Sacto 9-1-1
January 31, 2012
Stolen truck stopped after chase from West Sacramento to Stockton

A chase that began about 6 p.m. in West Sacramento ended more than 90 minutes later near Stockton when the driver of a stolen box truck finally surrendered to California Highway Patrol officers.

Sgt. Trent Tyler of the West Sacramento Police Department said the CHP has been investigating cases involving stolen box vans, and this afternoon they spotted a stolen van that was parked and unoccupied on Jefferson Boulevard. When a man got in the vehicle and started to drive away, CHP and West Sacramento police officers attempted to stop it.

Tyler said the truck driver tried to ram an unmarked CHP car and then a police car, and law enforcement officers gave chase.

January 31, 2012
Update: Standoff continues at Stockton Blvd. apartment

Sheriff's deputies are attempting to negotiate the surrender of a man who has barricaded himself in an apartment on Stockton Boulevard in the Florin area.

Sheriff's spokesman Deputy Jason Ramos said deputies went to the Meridian Apartments, a large complex at 7475 Stockton Boulevard, about 3:30 p.m. to serve a warrant. The man they were seeking, who is in his late 20s, came out of a back room of the apartment and brandished a gun. Ramos said a deputy fired a shot at the man, who then fired two shots at deputies.

The deputies, who were not injured, then backed off. It is believed that the man inside the apartment also was uninjured, Ramos said.

January 31, 2012
Woman admits to vehicular manslaughter in motorcyclist death

A Sacramento woman pleaded no contest to vehicular manslaughter and hit-and-run driving Monday in the Oct. 24 death of a 64-year-old motorcyclist on the Capital City Freeway, according to Sacramento Superior Court online records.

Sequoia Monay Jones, 22, entered her plea in front of Sacramento Superior Court Judge Lawrence G. Brown, who scheduled her sentencing for March 12.

Driving a Volkswagen Beetle, Jones sideswiped Robert Wilson's motorcycle on the northbound freeway north of El Camino Avenue. Wilson was knocked off the motorcycle in the 8:50 p.m. collision and then struck by another vehicle.

Jones, who fled the scene of the crash, has remained in custody since her arrest two days after the collision.

January 31, 2012
The Bee's Tony Bizjak hosts: Safety on Sacramento streets

January 31, 2012
Esparto coach pleads not guilty to molestation charges

By Hudson Sangree
hsangree@sacbee.com

An Esparto youth soccer coach and foster parent pleaded not guilty this morning in Yolo Superior Court to 48 felonies and six misdemeanor counts of molesting or endangering two children over a period of more than four years.

Cristan Rooms, 29, is being held in lieu of $12 million bail in the Yolo County Jail. A court commissioner earlier set bail at $250,000 for each felony count.

Prosecutor Rob Gorman said he expects to file additional charges - and to disclose additonal victims - when the parties to return to court March 13.

"I will have disclosed all of the victims (by then)," Gorman told Judge Timothy Fall.

January 31, 2012
Sacramento SWAT team takes two men into custody in connection with homicide

swat_one.jpgresidents.jpgSacramento police have two males in custody who may be related to a homicide last night at a large apartment complex near Folsom Boulevard and Howe Avenue .

A police SWAT unit took the two males into custody about 9 a.m. this morning from one apartment. Police were still trying to get a female to leave the apartment.

The homicide occurred in the 100 block if Bicentennial Circle Monday night. Police said calls were received to dispatch about 7:08 p.m. from people who reported hearing a woman yelling that someone had been shot. Officers arrived and found a man in his 20s dead in a parking area at the apartment complex.

The victim's name has not been released

Police said that the shooter may have ties to the complex or actually live in one of the apartments. Police said it looks like the killing was the result of a drug deal gone bad.

Photo caption: Top: Sacramento police officers and SWAT members gather at an entrance to the Woodlake Village apartment complex at Howe Avenue and Folsom Blvd. Tuesday morning. Bottom: Apartment complex residents wait for police to let them into the complex after they took two men into custody. Photos by Randy Pench / rpench@sacbee.com

January 31, 2012
Monday night killing investigation on-going in Sacramento

Sacramento police are conducting a homicide investigation at a large apartment complex this morning near Folsom Boulevard and Howe Avenue .

The homicide occurred in the 100 block if Bicentennial Circle Monday night. Police said calls were received to dispatch about 7:08 p.m. from people who reported hearing a woman yelling that someone had been shot. Officers arrived and found a man in his 20s dead in a parking area at the apartment complex.

The victim's name has not been released

No suspects have been identified but police say that the shooter may have ties to the complex or actually live in one of the apartments. Police said it looks like the killing was the result of a drug deal gone bad.

January 31, 2012
Hot dog restaurant robbers tie up workers in Woodland

Two employees of a hot dog fast food restaurant were tied up by robbers on Monday, according to Woodland police.

The Wienerschnitzel restaurant clerks had freed themselves by the time officers arrived at the restaurant, 103 West Main St., about 9:30 a.m. They told officers that two men in their 20s robbed them at gun point and then fled with cash, driving away in one of the clerks' vehicles.

No customers were in the restaurant when the robbery occurred. The clerks were not harmed.

The clerk's vehicle was later found in another part of Woodland.

January 30, 2012
Owner of motorized wheelchair business admits defrauding customers

A former Sacramento man pleaded guilty today to wire fraud for defrauding customers of his motorized wheelchair and scooter business.

Carlos B. Jerez, 35, who lived most recently in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., pleaded guilty in federal court in Sacramento to 16 counts of wire fraud, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

According to court documents, Jerez owned 1st Class Mobility Inc., a business that offered to sell motorized wheelchairs and scooters over the Internet. Between April 2008 and April 20009, Jerez and 1st Class Mobility received payment from consumers for motorized wheelchairs and scooters but had neither the ability nor intention to deliver the devices.

January 30, 2012
Sacramento police report one man dead in shooting on Bicentennial Circle

Sacramento police are investigating a homicide that occurred early this evening in the 100 block of Bicentennial Circle, just north of Folsom Boulevard and east of Howe Avenue.

Police spokeswoman Officer Laura Peck said multiple calls were received about 7:08 p.m. from people who reported hearing a woman yelling that someone had been shot. Officers arrived and found a man in his 20s dead in a parking area at an apartment complex.

The victim's name has not been released

Peck said few details were immediately available, and no suspects have been identified.

January 30, 2012
Police warn of suspicious man approaching kids in North Natomas

Sacramento police are warning the community to be alert for a suspicious man who has been contacting juveniles in the North Natomas area.

At 10:51 a.m. Friday, two juveniles were walking in the 3200 block of North Park Drive when they were approached by a white cargo van. The driver asked if they wanted a ride. When the youths replied that they did not, the man repeated the question in a more demanding fashion and the juveniles ran away, according to a Police Department news release.

At 11: 25 a.m. Saturday, a juvenile was walking in the 2800 block of Stone Creek Drive when she was approached by a white cargo van. When the driver honked, the girl became alarmed and ran away.

January 30, 2012
Police seek suspect in South Lake Tahoe Wells Fargo robbery

SLT suspect.pngSouth Lake Tahoe police are looking for a man who robbed the Wells Fargo Bank inside a Raley's store this morning.

About 11:25 a.m., a man walked up to the bank teller inside the Raley's at 4010 Lake Tahoe Blvd. and demanded cash, according to a Police Department news release. He didn't claim to have a weapon and none was seen during the robbery, police said.

