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Robber hits bank in Ladera Ranch

LADERA RANCH – Deputies are searching for a man who robbed a bank on Tuesday night, the second hold-up in Ladera Ranch within the last month.

The robber entered the Union Bank branch in the 25600 block of Crown Valley Parkway shortly before 6 p.m., handed the teller a note demanding money and then fled on foot with an unknown amount of cash, Orange County Sheriff’s Lt. Dan Dwyer said.

No weapon was seen during the robbery and no injuries were reported. The man was last seen running toward a nearby housing development.

Deputies, with the assistance of the Sheriff’s helicopter, were searching for the robber on Tuesday night. Dwyer said they planned to bring in bloodhounds to see if they could pick up the man’s trail.

Authorities described the robber as a thin, dark-skinned male in his 40s who was wearing a white hooded sweatshirt and camouflage-patterned baseball cap.

Tuesday’s robbery follows a Feb. 18 hold-up at a U.S. Bank branch less than a mile away.

That robbery, which occurred about 9:20 a.m. at the bank in the 100 block of Corporate Drive, was carried out by a man who handed a teller a note in a manila folder that claimed he had a weapon, though none was seen. The suspect in the Feb. 18 robbery was described as a heavy-set Latino man, about 35 years old, 5-foot-3 and around 160 pounds.

It wasn’t immediately clear if the robberies were linked, though the initial description of the suspects released by authorities did not match.

Officials are asking anyone with information to contact the Sheriff’s Department at 714-628-7170.

BY SEAN EMERY /   ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

If you are charged with a crime, contact an experienced Orange County Bail Bondsman to assist you in any bail situation.

 

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Two adults killed, child injured in San Juan Capistrano home

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Orange County sheriff’s investigators outside the home on Peppertree Bend in San Juan Capistrano on Sunday morning. The Orange County Sheriff’s Department responded with its mobile command unit to what officials said were two bodies found at a home.
DAVID BRO, CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO – A man and woman were killed and an 8-year-old boy injured early Sunday at an upscale San Juan Capistrano home, and investigators have not yet identified a suspect.

Sheriff’s officials would not identify the victims but said someone called 911 from inside the home in the 32000 block of Peppertree Bend about 1:52 a.m.

The boy was transported to Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo with serious injuries but is expected to survive, said Capt. Steve Concialdi, spokesman for Orange County Fire Authority.

Lt. Jeff Hallock, spokesman for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, said investigators are looking at all aspects of the victims’ lives as they search for clues about whether someone targeted them or entered the home at random.

Hallock declined to release details about the victims or the nature of their injuries, citing the ongoing investigation.

Neighbor Patty Bonin said a couple live in the home and owned a business in San Juan and had dogs and “lots of kids.”

According to FBI crime statistics, the last homicide in San Juan Capistrano was in 2011. There were two that year, according to the statistics.

The cul-de-sac in the northwest area between Golden Lantern and Del Obispo streets is one of the city’s most exclusive neighborhoods, with about 15 homes worth millions of dollars.

Crime tape blocked the street in front of the home for most of Sunday as homicide detectives combed the area for clues. A judge signed a search warrant that allowed them access about 1:30 p.m. Investigators estimated the home to be about 16,000 square feet.

Curious onlookers questioned how such a crime could occur on such a quiet street.

“This is exactly why people move here, to get away from that,” said Charis Burrett, who lives in San Juan with her husband, Luke. “It’s shocking. It’s why you get an alarm and batten down the hatches.”

BY MEGHANN M. CUNIFF /   ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

If you are charged with a crime, contact an experienced Orange County Bail Bondsman to assist you in any bail situation.

 

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Coto De Caza woman missing since Monday morning

orange county bail bonds

Leslie Karen Thomas.
COURTESY OF THE ORANGE COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT

COTO DE CAZA – Authorities seek the public’s help in locating a missing Coto De Caza woman who hasn’t been seen since Monday morning.

Leslie Karen Thomas, 50, has not been seen or heard from since leaving her home about 8:30 a.m. Monday, according to an Orange County Sheriff’s statement.

Family members contacted authorities after they were unable to reach her. Officials say she suffers from “various illnesses” and may need medical attention.

Thomas did not have a vehicle, and is believed to be traveling on foot.

Authorities described her as a Caucasian woman with hazel eyes and blond, mid-length hair who is about 5-foot-4 and 180 pounds. She was wearing a black T-shirt with a dragon design, dark denim jeans and black Nike athletic shoes.

Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to call the Sheriff’s Department at 714-647-7055 or 714-647-7000.

