson rescue took place. 

“None of the victims taken out of the water needed medical aid,” Capt Bond said. “So that’s the good news.”


Police Files

Thanksgiving gift, dog saved from fiery car crash in the canyon is mending thanks to many 

A white Maltese poodle named Peanut was injured in the traffic accident outside of the Alternative Sleeping Location (ASL) on Friday, Nov 16, according to LBPD Civilian Services Administrator Jim Beres. She belongs to the couple that was also injured during the crash and resulting fire.

 Peanut was in the parked car that was struck by a tow truck driver on Laguna Canyon Road adjacent to the ASL on early Friday morning, at 3:19 a.m. The parked car caught on fire due to the collision and was destroyed by the fire. Luckily, Peanut somehow escaped from the burning car. 

Later that morning around 10 a.m., a volunteer from the animal shelter that was dropping off food at Laguna Food Pantry next to the dog park saw Peanut crying in pain and running loose. The animal shelter volunteer caught Peanut and brought her to the animal shelter. 

“The animal shelter staff saw that Peanut was obviously injured so they immediately took her to the animal hospital for treatment. Peanut had been hit in the face during the traffic collision and had two hanging teeth and a hairline jaw fracture,” Beres said. “The veterinarian removed the two hanging teeth and X-rayed the jaw. Peanut was also treated with antibiotics and pain medications.” 

In true Laguna Beach spirit, Canyon Animal Hospital donated their services for the care of Peanut, according to Laguna Beach Animal Hospital’s Laura Dunaway.

The daughter of the injured couple has taken possession of Peanut and is caring for her while she recovers from her injuries. As of Tuesday, her father was still in the hospital recovering from his injuries, including a broken jaw, six missing teeth, a broken left index finger, and a back injury.

“He remains at the hospital,” said LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota. “The female in the driver’s seat sustained a broken rib and miscellaneous cuts. She was released from the hospital.”

“We are looking into establishing some sort of way for the community to help these people who were affected by this accident and we hope to have details on that early next week,” Friendship Shelter Executive Director Dawn Price said.


Police Files

Fiery three-car crash in the Canyon: man struck while sleeping in car seriously injured

On Friday, Nov 16, at 3:19 a.m., LBPD Emergency Dispatchers received multiple calls of an injury traffic collision with multiple cars on fire at 20652 Laguna Canyon Road in front of the Alternative Sleeping Location (ASL). 

Several officers responded and found a tow truck and another vehicle at the outbound curb, fully engulfed in flames. The flames climbed to the top of the adjacent electrical pole. According to LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota, the subjects in the roadway were dragged away from the flames and placed in police vehicles and driven to a safe location where they were treated by fire and transported to hospitals. 

“The couple that was in the parked vehicle sustained the following injuries: The male sitting in the passenger seat sustained a broken jaw, six missing teeth, a broken left index finger, and a back injury. He remains at the hospital,” said Sgt Cota. “The female in the driver’s seat sustained a broken rib and miscellaneous cuts. She was released from the hospital.”

Police Files fiery night

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Submitted photo

Friday’s fiery car collision in the Canyon is still under investigation

Once the fire was out, first responders discovered a third vehicle sandwiched between the tow truck and the vehicle. The tow truck driver stated he was outbound on LCR and as he approached the ASL an inbound vehicle veered across traffic lanes and was heading head-on toward him. The tow driver said that he veered to the right and struck the parked cars. 

“We are looking into establishing some sort of way for the community to help these people who were affected by this accident and we hope to have details on that early next week,” Friendship Shelter Executive Director Dawn Price said.

“The traffic collision investigation remains ongoing,” Sgt Cota said.

Alleged burrito thief arrested for felony robbery

On Friday, Nov 16, at 7:31 a.m., LBPD officers responded to Gelson’s Market, at 30900 S Coast Hwy, in reference to a theft of a burrito. Officers contacted the cook at Gelson’s who stated he observed a male subject enter the store and grab a burrito. 

“The male subject who was involved in a verbal altercation with another customer then threw the burrito at that customer and left. He re-entered the store seconds later and grabbed a second burrito,” Sgt Cota said. “This time the cook confronted the suspect near the exit and they were involved in a physical altercation, where the suspect shoved the cook in order to exit the store and flee.”

Initially, officers were unable to locate the suspect. However, later at 3:56 p.m., accordingly to Sgt Cota, an officer observed homeless subject Shane Sutton walking in the Gelson’s parking lot matching the physical description of the suspect from earlier. An investigation determined it was Sutton involved in the burrito crime caper, and he was placed under arrest.

