Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Man that drove car into gym sentenced to state prison

La Mirada News File photo 3/19/2019

A South Whittier man has been handed a nine-year state prison sentence after pleading no contest to a charge related to a March 2019 incident that involved driving a stolen vehicle into a La Mirada gym after the business revoked his membership.

Sergio Gabriel Reyes, 34, pleaded no contest Monday to a single charge of assault with a deadly weapon after the prosecutor agreed to drop four other charges including attempted murder, vehicle theft and two counts of vandalism. Reyes had faced up to 25 years in prison if convicted on all charges.

With time already served and good time credits Reyes will have to serve up to another 38 months before being eligible for parole.

On March 19, 2019, Reyes was arrested after he drove a stolen car through the front of Crunch Fitness at 12815 Valley View Av after the gym terminated his membership after an accusation by several women that he had been directing sexual harassment at them.

There were a handful of customers still inside the business at the time of the incident and an employee standing near the front desk narrowly escaped injury.

A witness followed Reyes to the 15200 block of Alicante Rd after spotting him run to a second vehicle that was stopped near the gym. The Toyota Corolla that Reyes fled in collided with a curb attempting to elude the following witness and was held until deputies arrived.

The vehicle that Reyes drove into the gym belonged to a relative.




Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Local deputies and firefighters keep busy on a noisy 4th of July

La Mirada-  Sheriff's deputies and Los Angeles County firefighters were kept busy on the night of 4th of July, and despite a noted upsurge of illegal fireworks heard around the city this year there were only a few outdoor fires blamed on their use. 

Four teams made up of a deputy, a code enforcement officer, and a public safety officer acting as a spotter made their presence know in parts of the city writing $1,000 citations for using fireworks not rated safe and sane.

A heavy sheriff's presence was noted in the Windemere Park neighborhood as well as areas along Alicante Rd and near Los Coyotes Middle School.

One of the citations was issued to a partygoer at a home on  Manzanares Rd. and Alicante Rd where about ten people were celebrating a little too much as two of the special enforcement units passed by. A resident in the area told La Mirada News that he had been seeing people run across Alicante Rd into the park a short distance followed by loud explosions that had been setting off car alarms in the area for several hours. 

A final tally for La Mirada is expected to be revealed next Tuesday during the city council study session however a tweet from Norwalk Station stated deputies at the station had written 48 citations over the four-day period ending July 4th and had confiscated 875 pounds of illegal fireworks during the same time period.

Despite a dramatic increase in the use of illegal fireworks this year,  only a few outdoor fires were blamed on their use including a spectacular Pine Tree fire at a home behind the Rosebeach Apartments at the corner of Faceta Dr and Ashgrove Av. The fire followed what witnesses described as a spectacular exhibition of illegal aerial fireworks at the large apartment complex.

Dramatic video of this fire can be found on YouTube by clicking on the following link: https://youtu.be/P6WOvg9AiBg

A hedge caught fire on a cul-de-sac offshoot in the 14200 block of Whiterock Dr and was extinguished by residents before the arrival of the fire department.

More coverage after each photo.


Firefighters from Engine 49 check a smoldering hedge on Whiterock Dr.


As midnight struck the action moved from fireworks-related incidents to those that were more potentially dangerous.

A White Toyota Camry registered as a rental car was traveling northbound on Figueras Rd from Rosecrans Av became flipped over on its roof near the intersection with Badlona Dr. sending one of the occupants to the hospital with minor injuries.




A short time later deputies and fire crews rushed to an occupied home that was reported on fire in the 14400 block of San Dieguito Dr. near Neff Park.

Deputies arrived within two minutes reporting that the home had been successfully evacuated. Flames were visible coming from the garage which appeared to have been undergoing some sort of work by a contractor or the homeowner.

The fire was deemed to be not related to fireworks and was quickly extinguished by firefighters from Engine 194 from the Beach Blvd. fire station. Crews from four other stations also responded to assist in the effort.






As firefighters worked to extinguish the house fire, Norwalk Station dispatchers also began receiving calls about a street takeover that was in progress at Alondra Bl and Valley View Av.

After being dispersed from intersection adjacent to the AM/PM, the crowd of about 200 gathered to shut down Valley View Av once again, this time about a half-mile to the north at Gannet St.

With many of the deputies at the fire on San Dieguito Dr and their cars trapped behind all the fire equipment stopped in the middle of the narrow residential street, a lone deputy was greeted by the takeover crowd on Valley View Av. by occupants from several escaping cars throwing M-80's at the deputy who had staked a location in the intersection to disperse the crowd with the loud explosives narrowly missing the Sheriff's SUV.

