Street Beat


Tax Refund Gone Missing Results in Arrest

Stephen Reginald McDow, 34, of Laguna Beach, was expected in a Santa Ana courtroom Wednesday for an arraignment on a felony theft charge for allegedly spending most of a $110,000 tax refund erroneously placed in his account, according to law enforcement officials.

McDow was arrested Wednesday, June 14, by Santa Ana police, said a statement from district attorney spokeswoman Farrah Emami.

Last December, a victim identified as Michelle D. awaiting a tax refund learned she inadvertently provided the IRS a closed Citibank account number, which subsequently had been reassigned to McDow, the statement says. In March, after McDow was contacted by the victim’s attorney and instructed to return the funds, he admitted using $65,000 for a car loan and to retire student and foreclosure debts, said the statement.

McDow is being held for $110,000 bail and faces a maximum sentence of four years in prison if convicted.

Multiple Crashes Ensnarl Roadways

Anneleisse School in Laguna Canyon briefly locked down its campus and kept children indoors Monday, June 12, while police searched the immediate area for suspects who had fled the scene of a solo traffic accident nearby, police said.

Within a quarter mile of the El Toro Road and Laguna Canyon accident police detained four juveniles, two males and two females, for investigation, Laguna police Sgt. Louis Callus said. Responding officers found indications that the vehicle may have been stolen, she said.

The two girls were transported to Mission Hospital with minor facial lacerations, Callus said.

Earlier in the day, another collision that rolled a vehicle at Brooks and Glenneyre Streets also slowed traffic. No one was injured in the two-car collision that involved a 28-year-old Costa Mesa man and a 19-year-old Laguna Beach resident. Failure to yield at a stop sign appears to be the cause, Callus said.

Candle Causes Apartment Fire

An accidental fire caused by a candle left burning in a bathroom in the 2100 block of Catalina Street last Friday, June 10, was quickly doused by responding firefighters, according to firefighters.

The 20-unit apartment complex sustained $10,000 in damage, said fire Division Chief  Dan Stefano, who said a working smoke alarm saved the structure from further damage and reduced the risk of injury to other tenants.

Man Arrested in Sexual Assault

A 23-year-old Virginia man was arrested last Friday for suspicion of a sexual assault, taken into custody in the 100 block of Coast Highway after an investigation by Laguna Beach police.

The previous day, police received a rape report from the Mission Viejo offices of Planned Parenthood, where a woman described meeting a man earlier at a restaurant in Laguna. While in his hotel room, she allegedly was sexually assaulted, said Sgt. Louis Callus.

Berkan Muzaffer Kansu was taken to Orange County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bail, said Lt. Jason Kravetz.

Emerald Bay Pile-up Under Investigation

A juvenile driver from Laguna Beach, who was exiting the main Emerald Bay gate to head southbound last Friday, triggered a four-vehicle pile-up last Friday where two people suffered major injuries, police said.

No arrests were made and neither drugs nor alcohol seem involved, said Sgt. Louis Callus, of the early morning collision that resulted in lane closures and congestion.

The teen driver’s turning vehicle clipped a southbound car, which crossed into northbound lanes and collided head-on with an oncoming car that then caromed into a fourth vehicle on the shoulder waiting to enter Emerald Bay, Callus said.

The occupants of the clipped vehicle, a husband and wife in their 50s from Garden Grove, sustained major injuries and were transported to Mission Hospital Mission Viejo, she said. The driver of the northbound vehicle sustained a knee injury and complained of neck pain.

Monday, June 6

Vandalism 7:47 a.m. 300 block of Thalia St. Vandals smashed a window causing $600 worth of damage.

Theft. 11:30 a.m. 32000 block of Coast Hwy. A thief stole $800 worth of tools that were not secured.

Shoplifter. 11:41 a.m. 400 block of Coast Hwy. A female shopper swiped three items worth $150 without paying.

