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Sexual Prowler, Burglar Sought

Los Angeles: Police are asking  for the public's help in identifying and locating a sexual prowler  who burglarized a woman's Van Nuys home and sexually assaulted her in the early morning hours on Thursday, June 28, 2007.

The incident happened around 4:00 a.m., in the area of Sepulveda Boulevard and Vanowen Street.

After entering through an unlocked sliding glass patio door, the man created an opening in the screen door, then reached in and unlatched it.

According to investigators, a woman, asleep in her bed, screamed after she was awoken and realized that she was being sexually assaulted.  The attacker fled on foot from the location.

"The weather is getting warmer and people have the tendency to leave their windows and doors opened and unlocked.  By doing this, you give an intruder easy access to your home.  At night, keep your windows and doors locked and utilized other methods to keep cool" said Detective Alvarado.

Police described the suspect as being possibly Hispanic or Black, 5'6" to 5'8" tall with a stocky build.

Investigators have a few leads and are asking anyone with information to call Detectives Nancy Nelson or Jesse Alvarado, Robbery Homicide Division, Rape Special Section, at 213-485-2921.  On weekends or during off-hours call the 24-hour toll free number at 1-877-LAWFULL (1-877-529-3855).

Vicious Dog Attacks Officer

Los Angeles: A vicious large dog was shot while officers were conducting a traffic stop.

On June 29, 2007, at about 2:00 a.m., Mission Area Officers Landon Summey and his partner conducted a traffic stop of a vehicle that pulled into the driveway of a residence in the 14000 block of Foothill Boulevard in Sylmar.

As officers were initiating contact with the driver, a large dog (believed to be a Rottweiler/Labrador mix) charged from the rear yard and attacked Officer Summey.  The dog bit Officer Summey on the back of his left leg. 

Officer Summey fired his service weapon, striking the dog.  The dog ran back to the rear yard where it died as a result of its injuries.

Officer Summey is 25 years old and has been with the department for over 3 years.

Mission Area Detectives are conducting the investigation.

Carjacking Ends in Fatal Collision

Los Angeles: Two Los Angeles teenage boys are in custody after leading Sheriff's Deputies on a short pursuit that ended in a violent collision, killing an innocent man.

On June 27, 2007, at about 6:50 a.m., Deputies from Lennox Sheriff's Station began following a Toyota Camry that was reported stolen out of the Hollywood area.  The pursuit began on Century Boulevard near Vermont Avenue.  After a brief chase the pursuing Deputies backed off and canceled their pursuit.

The driver of the Camry, a 16-year-old juvenile, attempting to flee from the Deputies, lost control of the car and veered into oncoming traffic, colliding head-on into a Toyota pick-up truck being driven by Miguel Falcon Castro of Los Angeles. The impact killed Mr. Castro and resulted in a five-car pile-up.

The driver of the Camry, and his 16-year-old passenger, were both transported to a local hospital with moderate injuries.  The driver was subsequently arrested for Vehicular Manslaughter and his passenger was arrested for Carjacking.  No other injuries were reported.

Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Rodney Jones at South Traffic Division, 323-290-6364.  On weekends and holidays please call the toll-free number at
1-877- LAWFULL (529-3855).

Officer Fires Weapon Accidentally

Los Angeles: A Los Angeles Police Department officer at the Davis Training Facility in Granada Hills accidentally fired his weapon, striking a fellow officer.

On June 25, 2007, at 4:00PM officers Peter Lee and Hector Villanueva where preparing for a training exercise involving the use of firearms. Officer Villanueva was conducting a safety check of a weapon when it accidentally fired one round, striking Officer Lee in his upper left hamstring.

Lee was transported to a local hospital in stable condition.

Officer Villanueva 35, has 7 years with the Department.  Officer Lee 42, has been with the Department for 15 years.

Force Investigation is handling the incident.

Gunman Armed with .357 Magnum Confronts Officers

Los Angeles: A man armed with a .357 Magnum pistol confronted officers, was shot Monday evening.