Shane Michael Sutton, 32, of Laguna Beach, was arrested for felony robbery. Bail was set at $100,000.


Police Files

Seven teens caught in stolen Jeep taking joy ride through Laguna

On Tuesday, Nov 13, at 8:51 p.m., LBPD officers responded to a report of a Jeep Liberty that was stolen from Huntington Beach. Officers initially did not locate the Jeep, but found it 25 minutes later. 

“A high-risk traffic stop was conducted on North Coast Highway at Wave Street. Seven subjects were detained,” LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota said. “The driver was identified as a 14-year-old from Huntington Beach. The six passengers were all juveniles from Huntington Beach as well.” 

The driver was booked for possession of a stolen vehicle and for being an unlicensed driver. He was released to his parents.

Alleged drug dealers caught with 130 pills of Xanax and 126 pills of Adderall

Police Files James RobinsonPolice Files Tyrus CrewOn Sunday, Nov 11, at 4:11 pm, an LBPD officer initiated a vehicle enforcement stop at Mountain Road and South Coast Highway. The driver, identified as Eastvale resident Tyrus Lemon Crew, 27, admitted to driving with a suspended license. According to Sgt Cota, the vehicle also had a strong odor of marijuana. The front passenger, Riverside resident James Earl Robinson III, 28, had two outstanding warrants for his arrest. 

“Inside the front passenger door pocket was a container with 130 pills of Xanax pills. In the center console was another container with 126 pills of Adderall pills,” Sgt Cota said. “Tyrus Crew was also in possession of $3,063 in cash and inside his backpack was $66 in dollar bills.” 

Both subjects were arrested for separate drug charges. The money was seized as asset forfeiture and the narcotics were booked along with their cellphone as evidence.

Bail was set at $30,000 for Crew and $20,000 for Robinson.

Ferrari speed racer busted accelerating over 100 mph

On Sunday, Nov 11, at 8:49 a.m., an LBPD officer initiated a traffic enforcement stop at El Morro and Coast Highway in reference to a speeding vehicle. 

“The red 2017 Ferrari 488 Spider with Montana license plates was driving in excess of 100 miles per hour,” LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota said. “A misdemeanor citation was issued and the vehicle was towed and placed on a 30-day hold.”

A 52-year-old Newport Beach man was cited for reckless driving and exhibition of speed.

Growing initiative, LBPD is raising awareness about men’s cancer with “No Shave November”

The month of November is being called “Movember,” an initiative to raise awareness about cancer, men’s health, and to raise money for charities related to researching and developing cures for all forms of cancer. 

This year, LBPD, with the endorsement of the Command Staff and City Manager, has decided to participate in the event and is allowing employees to forgo facial grooming standards for the month of November.

Police Files Movember one

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Courtesy of LBPD

LBPD is growing awareness of men’s cancer with “No Shave November”

“The goal of ‘No Shave November’ (www.no-shave.org) is to grow awareness by embracing men’s hair, which many cancer patients lose, by letting it grow freely,” Sgt Cota said. “The goal is to help educate others about cancer prevention, saving lives, and aiding those who are fighting the battle.

“We are dedicated to the fight against cancer. At the same time, we will all enjoy seeing who can grow some nice mustaches and beards for all to see,” Sgt Cota said. “Thank you to all who will participate during Laguna Beach’s ‘No Shave November.’”

Police Files Movember two

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Courtesy of LBPD

Things are getting a little bit hairy at LBPD as part of men’s cancer awareness


Police Files

Exonerated LBPD officer sues City of Fullerton and PD following parents’ death

On Thursday, Nov 8, LBPD officer Rock Wagner, Wendy Wagner, and James McBride filed a lawsuit against the City of Fullerton, Fullerton Police Department and three Fullerton PD officers alleging false arrest/false imprisonment, battery, negligence, civil rights violations, intentional infliction of emotional distress, defamation, and wrongful death damages after being exonerated of any wrongdoing in connection with elder abuse and fraud arrests involving Rock and Wendy’s parents.

“This was an arrest made apparently with no investigation whatsoever,” said attorney Gary Casselman of Casselman Law, who represents the plaintiffs. “Not long after the arrest, because of the actions by the police, the Wagner parents passed away. Rock and Wendy Wagner’s parents are dead now.”

There will be a press conference today, Tuesday, Nov 13, at 11 a.m., regarding the lawsuit filed. The press conference will be held at the Ayres Hotel Orange in Orange.