The man took an undisclosed amount of cash, then walked away from the bank and out of Raley's. He was last seen walking east from the shopping center toward the area of Heavenly Village Way and Bellamy Court.

January 30, 2012
Galt 'quinceañera' double murder trial begins in Sacramento

Several cameras captured the chaos and in one instance the actual shooting death of one of two men who were killed when gunfire broke out at a quinceañera celebration in a Galt ballroom two years ago, a prosecutor said today.

In his opening statement in the murder trial of Alfred Daniel Tafoya, Deputy District Attorney Eric Kindall showed jurors still photographs from the Nov. 28, 2009, party at the Estrellita Ballroom on C Street where Carlos Alonso Montes, 24, and Efrain Zambrano, 20, were shot and killed.

The pictures showed Tafoya, who is now 20, walking across the ballroom's dance floor approaching the area where a fight had broken out between a friend of his and other people who were at the party. Kindall said that Tafoya's friend was wearing a blue baseball cap emblematic of his affiliation with a Sureno street gang faction.

January 30, 2012
Rancho Cordova picks top cop

Rosanne Richeal.JPGRancho Cordova has selected its new police chief from a trio of Sacramento County Sheriff's Department captains.

The city has chosen Rosanne Richeal to be its top cop. Richeal, a 20-year law enforcement veteran, was the first woman to command the Sacramento County Jail, the first female motorcycle officer for the sheriff's department and also served as a K-9 officer, according to a city press release.

She once served as Assistant Police Chief for the Rancho Cordova Police Department. Prior to entering law enforcement, she worked as an emergency medical technician.

January 30, 2012
Coroner identifies adults killed in train collision

By Melody Gutierrez and Loretta Kalb
mgutierrez@sacbee.com

The Sacramento County Coroner's office released the names of two adults killed Saturday afternoon when a light-rail train collided with their sports-utility vehicle in south Sacramento.

Louis Leon Williams, 62, and Shante Hope Williams, 25, were killed in what Regional Transit officials said was possibly the worst light-rail accident in the system's 25-year history.

On Sunday, the Coroner's office identified 22-month old Damian Antiwon Williams as the toddler killed in the collision. A fourth person in the SUV suffered serious injuries and was taken to a local hospital, police said.

January 30, 2012
Racist graffiti sprayed at Sacramento park

Racist graffiti was sprayed on a sign and other objects at a new park near 65th Street and Highway 50 during the weekend.

"KKK" was spray painted on the Mae Fong Park monument sign at the front of the community park, 3004 Redding Ave. Also, racist epithets and Nazi insignia were scrawled in other parts of the park.

"They are the most hateful of hateful signs you can imagine at a kids' playground," said City Councilman Kevin McCarty.

January 30, 2012
Sacramento crack cocaine dealer sentenced to 7 years, 8 months in prison

A man alleged to be a validated gang member has been sentenced for selling crack cocaine in Sacramento.

Jeffrey Conner, 37, of Sacramento was sentenced in federal court to seven years and eight months in prison for distributing the drug in Sacramento's Oak Park neighborhood.

Court documents show that Conner is a validated member of the Oak Park Bloods street gang, a news release from the office of the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District states. The release notes that Conner has a prior conviction for assault with a firearm.

On Oct. 19, 2006, officers conducted a buy of seven ounces of crack cocaine from Conner in Oak Park, the release states. Conner charged $3,200 and later admitted to law enforcement that he made a little less than $1,000 on the drug deal, according to prosecutors.

January 30, 2012
Sacramento police nab suspects for Natomas copper theft

Sacramento police arrested two men this morning suspected of stealing 300 feet of copper wire in Natomas.

Officers were told at roll call to watch out for copper thieves who had hit the Westshore neighborhood last week.

About 12:30 a.m. officers patrolling near Natomas Central Drive and Hovnanian Drive stopped a man standing near a U-Haul truck. The 39-year-old man ran but was caught.

Stolen copper wire pulled from in-ground utility boxes was found in the U-Haul. The truck was being used as a shield to carry out the theft, said Lt. Norm Leong.

Officers also learned that the man had a suspected accomplice, also 39, who was arrested at his home. He is known to officers from "prior copper theft contacts," Leong said.

City crews estimated cost of damage from the theft at $2,000. The copper wire often carries electricity for street lights.

January 29, 2012
One man injured Citrus Heights shooting, police say

An argument between two men in a Citrus Heights neighborhood on Saturday night ended with the shooting of one of them, the Police Department reported today.

Citrus Heights Police were called to the area of Grady Drive and Terrell Drive to check on a report of shots fired. A short time later, an unidentified woman called the police dispatch to say she was taking a gunshot victim to a local hospital, the department said in a release.

Officers who went to the area searched for a suspect and a weapon. None was located.

January 28, 2012
Suspect in Galt burglary expected to survive, be charged

By Carlos Alcalá
calcala@sacbee.com

A suspected burglar shot Friday by a Sacramento County Sheriff's deputy is expected to survive, an official said Saturday.

The man will not be identified until he is released from the hospital and booked by the Sheriff's Department, according to Deputy Jason Ramos, spokesman for the department.

The incident took place around 2 a.m. Friday, when deputies were summoned to a burglary alarm call at It's a Grind coffeehouse on Twin Cities Road in Galt.

Officers had entered the business to investigate, and the burglar was shot in the store while running toward the door where a deputy was standing, law enforcement officials told reporters.

He was believed to be armed with a hammer and did not respond to shouts to show his hands, according to the officials.

Gunfire struck the suspect in his upper and lower body.

A second suspect, George Jett, 22, was arrested after he was found hiding under a recreational vehicle in the area.

Call The Bee's Carlos Alcalá, (916) 321-1987.

January 28, 2012
Sacramento traffic check results in 4 arrests, 56 tickets

By Carlos Alcalá
calcala@sacbee.com

Sacramento police officers conducting a traffic checkpoint overnight Friday and early Saturday arrested four people on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Officers contacted 917 vehicles during the operation, which was held at 24th Street and Fruitridge Road.

They screened 59 drivers for license violations, issued 56 citations and had 21 vehicles towed.

The four arrests were the result of screening six drivers for possible impaired driving.

January 27, 2012
Sheriff's volunteers to offer child fingerprinting in El Dorado Hills

Volunteers with the El Dorado County Sheriff's Team of Active Retirees -- STAR -- will offer fingerprint service for children in keeping with the National Child Safety Council's Young People Prints.

The services will be provided free of charge for children and teenagers younger than 18 at the Sheriff's Town Center substation, 4354 Town Center Blvd., Suite 112, El Dorado Hills. A parent or legal guardian must accompany the child.

To ensure prompt service, call (530) 642-4728 or (916) 933-2578 to find out when a volunteer will be available. The substation's normal office hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Walk-ins are welcome.

January 27, 2012
Yolo jury convicts Vallejo man of iPhone robbery, assault

A Yolo County jury has convicted a Vallejo man of robbery and assault with a deadly weapon in the theft of an iPhone.

On Sept. 26, 2010, Calvin Tommy Johnson, 27, contacted the victim, who had listed an iPhone for sale on Cragslist, according to a Yolo County District Attorney's Office news release. Johnson arranged to meet the victim at a Davis shopping center to complete the transaction.

After examining the phone, Johnson took it with him to his car to get his money. But once in the car, Johnson told the driver to take off, officials said.

January 27, 2012
Sacramento man arrested in burglary of Rocklin home

David+Alan+Foster.jpgRocklin police have arrested a Sacramento man in connection with a December home burglary.