The night ended with arguably the most critical incident occurring after a deputy answering a routine fireworks complaint call encountered a car stopped on the lip of the driveway near the liquor store at Santa Gertrudes Av and La Mirada Blvd. about 2:30 a.m.
I
When the deputy approached the vehicle he spotted a gun and two people that had fallen asleep. After deputies had extracted the occupants at gunpoint it was determined the weapon was a so-called 'ghost gun' that is shipped to buyers in pieces and are assembled by its owners, bypassing gun background checks.


One of the suspects from the car with the 'ghost gun' is handcuffed by deputies





Sunday, June 28, 2020

Council News: New traffic signal approved and Biola Safety Chief to serve on Planning Commission

The city council approved the installation of a traffic signal at Imperial Hwy. and Burgess Ave. during its June 23rd meeting based on the results of a study performed by a traffic engineer.

The engineer's report noted that 16 accidents have been recorded at the intersection in a five-year period, six of them occurring in the final year of the study.

Councilmember Andrew Sarega voiced concerns that a signal would cause further congestion during the morning commute on Imperial and suggested restricting traffic on Burgess to right turns only and instead funnel drivers through neighborhoods to the east of Burgess Ave. towards Biola Ave. to enter or turn from Imperial Hwy.

The other four members of the council failed to support Sarega's suggestion.

Biola Campus Safety Chief and eight others named to four-year city commission terms

The council also approved the appointments of two new commissioners and reappointed seven others to new four-year terms.
John Ojeisekhoba

Biola University Associate Vice President and Chief of Campus Safety John Ojeisekhoba was appointed to the Public Safety Commission.

Chief Ojeisekhoba has received several national honors from his peers including named Campus Safety Director of the Year by Campus Safety Magazine for the many changes he made to campus security, officer training, and preparedness. Officer retention has grown by 150% since he became chief.

Ojeisekhoba's department is well-respected by local law enforcement as demonstrated by the close working relationship his officers enjoy with local deputies and investigators. Biola Campus Safety officers have peace officer status while on duty and the scope of duties and authority of its personnel are outlined in an MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) with the Sheriff's Department.

Biola currently ranks as one of the safest campuses across the nation and has received local and national acclaim for its annual earthquake and active shooter drills.

Also returning to the Public Safety Commission to four-year terms are Desiree Johnson and Mark Madison

Phillip Massey was appointed to the La Mirada Planning Commission after a nomination by the newest member of the city council Anthony Otero. Massey previously served on the  Oversight Committee that monitored Measure I sales tax expenditures as its chairman. Measure I was a one-cent sales tax that was collected for four years funding much of the infrastructure rehabilitation in residential areas across the city. 


Returning to the Planning Commission are Richard Cline and Michael Saenz, and reappointed to the Community Services Commission are Misty Cota, Steve Lee, and Susan Savage.






Tuesday, June 9, 2020

City Council to discuss temporary expansion of outdoor dining




Tuesday, June 9, 2020

The La Mirada city council will discuss this evening a proposal to allow restaurants to temporarily expand outdoor seating in an effort to assist local eateries that are losing indoor capacity due to social distancing requirements increase the number of tables available.


Council members will discuss during today's 5 p.m. study session an ordinance that could allow dining on sidewalks, walkways, and parking areas to assist dining establishments who have been hit hard by the COVID-19 epidemic.

Some of the components that are up for discussion are will alcohol service, placement of televisions, and music for guests be allowed and what type of requirements will be in place for outdoor fixtures and barriers.

During its 6:30 regular session at 6:30 p.m this evening, the city council is expected to hold a public hearing  on the proposed 2020-21 fiscal year budget.




Saturday, May 30, 2020

Two die, two more injured in fiery La Mirada crash

Two people died including a Whittier man and two more were rescued by deputies that rushed to the scene of a fiery three-car collision after becoming trapped in the blazing car.

A deputy from the traffic services unit of the Sheriff's Department was nearby when the accident occurred at about 5:36 p.m. at Imperial Highway and 1st Avenue. The special unit had been conducting a special enforcement mission promoting motorcycle safety in the city. 


The motorcycle deputy radioed for emergency help to aid in the emergency rescue effort that was unsuccessful at rescuing two of the four in the burning wreckage. the condition of the two that were pulled from the burning wreckage it's unknown at this time.

It is believed that both victims were pronounced dead at the scene.  

One of the victims has been identified as Philip Davis, 64 of Whittier.  The identity of the second victim is being withheld pending notification of relatives according to the county coroner's office.

Video as the tragedy unfolded can be viewed at the following link. Some of the images are disturbing please use caution.