BY SEAN EMERY  /  ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

If you are charged with a crime, contact an experienced Orange County Bail Bondsman to assist you in any bail situation.

 

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Collection calls from ‘law enforcement’ are scams, officials say

Law-enforcement officials have issued a warning about a phone scam with someone masquerading as a police officer or deputy and demanding money.

Last weekend, a caller threatened a Laguna Hills man and told him SWAT officers would come to his home if he didn’t make a $4,000 payment, said Lt. Jeff Hallock of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

The calls are especially troublesome because the scammers use a program to make the caller ID appear as if the call is coming from the Orange County Sheriff Department’s Santa Ana office, Hallock said.

According to the Sheriff’s Department, law-enforcement officials do not solicit donations or collections over the phone.

Officials urged residents not to give personal information such as Social Security numbers and bank-account information over the phone.

The Laguna Hills man reported being contacted on his cellphone by someone who identified himself as Assistant Sheriff Mark Billings, Hallock said.

The caller said he was working with the IRS to collect a debt and instructed the resident to buy $4,000 in MoneyPak online cash cards, Hallock said. The caller is believed to have threatened to send the department’s SWAT team to collect if no payment was received.

On Oct. 29, another caller who identified himself as a member of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department called a Yorba Linda woman and tried to collect $365 for a traffic violation, officials said.

The caller told the woman to buy MoneyPak cards and provide the number over the phone to pay for the citation.

Officials ask that anyone receiving a similar phone call contact the Sheriff’s Department at 714-647-7000.

Source: www.ocregister.com

By SALVADOR HERNANDEZ   / ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

If you are charged with a crime, contact an experienced Orange County Bail Bondsman to assist you in any bail situation.

 

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Police: 2 men stole $900 of pills from San Juan pharmacy

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Orange County sheriff’s deputies responded to a Vons grocery store, 32401 Camino Capistrano, around 10 p.m. Monday. Officials said they believe the two entered the grocery store, which was open until midnight, and pried open the pharmacy door, setting off an audible alarm, said Lt. Jeff Hallock.
KEVIN WARN, FOR THE REGISTER

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO – Police say two men broke into a closed grocery-store pharmacy Monday night and stole about $900 worth of prescription painkillers.

Orange County sheriff’s deputies responded to a Vons grocery store, 32401 Camino Capistrano, around 10 p.m.

Officials said they believe the two entered the grocery store – which was open until midnight – and pried the door to the pharmacy open, setting off an audible alarm, said Lt. Jeff Hallock.

The men stole four bottles of painkillers. One man attempted to distract the store manager, who was standing at a nearby check stand while the other smuggled the drugs out of the store, Hallock said.

Officials said the manager saw the man taking the pills outside and yelled at him to stop, which prompted the second man to run out of the door.

Witnesses told police the men ran to a dark-colored sedan with tinted windows parked on the far end of the lot, Hallock said.

A pharmacist estimated the value of the medication at about $900, Hallock said.

One of the thieves is described as 6 feet to 6 feet 1 inch tall, with a medium build. The second is described as 5-foot-8, with a medium build.

Anyone with information about the crime can submit an anonymous tip through the Orange County Crime Stoppers at 1-855-TIP-OCCS or text “OCCS” plus your tip to 274637.

Source: www.ocregister.com

By ALYSSA DURANTY  / ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

If you are charged with a crime, contact an experienced Orange County Bail Bondsman to assist you in any bail situation.

 

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Search for hikers focuses on flickering light

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Friends of missing hikers Paige Wallace, from left, Sarah Souza and Halie Teague, who says she’s known the two missing hikes since high school, plann their search route Wednesday morning in Trabuco Canyon.
MINDY SCHAUER, ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

CLEVELAND NATIONAL FOREST – The search for two teenagers lost in the wilderness around Holy Jim Canyon focused Wednesday morning on a flicker of light spotted before dawn near the top of a hill.

The missing teens were known to be carrying a lighter, and officials hoped the dim light seen around 4:30 a.m. was a signal. “That will be the focus of the main search,” said Lt. Steve Gil of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

Nicholas Cendoya, 19, and Kyndall Jack, 18, have been missing since Sunday night, when they called for help after getting lost during an afternoon hike. They said they thought they were about a mile from their car before their cellphone went dead.

Authorities believe they left the trail and got lost in the rough canyon terrain, where the brush is heavy and the ground is rocky. Searchers also checked abandoned mine shafts in the area Tuesday, but found no sign of the hikers.

The search resumed at 7 a.m. Wednesday with authorities dispatching a hand crew to cut through heavy brush and get into some of the most difficult terrain in the area. Since Sunday, search crews have fanned out within a two-mile radius of where the teen’s car was found; bloodhounds have been brought in and helicopters buzz overhead.