The break-in at a residence in the El Don Estates area was reported Dec. 9. Officers found several items of physical evidence that the department's evidence lab technicians tied to David Alan Foster (pictured), 24. He was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of burglary as well as a Plumas County warrant for violation of probation, according to a Police Department news release.

Foster is being held in Placer County Jail on $30,000 bail.

January 27, 2012
Oak Park gang member sentenced for selling crack cocaine

A Sacramento man is headed to prison for distributing crack cocaine in the city's Oak Park neighborhood.

U.S. District Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr. sentenced Jeffery Conner, 37, to seven years and eight months in prison, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

According to court documents, Conner is a validated member of the Oak Park Bloods street gang with a prior felony conviction for assault with a firearm on a person.

January 27, 2012
Library defendant 'prostituted' office, sentencing judge says

A judge sentenced the three defendants convicted in the Sacramento library corruption scandal to prison terms today, telling one of them, "You prostituted your office for personal gain."

Former library facilities superintendent Dennis Nilsson, 65, received a 14-year, eight-month prison term as well as a tongue-lashing from Sacramento Superior Court Judge Allen H. Sumner.

The library authority's one-time security chief James Mayle, 66, who once headed up the old Grant school district police force, was sentenced by Sumner to five years and four months.

January 27, 2012
SF Giants cap-wearing bank robber wanted by FBI

robgiants.jpeg
Detectives are asking for the public's help in finding a man who held up a bank on Thursday while wearing a San Francisco Giants baseball cap.

The man entered the Wells Fargo Bank near the intersection of Fair Oaks Boulevard and Munroe Street about 10:45 a.m. and gave the teller a note demanding cash. The teller didn't see a weapon but the robber indicated he was armed, according to the FBI.

The robber is described as a black man in his early 30s, about 180 pounds and 6 feet tall. The Giants cap was red and "San Francisco" was embroidered on the brim.

The case is being investigated by the Sacramento Violent Crimes Task Force, comprised of FBI agents and Sacramento County Sheriff's detectives.

Anyone with information is asked to call the FBI at (916) 481-9110 or deputies at (916) 874-5115. Tipsters may remain anonymous and could be eligible for a reward by calling Crime Alert at (916) 443-4357.

January 27, 2012
Redding PD: Boy injured when intoxicated mom pushes his stroller into path of SUV

A three year old in a stroller was pushed into traffic Thursday by his drunken mother, Redding police said.

The stroller with the little boy in it was then hit by an SUV. The child suffered broken bones and was eventually flown to UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento.

Redding police said the incident began when Michelle Dawn Sudeta, 25, of Redding began to cross Eureka Way near Overhill Drive about 8 p.m. Thursday.

She was pushing her son in a stroller, trailed by her two daughters, 8 and 9 years old, who urged their mother not to cross the road because it was dangerous, according to a police press release.

When she got to the center lane of Eureka Way, police said she briefly paused and then abruptly continued, pushing the stroller into the path of an on-coming Ford Expedition.

The driver did his best to prevent a full force impact, veering away from the stroller. Still, the little boy was hurt and the stroller demolished.

Police said that Sudeta was arrested on suspicion of endangering the lives of children and booked into Shasta County Jail. Police allege Sudeta, who is homeless, was intoxicated, agitated and uncooperative at the scene.

January 27, 2012
Sacramento County deputy shoots suspected burglar at coffee shop in Galt

A suspected burglar was shot this morning by a sheriff's deputy in Galt, law enforcement officials said.

The suspect, shot twice, was rushed to the hospital with serious injuries. A sheriff's spokesman said the deputy was forced to shoot because the man was running in the direction of another officer with what the deputy believed was a hammer in his hand.

About 2 a.m., Sacramento County Sheriff's deputies were called to assist Galt police on a burglary alarm call at "It's a Grind" coffee house on Twin Cities Road, just off Highway 99.

Three deputies responded. The last deputy who responded saw someone running away from the coffee shop.

The first two officers noticed that a car was idling and backed up to the business. The front door to the business was smashed.

Deputies thought they saw someone moving around inside the shop. Cautiously, the two deputies entered the building to see a man run from behind the counter.

The deputies shouted for the man to stop and also commanded him to "Show us your hands."

One of the deputies believed that the suspect was armed with a hammer as he ran toward the front door where his fellow officer was standing.

"He is yelling stop, show us your hands," said sheriff's department spokesman Deputy Jason Ramos. "The suspect is still running and the officer thinks he has a hammer in his hand. He shoots at the suspect, striking him twice."

A hammer later was recovered from the scene, authorities said.

After being hit by the gunfire once in the upper body and once in the lower body, the suspected burglar continues to run out of the shop. The deputies chased him and detained him just outside the business.

He was transported to the hospital where he was in surgery this morning. His wounds were possibly life-threatening, Ramos said.

About 3:15 a.m. a second suspect, presumably the man who ran from the business earlier, was found hiding nearby beneath a recreational vehicle. He was taken to the hospital with bite wounds inflicted by a police dog.

This post was updated by Bee staff writer Kim Minugh.

January 26, 2012
Sacramento police to conduct Friday night sobriety checkpoint

The Sacramento Police Department will conduct a sobriety and drivers license checkpoint Friday night at 24th Street and Fruitridge Road.

Beginning at 8 p.m. and continuing for five to seven hours, motorists passing through the intersection will be stopped by uniformed officers checking for drivers who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. They also will check to ensure all drivers have a valid driver's license.

In case of inclement weather, the checkpoint will be canceled and officers will conduct a citywide saturation patrol looking for impaired drivers.

January 26, 2012
Bay Area women arrested in Placer County, accused of using counterfeit credit cards

smith monique lashonn.jpglucas bailey keishay airrell.jpgTwo Bay Area women were arrested by Placer County sheriff's deputies after they allegedly purchased thousands of dollars worth of gift cards with counterfeit credit cards.

Monique Smith (pictured, left), 38, of Brentwood, and Bailey Lucas (right), 21, of Hayward, were arrested Tuesday afternoon near Interstate 80 and Highway 65 by deputies who were watching the roadways for the suspected getaway car, according to a Sheriff's Department news release.

Officials said an investigation revealed that the women visited Target stores in Lincoln, Roseville and Auburn that day, purchasing VISA gift cards with counterfeit credit cards. Security officers at the Auburn Target store became suspicious and began watching Lucas. They also notified patrol deputies.

January 26, 2012
Teen seriously injured by rifle gunfire in south Sacramento County

A 16-year-old boy suffered serious injuries when he was shot in the Florin area Tuesday evening.

His injuries initially were life-threatening, but he is now expected to survive, said Sacramento County sheriff's Deputy Jason Ramos.

The shooting occurred shortly after 5:30 p.m. Tuesday on the 8600 block of Crystal River Way, according to a Sheriff's Department report.

January 26, 2012
Rocklin's first 'Etch & Catch' event booked, second planned in April

Reflecting the level of public concern about the rash of catalytic converter thefts, openings for the Rocklin Police Department's "Etch & Catch" event were filled within 24 hours after sign-ups began.

Police reported that they received more than 150 calls from interested people within the first 24 hours of announcing the Feb. 11 event. All 80 appointments have been filled. Drive-up participants will be accepted the day of the event, but only on a first-come, first-served basis if time and space allow, according to a Police Department news release.

The free etching event is scheduled from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Les Schwab Tires, 5610 Pacific St., Rocklin. Vehicle license plate numbers will be etched onto catalytic converters to aid police in identifying victims and prosecuting criminals in case of theft.