The cause of the collision is still under investigation however a City News Service report states that the deputy that was first in the scene reportedly saw one of the involved vehicles speeding.

All eastbound lanes of Imperial Highway were closed to traffic for nearly 8 hours as deputies conducted an investigation into the cause of the wreck.  Traffic heading west into La Mirada was also impacted with an extended closure.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Last minute effort ensures those that made the ultimate sacrifice were still honored this Memorial Day

La Mirada-

Passing by Olive Lawn Memorial Park a sea of American flags shines brightly across the rolling green hills from end-to-end in honor of military personnel who made the ultimate sacrifice in battle defending the nation as well as those that were willing to lay down their life if called upon in defense of America.

It first looked like the annual tribute would be just another of the many casualties to the COVID-19 social distancing precautions that have shuttered public gathering places across the country.

Credit La Mirada's newest council member Anthony Otero's determination to ensure that local veterans would be remembered for the sacrifice they made when he called upon local Boy Scouts Troop 438 in putting together the effort at the last minute.


Led by Otero, the scouts from Troop 438 gathered at the cemetery Friday morning and placed a flag at the gravesite of each veteran.

Amidst the sea of flags, row after row, flags now wave across the rolling hillsides at the final resting sites of hundreds of men and women who have protected our nation including many who fought in World War I, Korea, World War II, and Vietnam.













Monday, May 18, 2020

Bus servuce on La MIrada Blvd. to Downtown Los Angeles resumes


Monday, May 18


Bus service resumed this morning on a reduced schedule on Montebello Line 50 with service along La Mirada Blvd to Downtown Los Angeles via Uptown Whittier and Washington Bl.

Buses will operate every 60- 65 minutes with the first bus departing from Adelfa Dr and Ashgrove Av next to the AMC Theatre at 5:50 a.m. and the last departure to Downtown Los Angeles at 5:35 p.m. Two later departures from La Mirada at 6:40 p.m. and 7:40 p.m. offer service on a shortened run to Washington Bl and Greenwood Av. in Montebello.

From Los Angeles the first bus departs 4th Street and Figueroa at 5:54 a.m. arriving Adelfa Dr and Ashgrove Av at 7:36 a.m.  The last bus departs Los Angeles at 5:26 p.m. arriving in La Mirada at 7:17 p.m.

No fares are being collected for service on all five lines will be in service. 

No service will be offered on this route on Sunday.

Riders are asked to enter buses through the rear door and use one of the 10 seats that are marked for use in an effort to promote social-distancing. If capacity is reached Montebello Bus Lines will have additional buses on stand-by that will be deployed to provide service to those waiting patrons. All passengers must wear masks while on board.

All buses will soon be installing barriers near the bus operator to offer additional protection in this era of COVID-19.

For additional information go to ridembl.com




Sunday, May 17, 2020

Public Safety: Sheriff's Crime Report 5/17/2020



Monday, April 27

9:40 a.m.    A non-injury hit-and-run collision was reported at Rosecrans Av and Valley View Av.

Tuesday, April 28

7:00 a.m.    An arrest was made at Gardenhill Dr and Gandara Dr for being under the influence of a controlled substance.

6:45 p.m.    A suspect was arrested at Imperial Hwy and Meyer Rd. for stealing a bicycle valued over $950, a felony.

Wednesday, April 29

8:47 a.m.    A catalytic converter was reported stolen in the 14200 block of Firestone Bl.

9:42 p.m.    A burglary of a storage container at La Mirada High School was reported.

Thursday, April 30

9:52 a.m.    A misdemeanor arrest was made at Alondra Bl and Ocaso Av for possession of a controlled substance.


10:27 a.m.   A misdemeanor arrest was made at La Mirada Bl and Rosecrans Av for possession of a controlled substance.

5:22 p.m.    An arrest in the 14500 block of Leffingwell Rd was made for trespassing.

Saturday, May 2

12:15 a.m.   An attempted burglary of a residence was reported in the 14400 block of Rosecrans Av.

2:50 a.m.    A set of golf clubs and a golf bag, as well as a pair of golf shoes, were taken from an unlocked vehicle in the 14200 block of Bora Dr.  This theft as well as second reported in the same block from another unlocked vehicle were both losses that exceeded $950 making each crime a felony.

3:00 a.m.    A vehicle was broken into overnight in the 14700 block of Ramhurst Dr.

3:26 a.m.    A theft from a vehicle was reported in the 14000 block of De Alcala Dr.

4:03 a.m.   A vehicle break-in was reported in the 14300 block of San Esteban Dr.

10:08 a.m.  A non-injury hit-and-run was reported at Imperial Hwy and Valley View Av.