Officer Wagner was arrested by Fullerton PD near his Lake Forest home on November 28, 2017, on suspicion of elder abuse and fraud. His sister, Wendy Wagner, and her boyfriend, James McBride, also plaintiffs in the lawsuit, were also arrested. 

After the arrests, the Orange County District Attorney’s office declined to file charges in the case, finding a lack of evidence to support such charges, and finding that no crime had been committed. Officer Wagner, a 26-year law enforcement veteran, also was cleared by an internal Laguna Beach Police Department investigation.

“Both of these investigations have concluded and after thorough review of the evidence produced, it has been determined that allegations of misconduct could not be supported. It has also been determined by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office that evidence of a crime did not exist,” said LBPD Cpt Jason Kravetz. 

The lawsuit alleges that the Fullerton PD rushed to produce public statements and circulated Wagner’s arrest mugshot and that of his sister and boyfriend to the media, boasting of its “thorough investigation,” but made no attempt to announce the fact that the case was quickly thrown out when it became evident that no crime had been committed by them.

According to the lawsuit filed, Rock Wagner, Wendy Wagner, and James McBride are seeking compensatory damages and special damages, attorney’s fees, punitive damages, and “further relief as the court may deem proper and just.”

“They can’t get their parents back,” Casselman said. “One passed away within a few weeks of the incident, the other was a few months after.”

In response to a request for comment, Fullerton City Manager Ken Domer said, “The City of Fullerton and the Fullerton Police Department remain committed to a high standard of professionalism, which includes a thorough investigation of this claim. The City of Fullerton avoids commenting on matters involving litigation.”

Grand theft auto suspect fails to yield, nabbed 

in high-risk traffic stop

On Friday, Nov 9, at 12:41 p.m., LBPD was notified by an OC Sheriff’s Department helicopter of a stolen vehicle in Laguna Beach driving northbound on Coast Highway from Camel Point Drive. The white Ford 150 construction vehicle was recently stolen from Lake Forest.

“An officer located the vehicle at Thalia Street and South Coast Highway. Officers attempted to initiate a high-risk traffic stop at Boat Canyon and North Coast Highway but the vehicle failed to yield,” said LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota. “At Crystal Heights and Coast Highway, the suspect finally yielded to pursuing units and surrendered to officers.”

OCSD’s “Duke” helicopter assisted in the pursuit. 

Francis T McNair, 53, of Mission Viejo was arrested for grand theft auto. According to Sgt Cota, McNair was positively identified as the suspect who had stolen the victim’s truck. McNair was later transported to Orange County Jail.

Bail was set at $20,000.


Police Files

Fatal car crash, man found Thursday morning near Nix Nature Center ejected from BMW

On Thursday, Nov 8, at approximately 6:30 a.m., CHP Orange County received a call from a concerned motorist reporting a solo black vehicle over the side on SR-133 northbound at Nix Nature Center.

“Upon arrival, CHP officers found the vehicle and the solo male occupant, who appeared to be ejected from the BMW as a result of the collision,” CHP OC Information Officer Rafael Reynoso said. The driver of the BMW was pronounced deceased at the scene by OCFA.

“For reasons still under investigation, the male driver lost control of the vehicle sometime last night [Wednesday], and veered off the road near the embankment,” Officer Reynoso said. “At this time, it is still unknown if drugs and/or alcohol were a factor in the collision.”

The deceased man’s name will be released by OCSD Coroner’s office pending notification to next of kin.

The man has been identified as a 46-year-old Wildomar resident. He was driving a black 2006 BMW 3 Series when the solo fatality occurred.

“The vehicle collided with a tree, then a rock ditch, which caused the vehicle to overturn several times,” Officer Reynoso said.

Asked if there were any tire marks that would indicate that the driver tried to break or swerve to avoid the accident, Officer Reynoso responded, “There were no signs of tire friction marks at the scene.” 

The time of the fatal collision is still under investigation as is the cause of the accident. It is still unknown how fast the driver was traveling. However, he was not wearing a seatbelt. 

Officer Reynoso said, “Yes, it absolutely could have changed the outcome had he been wearing a seatbelt.”

The most prevalent causes of single car fatalities include speed, DUI, drowsy and distracted drivers, and not wearing seat belts among other factors.