January 26, 2012
Ex-employee arraigned for murder of head of Cordova parks district

By Andy Furillo and Kim Minugh
afurillo@sacbee.com


The former Cordova Park District employee accused of murder in the shooting death of his boss made his first court appearance today.

Dupree Barber answered "no" when Sacramento Superior Court Judge Larry Brown asked him if he could afford a lawyer. Brown then appointed Assistant Public Defender John Perkins to represent him.

Barber, 47, faces two special-circumstance allegations in the Monday morning killing of Steve Ebert, 59, the park district's maintenance superintendent, at Hagan Community Park.

January 26, 2012
Folsom police nab two for alleged copper theft

Folsom police apprehended two men for allegedly stealing copper piping from air conditioning units atop Riley Street businesses.

Police received a call about 5 a.m. Thursday that two people were seen climbing from the rooftop of a business complex at 1151 Riley Street near Wales Drive.

Officer Jason Browning said that the suspects left the area on bicycles but were caught by Folsom police. James Andrew Mackenzie, 25, and Jared Wayne Adams, 31, both of Folsom, were booked into Sacramento County Jail on multiple charges, including vandalism, grand theft and possession of burglar's tools.

Browing said the men had 40-50 pounds of air conditioning copper pipes and burglar's tools when stopped. A check of the building revealed that 16 air condition units sustained major damage.

January 26, 2012
Sheriff's robbery detectives need help identifying Domino's robber


Sheriff's detectives need help in identifying a robber who shot a pizza shop employee.

A video of the robbery attempt at Domino's Pizza in Carmichael earlier this week shows the man shooting at the clerk and then fleeing. However, it is difficult to tell who the suspect is because the robber is masked.

The crime occurred at 8:40 p.m. Monday when a man walked into the pizza shop in the 7000 block of Fair Oaks Blvd. The robber then demanded money from the employee.

The impatient robber shot at the clerk when the employee could not open the cash register quickly enough. The suspect stepped back and shot the employee once in the upper body before fleeing without any cash.

The clerk was treated for a non life-threatening injury and is expected to recover. The suspect is described as a thin white man, 20-25 years old, about 6 feet tall.

He wore a black ski mask and black hood jacket.

Anyone having information is asked to call the sheriff's robbery bureau at (916) 874-5051 or Crime Alert at (916) 443-4357. Callers to Crime Alert may remain anonymous and could be eligible for a reward up to $1,000.

January 26, 2012
Fire Department called for fumes at state office building

Diesel exhaust from a construction lift caused a partial evacuation of the state Department of Motor Vehicles headquarters in Sacramento.

A lift being used in refurbishment of the building sent fumes through an air intake and into offices on the third floor of the six-story building at 24th Street and First Avenue.

Some of the employees on the third floor were evacuated about 10 a.m. and the Sacramento Fire Department was summoned. Employees are now back to work, a DMV spokeswoman said.

Two employees went to the hospital after breathing in the fumes.

January 26, 2012
Man deported five times is convicted of illegal re-entry

A native of Mexico, deported 5 times before, has been convicted of two counts of illegal re-entry by a federal jury in Sacramento.

Roberto Solis-Cabralles has repeatedly illegally returned to this country, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney's office. He has felony convictions in Sacramento that include drug-trafficking and liquor store robbery.

Solis-Cabralles, convicted on Wednesday, is scheduled to be sentenced April 9 by U.S. District Judge William S. Shubb. He faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, however, his sentence will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of sentencing guidelines.

January 25, 2012
Dogs reunited with owner they saved from Zamora house fire

herodogs2.jpgThey are being called hero dogs.

Credited with saving the lives of their owners from an early Tuesday morning house fire in the Yolo County community of Zamora, Gizzy, a 4-year-old Shih Tzu, and Honey, a 3-year-old Great Pyranees, were released this afternoon from UC Davis' veterinary medical teaching hospital, where they were treated for smoke inhalation.

Cheryl Washington, 63, said she must have already been experiencing effects of smoke about 5 a.m. Tuesday when her dogs began barking. When they had trouble rousing her, they didn't give up.

January 25, 2012
El Dorado County nearly quadruples gun permits issued under new sheriff

By Carlos Alcalá
calcala@sacbee.com

A year after taking office El Dorado County Sheriff John D'Agostini reported that his office issued nearly four times as many concealed weapons permits in 2011 as in the previous year.

The total number of permits was 844, according to a statement by D'Agostini issued by the El Dorado County Sheriff's Office.

The office issued 217 permits in 2010, just over a fourth of the amount for 2011.

January 25, 2012
Woodland man convicted of workers' comp insurance fraud

A Yolo County jury has found a Woodland man guilty of workers' compensation insurance fraud.

Stephen Eugene Harder, 45, was convicted Tuesday in a case relating to his claim for benefits, according to a Yolo County District Attorney's Office news release.

On Feb. 26, 2009, the District Attorney's Insurance Fraud Unit received a complaint from the State Compensation Insurance Fund alleging that Harder was attempting to exaggerate his industrial injury and claiming that it was more severe than it was.

January 25, 2012
Folsom Prison psychologist pleads no contest to phony assault

A state prison psychologist pleaded no contest today to a felony conspiracy charge related to her falsely reporting to police that she had been sexually assaulted.

As a result of Laurie Ann Martinez' plea, Sacramento Superior Court Judge Kevin J. McCormick sentenced her to five years probation and 180 days in the sheriff's work furlough program.

Authorities said Martinez, 36, staged the attack to convince her husband to move out of their neighborhood.

Martinez' co-defendant, Nicole Snyder, 33, who assisted Martinez in the April 10 ploy at the psychologist's Norgard Court home in Sacramento, also entered a no-contest plea to a misdemeanor conspiracy charge.

January 25, 2012
Grandfather unmasks Sacramento 'Evil Clown' robber

evilclown.jpeg
Sacramento police say that the KISS bandit is actually more of an Evil Clown robber - and he's struck again.

And now, thanks to a tough store clerk in his 70s, the clown mask is in police evidence. The robber has been unmasked by a grandfather.

The Sacramento Police Department is asking the public's help in identifying the masked individual sought in connection with the armed robberies of three businesses. In all cases, police say, the robber wore a white clown mask.

He was initially dubbed the Kiss Mask Robber because the mask he wore was similar to the make-up worn by the KISS rock band.

However, police today said he wore a mask that could more accurately be described as an "Evil Clown."

The first robbery occurred about 8:45 p.m. Thursday in the 4200 block of Norwood Avenue, in the Robla area. The robber climbed over the counter, fired two shots close to store employees, took money from the register and left on foot, according to a Police Department news release.

Less than an our later, about 9:28 p.m., an individual wearing the same mask and clothing, entered a liquor store in the 2900 block of Del Paso Boulevard. Police said he fired a single shot inside the store, robbed employees at gunpoint, then fled to a waiting blue or black four-door sedan. A witness tried to write down the vehicle's license plate number, but the suspect fired a shot in the witness' direction.

Then, on Saturday, about 8:15 p.m., the man in the signature mask struck again, entering a small neighborhood market in the 4000 block of 12th Avenue armed with a gun.

He pointed the weapon at the store owner's grandfather but the man would have none of it.

He grabbed the gun of the Evil Clown robber and a struggle began. The mask was pulled off in the alteracation and is being held by the police.

The suspect fled in a light blue sedan.