5:06 p.m.   The theft of a catalytic converter was reported in the 14300 block of Alicante Rd.

Sunday, May 3

4:06 p.m.   An arrest was made in the 15200 block Rosecrans Ave of a possession alleged to have been under the influence of a controlled substance.

4:59 p,m.   A liquor law violation was reported in the 14500 block of Telegraph Rd.

Monday, May 4

7:20 p.m.   An arrest was made in the 15300 block of San Ardo Dr for driving impaired.

Tuesday, May 5 

2:30 p.m.   A misdemeanor arrest was made at Imperial Hwy and Meyer Rd for possession of more than an ounce of marijuana.

2:37 p.m.   A grand theft of a bicycle valued at more than the $950
threshold making it a felony was reported in the 13900 block of Imperial Hwy.

9:00 p.m.   A domestic violence assault was reported in the 16100 block of Peppertree Ln,

11:46 p.m. A phone was taken in a strong-arm robbery (force or fear of force) at Alondra Bl and Trojan Way. No weapon was displayed by the suspect.

Wednesday, May 6

1:30 a.m.     A bag containing a ring and a pair of shoes was stolen from a vehicle in the 16100 block of Rosecrans Av after the suspect smashed out a window to gain access.

3:00 a.m.     A theft of auto parts or accessories was reported in the 16100 block of Rosecrans Av,

11:05 a.m.   A misdemeanor arrest was made at Alondra BL and Stage Rd for possession of a controlled substance. 

12:53 p.m.   Shoplifting was reported in the 12800 block of La Mirada Bl.

8:23 p.m.     A misdemeanor arrest was made in the 15100 block of Valley View Av for possession of a controlled substance.

Thursday, May 7

12:25 a.m.   A felony assault involving a gun was reported at Valley View Av and Firestone Bl.  No injuries were reported during the incident.

1:03 a.m.     An arrest was made at Valley View Av and Rosecrans Av alleging a felony weapons law offense.

2:30 p.m.    Shoplifting was reported in the 12800 block of La Mirada Bl.

4:22 p.m.   Deputies handled a liquor law violation in the 14200 block of Imperial Hwy.

6:45 p.m.   A misdemeanor arrest was made at Imperial Hwy and Meyer Rd for possession of more than an ounce of marijuana.

9:30 p.m.   An assault was reported in the 1520 block of San Simon Ln.

Friday, May 8

9:30 a.m.    A catalytic converter was reported stolen from the 16700 block of Valley View Av.

9:49 a.m.    A liquor law violation was reported at Leffingwell Rd and Telegraph Rd.

8:45 p.m.    A misdemeanor hit-and-run was reported in the 15200 block of Rosecrans Av.

11:57 p.m.  An armed robbery was reported at the AM/PM at 15700 Valley View Av.  Two Black Males armed with a handgun obtained cash then left traveling westbound Alondra Bl. from the area in a gray SUV.


Saturday, May 9

3:00 a.m.   An overnight theft of two tires and rims from a vehicle was reported in the 13900 block of De Alcala Dr.

3:25 a.m.    An misdemeanor arrest was made in the 13700 block of La Mirada Bl for a weapons law violation.

9:31 a.m.    Deputies handled a marijuana misdemeanor crime at Santa Gertrudes Av and Adelfa Dr.

2:30 p.m.   A misdemeanor, non-injury hit-and-run was reported in the 12800 block of La Mirada Bl.

3:53 p.m.   A felony grand theft of a phone was reported in the 15300 block of Valley View Av.

Wednesday, May 13

2:40 a.m.    A vehicle was reported stolen from the 14800 block of Springford Dr.


From La Mirada Public Safety: Also reported during the week of Monday May 4 through Saturday May 10:

Assault 11600 block of Goldendale Dr

Burglary 13700 block of Biola Av.

Grand Theft:  14200 block of Bora Dr (GPS from vehicle),  Two bicycles near Imperial Hwy and Marquardt Av





Saturday, May 9, 2020

Sheriff's Crime Report: March crimes edges upward, street racing arrest and crime log


La Mirada- After nearly a year of fewer crimes being reported came to a halt in March just as fears of a COVID-19 outbreak in jails across the state resulted in the release of lower-risk criminals back onto the streets.

A total of 73 incidents of violent and property crimes were reported in March 2020, a 10.6% increase from the 66 reported to deputies in March 2019. 

Crime for the first quarter of 2020 in the city was unchanged from 2019 when the leap year is taken into account with 210 reports this year compared to 208 in the first three months of 2019.

The most notable change in crime from year to tear has been vehicle theft which has more than doubled from 14 in the first quarter of 2019 to 30 in 2020.