LBPD mourns loss of hero Sgt Ron Helus of Ventura County Sheriff’s Dept, killed in nightclub shooting

“With incredible sadness, the Laguna Beach Police Department mourns the loss of Ventura County Sheriff’s Department Sergeant Ron Helus and the victims that were killed in this horrific act of violence. An incident like this can happen anywhere, so please always stay vigilant to your surroundings and please call us immediately if you feel something does not seem right or someone exhibits behavior that you feel warrants a law enforcement contact. Our police department is fully committed to this city and the safety of its citizens at all times,” said LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota. 

Police Files Helus

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Courtesy of LBPD

LBPD mourns the death of VCSD Sgt Ron Helus, a hero killed in the tragic mass shooting on Wednesday

Sgt Helus was a 29-year veteran of the department and a member of its SWAT team for several years. Sgt Helus was one of the first officers to answer the call of an active shooter, rushing inside the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks late Wednesday.

According to authorities, Sgt Helus exchanged gunfire and was shot several times before another officer dragged him away from the line of fire. He later died at the hospital. He was one of 12 people who died in the tragic mass shooting.

Handguns found in three separate incidents this week

On Sunday, Nov 4, at 6:59 p.m., LBPD officers responded to Pavilions, at the 600 block of N Coast Hwy, regarding a loaded handgun found in the men’s restroom. The person who called in the gun locked the restroom door until LBPD arrived on scene. Per the reporting person, the subjects who reported it to store management were pacing and acting very suspicious.

“A records check showed the handgun belonged to a Carrying Concealed Weapon (CCW) permit holder who lived in Thousand Oaks. Dispatchers were able to contact the subject, who verified that he had been in Laguna Beach earlier in the day and had used the restroom at the Pavilions,” Sgt Cota said. “He drove back from Thousand Oaks and picked up his handgun at the PD after being positively identified as the owner and validation of his CCW license. The weapon was a Glock 26 (9mm).”

On Tuesday, Nov 6, at 1:56 p.m., an officer responded to the Surf and Sand Hotel, at the 1500 block of S Coast Hwy, for a loaded handgun found in a recently vacated room. The reporting person locked the gun in a safe until officers arrived on scene.

“The gun was a Beretta .25 ACP. When the gun was checked, it did not show a registered owner. The handgun was secured and brought back to the police department to be booked in for safekeeping,” Sgt Cota said. “Detectives will verify if the handgun was used in any prior crimes. An informational report was generated to document the incident.”

Also on Tuesday at 10:41 p.m., a reporting person from the Pacific Edge Hotel, at the 600 block of S Coast Hwy, called to report they had found a firearm in a recently vacated room. The guests had left the gun behind in the nightstand. It was being held in the safe until LBPD could arrive on scene.

“The firearm was registered, the owner was contacted and agreed to come back to Laguna Beach to pick it up,” Sgt Cota said. “However, due to DOJ requirements it had to be booked for safekeeping. The registered owner was directed to DOJ to retrieve his firearm.”

Two arrested for stolen vehicle in high-risk stop

On Monday, Nov 5, at 11:36 a.m., officers were alerted by LBPD dispatchers of a stolen vehicle in the city. An officer spotted the red 2008 Toyota Highlander on Laguna Canyon Road near the ASL and trailed it as it turned onto El Toro Road and then onto S/B SR-73 until other officers arrived to assist. OCSD units also responded to assist. 

Police Files Lisa StinesPolice Files Andrew Fluor“A high-risk vehicle stop was initiated just off the Greenfield off-ramp. Two individuals were detained and through the course of the investigation it was discovered the vehicle was stolen out of Newport Beach the day prior and the driver, Lisa Stines, knew it was stolen,” Sgt Cota said. “The male passenger, Andrew Fluor, also knew the vehicle was stolen and used his friends’ name and DOB to conceal his identity. Once his true identity was revealed, it was discovered he was a restrained person from Stines.” 

A search of the vehicle also revealed Fluor was in possession of burglary tools. Both suspects were taken into custody and brought to the station and booked. 

Andrew Chase Fluor, 35, of Newport Beach, was charged with impersonation of another individual, possession of stolen property, violation of a restraining order, and possession of burglary tools. Bail was set at $35,000.

Lisa Renee Stines, 31, of Laguna Beach, was charged with possession of stolen property. Bail was set at $20,000.

Local goat herding dog Shandu lost then found thanks to locals’ efforts

LBFD put out an alert Thursday morning reporting they needed the community’s help in finding the City’s goat herding dog, Shandu.

 “Shandu went missing this morning at 7 a.m. from the area of Morningside and Starlit in Bluebird Canyon. If located, please contact Ana Neira in the Fire Department at (949) 497-0305 or (949) 497-0701,” LBFD officials said. 