Anyone with information about the robberies is asked to call Crime Alert at (916) 443-4357, or text a tip to 274637. Enter SACTIP followed by the tip information. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

PHOTO CAPTION: Thanks to a tough store clerk in his 70s, the clown mask is in police evidence. Sacramento Police Department

January 25, 2012
Arraignment set on suspect in park superintendent's slaying

An arraignment has been scheduled for Thursday at 1:30 p.m. on the suspect who was arrested in the Monday morning shooting death of Cordova Recreation and Park District superintendent Steve Ebert.

The suspect, Dupree Pierre Barber, 47, will appear in Sacramento Superior Court in front of Judge Lawrence G. Brown.

No complaint had been filed as of late this morning, according to the court system's online records.

January 25, 2012
Sacramento Gang Enforcement Team on a roll Tuesday

The Sacramento police Gang Enforcement Team was very busy Tuesday afternoon and into the night on the north side of the city, conducting stops and searches.

Here's a list from the police activity log of some of the team's efforts in such neighborhoods as Del Paso Heights, Johnson Heights and Noralto:

 Probation search, 4000 block of Taylor Street. Team conducted a probation search looking for someone who possibly had a handgun. Only turned up a BB gun.

 Probation search, 3400 block of Norwood Avenue. Officers went to gang members home. While there, a former gang member, was found with ammunition and methamphetamine.

 Subject stop, Fairfield Street and Las Palmas Avenue. GET officers took a former gang member into custody. Had a felony warrant and was in possession of brass knuckles.

 Subject stop, 200 block of Eleanor Avenue. Officers located a man near Johnston Park who had a felony warrant out for his arrest. Admitted gang member, police said.

 Search of home, 100 block of Arcade Boulevard. Gang enforcement officers searched gang member's home. At home was suspect's girlfriend, who had an outstanding warrant.

 Watch of hot spot, Grand Avenue and Clay Street. Gang Enforcement Team continued to monitor the location in Del Paso Heights due to citizen complaints of narcotic and gang activity. Officers found a person with an outstanding warrant.

January 24, 2012
Rocklin Police announce catalytic converter etching event

In response to a rash of catalytic converter thefts in south Placer County, the Rocklin Police Department, in cooperation with local businesses and organizations, has scheduled a free catalytic converter etching event Feb. 11.

In the first three weeks of this year, Rocklin police received 29 reports of catalytic converter thefts. Although some arrests have been made, such thefts continue to occur, according to a Police Department news release.

Catalytic converters, along with copper and other metals, have become a hot commodity among thieves. The catalytic converters are targeted because of their value, the relative ease of stealing them and their lack of identifying markings, police said. The lack of identification makes it difficult to identify victims and to successfully apprehend and prosecute criminals.

January 24, 2012
Former employee arrested in fatal shooting of Rancho Cordova parks superintendent

Barber.jpgA 47-year-old man arrested today in Monday's shooting death of a Rancho Cordova parks superintendent has been identified as Dupree Barber (pictured), a former district employee.

Steve Ebert, 59, superintendent of the Cordova Recreation and Park District, was fatally shot as he arrived for work at the district office in Hagan Community Park early Monday.

Dupree was arrested this morning on suspicion of murder after he flagged down a police officer in West Sacramento and said that police in Rancho Cordova were looking for him, according to Sacramento County sheriff's spokesman Deputy Jason Ramos.

January 24, 2012
Sacramento man gets decade in prison in Alaskan oxycodone case

A Sacramento man has been sentenced to 10.5 years in prison for money laundering and conspiracy to distribute oxycodone in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Wilbert Barber, 31, of Sacramento, received his sentence on Friday in federal Court in Fairbanks.

Prior to imposing the sentence, U.S. District Court Judge Ralph R. Beistline said Fairbanks was tired of dealing with drug dealers such as Barber, according to a U.S. Attorney press release.

Proscuter Kelly Cavanaugh said that Barber was involved in a two-year conspiracy to distribute more than $130,000 worth of oxycodone pills beginning in 2008. Barber supplied the pills to his co-defendants in Fairbanks for distribution, according to the prosecutor.

The oxycodone, a prescription pain reliever, reached Fairbanks by private mail carrier or were carried by passengers on commercial airline flights.

Barber's co-defendants would deposit money in Barber's bank account or use wire transfers to send money to him, according to the press release.

January 24, 2012
Bad chimney activates carbon monoxide alarm in Roseville

A recently installed carbon monoxide alarm alerted a Roseville family to dangerous levels of the toxic gas in their home.

Roseville firefighters responded late Wednesday night to a home on Vernon Oaks Drive where a carbon monoxide alarm activated. Firefighters determined that there were dangerous levels of the gas in the home because of an improperly vented fireplace.

Thanks to the alarm, nobody in the family became ill, according to a Roseville police activity sheet.

Roseville firefighters remind residents that carbon monoxide is odorless, colorless and deadly. Common sources are cars running in closed garages, fuel-burning space heaters, water heaters with bad venting and blocked chimneys.

January 24, 2012
Craigslist sale goes awry, vehicle 'buyers' arrested

A vehicle sale on Craigslist that went bad prompted the seller to take matters into his own hands last night in Sacramento.

The suspects and the seller met about 9:30 p.m. Monday at 29th Street and Meadowview Road to show the vehicle. The alleged buyer arrived in what police later said was a stolen car with stolen license plates.

The seller allowed the female "buyer" to test drive the vehicle while the man waited with the victim.

However, as soon as the woman drove away, the man ran to his stolen car with the stolen plates and took off. The seller chased in his pickup, eventually running the "buyer" off the road.

At that point the two men began to fight and the woman and Sacramento police officers arrived. Both the man and woman were arrested, according to a police activity log.

January 23, 2012
Pizza clerk shot during attempted robbery in Carmichael

A Domino's Pizza clerk has been taken to the hospital with a non-life-threatening gunshot wound following an attempted robbery.

Sacramento County sheriff's spokesman Deputy Jason Ramos said the armed man entered the pizza restaurant at 7250 Fair Oaks Blvd. in Carmichael about 8:38 p.m. He fired a shot that struck the clerk, then left on foot without getting any money.

Ramos said deputies arrived within five minutes and searched the area but were unable to locate the suspect.

The man was described as white, wearing a dark-colored mask, gray sweater and black pants.

January 23, 2012
Three Sacramento women arrested in false tax return scheme

Three Sacramento women were arrested today, accused of stealing taxpayers' identities and their tax refunds.

According to federal court documents, Nadiyah Muhammad Woods, 33; Nakia Renee Vaughn, 26; and Tomisha Lee McKinnie, 24, are charged in a conspiracy to defraud the United States through the filing of false tax returns using TurboTax, an income tax preparation software and filing service.

The women are charged with executing a mail fraud scheme to obtain Green Dot debit cards, a service offered through the TurboTax software, loaded with the tax return money of taxpayer victims.

January 23, 2012
Yolo County DA warns of phony collection agency calls

The Yolo County District Attorney's Office is warning residents, particularly older adults, to beware of phony collection agency calls.

Several people recently contacted the Yolo County District Attorney's Elder Protection Unit to report phone calls from people pretending to be from a collection agency. In one instance, the caller claimed to be an attorney and that more than $800 was owed for magazine subscriptions.

Officials warn that crooks can disguise the number they are calling from by using computers.

January 23, 2012
Ten caught in sting accused of contracting without a license

One person was arrested and nine others received notices to appear in court during a recent Contractors State License Board sting operation in Amador County.

