Thursday, October 17, 2019

City News Council approves 4-way stop for Granada Dr intersection Also: Election season nears

La Mirada-

The city council approved the installation of a four-way stop sign at the intersection of Granada Dr and Los Coyotes Ave/Monticello Dr. at last week's meeting.

The recommendation was made by a county traffic engineer after a comprehensive traffic study was conducted on Granada Dr. from La Mirada Bl. to Stamy Rd.

The study found that children were passing through the intersection as a main walking route to and from school while traffic volume on Granada Dr had increased to an average of 2.740 vehicles per day, an 11% increase from three years ago. 

On Los Coyotes Av which along with Monticello Dr. already have a two-way stop in place at the intersection Granada Dr., has seen traffic volume increase 31% since 2016.

A request will also be made with Caltrans requesting removal of Granada Dr as a designated collector road on maps of the California Roads System to local road.

Classification as a local road will allow the Sheriff's Department to conduct radar speed enforcement at the 25 mph basic speed limit for residential streets. 

Currently, in order to use radar to enforce a speed limit, the state vehicle mandates that a survey must be done on a collector route and the speed limit set at the speed 85% of motorists are driving on the road in free-flowing conditions. The limit can be lowered from that number on roads with high accident rates

The current 85th percentile speed on Granada is 36 mph. and would likely result in a speed limit posted at 35 mph before speed enforcement could take place using radar.  The new designation will allow radar enforcement at 25 mph once the change is accepted.

Date selected for city council elections

A resolution was passed without discussion setting March 3, 2020, as the date that city elections will be held when voters will elect the first council members to represent council districts #3, #4, and #5.

If it seems a long time since you last voted in a city election, it has been. Here is why.

A state law mandating city elections in general law cities be held on one of the two days every other year when statewide elections are held required the year La Mirada holds elections to be moved by one year.

City council terms were extended one year to allow terms for councilmembers seated at the time to coincide with the elections that would be held to fill those seats for a new term.  

In 2015, state lawmakers passed SB-415 establishing California's concurrent-elections in an effort to boost voter participation.

La Mirada chose 2020 as the year the change would go into effect making it five years since a majority of residents last voted in a city council race.

Councilmember Ed Eng, a resident of District 3 which covers most of Green Hills, Hillsborough, and the area near Los Coyotes Middle School is expected to seek re-election.

Councilmembers Larry Mowles and Mayor Steve DeRuse both hail from District 4 covering most of the southwest portion of the city and are approaching the end of their extended terms. 

It seems unlikely the two will run again each other for another term. A lot of eyes will be watching to see who takes out nomination papers and who does not. There is a wealth of qualified candidates that have experience serving on city commissions, committees, and local service groups residing in the district. 

This could be an interesting contest if both incumbents decide to step aside.

The District #5 seat will be a wide-open affair with those seeking election not having to contend with an incumbent to compete with.

Located in the north-central area of La Mirada, District 5 includes the Creek Park area south to Regional Park, then takes a gerrymander-like jaunt to include a small neighborhood south of Biola University while avoiding the school.

Real Estate agent John Accornero has stated publicly he is interested in running in District 3,   Former Community Services Commissioner Dustin Dahl is believed to be interested in a run for the District 5 seat. A well-known local figure is also rumored to be showing more than just a passing interest in the District 5 seat.

Diamond Anniversary logo considered

During its monthly study session that is held prior to the regular meeting, staff was expected to discuss the design of a special city logo to mark La Mirada's 60th anniversary next year.

Council will choose from three submissions the logo marking the city's diamond anniversary that will be incorporated into a temporary city seal, social media sites including Twitter and Facebook, and on publications including the La Mirada Living newsletter mailed out to residents throughout the year.

La Mirada became the county's 68th city on March 23, 1960, with the name Mirada Hills due to a local formation technicality. Voters approved changing the name of the city to La Mirada eight months later back to the name of which the community was developed and was accustomed to.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

La Mirada Crime Notes Sept 26,19

La Mirada-
A man who fled from a deputy patrolling the area near Gardenhill Park avoided arrest early Tuesday morning after fleeing through the park on a bicycle and disappearing into the rear yard of a nearby home.

At about 1:15 a.m. a man described only as a White Male riding a bike near Biola Av and Tacuba Dr. refused to yield and instead chose to flee south on Heflin Dr from Ragan Dr., then west to Gardenhill Park. 

The deputy lost sight of the man after turing into the darkened park.

Moments later dispatchers at Norwalk Sheriff's Station received a 911 call from an alert citizen a block west of the park stating a suspicious man had just dumped a bicycle on the front yard of a neighboring home in the 13200 block of Fleta Dr. just off Valeda Dr. and ran into the rear yard of the home where he could be seen hiding.