Tuesday, June 7

Traffic stop. 12:33 a.m. Wesley Drive. A 24-year-old Dana Point man was arrested for DUI and held for $2,500 bail.

Traffic stop. 3:18 a.m. A 29-year-old Torrance resident was arrested for an outstanding bench warrant for driving unlicensed and held for $26,000 bail.

Wednesday, June 8

Theft. 3 p.m. Main Beach. A tote bag containing prescription drugs was taken from the towel of a sunbather.

Fraud. 6:14 p.m. 2500 block of Laguna Canyon Rd. The victim’s ATM card and pin was used to withdraw $300 from a bank account. The card is still in his possession.

Traffic stop. 9:40 p.m. Seventh Ave. Alberto Rivera Torres, 40, of Laguna Niguel, was arrested on his birthday for allegedly driving while under the influence. He was held for $10,000 bail due to two outstanding DUI warrants.

Thursday, June 9

Traffic stop. 1:28 a.m. Hwy 73. A 21-year-old Brea man was arrested for outstanding warrants.

Road hazard. 3:18 a.m. 600 block of Coast Hwy. Northbound lanes are blocked due to a downed tree.

Burglary arrest. 1:17 p.m. PD. John Griffith Beck, 51, of Capistrano Beach, was arrested for suspicion of burglary in the January disappearance of $600 worth of tools from a Coast Hwy storage unit. Bail was set at $20,000. DNA information led to the arrest.

Fraud. 2:14 p.m. 1200 S. Coast Hwy. A Texas visitor who lost his wallet reported $50 in unauthorized charges on a credit card.

Theft and fraud. 3:49 p.m. 1000 block of S. Coast Hwy. Someone stole an employee’s wallet and made $500 worth of unauthorized charges to credit cards.

Grand theft. 7:37 p.m. 400 block of Park Ave. Cash left in a tool box was stolen.

Traffic stop. 11:43 p.m. 1300 block of S. Coast Hwy. A 44-year-old Dana Point resident was arrested for DUI and held for $2,500 bail.

Friday, June 10

Traffic stop. 12:53 a.m. 200 block of Beach St. A 37-year-old Aliso Viejo woman was arrested for DUI and held for $2,500 bail.

Grand theft. 10:57 a.m. A local resident reported the loss of $6,000 worth of jewelry while in Las Vegas.

Burglary. 9:25 p.m. 100 block of Milligan Dr. Scott Anthony Rogholt, 44, of Lakewood, was arrested for suspicion of burglary, resisting arrest and providing false ID and was held for $50,000 bail. Rogholt was on a bike and refused to halt when police arrived in the area following a report of an attempted break-in. The $6,000 bike was returned to its owner.

Saturday, June 11

Traffic stop. 1:54 a.m. Third Ave. A 30-year-old El Cajon man was arrested for DUI and held for $2,500 bail.

Traffic stop. 2:45 a.m. Boat Canyon. A 53-year-old Laguna Beach man was arrested for suspicion of DUI and held for $2,500 bail. His Bentley convertible was left overnight.

Fraud. 9:23 a.m. 31000 block of Eighth Ave. A resident who used a credit card at a gas station earlier, believes the card has twice been used without authorization since.

Grand theft. 2:58 p.m. 200 block of Canyon Acres Dr. A mountain bike disappeared from a shed.

Grand theft. 5:28 p.m. Aliso Beach. A $700 skim board was stolen from the beach.

Suspicious. 6:48 p.m. 800 block of Laguna Canyon Rd. Sean Michael Reynolds, 25, was arrested for suspicion of DUI and held for $10,000 bail due to previous convictions.

Traffic stop. 10:11 p.m. 200 block of Cliff Dr. A 51-year-old Aliso Viejo man was arrested for DUI and held for $2,500 bail.

Sunday, June 12

Traffic stop. 2:33 a.m. Laguna Canyon Rd. A 25-year-old Costa Mesa woman was arrested for DUI and held for $2,500 bail.

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