The undercover operation was conducted Friday at a Pine Grove home by the board's Statewide Investigative Fraud Team and investigators from the Amador County District Attorney's Office.

Investigators, posing as homeowners, sought bids for general construction and painting projects at a multievel house on 7 acres. The 10 people who bid more than the legal threshold of $500 for labor and materials will be required to appear in court for contracting without a license, according to a Contractors State License Board news release. They also face an additional misdemeanor charge for illegal advertising.

January 23, 2012
Judge allows parts of suicide note in UC Davis "sweethearts" murder case

A judge today ruled that portions of a suicide note written by Richard Hirschfield's dead brother can be used against the defendant who is accused in the 1980 sex murders of UC Davis sweethearts Sabrina Gonsalves and John Riggins.

"I was there," the defendant's brother, Joseph Hirschfield, wrote in a note he authored before killing himself in 2002, the day after Sacramento sheriff's homicide detectives questioned him the Gonsalves and Riggins case.

Sacramento prosecutors hope Joseph Hirschfield's admission, combined with other evidence that he lived close by where the victims bodies were found in the Lake Natoma area, will help convince jurors his brother also was at the scene of the killings. The D.A.'s office claims that DNA from a semen stain retrieved from a blanket in Riggins' van matches Richard Hirschfield.

Deputy District Attorney Dawn Bladet also sought to introduce portions of the suicide note where Joseph Hirschfield claimed his brother killed the teen-aged college couple. Sacramento Superior Court Judge Michael W. Sweet excluded that portion of the note from trial.

Hirschfield's lawyers sought to exclude the entirety of the note on grounds it is inadmissable hearsay. The judge ruled that the selected portions of the note qualified to be shown to the jury as exceptions to the hearsay rule.

Defense attorney LInda Parisi said she and her co-counsel, Assistant Public Defender Ken Schaller, may appeal Sweet's ruling. It is not expected that such an appeal would further delay the trial now scheduled for March 19.

January 23, 2012
Sacramento man sentenced for selling counterfeit CDs and DVDs

By Rick Daysog
rdaysog@sacbee.com

A Sacramento man was sentenced today to three and a half years in prison after he admitted he sold thousands of counterfeit music CDs and motion picture DVDs.

Eleazar Ortiz Gomez, 29, also must pay more than $265,000 in restitution, Chief U.S. District Judge Anthony Ishii ruled.

Gomez and several cohorts received thousands of of counterfeit CDs and DVDs and sold them out of his garage and at the flea market in Galt, according to the U.S. Attorney's office.

In November 2010, federal investigators raided a San Jose warehouse operated by Ortiz and netted more than 10,000 counterfeit DVDs and 24,000 counterfeit CDs, federal prosecutors said. Charges against four other men who allegedly worked on the scheme are pending.

January 23, 2012
Body in bullet-riddled car discovered in Rancho park

A man was found shot to death this morning, slumped over in the driver's seat of his still-idling car in a Rancho Cordova park.

The man's body was found in the car in Hagan Community Park about 6 a.m. by a citizen who noticed the car stopped with its lights on partially in the roadway that winds through the park.

The citizen got out of his vehicle and noticed numerous bullet holes in the driver's side door and the side window shattered.

January 23, 2012
Honolulu police officer Garret Davis, former Folsom resident, dies in fiery crash

Honolulu authorities say that a police officer killed over the weekend when he stopped to help a stalled driver grew up in Folsom.

Officer Garret Davis, 28, pulled over to help a motorist whose vehicle had stalled in the left lane of the H-1 freeway in Aiea about 8 p.m. Saturday. The officer had turned on his blue lights and had stopped behind the stalled vehicle to shield it from traffic.

Before Davis was able to get out of his police cruiser, his squad car was slammed into the stalled vehicle by a oncoming pickup driven by a 41-year-old man, according to Police Chief Louis Kealoha in a department Facebook post.

January 22, 2012
Families left homeless by Christmas tree fire

By Matt Weiser
mweiser@sacbee.com

Two families were forced out of their homes in Sacramento's Arden Arcade neighborhood late Saturday when a Christmas tree caught fire from a candle burning too close.

The fire in an apartment building at 2501 Hurley Way began around 11:30 p.m. Saturday. Assistant Fire Chief Scott Cockrum said residents of the second-floor apartment saw the tree catch fire and tried to extinguish it, but it burned too fast.

"It went up like gasoline," Cockrum said. "It was just very quick and intense, a lot of smoke, a lot of heat production."

January 21, 2012
Sacramento teen struck by car dies of her injuries

By Peter Hecht
phecht@sacbee.com

A 16-year-old Sacramento girl has died of injuries suffered when she was struck by a car Thursday afternoon while crossing a south Sacramento street.

Michelle Murigi died Friday night, a day after getting injured crossing Fruitridge Road at 58th Street, the Sacramento County Coroner's office confirmed Saturday.

Sacramento police Sgt. Andrew Pettit said an eastbound car in the far left lane had stopped to allow the girl to cross the street but a car to the right continued driving through the crosswalk "and didn't see her."

The girl suffered severe trauma and was rushed to UC Davis Medical Center, where she she was put on life support. The accident remains under investigation.

January 21, 2012
Driver takes off after hitting, killing 21-year-old in Woodland

By Carlos Alcalá
calcala@sacbee.com

A 21-year-old man was killed when he was struck by a hit-and-run driver on Highway 113 in Woodland early today, the California Highway Patrol reported.

The man, a resident of Foster City, was walking in the northbound lanes of 113 north of County Road 29 at about 3:50 a.m.

He was hit and killed by an unknown vehicle which fled the scene and has not been located.

The incident is under investigation, and anyone with information on the hit-and-run is asked to call CHP at (530) 662-4685.

January 21, 2012
Sacramento police nab suspects in 2 burglaries

By Carlos Alcalá
calcala@sacbee.com

Sacramento police officers arrested two suspected burglars Friday, after victims in two separate incidents interrupted home burglaries.

In the first case, a male and female reportedly broke into a car on West El Camino Avenue and used a garage door opener to open the victim's garage around 9 a.m.

The victim confronted them as they were in the process of taking items from the garage.

The suspects fled, but police captured and arrested the male, who was not identified in the report from the police activity log.

In the second incident, officers were flagged down near the 2300 block of Fairfield Avenue where a burglary had just occurred.

The victim told police he had arrived home to find someone burglarizing the residence.

Police searched and found a suspect, Jerry Adams, 51, in hiding. Police allege that Adams was in possession of items belonging to burglary victim. He was arrested on suspicion of burglary and parole violation.

Call The Bee's Carlos Alcalá, (916) 321-1987.

January 20, 2012
Isleton police back on duty after insurance issues resolved

Isleton police officers are back on duty, a week after they were taken off the streets due to a lapse in the city's workers' compensation coverage.

The city turned over law enforcement responsibilities to the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department Jan. 12. As of 8 p.m. tonight, those responsibilities were handed back to the Police Department, according a Sheriff's Department news release, which stated that the matter of workers' compensation coverage had been rectified.

David Larsen, Isleton's city manager and attorney, said earlier in the week that the lapse in coverage occurred when the city's longtime insurer declined to negotiate a payment schedule and canceled the city's policy due to lack of payment.

January 20, 2012
One person injured in fire at Citrus Heights home

One person has suffered injuries in a fire at a Citrus Heights residence.

Assistant Chief Scott Cockrum of the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District said firefighters responded to a home at 6564 Greencreek Way shortly before 9 p.m. It was initially reported as a garage fire but appears to have burned into the attic.