The man was able to avoid arrest after deputies were unable to deploy a heat-seeking search device that helicopters are equipped with and lacking a sufficient number of patrol deputies available to conduct a timely ground search.

(It should be noted with appreciation the two officers from Biola Campus Safety that were on hand to help shorthanded deputies with perimeter containment  Many in the public may not be aware that Biola officers have on-duty peace officer powers and are very well trained and led by a renowned Chief, John Ojeisekhoaba who is recognized as a leader in his field by his peers at the national level.)

Burglary rates skyrocket over the summer

Just about the time, the above incident was concluding, Sheriff's Communications Center received a call from an alarm company that a break-in signal had been received from a business on Knott Ave.  The break-in was verified by responding deputies.

The only thing really noteworthy about this break-in is the timing of the two events shows clearly what deputies are up against. The cover of darkness and very few watchful eyes are an invitation to thieves 

Thefts from unlocked vehicles have been an issue for a year or more and now a huge jump in burglaries was observed this summer versus last. The biggest increases were to homes and garages.

Several local residents expressed concerns about feeling unsafe in their homes in mid-August after residents had reported coming home and finding intruders inside their homes four days apart.

The description of the suspects that were seen fleeing as the resident walked up to the door of the home in the 15200 block of Tricia Lane on August 12 closely resemble the suspects that ended up leading a deputy in a short vehicle pursuit down Imperial Hwy.

The suspects with a good head start lost the pursuing deputy in heavy traffic after they were spotted fleeing the area shortly after the August 16 break-in was interrupted near Oxford Dr and Imperial Hwy.
In 2019 as of August 31, there had been 101 burglaries from 80 during the same period in 2018, a 26% increase.   In the month of August 2019, there were 32 an increase from 17 reported in 2018. 

In recent years criminals perhaps leery of having a strike attached to them that comes with a residential burglary conviction only committed no more than a handful a month. With more than two dozen report in the past three months, those days are over. 

Update from the reported security breach at Granada School

On Tuesday morning we reported on Facebook that deputies had detained a man near Granada Middle School at Stamy Rd. and Lemon Dr after he was observed talking to students on campus. 

The initial 911 caller reported he jumped over the fence, but it is believed he may have used the pedestrian gate between Scott Ave and Granada schools, a statement supported by the fact he was riding a bike.

A Sheriff's official from Norwalk Station said after further investigation that the man was determined to not have made any threats or hold any ill intentions or perceived to be a danger towards the school.  The man was placed under arrest for being under the influence of a controlled substance.

It's not known if school officials had begun or ever intended to place the camps never in lockdown mode because the man had been quickly detained by several deputies in less than two minutes after the call was received.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Woman arrested after owner of van she stole spots her red-handed behind the wheel

Photos by LM News

La Mirada- A call to Norwalk Sheriff's Station to report a stolen vehicle from a business this morning took a sudden turn that resulted in the arrest of a suspect after the owner called back to report he was following a person driving his vehicle not far from where it was taken.

Shortly after 8 a.m. the owner of Dorado Bakery next to the new Mc Donald's in East Whittier at 15662 Leffingwell Rd reported to dispatchers that one of the panel vans he owns had been stolen. 

A short time later dispatchers received a call back from the man at 8:14 a.m. saying he found his van being driven by a woman in the Saver's parking lot at Imperial Hwy and Santa Gertrudes Ave.

After driving the stolen van around the parking lot for several minutes the woman head east on Imperial Hwy to turning left onto First Ave where it was quickly spotted by a Sheriff's Aero Bureau helicopter crew as it approached Lambert Rd.

Deputies in patrol vehicles were not far behind. 

A successfully stop in the 10800 block of First Ave (just north of Leffingwell Rd.) blocked the northbound lane at Lashburn Street as deputies with guns drawn ordered the occupants to exit the van by loudspeaker. Only the female driver was found inside the stolen van.

A Norwalk Station deputy speaks to the suspect as other deputies plan their approach to the van

A Norwalk Station Sergeant supervising deputies in the field arrives on scene.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

La Mirada car prowler caught on video

La Mirada- Images of a young man that is believed to have taken a wallet from an unlocked vehicle parked in the driveway of a La Mirada residence overnight early Sunday was captured on home security video.  

The crime on this video was captured on a Ring security system about 1:20 a.m. at a home in the area of La Fortuna Dr. and La Fonda Dr. which is just north of the Post Office.

The suspect can be seen checking door handles on two other cars in the driveway in an apparent attempt to find one unlocked.

Advances in the home security system marketplace have raised awareness of how common these crimes appear to be in the area.