The city experienced one of its safest years in recent decades last year.

Statistics for the month of April will not be available until late May.

Crimes reported to deputies in the month of March 2019 and 2020.

                                     2019               2020

Sexual Assault                0                     1
Robbery                          3                     2
Aggravated Assault*       3                     4

Total Violent Crimes       6                     7

Burglary                          12                  10
Larceny Theft*                40                  40
Auto Theft                        7                   16
Arson                               1                    0

Total Property Crimes     60                  66 

Total Part 1 Crimes         66                  73
  March 2019/2020

Crimes Reported to Sheriff's to deputies from Jan. 1 through March 31, 2019, and 2020.

                                       2019                2020 

Sexual Assaults                1                      2
Robbery                            7                      6 
Aggravated Assault*        13                   18

Total Violent Crimes        21                   26

Burglary                           37                   33
Larceny Theft*                134                 121
Auto Theft                        14                   30
Arson                                2                     0

Total Property Crimes     187                 184  

All Part 1 Crimes            208                  210

*Aggravated Assaults are attempted or committed attacks by the use of force that could or has caused serious bodily injury.

* Larceny Theft are crimes such as theft from breaking into cars, shopping lifting, and more that are not related to vehicle theft or burglary.

Street racing arrest

One person was arrested in connection with two street racing incidents in the city on Wednesday.  

No arrests were reported during the first incident shortly before 2 am as a large number of 'sideshow takeover' fans blocked off the intersection of Alondra Blvd and Trojan Way followed by a show of doughnuts and drifting.

Later in the day, the special assignment deputies (SAO's) from the La Mirada Sheriff's Station arrested a man that was involved in a street racing contest and impounded the motorcycle he was riding on for 30 days.

A conviction brings the possibility of a jail sentence of up to 90 days, a $1,000 fine, their driver's license suspended for up to six months, and a mandatory 40 hours of community service in all cases. The vehicle being used in the speed contest will usually be subject to a 30-day impound. A previous conviction or an incident that results in injury brings harsher penalties.

Sheriff's officials state that La Mirada SAO deputies will continue to crack down on participants including spectators. Gathering for the purpose of watching one of these events is also a misdemeanor under the same law as the driver's and are also subject to arrest.

As roads empty especially late at night due to social distancing as well as school and workplace closures, law enforcement authorities have observed sharp increases in the incidents of drifting, street racing, and so-called sideshows where intersections are commandeered for shows.

The outcomes have sometimes been tragic including a recent crash in the Hancock Park neighborhood of Los Angeles that killed three and pile-ups injuring multiple people in Santa Ana and Monrovia.

Sheriff's Crime Log

Monday, April 27

3:00 p.m.   An arrest was made in the 12000 block of  Springview Dr. for obstructing, delaying, or battery on a peace officer.

4:20 p.m.   A shoplifter was reported in the 13900 block of Imperial Hwy.

7:00 p.m.   A misdemeanor hit and run (damage only, no injuries) was reported at Barnwall St. and Dalmation Av,

Wednesday, April 29

8:55 p.m.   A theft from an unlocked vehicle was reported in the 16500 block of Summershade Dr.

Thursday, April 30

1:00 a.m.   A vehicle was reported stolen in the 13500 block of Duffield Av.

3:00 am     A vehicle was reported stolen in the 14800 block of Mansa Dr.

4:30 a.m.   A vehicle was reported stolen from the 15800 block of Alicante Rd.

3:28 p.m.   A suspect was arrested in the 16100 block of Rosecrans Av after allegedly threatening a person with a knife during an argument. No injuries were reported from the incident.

Friday, May 1

8::21 a.m.   A vehicle was reported stolen from the 13000 block of La Mirada Bl.


Saturday, May 2 

2:50 a.m.    Grand theft from two unlocked vehicles was reported in the 14200 block of Bora Dr.

3:58 a.m.    A pickup truck was reported stolen from the 14400 block of Valeda Dr.  The vehicle was located abandoned the following day.

Monday, May 4

1:45 a.m.   A vehicle was reported stolen from the 13900 block of Imperial Hwy.

2:00 a.m.   A vehicle was reported in the 14100 block of Lynmark St.

2:15 a.m.   A vehicle was reported stolen from the 16100 block of Mart Dr.

3:00 a.m.   A motorcycle was reported stolen from the 16100 block of Rosecrans Av.

6:48 p.m.   A misdemeanor arrest was made at Leffingwell Rd and Telegraph Rd for possession of a controlled substance.

Tuesday, May 5

12:50 a.m.  A vehicle was reported stolen from the 14700 block of San Esteban Dr.

