Chief Sanchez Updates Community Crime Picture

Numerous arrests made in local cases, 188 guns seized, and 20 new officers hired, Chief reports

Published : Friday, August 11, 2017 | 5:37 AM

The video above is from a Facebook Live videostream broadcast by Pasadena Now during the District 5 meeting on Thursday, August 10, 2017


Chief of Police Phillip Sanchez announced Thursday that members of the Pasadena Police Special Enforcement Section, along with Burbank police, Monterey Park police and U.S. Marshals, served four simultaneous warrants in Pasadena on Thursday morning and arrested four suspects allegedly involved in a recent shooting on North Marengo Avenue that resulted in the death of a Pasadena man last month.

Antonio Sanchez, 38, was shot about 11:35 p.m. on July 24 in the 400 block of North Marengo Avenue and died at a local hospital about a half-hour after the shooting, police reported last month.

Speaking at a District 5 community meeting sponsored by Councilmember Victor Gordo at Villa Parke Community Center on Thursday night, Chief Sanchez said the suspects arrested that morning “have pointed us in a very positive direction as to the person or persons who is responsible for the homicide.”

Pasadena Chief of Police Phillip Sanchez (at left), City Manager Steve Mermell (seated) and District 5 Councilmember Victor Gordo listen to a community member's question during a meeting about public safety held in Villa Parke Community Center on Thursday, August 11, 2017

Chief Sanchez also said that he was confident that “the person responsible will shortly be in custody for that incident.”

“What these arrests have shown us is that we have a very good police officers and good detectives and a very strong community,” the Chief told the group. ‘To those of you who have assisted us with information, anonymously or otherwise, let me personally say ‘thank you.’”

Earlier, in his announcement for the meeting, Councilmember Gordo revealed that detectives working this week’s shooting of Pasadena resident Eric Lamar Holloway, 27, believe that killing to have been “an isolated incident, not gang-related or random.”

Lamar was found early Monday morning lying in traffic lanes of the 1000 block of Maple Street near North Catalina Avenue and bleeding from a gunshot wound to the head. He later died in a local hospital

These crimes are part of an increasing number of incidents in the District 5 area this summer. Also in early July, a gang-related shooting occurred on Parke Street, just west of Los Robles Avenue, in which an adult and teen were wounded.

Sanchez also took the opportunity to announce that the City has recently hired new police officers.

“The good new is,” said Sanchez, “is that we have 20 new officers. The bad news is that they are young and inexperienced, and they are having to learn about Pasadena right away. They’re bright and we’re hoping that they will be up to speed quickly.”

Chief Sanchez also noted, however, that “The issue is not how many arrests or convictions are made in the city, but is, how can the city prevent these crimes, and what are we as a city willing to do to help stop these crimes? Until we can do that, we will continue to hold meetings like this.”

The Chief also emphasized the rising number of property crimes and burglaries in the city, noting that property crime is at an “all time high in the San Gabriel Valley,” and detailed a new trend among local burglars that residents should be aware of.

According to recent Justice Department analyses, homes recently bought or sold, he said, are on websites that are being targeted by professional burglars who note the details of the homes, including security systems.

“In very short order, those burglars are in your home,” warned Sanchez.

As he has done in most of his previous community meetings, Sanchez emphasized that most burglars are looking for guns, cash, jewelry and electronics during home burglaries. He advised residents to purchase safe for those items. Sanchez also told the meeting that Pasadena Police are working with Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department burglary task force and the Los Angeles Impact 25 team, a burglary task force. He also told the group the Pasadena Police Department would be increasing the number of helicopter patrols.

Noting that the department has seized 188 guns since January, the Chief cited a recent case in which local gang members burglarized a home in Riverside County and stole 50 weapons from a retired Postal Service employee.

“Folks,” said Sanchez. “I am a law enforcement professional. I don’t own 50 guns. I don’t know why this person had so many. If you have guns in your home, get trigger locks and put those guns in a safe.”

Expanding on previous announcements he had made on the issue, Sanchez also told the packed auditorium that nine people are in custody following a spate of Northwest Pasadena shootings which began in December 2017, and ran through February 2017.

According to Chief Sanchez, the nine suspects are facing the death penalty or life without possibility of parole in the shootings. All of the suspects live in either Duarte or San Bernardino, said the Chief, and are associates or members of the “Du-Roc” Crips set. The gang had been engaged in an ongoing feud with members of a Northwest Pasadena-based gang.

In addition to the nine suspects previously mentioned, Sanchez also reported that Pasadena police made an arrest of a Pasadena resident in an attempted kidnapping case on Fair Oaks and Maple last month. The suspect, 29-year-old Jose Gabriel Diaz Servellon of Pasadena, faces one count each of kidnapping, assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury and criminal threats.

“In that case,” noted Sanchez, “We put out a description of the suspect and his vehicle, and we had an arrest within an hour. That’s how quickly calls came in to help.”

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