Two home invasions reported in one day

NORWALK – Detectives are working to determine if two back-to-back home invasions in Norwalk are connected.

The violent incidents happened within 2 miles of each other on Tuesday.

In the first incident, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said the suspects entered a home in the 12700 block of Larwin Drive shortly before 1 p.m. 

They choked a man, tied him up and put him in a closet while they stole about $400 and a cellphone.

The man suffered no serious injuries but complained of chest and neck pain.

The incident prompted a brief lockdown at John Glen and Southeast Academy high schools. 
While deputies were investigating the scene of the crime, they received a call just 30 minutes later about another home invasion in the 11900 block of Olive Street.

Officials said a man broke through the front door the home and grabbed a woman by the hair. 
The victim found a hammer and threw it at the suspect. He then grabbed it and threw it back before fleeing.

Investigators said neither the victim nor the suspect managed to strike the other with the hammer.

No suspects were caught at either of the two locations, and officials said it’s not yet clear if the crimes are connected.

Norwalk man gets 1 year in jail for killing friend

NORWALK -- A 27-year-old man pleaded guilty Monday to killing his friend nearly six months ago, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office announced.
 
At yesterday's court appearance, David Kirk Vergara of Norwalk pleaded guilty to a felony count of involuntary manslaughter.
 
Following the plea, Vergara was immediately sentenced to 365 days in jail and three years of formal probation.
 
Prosecutors said Vergara and the victim, David Bernal, were friends.
 
On Jan. 28, Vergara and Bernal were reportedly hanging out at a Norwalk home when the defendant began showing Bernal a rifle, prosecutors said.
 
During the presentation, Vergara allegedly pulled the rifle's trigger and shot Bernal, prosecutors added. The victim died at the scene.
 
Authorities were called and the defendant was arrested in connection with the fatal shooting.
 
The case was investigated by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

Norwalk man accused of robbing Norm's restaurant in Downey

NORWALK -- A Norwalk man has been arrested and charged with robbing the Norm’s restaurant in Downey late last year. 

Edward Ramon Rodriguez, 46, is accused of brandishing a handgun and robbing the restaurant at about 9:30 p.m. on Dec. 12. He ordered the cashier to give him money from the register before Rodriguez fled through the front doors to a waiting vehicle, authorities said. 

Rodriguez was arrested March 3, although police didn’t announce the arrest until March 16. Rodriguez is facing similar robbery charges in Huntington Beach. 

Prosecutors charged Rodriguez with felony armed robbery. He is currently being held at the Orange County Jail pending a court appearance. 
 

Woman charged with running immigration services scam


A Los Angeles woman pleaded not guilty last week to 17 felony counts for allegedly operating a fraudulent immigration services business.
 
Dalila Moreno (dob 11/23/54) faces charges of grand theft of personal property, forgery, counterfeit seal and extortion. Her next scheduled court appearance is a preliminary hearing setting on Feb. 13.
 
According to prosecutors, Moreno ran the immigration business from her home between May 7, 2011, and October 31, 2014, falsely promising to expedite the processing of visas, resident alien cards and citizenship petitions for her clients and their families.
 
The defendant allegedly told victims she worked for the government and had special government connections. She allegedly pretended to provide services by creating false visas and passport stamps, collecting $129,000 from 13 victims without providing the promised services.
 
Moreno faces up to 14 years in state prison if convicted as charged. Bail was set at $550,000.
 
Investigators believe there may be other victims and ask them to call the Consumer Protection Division's hotline at (213) 257-2465.

Two men arrested for string of robberies

NORWALK – On Monday, Nov. 20, between the hours of 12:45 p.m. and 8:40 p.m., six armed robberies occurred within the cities of Norwalk, La Mirada, Santa Fe Springs and Bellflower. 
The primary targets were gas stations and convenience stores. 

Approximately $780 in cash, cigarettes and other miscellaneous items were stolen at gunpoint. Evidence obtained at several of the incident locations lead detectives to identify two suspects. 
At approximately 8:45 p.m., a small 1994 dark blue Toyota 2dr pick-up truck, fitting the description of the suspected vehicle, was observed by Whittier Police Department personnel drive into a gas station at Valley View and Rosecrans Avenue in La Mirada. 

Subsequently, the two suspects inside the pick-up truck were detained at gunpoint and taken into custody without incident.

Among the items recovered from the suspect vehicle were cigarettes and approximately $800 in cash. A black airsoft pistol closely resembling the handgun believed to have been used in the commission of the crimes was also recovered.

The suspects, 18-year-old Christian Lopez, a male Hispanic resident of Whittier and 20-year-old Alberto Letona Jr., a male Hispanic of La Mirada, were arrested and transported to Norwalk Sheriff’s Station where they were booked for robbery. 

Each are being held in lieu of $100,000 bail.

Bump leads to fatal shooting at Norwalk gas station

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NORWALK – A 42-year-old man was shot and killed following a physical altercation at an Arco convenience store in Norwalk last Saturday. 

Authorities say the incident began when the victim, Geronimo Gutierrez, bumped into a 16-year-old Palm Springs girl inside the store, located at 10602 Imperial Hwy. 

The bump led to a fist fight between Gutierrez and the girl’s friend, 20-year-old Nakia Smith, of Los Angeles.

During the fight, Smith produced a handgun and shot Gutierrez in the head, authorities said. An innocent bystander was  struck in the abdomen. 

Gutierrez died but the bystander survived. 

Authorities arrested Smith and the 16-year-old girl in Palm Springs. They also found the suspected murder weapon, authorities said. 

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500.
 

Volunteer track coach arrested for sexual assault

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The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Special Victim’s Bureau is currently investigating a sexual assault case involving a volunteer high school track coach from Norwalk High School, the department announced via its official Facebook page. 


The suspect, 26-year-old Johnny Arrellano was arrested on Oct. 5 for lewd and lascivious acts with a minor, police said. 


It is alleged he sexually assaulted two female students while off campus.


Arrellano is scheduled to be arraigned at Norwalk Court today, Tuesday Oct. 17. His bail is set at $370,000.00.


Investigators believe there may be additional victims or witnesses.
 

Norwalk man charged in fatal hit-and-run

DOWNEY – A 19-year-old Norwalk man was arrested for fleeing a fatal vehicle collision in Downey on Sept. 6, police said. 

Authorities say Jose Esparza was driving the vehicle that collided into another car at Bellflower Boulevard and Imperial Highway at about 10:59 p.m. 

Esparza allegedly fled the scene but was arrested later by investigators. He was charged with vehicular manslaughter, driving under the influence, and hit-and-run.