Police Files Goat herding dog found

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Courtesy of LPBD

Lost goat-herding dog, Shandu, rescued Thursday by concerned locals

Good news. According to Sgt Cota, “Shandu was found by a search party by residents who live in the 3000 block of Mountain View Drive. They said that social media helped them to recognize him.”


Police Files

Woman who claims ASL as address arrested for felony meth sales

On Wednesday, Oct 31, at 2:30 p.m., an occupied vehicle check was conducted to the back of the Mobil gas station at the 100 block of N Coast Hwy. 

Police Files Monique Castillo“The three occupants in the vehicle were detained for a narcotic investigation and the driver, Monique Castillo, was subsequently arrested for possession of a controlled substance for sales,” LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota said. “Over 18 grams of methamphetamine was located along with a scale in the rear passenger compartment of the vehicle.”

According to drugtimes.org, the street value of meth is $60 to $300 per gram ($1,080 to $5,400 for 18 grams).

Monique Marie Altierra Castillo, 41, Santa Ana, was booked and transported to OC Jail. “Castillo claims to be homeless and provided the ASL’s address for her residence,” Sgt Cota said.

Bail was set at $25,000.

More meth…and a stolen car

On Thursday, Nov 1, at 11:33 p.m., LBPD officers were alerted of a Honda Pilot stolen from Garden Grove earlier in the day. Officers located the vehicle within two minutes.

Police Files Cristian ChavezAccording to Sgt Cota, “The driver made two quick turns and quickly pulled to the curb to try to hide from the officers. Officers initiated a high-risk traffic stop at the 1300 block of Glenneyre Street.” 

Police Files Michelle MullinsTwo Santa Ana residents were detained and subsequently placed under arrest for vehicle theft, Cristian Carlos Chavez, 20, and Michelle Esther Mullins, 21.

“Chavez had a prior arrest for vehicle theft and Mullins had an outstanding warrant for theft. A narcotic pipe with a usable quantity of methamphetamine was also found in the car,” Sgt Cota said. “The investigation showed that the couple had used the victim’s credit card to make purchases at a gas station and at a Walmart in Santa Ana. Additional charges were added.”

The victim responded to pick up his car. He was very appreciative of the officers’ work.

No bail was set for Chavez. Bail was set at $20,000 for Mullins


Police Files

Neighbor allegedly pepper sprays neighbor, resulting in citizens’ arrests

On Tuesday, Oct 23, at 11:14 p.m., LBPD and LBFD personnel responded to the 500 block of Saint Ann’s Drive for a dispute between neighbors involving one allegedly using pepper spray on the other. Emergency personnel arrived and contacted both parties.

According to LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota, “They had conflicting accounts of what had happened but surrounded the fact that these neighbors were not fond of one another.”

The not so neighborly conduct included one neighbor allegedly spraying the other with pepper spray.

 “The recipient of the pepper spray was able to dodge the primary stream and was exposed to just a light mist,” Sgt Cota said. “He was examined and released by fire personnel. Each neighbor placed the other under private person’s arrest for assault and battery. Citations were issued and the subjects were sent home.”

Newport Beach man was reportedly walking on residents’ roofs after midnight

On Tuesday, Oct 30, at 1:15 a.m., LBPD officers responded to a residence in the 400 block of Broadway Street for the report of the sound of someone walking on the resident’s roof. Officers arrived and observed a male suspect in the backyard of the property. 

According Sgt Cota, “The suspect jumped over a fence and fled. A perimeter was established, and a search was conducted in the residential area as well as a nearby commercial building. The suspect was not located.” 

At 3:23 a.m., officers responded to a residence in the 300 block of Holly Street for the report of suspicious noises on the roof and back deck of the residence. Officers arrived and were informed by a neighbor that he saw a male subject in a nearby alley. 

“A perimeter was established, and officers began another search. Officers located the suspect in a residential backyard,” Sgt Cota said. “The suspect jumped over a fence and fled again. He was pursued by officers and was caught in a front yard down the street.”

According to Sgt Cota, he was the same suspect as the one from the earlier Broadway Street call. “Homeless subject Ryan Vincent, 26, told officers that he had arrived in Laguna Beach yesterday and claimed that he was just trying to find a place to sleep,” Cota added. 

Ryan Vincent, 26, of Newport Beach, was placed under arrest for prowling and resisting arrest. 

Bail was set at $500.

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