2:42 p.m.   La Mirada special assignment deputies made a felony arrest in South Whittier in the 13500 block of Leffingwell Rd for transport of marijuana for sales, possession of methamphetamines, possession of counterfeit currency, grand theft, and a warrant.

Wednesday, May 6

4:00 a.m.   A vehicle was reported stolen from the 14500 block of San Dieguito Dr.

4:30 a.m.   An arrest was made for misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance at Alondra Bl and La Mirada Bl

Also during the week of April 27 through May 3 the following crimes were reported according to La Mirada Public Safety

A storage container was broken into at La Mirada High School.

A daytime burglary of a home was reported in the 14400 block of Rosecrans Ave.

Three additional burglaries of vehicles during the daytime were reported including: tools from a vehicle in the 13600 block of Avion Dr, a purse 13900 block of Ramhurst Dr, and a third vehicle was broken into in the 14700 block of Ramhurst Dr.

A vehicle was broken into overnight in the 14300 block of San Esteban Dr.

Catalytic converters were stolen from vehicles in the 14300 block of Alicante Rd and 14200 block of Firestone Bl.

An arrest of a bike theft suspect was made at Imperial Hwy and Edwards Rd,

A stolen vehicle was located and recovered from the 13200 block of Woodridge Av.



















Three arrested after pursuit and two hour manhunt of stolen vehicle suspects

The driver of the stolen truck that led deputies
on a ten minute pursuit is taken into custody
Saturday.
(More photos at end of the article) South Whittier- Three men were arrested Friday after leading deputies on a ten-minute vehicle pursuit in a stolen pickup truck that grew increasingly more dangerous resulting in an order to disengage shortly after an attempt to disable the vehicle failed.

At 10:06 a.m. deputies on patrol began following a stolen vehicle they spotted on Leffingwell Rd near Imperial Hwy in the Sunshine Acres neighborhood of South Whittier while more deputies responded for backup.

Noticing they were being followed, the suspects made a quick right turn onto Fidel Ave from Imperial Hwy and began to flee after seeing that deputies continued to follow from behind.

Initially, the driver stuck close to the posted speed limit as the men headed east on Imperial Hwy into La Mirada. After reaching Valley View Av the suspects returned to Sunshine Acres, a neighborhood centered along Carmenita Rd. with the chase turning more dangerous as it shifted to residential streets in the densely populated area.

The fleeing driver headed back towards La Mirada down Meyer Rd. after an attempt to perform the pit maneuver on Beaty Av near Carmeniita Rd failed. The pursuit was called off as the driver began driving faster, blowing traffic signals and stops signs as the truck turned back onto Imperial Hwy near Big Lots.

Several minutes after the pursuit had been terminated deputies that had gathered at Ecology Recycling for a debriefing on the incident were again sent scrambling as word came in that a Channel 7 helicopter that had been overhead continued following the stolen truck was reporting that three men abandoned the truck at the end of a long driveway in the 12300 block of Louis Ave and were on foot in the area.

The driver was taken into custody first after a resident in the 12400 block of Laurel Av. called 911 stating a man was hiding under a car at a nearby home.

A second suspect was arrested just after the driver hiding on the same lot with several houses where the truck had been abandoned.

The search then shifted about a quarter of a mile to the north to a set of homes on a lot in the 11800 block of Laurel Av. Two men and a woman inside one of the homes were eventually detained after initially refusing a loudspeaker announcement to surrender to deputies after the men were spotted outside the rear of one of the homes by a sheriff's helicopter crew overhead.

One of the men was identified as the outstanding suspect and placed under arrest.


















Monday, May 4, 2020

Valley View median project shelved due to economic uncertainties

La Mirada-  May 4, 2020.

The La Mirada city council approved a recommendation by City Manager, Jeff Boynton, to delay moving forward with the Valley View Ave center median improvement project due to budget uncertainties that have been created by the current COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak at it's April 28th meeting.

The project would have removed the existing center median from Imperial Hwy. south to Rosecrans Ave and replace it with an all-new median similar to the recently completed medians along Rosecrans Ave and La Mirada Blvd.

An executive order issued by Governor Brown in 2017 during the worst drought recorded in California history banned the use of potable water on center median lawns. Following the order resulted in the die-off of turf as well as serious damage to many of the trees along the median.

The city had earmarked 'remnant' bond proceeds from the former La Mirada Redevelopment Agency to fund the $1.35 Million project.

With unemployment rates expected to exceed 30% later this month and the Congressional Budget Office forecasting a 40% drop in GDP during the current quarter local governments across the state expect significant revenue shortfalls will occur over the next several years with the California League of Cities projecting losses in revenue to cities across the state at approximately $6.7 billion during fiscal year 2020-21 alone.