On June 25, 2007, at about 8:30 PM, Southwest Area patrol officers responded to an Assault with a Deadly Weapon suspect call at 4031 South Hobart Boulevard, in South Los Angeles. The officers were advised that the suspect was armed with a pistol and had assaulted several victims.

The victims fled the residence and left the suspect alone inside. The officers established a perimeter around the residence and requested SWAT. Prior to the arrival of SWAT, the suspect walked out of the residence with the pistol and confronted the officers. The officers fired their weapons, striking the suspect. The suspect was taken into custody without further incident.

The suspect was taken to California Hospital in critical condition with multiple gunshot wounds, died a short time later. He has been identified as Aaron Borden, 26, of Los Angeles. His .357 Magnum pistol was recovered at the scene.

No officers were injured. Involved officers are John Flores, 32, 10 years with the Department, Officer John Davis, 27, 2 ½ years with the Department, and Officer Alfredo Ibanez, 36, 6 years and 10 months with the department.

Force Investigation Division personnel responded to the scene and are handling the investigation.

Infant Dies in Shooting

Los Angeles:  A two-month-old infant was shot when her juvenile uncle negligently fired a gun Monday.

On June 25, 2007, around 5:30 p.m., the young man was sitting on his porch fumbling with a pellet rifle.  His sister, who was carrying his two-month old niece, walked toward him when the pellet gun discharged and struck the baby.  Two-month-old Melody Rojas died from her injuries at 3:55 a.m. today.

The suspect was taken into custody and booked into Eastlake Juvenile Hall for murder.  The pellet rifle was recovered from the family residence located in the 100 block of East 31st Street in Los Angeles.

For additional information, please contact Detective Sunny Romero, Newton Division, at 323-846-6569.  For additional information, please contact Media Relations Section, at 213-485-3586.

Harbor Gateway Area Kicks Off Community Summer Program

Los Angeles: Weekdays beginning Tuesday, June 26, 2007, through Saturday, September 1, 2007, the LAPD's Harbor Community Police Station and community organizations will provide a fun and safe place for kids ages 8-17 to meet with friends and participate in numerous summertime activities. 

The program, which includes field trips to the Museum of Tolerance, swimming pool, track and field events, and interaction with players from the Chivas soccer team, will begin with a kick-off event today at 12:30 p.m. on Harvard Boulevard, between 205th and 207th Streets.  The program will continue Monday through Friday from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the intersection of Del Amo Boulevard and Denker Avenue.

The program is sponsored by the LAPD Harbor Community Police Station, Harbor Cal Pal Summer Fun Program, the Harbor Gateway Weed & Seed Program, Recreation and Parks and the LA County Commission on Human Relations, Sharefest and L.A. Kids.

For additional information, or to enroll a child in the program, please contact Police Officer Jim Biazevich or Sergeant Catherine Plows, Harbor Community Relations Office, at 310-522-2042.

Media inquiries may be directed to Media Relations Section at 213-485-3586.

Found Body Positively Identified as that of Murder Victim


On June 1, 2007, Hollywood homicide detectives arrested David Mahler for the murder of an unidentified Caucasian woman at his residence on May 27, 2007.  The victim, whose body had been removed from the crime scene, was later identified as Kristin Baldwin, 38.

On June 17, 2007, detectives were notified by the Coroner's Division of the San Bernardino Sheriff's Department that human remains were found approximately four miles east of Barstow, California, on June 16, 2007.  The body was discovered by two men who had stopped to assist a stranded motorist near the junction of the 15 and 40 Freeways.  The remains were in a ditch. The men immediately notified authorities.

The Los Angeles County Coroner's office was advised and subsequently took custody of the body.  On June 25, 2007, the body was confirmed to be that of Kristin Baldwin.  A city of residence has not yet been determined.

Questions may be directed to Hollywood Detectives Lieutenant Don Lehman at 213-972-2969.

Police Ask Public's Help in Solving Hollywood Murder

Los Angeles: Hollywood Homicide Detectives are requesting the public's assistance in identifying and locating the body of a woman who was murdered last month in Hollywood.

