Thoughtful or Guilt-Laden, Thief Returns Car Keys

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A car thief took $1,000 worth of electronics and cash from a vehicle abandoned near St. Catherine’s Church Friday, April 17, just a half mile from where it had disappeared, police said.

Its owner, who had left the key on the bumper, discovered the Nissan Pathfinder missing after surfing and reported the theft from her home on Thalia Street. Just 15 minutes before reporting the car theft, a police cruiser with a license plate reader had entered the vehicle’s location in a police database, Capt. Jason Kravetz said.

The car was returned to the owner undamaged. “Strangely enough, the suspect put the key back on the bumper,” Kravetz said.

Monday, April 13

Fraud. 28800 block of Shady Lane. 5:25 p.m. A resident received a $71 tax refund check even though she had yet to file her tax return.

Tuesday, April 14

Traffic stop. 100 block of Brooks St. 12:40 a.m. A 16-year-old from Aliso Viejo was cited for being unlicensed and his three teen companions, from Aliso Viejo and Laguna Niguel, were detained and released to their parents.

Fraud. 31100 block of Monterey St. 9 a.m. A resident who tried to file his tax return learned his social security number had already been used and a check issued.

Fraud report. 31500 block of Scenic Dr. 11 a.m. A couple’s tax return filing was rejected because someone had already used one of their social security numbers.

Wanted vehicle. El Toro Rd. 2:22 p.m. Local police arrested Peter Henry Reinert, 60, of Lake Forest, who was wanted for a federal warrant even as federal agents were in pursuit. The FBI took custody of Reinert.

Fraud report. 700 block of Gainsborough Pl. 5 p.m. Another last-minute filer reported tax return fraud.

Wednesday, April 15

Suspicious circumstances. 1200 block of N. Coast Hwy. 4 a.m. Four people were reported walking around a lot looking into cars, one of which appears to have been broken into.

Stake out. 600 block of N. Coast Hwy. 4:52 p.m. Undercover officers who arranged to buy heroin from a dealer arrested Michael James Maellaro, 27, for suspicion of narcotics sales and possession. He allegedly had four baggies of heroin and two of methamphetamine. Companion Amanda Monique Cisneros, 26, both of La Mirada, was arrested for two no-bail narcotics warrants.

DUI. Agate St. 7:58 p.m. A woman who hit two parked vehicles was released without charges as her blood alcohol level was below the legal threshold.

DUI. N. Coast Hwy. 11:34 p.m. Chandler Gordon Apodaca, 25, of Huntington Beach, was arrested for suspicion of DUI and outstanding warrants after his car overturned while allegedly speeding.

Thursday, April 16

Pedestrian stop. Brooks St. 3:30 a.m. Evren Ozan, of Long Beach, and Arthur Andrew Wexell, of Laguna Beach, both 22, were both arrested for suspicion of possessing prescription drugs without a prescription. Detectives will also investigate whether items allegedly in their possession belong to victims of car burglaries.

Domestic violence. 2600 block of Victoria Dr. 4 p.m. Scott Huntley, 19, of Mission Viejo, was arrested for suspicion of vandalism, trespassing and domestic violence after allegedly breaking into the house of a former girlfriend.

Friday, April 17

Vandalism. 33305 Laguna Canyon Road. 10:28 a.m. An antique store owner found $1,530 worth of property damaged outside the store. Surveillance tape revealed a woman wreaking havoc at 8 p.m. the previous night.

Stolen vehicle. 1600 block of S. Coast Hwy. 10:48 a.m. A 2006 Chrysler disappeared from a hotel parking garage.

Petty theft. 200 block of Broadway St. 10:57 a.m. A wooden wine barrel valued at $700 was stolen from a porch.

Petty theft. 500 block of S. Coast Hwy. 12:57 p.m. A thieft stole a chair from the front of a business.

Burglary. 500 block of S. Coast Hwy. 7 p.m. A restaurant manager discovered the theft of a $1,000 saw from a terrace. Surveillance video showed two men in a silver BMW with covered license plates committing the theft.

Public intoxication. 500 block of S. Coast Hwy. 7:48 p.m. Michael Dean Treadway, 53, of Laguna Beach, spotted drinking at a local establishment, was stopped when he got behind the wheel of his car and held for suspicion of felony DUI, his fourth. Bail was set at $100,000.

Traffic stop. 300 block of Broadway St. 10:45 p.m. Gabriel Daniel Alaniz, 27, of Orange, was arrested for outstanding Long Beach warrants.

Occupied vehicle. 3200 block of Alta Laguna Blve. 10:57 p.m. A 21-year-old Santa Ana man was cited for DUI.

Saturday, April 18

Attempt to locate. Lookout Dr./Poplar St. 12:09 a.m. A worried wife feared for her husband’s safety walking in the wilderness at night and called authorities. A sheriff’s helicopter checked trails, but the man returned home on foot after 30 minutes. He told officers he had fallen off a cliff, but climbed out on his own.

Traffic stop. 600 block of S. Coast Hwy. 1:51 a.m. An 18-year-old Laguna Beach girl was arrested for DUI and possessing a fake ID after running a red light. Her friend, also 18 from Laguna, was also cited for having a fake ID.

Traffic stop. Montage resort. 2:54 a.m. A 55-year-old Ladera Ranch woman was cited for DUI.

Warrant arrest. 31800 block of Coast Hwy. 12:15 p.m. Robin Ann Smith, 35, of Visalia, was cited for three Kings and Tulare county traffic warrants.

Reckless driving. At north city limits. 7 p.m. Motorists who reported a driver cutting people off led to the arrest of David James Miller, 32, of San Clemente, for suspected DUI. Bail was set at $10,000, due to a previous offense.

Traffic stop. 100 block of S. Coast Hwy. 9:30 p.m. Ulises Campa, 27, of Santa Ana, was cited for suspicion of DUI and held for $10,000 bail due to a prior offense.

Sunday, April 19

Traffic stop. Cleo St. Erik Alan Setterquist, 38, of Laguna Beach, was cited for suspicion of DUI and held for $10,000 bail due to a previous offense.

Drunk driving. Forest Ave. 1:39 a.m. Citizens who reported a vehicle “doing donuts” that spun out of control and hit a fence led to the arrest of Kyle Andrew Olson, 22, of San Clemente. He was suspected of DUI and hit and run.

Petty theft. 100 block of Jasmine St. 6:35 p.m. Some one came onto her property and into her courtyard and stole several items.

Monday, April 20

Traffic stop. Canyon Acres Dr. 12:32 a.m. A 21-year-old Rancho Santa Margarita woman was cited for DUI.



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About the Author
The author is the editor of the Laguna Beach Independent. Prior to taking the job in 2005, she worked previously as a reporter at five daily newspapers, including the Daily Pilot in Costa Mesa, the Daily News of Los Angeles and the New York Times. Reach her by emailing [email protected]

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