On a per-capita rate, La Mirada's share would be $8.3 million though it is not likely to be that high with the heaviest losses hitting big-spending cities like Santa Monica $300 million and San Francisco $1.7 billion, the worst.

La Mirada has a $7 million rainy-day fund that was established after the Great Recession of 2007-09 just for such occurrences, but the magnitude and shock to the economy from the current pandemic shutdown will likely result in losses to the bottom line that may far-exceed that number over the current and next few budget years.

La Mirada News sources confirm the city is expecting a significant drop in revenue however the uncertainty over how the crisis will evolve does not allow an accurate prediction on what the shortfall will amount to. Discussions on what if any cuts to community services that might be made to deal with any revenue shortfalls have yet to occur.

Transit patrols coming to La Mirada

The city council voted 5-0 to use $110,000 in unused Prop. A transportation funds for extra patrols at local bus stops.

The Sheriff's Department will likely fill the special patrols with the four deputies and sergeant assigned to the La Mirada Special Assignments unit on overtime. 

The supplemental patrols will provide an opportunity for deputies to engage members of the public as well as offer assistance and resources to homeless individuals that are often found at bus stops.

Councilmember Anthony Otero suggested that deputies also board and ride the buses to interact with the driver and patrons in order to bolster their sense of security and wellbeing.

The special patrols will have the added bonus of raising the overall visibility of law enforcement in the city and the additional deputies can be shifted to emergency incidents if the need arises.

City Council Notes

Mayor John Lewis assisted Love La Mirada to secure $10,000 from County Supervisor Janice Hahn writing a proposal that will fund will be funding close to 1,300 senior care packages that provide basic necessities that have been hard to find to those in need. 

As of May 1st, about 1,100 deliveries have been completed in the effort spearheaded by council member Ed Eng along with the owners of the La Mirada Grocery Outlet and Pastor David Newman of the Neighborhood Life Church in La Mirada. 

Pastor Newman leads the delivery effort and is seeking volunteers or donations with the goal of 2,000 packages. Anyone interested in helping out can reach the church at (562) 359-7945 or email neighborlife.church@gmail.com

The above video from the Neighborhood Life Church Facebook page shows in fast motion the volunteer effort in action.

During the current health emergency, many of the functions of the county court system have been delayed as the need to conduct court proceedings in a time of social-distancing while respecting the rights of all persons involved in court cases has presented a unique set of problems to overcome.

Certain court matters such as the issuance of protection orders and hearings for criminal suspects that remain in custody must still be conducted and a new video arraignment program developed by council member Ed Eng and his Los Angeles County Citizens' Economy Efficiency Commission where he is Executive Director will help in that endeavor.

The program launched hastily on April 21 allows appearances from a remote location via streaming video eliminating a lot of the close-in exposures persons in custody experience during transportation and in cramped courthouse holding cells.

The new program has been put in place in 32 courtrooms at 17 courthouses according to a report in the Los Angeles Times.

The program designed to eliminate much of the labor and cost of transporting prisoners to courthouses for their initial arraignments could save the county from $30 to 50 million annually if fully implemented.

To close last week's meeting Mayor John Lewis presented Steve De
Ruse with a custom made bobblehead of his likeness to mark the completion of his second run as mayor two weeks ago. 


Mayor Lewis who was at home social- distancing during the April 14 was unable to present the gift to De Ruse during his final meeting as mayor.







     











Saturday, April 18, 2020

City council news: John Lewis chosen Mayor, Anthony Otero sworn into office

In a city where council meetings are usually quiet, low-key affairs where city staff will often outnumber those there to watch, it was still eerily strange seeing no more than six persons in council chambers at the meeting Tuesday night's city council meeting.

On the dais were Mayor Steve De Ruse and Larry Mowles adhering to social distancing protocol as were the few city staff members that were on hand. Attending by virtue of teleconferencing were councilmembers John Lewis, Ed Eng, and Andrew Sarega.

The council voted 5-0 to extend the current closure of city facilities to access by the public to coincide with the date that the current 'stay at home' order issued by county public health authorities is rescinded. The order will remain in place until at least May 15. Public parks remain open for passive use such as exercise and there remains a ban on gatherings of any kind.

Absent the self-distancing currently in effect to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus there would have been an overflow crowd on hand considering longtime councilmember Larry Mowles was attending his final meeting after nine years in office, a new councilmember was to be sworn-in and a new mayor would be chosen.