Cockrum said the injured person was being treated at the scene as firefighters worked to bring the fire under control.

January 20, 2012
Carbon monoxide detector credited with saving Roseville family

Roseville fire officials say a carbon monoxide detector saved a family from possible illness or death.

Roseville firefighters responded about 11:45 p.m. Wednesday to a report that a carbon monoxide detector had activated at a home in the 600 block of Vernon Oaks Drive. They arrived to find a family of eight standing in the front yard and a recently installed carbon monoxide alarm sounding in the residence.

Using specialized detectors carried on all Roseville fire engines, firefighters quickly determined that there were dangerous levels of carbon monoxide in the home, according to a Fire Department news release.

January 20, 2012
CHP officer arrested on suspicion of child molestation

A California Highway Patrol officer has been arrested on suspicion of child molestation involving acts that allegedly occurred more than a decade ago.

Justin Morejohn, 31, turned himself in Thursday morning after a warrant was issued for his arrest, said Lt. Paul Doroshov of the Davis Police Department.

Doroshov said Davis police in August began an investigation into allegations against Morejohn and submitted a report to the Yolo County District Attorney's Office. Morejohn was subsequently arrested on suspicion of 10 counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a child under the age of 14. Bail was set at $1 million.

January 20, 2012
Sacramento police seek to ID robber who wore 'KISS' mask

kissrobber2.jpgThe Sacramento Police Department is asking the public's help in identifying an individual sought in connection with armed robberies of two businesses Thursday night.

In both cases, police say, the robber wore a white clown mask similar to the KISS rock band.

The first robbery occurred about 8:45 p.m. in the 4200 block of Norwood Avenue, in the Robla area. The robber climbed over the counter, fired two shots close to store employees, took money from the register and left on foot, according to a Police Department news release.

January 20, 2012
Officials suspect homicide in death of man near Plumas Lake

Yuba County sheriff's officials say a man whose body was found beside Union Pacific Railroad tracks near Plumas Lake on Monday was likely the victim of a homicide.

The Sheriff's Department today identified the man as Kevin Cody Stratton, 25, who was a transient.

Union Pacific employees found the body about 7 a.m. Monday.

January 20, 2012
Judge reschedules sentencing in library kickback scheme

A judge hit with several late sentencing motions in the Sacramento library corruption scandal today postponed his imposition of the terms on the three defendants convicted in the case.

Sacramento Superior Court Judge Allen H. Sumner rescheduled for next Friday the sentencing of the library's former facilities director Dennis Nilsson, former security chief James Mayle and Mayle's wife, Janie Rankins-Mayle.

The three were convicted in a kickback scheme on outsourced maintenance contracts that purportedly looted the library of $780,000 from 2004 to 2007.

Deputy District Attorney Mike Blazina is seeking terms of 18 years and four months on Nilsson and 11 years and four months on the Mayles.

Nilsson is seeking a reduced term from the D.A.'s proposal while the Mayles are asking for probation.


January 20, 2012
Man who murdered girlfriend with hammer gets 26-to-life

Curtin-cropped.jpgA man who murdered his girlfriend by hitting her 10 times in the head with a hammer and then stuffing a sock in her mouth was sentenced today to 26 years to life in prison.

Donald Joseph Fernandes, 37, received the term after his conviction in November for the murder of Karen Ann Curtin, 50 (pictured).

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January 20, 2012
Grass Valley woman, 66, booked in 42-year-old death of daughter

Placer County law enforcement officials today announced they have arrested a 66-year-old woman in the death of her child 42 years ago.

The cold case homicide involves Patricia Lee Thomas, 66, of Grass Valley. She was arrested Thursday night on suspicion of killing her 4-year-old daughter. Thomas is also known as Patricia Lee Howell.

The child's death occurred May 25, 1970 in Auburn. The girl's death was originally listed as a bathtub drowning.

A press release from Placer County District Attorney's Office and the Auburn Police Department did not say what led investigators to arresting Thomas more than four decades after the little girl's death.

"Information recently obtained by law enforcement initiated the re-opening of the investigation," the statement read. "That investigation led to additional evidence that resulted in last night's arrest of Thomas."

Thomas is scheduled to be arraigned in Dept. 13 of Placer County Superior Court at 1:30 p.m. Monday.

"This horrendous criminal act occurred 42 years ago," said Auburn Police Chief John Ruffcorn. "The collaborative investigation between the two agencies was instrumental in this arrest."

Officials declined further comment.

January 20, 2012
Big rig driver killed I-5 crash identified by coroner

The Sacramento County Coroner's office has released the name of the big rig driver who died Thursday when his vehicle slammed into an embankment and freeway overcrossing south of Elk Grove.

He was identified as Bruce Allen Land, 55, of Lodi.

Land's rig was northbound on Interstate 5 about 1:15 a.m. Thursday when his truck and trailer carrying groceries crossed into the southbound lanes. The rig then hit the embankment and bridge overcrossing at Dierssen Road.

The truck and trailer was destroyed in the crash. Land died at the scene.

January 20, 2012
UPDATE: Family 'distraught' over arrest of wife in I-80 shooting death of husband

By Kim Minugh and Bill Lindelof
kminugh@sacbee.com

In a dramatic turn of events, Sacramento police have arrested the wife of murdered Afghan war veteran Ghulam Ayobi ,who was found shot last month in his minivan on Interstate 80.

Shajia Ayobi, 45, was booked into Sacramento County Jail at 10:50 p.m. Thursday after questioning by detectives.

Police said her statements just didn't add up. They now suspect she played a role in the shooting; however, they are not sure whether she fabricated her previous story about a carjacking or whether there were other suspects involved, said police Sgt. Andrew Pettit.

The couple's nephew, Munir Safi, issued this statement today: "Our family is incredibly distraught by this awful turn of events. We are withholding judgment until all facts are known and the police complete their investigation."

Police were called at 12:04 a.m. Dec. 18 to a report of a man shot on eastbound I-80 at Norwood Avenue. When they arrived, police found Ghulam Ayobi suffering from a gunshot to his upper body.

He later died at the hospital. Without a motive, police said only that they believed that Ayobi and his wife, who was with him but not injured, were targeted at random.

The information at the time indicated that the couple had left the home of a family friend in the area of Torland Street and San Juan Road in Natomas' Gateway West neighborhood.

Safi previously told The Bee that his uncle sat down in the passenger seat in the couple's minivan, parked in the friends' driveway, and apparently became aware of two people hiding in the back seat.

Under duress, the nephew said, Ayobi ordered his wife to drive, not look back and not to ask questions.

Shajia Ayobi was said to have followed directions and never got a good look at any assailants. The nephew said that Shajia told relatives and police the unknown suspects wanted money.

An altercation broke out as the minivan traveled eastbound on I-80. A shot broke out, according to the nephew, killing his uncle.

The suspects ordered Shajia to pull over on eastbound Interstate 80, east of Northgate Boulevard, the nephew said. After they fled, she pulled out her cell phone and called police, who told her to meet them at the Norwood Avenue offramp.

On Thursday, detectives re-interviewed Shajia Ayobi. Police spokesman Sgt. Andrew Pettit said that detectives had wanted to speak with her for some time.

"She was one of the people we wanted to re-interview," said Pettit. "We were finally able to get a hold of her. "

Detectives brought her into the station Thursday afternoon, speaking with her into the evening. This morning a press release announced her arrest.

