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Teens Detained in Purse Snatching

Police detained four San Juan Capistrano teens about 10 p.m. Friday, March 28, after a purse was stolen from a young woman who had placed it on a low wall in the area of Park Avenue and Glenneyre Street.

With a description of the fleeing purse-snatchers as skateboarding and wearing Red Hawk jerseys, police swarmed the area and located four teens on Ramona Avenue, Sgt. Louis Callus said. One admitted to swiping the purse and distributing its contents to two accomplices, all 17-year-olds who were charged with theft and possession of stolen property, Callus said. The fourth was cited for a curfew violation.

All were released to their parents, she said.

Unexpected Stash Discovered in Trunk

About a pound of marijuana and some containers were discovered in the trunk of a vehicle that was towed from Cliff Drive last Thursday about 9:45 a.m. because it lacked plates or current registration, police said.

The car came to the attention of a parking officer because of an expired meter, Sgt. Louise Callus said. A man who took paperwork from the car and walked away while the parking officer awaited the tow truck is now the subject of an investigation, Callus said. The vehicle’s owner has two outstanding warrants, she said.

Expect Crackdown on Behind the Wheel Cell Use

Laguna Beach’s police department and other agencies statewide are joining a “zero tolerance” enforcement campaign to curb texting or operating hand-held cell phones while driving. Special high visibility enforcement operations to cite cell phone violators will take place on April 22.

A fine for texting while driving is $161 and a second offense soars to $281. Sending or receiving a text takes a driver’s eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, research shows. Even a three second glance at freeway speeds means a driver has traveled the distance of a football field.

Monday, March 24

Fraud. 31700 block of Coast Hwy. The victim’s wallet containing $800 in cash was either lost or stolen and a $100 fraudulent charge was made to a credit card.

Suicide. 30900 block of Coast Hwy. 4:47 p.m. James Robert Patterson, 45, of Laguna Beach, was arrested for suspicion of assault on an officer and felony obstructing after becoming combative when officers were called.

Tuesday, March 25

Foot patrol. 31100 block of coast hwy. 2:17 p.m. Garret Thomas Walters, 47, of Laguna Beach, was arrested for outstanding warrants.

Petty theft. 2800 block of S. Coast hwy. 3:21 p.m. About $1,000 in cash was taken from a restaurant safe and the wallet of an employee.

Wednesday, March 26

Grand theft. Dumond Dr. 1:49 p.m. A beach bag containing personal items including diamond earrings valued at $4,100 were stolen from the beach while the owner went for a dip at Victoria Street Beach.

Fraud report. 400 block of Cliff Dr. 2 p.m. A resident received a tax refund though he had yet to file his taxes.

Disturbance 400 block of Cypress Dr. 5:17 p.m. Antonio Garcia Bares, 43, of Laguna Niguel, was arrested for four warrants.

Thursday, March 27

Stolen vehicle. 900 Laguna Canyon Rd. 4:22 a.m. An officer came upon an unoccupied vehicle stolen from Long Beach.

Grand theft. 600 block of Park Ave. 10 a.m. A door was apparently left unsecured and a cash box with $550 was stolen from the Artists’ Theater ticket booth, a first in more than 20 years, says a theater manager.

Bike stop. 300 block of Broadway St. 8:15 p.m. Homeless Joseph Francis Ricci, 43, who was stopped because his bike lacked reflectors and a light, was arrested for suspicion of possessing stolen property when officers discovered he had two credit cards that weren’t his, a concealed dagger and two outstanding warrants. Bail was set at $50,000.

Friday, March 28

Occupied vehicle. 1800 Temple Hills Dr. An 18-year-old from Huntington Beach was arrested for DUI.

Fraud. 100 block of Irvine Cove. 4:21 p.m. A detective will investigate how someone used a debit card to siphon $600,000 from a little used account.

Traffic stop. Wesley Dr. 9:22 p.m. A 36-year-old Boston woman was cited for DUI and held for $2500 bail.

Saturday, March 29

Foot patrol. 3200 block of Alta Laguna Blve. 12:03 a.m. Jacob Anthony Robinson, 19, of Laguna Niguel, was arrested for suspicion of possessing 18 grams of cannabis. Bail was set at $20,000. His Aliso Viejo companions, ages 16 and 18, received misdemeanor citations.

Traffic stop. S. Coast Hwy. 1:29 a.m. A 47-year-old Phelan woman was cited for DUI and held for $2500 bail.

Petty theft.. 600 block of S. Coast hwy. 1:41 a.m. John Anthony Culverson, 47, of Garden Grove, was arrested for suspicion of theft when police found him in possession of a hat and backpack and other items, apparently taken from a fenced courtyard behind a business.

Sunday, March 30

Traffic stop. Cress St. 2:36 a.m. A 50-year-old San Clemente woman was cited for DUI and held for $2500 bail.

Drunk driving. 700 block of Bluebird Canyon Dr. 5:08 p.m. A 52-year-old Laguna Beach man was cited for DUI following a two-car collision, where no one was injured.

Brandishing weapon. 300 block of Broadway St. 7:56 p.m. Victor David Richmond, 55, of Laguna Beach, was arrested for suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon after he allegedly pointed a pellet gun at one person and brandished it at another. Bail was set at $25,000.

Burglary. 600 block of S. Coast Hwy. 8:59 p.m. A hotel guest reported a theft of a computer, phone and other items valued at $3,000.

Monday, March 31

Petty theft. 500 block of Forest Ave. 12:12 a.m. Homeless Nathan Zion Kratz, 37, was arrested for allegedly being in possession of a phone reported stolen in Stanton. Bail was set at $20,000.

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