A new mayor and a new member is sworn-in

After city business was handled a new member of the council was sworn-in. Anthony Otero, a lieutenant with the Los Angeles Police Department was sworn-in as the newest member of the city council. Mr. Otero represents District #5 in the north and central areas of the city.

Also receiving the oath of office were Ed Eng, returning for a second term, and Steve De Ruse for his third term.

John Lewis, entering his third year on the council was elected the new mayor for the next year and Ed Eng will be the Mayor Pro-Tem.

Lewis released a statement after being selected to serve as mayor as follows: 



It is an honor and a privilege to be selected by my colleagues as the Mayor of this great city to serve during these challenging times we are facing. The current Covid-19 crisis has revealed the spirit of La Mirada by bringing out the best in all of us by helping our neighbors in this community. I have seen numerous individuals, churches, and local businesses step-up to the plate and help out other residents in this community. This is the spirit of La Mirada! Let’s keep it going all year long. Let’s also continue to visit our local restaurants for drive-thru and take out to make sure we have a strong economy when this pandemic is over… so lets #ShopLaMirada #DineinLaMirada and Stay La Mirada Strong.
Ceremonies to mark the occasion of Mr. Mowles' departure as well as to mark the election results and nice selection of Mr. Lewis as mayor will be held at a later date.  

Other agenda items

The city approved going forward with a traffic congestion relief project with the city of Santa Fe Springs that will see improvements at two intersections at Valley ViewAve. and Rosecrans Ave. and Valley View Ave and Alondra Bl.

The project creates new turn lanes, traffic signal upgrades, modifications to center medians and lane restriping.

The city of La Mirada is acquiring parts of two parcels including land needed at Pep Boys and from a warehouse at 15910 Valley View Ave.

The city of Santa Fe Springs is the lead agency on the project which is being funded by Metro Measure R funds.

Mayor John Lewis was to administer the Oath of Office to his son Zurich Lewis on Thursday after he passed his bar exam recently.  A provision within the state Government Code allows a mayor to perform the function that is mandatory as lawyers are deemed officers of the court before they can begin practicing law.

Zurich, in his second term as a trustee at Cerritos College, graduated from Trinity Law School in Santa Ana and will be working alongside his father at the Law Office of Lewis & Lewis which is based here in La Mirada.

Notes: The city continues to provide street sweeping services during the current COVID-19 pandemic but has suspended writing parking citations for street sweeping day violations.

There were no public comments submitted by email or delivered by phone to the city council.









Tuesday, April 14, 2020

City council meeting to be held with a little help from Zoom

La Mirada-
The city council will test uncharted waters when it conducts its first meeting tonight via teleconference in order to comply with COVID-19 social-distancing requirements while allowing public participation in several new ways.

Tonight's meeting which begins at 6:30 pm can be viewed live on the city website https://www.cityoflamirada.org/about-us/agendas-and-minutes will be the first meeting ever carried live.

Mayor Steve De Ruse will conduct the meeting from a room at City Hall with just a few staff members in the same room I have been assured will be social-distancing with the others on the council as well as councilmember-elect Anthony Otero participating remotely via Zoom.

Anyone wishing to make comments to the council can do so by joining the meeting by accessing it online on Zoom or by phone. Information for joining the meeting is provided below.

The city is providing access that exceeds the requirement in the order on March 4 by Gov. Newsom that required access be provided by phone only.

Tonight will be councilmember Larry Mowles' final meeting. Mowles did not seek a third term on the council.

Anthony Otero will be sworn into office to begin his first term representing District 5 tonight as will  SteveDe Ruse and Ed Eng who were re-elected to new four-year terms last month. All three will be sworn-in remotely.

A ceremony will be held at a later date to honor the outgoing Mowles' as well as newcomer Otero as well as the returning De Ruse and Eng.

Current Mayor pro-tem John Lewis is expected to be chosen by his peers to be mayor over the upcoming year. Traditionally the mayor pro-tem becomes mayor the following year. 

On the agenda, a vote will be taken that will extend the emergency declaration that has closed city facilities to the public access to remain in effect until county health officials lift the 'stay at home' order currently in effect across the county.

The council will consider the acquisition of property that is needed to move ahead with two traffic congestion relief projects at Alondra Bl. and Valley View Av and Rosecrans Av. and Valley View Av. that will allow turn lanes to be added. The city of Santa Fe Springs is leading the project that is funded by Metro sales tax funds.

The following instructions were provided to allow the public to make commas during the meeting by either zoom streaming video or by phone.

Join from a PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone or Android device:  https://zoom.us/j/764589845 (Password 055970)

Join by phone:  1-720-707-2699 (Webinar ID: 764 589 845; Password:  055970)