Residents Play Key Roles as Police Hunt Down, Arrest Hastings Ranch Burglary Gang

Sharp-eyed neighbor spots the burglary in progress, while later another alerts police to the final outstanding suspect's hiding place

Published : Wednesday, April 24, 2019 | 10:55 AM

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Aided by observant neighbors, Pasadena police orchestrated three separate searches across Lower Hastings Ranch Wednesday morning and successfully caught four would-be residential burglars, taking back $23,000 in stolen jewelry.

The initial report came in from a civilian at 10:40 a.m. when a neighbor reported seeing four suspects get out of a black Mercedes and jump a fence into a yard in the 3500 block of Shadow Grove Street,

Responding officers located and approached the Mercedes, which was occupied only by the driver.

“ It took off at a high rate of speed,” said Lt. Pete Hettema, “narrowly missing an officer.”

The suspect’s Mercedes crashed several blocks away and the driver fled, Hettema said.

Two separate containment areas were set up by police, one near the collision scene at Rim Road and Calderwood Lane as well as at the scene of the burglary on Shadow Grove.

Field Elementary School, located about one block northeast of the Mercedes’ crash site, was placed on a “soft lockdown,” according to Pasadena Unified spokesperson Hilda Ramirez Horvath.

The campus was closed to visitors, she said, but classroom instruction continued.

Back at the Shadow Grove containment area, three suspects were quickly located and taken into custody, Hettema said.

“Some of those suspects were in possession of loss, which was jewelry from the burglary,” Hettema said.

The Mercedes’ driver could not be located after a search.

But shortly after officers broke that perimeter down, a resident flagged down one of the officers and to report a suspicious person running into the Smiser Boy Scout Center at 3450 E Sierra Madre Blvd., Hettema said.

“That officer went in and checked that facility back there and found the fourth suspect and took him into custody,” Hettema said.

Arrested were three juveniles from Los Angeles of unknown ages, along with 18-year-old Anthony Santamaria, of Los Angeles.  The juveniles were listed as a 17-year-old boy, a 16-year-old boy and a 15-year-old boy.

Burbank officers and South Pasadena officers and K-9 helped with the search, Hettema said.

One officer was slightly injured over the course of the two-and-a-half hour incident, but the extent of the injury is not known.

We “thank the public for their patience while the police department with assistance from outside agencies was able to conduct a thorough search of the neighborhood” and make the arrests, said City spokesperson Lisa Derderian.

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