On Friday, June 1, 2007, at approximately 12:30 a.m., patrol officers responded to a call stating that a woman had been shot to death in a home at 8581 Cole Crest Drive, in Hollywood.  When police arrived, they found several individuals at the location, all of whom were taken to Hollywood Police Station for questioning. 

Detectives determined that a female victim was in fact shot to death at the residence on Sunday, May 27, 2007.  One of the persons detained, David Mahler, 43, of Hollywood, was later booked for murder at Hollywood Station.  He is being held without bail.

The identity and location of the victim are not known.  She was Caucasian in her late thirties with blond hair, 5'4", 120 pounds, and wore black spandex bike shorts and a tank top of unknown color. Her first name may have been Chrissie.

Anyone with information is asked to call Hollywood Homicide Detectives at 213-972-2910 or 213-972-2915, during normal business hours.  After hours and on weekends, phone the 24-hour toll free Detective Information Desk at 1-877-LAW-FULL (529-3855).

Media inquiries may be directed to Media Relations Section.

Man Arrested at Border for 1993 Hit-and-Run

Los Angeles: Los Angeles police today announced the arrest of Rogelio Pereira, 55, during a news conference in downtown Los Angeles.  Pereira had been wanted since 1993 in the hit-and-run death of freelance photographer Douglas Burrows, who was 29 years old when he died.

"I could not believe it," said Detective Josephine Mapson, who supervises all the traffic investigators at the Central Traffic Division.  "This case stood out for me over the years because Douglas's father, John, would call us every year on the anniversary of the accident and ask if we had caught the suspect."

Mapson had been hoping Pereira would be in custody by May Day so she could tell John Burrows the good news when his annual call came, but the day came and went without a call and Pereira was still at large.

Detectives assigned to the US Marshal's Pacific Southwest Regional Task Force had been zeroing in on Pereira for the last two years after Mapson had mentioned the case to an investigator in 2004.  Before that, detectives had done everything they knew to get the word out, especially along the US-Mexico border towns, that Pereira had been identified just three days after the collision.  Profiles on "Prime Suspect" and "America's Most Wanted" turned up nothing.

Douglas Burrows died in an early afternoon 1993 hit-and-run crash as he was driving through downtown Los Angeles.  An 18-wheeled truck hit his passenger car, trapping Douglas inside as flames engulfed the car. Witnesses saw the truck driver run away and detectives identified him three days later, getting a felony warrant for vehicular manslaughter.

Mapson received a call from the task force on June 19 of this year. Two LAPD detectives were at the border and they expected to have Pereira in custody within a day.  "I held my breath the whole day," Mapson said.  "It occurred to me that I needed to find out what happened to John Burrows, but I didn't want to call him until I knew for sure."

The arrest happened the next day when Mexican authorities expelled Pereira from Mexico as an "undesirable person" as he had no legal standing in Mexico.  When Mexican police dropped him at the Calexico border crossing, US border agents detained Pereira on the 1993 felony warrant.  Two LAPD detectives, Joe Bahena and Leman Potter, both assigned to the US Marshal's task force, picked up Periera the next day and brought him to Los Angeles, where he will stand trial for manslaughter. 

Detectives also found Periera was wanted by the California Department of Corrections and the Yuma County Sheriff's Department in Arizona.  No bail was set for Pereira as he awaits trial.

88-Year-Old Woman Missing

Los Angeles: A local family is asking for the public's help to locate an 88-year-old woman who has been missing since June 23, 2007.

Around 9:00 a.m., 88-year-old Helen Higuchi walked away from her home located in the
5000 block of 4th Avenue.  According to her family, she suffers from dementia and has never gone missing before.

Helen Higuchi is 5 feet 2 inches tall, weighs 124 pounds, and has gray hair and brown eyes.  Helen Higuchi was possibly wearing blue and black pants and black shoes.

A photo is available through LAPD Media Relations Section.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Missing Persons Unit, Detective Bruce Kuehl or Officer Antonio Medina at 213-485-5381.