Darkness kept searchers from heading into the area where the light was spotted Wednesday morning. Mountain bikers on the trail also reported seeing a dim light Tuesday evening, near the Joplin Trail, and searchers will also be checking that area, said Lt. Jason Park of the Sheriff’s Department.

A helicopter flew over that area after the report, but didn’t spot anyone in the area.

“Right now, our energy is in the area where we have possible activity,” Park said.

About 20 firefighters from the Orange County Fire Authority’s hand crew, who clear brush and cut lines during major brush fires, were deployed early Wednesday to search the more rugged areas. “These guys are the ones that know the terrain and they can move quickly,” Capt. Jon Muir said. “They’ll be able to cut through the brush and get to areas other people may not be able to.”

Search-and-rescue teams from Sierra Madre, Bear Valley and San Bernardino were also assisting search efforts. Helicopters from Los Angeles and Orange County were back in the air after being grounded late Tuesday when dense fog rolled in.

Cendoya and Jack graduated from Costa Mesa High School. Authorities described them as active and healthy people. Cendoya played football and Jack was a dance-team member.

Officials believe the two have spent three nights in the rugged canyon, but authorities said conditions overnight have been manageable and not too cold.

Dozens of friends and family members have joined the search, organizing through social media and searching areas near the trail. So many turned out Wednesday morning that sheriff’s officials closed down the access road about two miles from the trail head. Officials said the volume of traffic was causing problems, and they needed to keep a route open for emergency vehicles.

Whitney McAleer, a high school friend of Jack’s, said she and friends were walking the trail and searching for signs of the pair. “We came up empty,” she said, but she wasn’t discouraged.

“We’re going to find them,” she said. “We’re going to bring them home today.”

Source: www.ocregister.com

By SALVADOR HERNANDEZ, CLAUDIA KOERNER, DOUG IRVING, ALEJANDRA MOLINA and BROOKE STAGGS/ ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

If you are charged with a crime, contact an experienced Orange County Bail Bondsman to assist you in any bail situation.

 

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Dog stolen from SUV at Kaleidoscope is recovered

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Pudsy was reportedly stolen from a black Escalade that has the entire back looking like a doggy playpen. Bed, toys, food and water. Pudsy is always with her. Someone took out the drivers side key hole and opened the car leaving a laptop but taking the dog.
COURTESY VICKIE DESILVA

Pudsy, a dog, taken from an SUV parked at the Kaleidoscope Courtyards, is back but not doing well.

Patricia Karns, of San Clemente, got the dog back Monday after someone responded to her email address set up to recover the dog. Karns and her husband met with the man who said he found Pudsy at a gas station in Monrovia, said Vickie DeSilva, Karns’, a friend of Karns.

“The dog seemed disoriented and confused, ” DeSilva said. “She was crying and whimpering like she was in pain.”

The man told Karns Pudsy was found walking near a shopping mall in Monrovia over the weekend. They first contacted Karns via email on Sunday night.

DeSilva said Karns promptly went to seek medical help for Pudsy. The couple was accompanied by investigators from the Orange County Sheriff Department. More details on the investigation are expected.

The 4-year-old, hand-sized pup has been missing since Feb. 22 when Churee Serrano, Patricia Karns’ daughter, said she and her mother realized she was no longer inside the back of a Cadillac Escalade parked at the Kaleidoscope Courtyards, a shopping plaza at Crown Valley Parkway and I-5.

Patricia Karns, of San Clemente, got the dog as a therapy dog following a brain trauma. She took Pudsy with her at all times. At the time of the theft, between 6 and 8 p.m., both women were at a spa in the mall.

Serrano said when they were done, she drove her mother to her Cadillac on the lower level. Shortly after Karns, 57, got into the car, she called Serrano saying Pudsy was missing. They pulled over and returned to the Kaleidoscope where they searched for the dog. Although Karns had a Nordstrom shopping bag, some credit cards, a checkbook and her laptop in the car, those items were not taken. A glass case filled with several rings, a bracelet and a watch was also taken, Serrano said.

Mall management said Kaleidoscope helped with the investigation from the beginning. Security personnel were on duty that night and helped Karns and Serrano prepare a report for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

Lisa Miller, who oversees mall management, said security at the mall was increased after the dogs reported theft.

Source: www.ocregister.com

By ERIKA I. RITCHIE/ ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

If you are charged with a crime, contact an experienced Orange County Bail Bondsman to assist you in any bail situation.

 

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