"Based on her interview and inconsistent statements, things just didn't match up," said Pettit. "In these types of investigations, our detectives are very keen on details. Some of those details were not lining up with the evidence we found."

Pettit said Shajia Ayobi made incriminating statements, but he was not able to elaborate.

No motive has been established for the killing of Ghulam Ayobi, a former Afghan soldier who had also served as a cultural adviser to U.S. troops headed for war in Afghanistan.

Call The Bee's Kim Minugh, (916) 321-1038. Follow her on Twitter @Kim_Minugh.

January 19, 2012
Local firefighting team headed for Nevada wildfire turning around

A team of local firefighters left Sacramento for Nevada this evening to help battle a massive wildfire burning out of control in Washoe County, but has turned around, authorities said.

The 22 local firefighters came from the Folsom, Sacramento and Cosumnes River Community Services District fire departments. They were headed to Nevada in five engines when the request for their help was cancelled.

It was not immediately clear why the call was cancelled. The group turned around near Alta, Calif.

A second strike team composed of Sacramento Metropolitan firefighters was preparing to leave when their call also was cancelled.

The Washoe Drive Fire has burned more than 3,000 acres and several homes.

January 19, 2012
Teen pedestrian critically injured after being struck in south Sacramento crosswalk

A 16-year-old girl suffered critical injuries today after she was struck in the crosswalk while crossing a busy south Sacramento road, according to police.

The girl was crossing Fruitridge Road southbound at 58th Avenue. An eastbound car in the far left lane stopped for her, but a car in the next lane did not and struck her, said police Sgt. Andrew Pettit.

The girl was taken to a local hospital with severe injuries, Pettit said.

The Police Department's traffic investigation team responded to the scene.

January 19, 2012
Academy offers Auburn residents insight into police operations

Auburn residents and business owners interested in learning more about the workings of their police department may apply for the Citizens' Awareness Academy.

Twenty-five people will be admitted to the 10-week program, which begins March 7. Participants will learn about municipal policing, including procedures for patrol and investigations, vehicle operations, arrest and control techniques, emergency communications, animal control and how the department works with other law enforcement agencies.

Classes will meet from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesdays at City Hall.

January 19, 2012
Two arrested in Elk Grove catalytic converter theft

Two men were arrested in Elk Grove after police reported finding a stolen catalytic converter and a backpack containing cutting-type tools in the suspects' vehicle.

Officers stopped a vehicle driven by Tou Vang, 20, for a vehicle code violation about 3:34 a.m. Wednesday, and a records check revealed that his passenger, Neng Vang, 25, was on probation, according to an Elk Grove Police Department activity summary.

During a search of the vehicle, officers found the cutting tools, catalytic converter and several "shaved keys." Police also reported finding a controlled substance in Tou Vang's wallet.

January 19, 2012
Third suspect arrested in 2007 death of father, infant son

Strong.jpgA third suspect in the 2007 shooting deaths of Sean Aquitania and his infant son was arrested this morning in San Mateo.

Christopher Strong (pictured), 28, was taken into custody at his residence about 10 a.m. and was booked this afternoon into Sacramento County Jail on suspicion of murder, burglary and attempted robbery. He is being held without bail.

Sheriff's spokesman Deputy Jason Ramos said this is last of the suspects that had been sought, although anyone with additional information about the case is still encouraged to call Detective Brian Meux at (916) 874-8486.

January 19, 2012
Officials say candle may have caused Florin-area house fire

Fire officials are warning people not to leave candles unattended, citing a structure fire late Wednesday afternoon that sent a resident to the hospital suffering from smoke inhalation.

Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District firefighters were called to 7405 Chantilly Lane, in the Florin area, at 6:10 p.m. They found a rear bedroom engulfed in flames and fire extending down the hall, according to a fire department news release.

The homeowner, located outside the house, told firefighters that he was sleeping in the bedroom where the fire started. He suffered minor smoke inhalation and was taken to a hospital

January 19, 2012
Suspect arrested in two-day string of 'note' robberies

Sacramento Police have arrested a man suspected of robbing or attempting to rob four businesses in the last two days.

Police spokesman Sgt. Andrew Pettit said the man, described as white and in his 30s, was taken to police headquarters for questioning. Detectives are withholding his name while they conduct their investigation, Pettit said.

Pettit said the man went to the Rite Aid store at 2211 F St. about 11:20 a.m. today and presented a note to a clerk. The note stated that there were people who were going to hurt his family if he didn't give them money.

January 19, 2012
Trauma ruled out in inmate death

By Sam Stanton
sstanton@sacbee.com

Sacramento County coroner's officials have ruled out trauma in the Jan. 6 death of an inmate at the main jail, but still do not have a conclusion as to why 48-year-old Mark Anthony Scott died, county spokeswoman Kerri Aiello said today.

Scott was found unresponsive in his cell about 10 p.m., sheriff's officials have said, and efforts to revive him failed. He was declared dead at 10:22 p.m.

Scott had been in the jail since Dec. 1 after being arrested on outstanding warrants, officials said.

January 19, 2012
Helicopter air ambulance base to move from McClellan

CALSTAR air ambulance will move its helicopter base operations from McClellan Park to Vacaville.

California Shock Trauma Air Rescue (CALSTAR), a not-for-profit air ambulance company serving northern and central California, will relocate the helicopter base operations from McClellan Park in North Highlands to existing operations at the Nut Tree Airport.

The company also announced that the helicopter base in Jackson, Amador County, would end.

The consolidation of the bases would have no major impact on communities CALSTAR serves, said the company's chief executive, Lynn Malmstrom.

He said the move was undertaken to "eliminate redundancies" and "more efficiently serve patients."

Malmstrom noted the opening of three new trauma centers, which shorten travel time from accident scenes.

"Kaiser South Sacramento, NorthBay Medical in Fairfield and Kaiser Vacaville all recently became designated trauma centers," he said.

CALSTAR employees affected by the changes are being offered positions at the other bases, as well as at the company's McClellan Park headquarters.

CALSTAR operates 18 helicopters at bases in Ukiah, Vacaville, Concord, Gilroy, Salinas, Santa Maria, Auburn, South Lake Tahoe and two airplanes at McClellan.

January 19, 2012
Big rig crash kills driver on I-5 south of Elk Grove, closes lane

A big rig driver died early this morning when his vehicle slammed into an embankment and freeway overcrossing south of Elk Grove.

The driver of the rig was northbound on Interstate 5 about 1:15 a.m. when his truck and trailer carrying groceries crossed into the southbound lanes. The rig then hit the embankment and bridge overcrossing at Lambert Road.

The truck and trailer was destroyed in the high-speed crash. The driver died at the scene.

All lanes of traffic have been reopened after crews picked up truck debris and removed the rig.

January 18, 2012
Sacramento man, juveniles arrested in El Dorado Hills burglary

TepoloConner.pngA Sacramento man and two juveniles have been arrested in connection with an El Dorado Hills burglary.

El Dorado County sheriff's deputies were called to the Bridlewood subdivision at 4:40 p.m. Jan. 11 regarding a report of several individuals jumping over the fences of residences.

Residents in the area told deputies that three males wearing dark clothing and gloves were roaming the area. When residents approached the suspicious-looking individuals and told them they were going to call the Sheriff's Office, the three ran from the area, according to a Sheriff's Office news release.

January 18, 2012
Searchers find body of missing hunter in El Dorado County

A hunter reported missing Tuesday afternoon in El Dorado was found dead this morning.

The 50-year-old man was reported missing about 3 p.m. Tuesday, and search and rescue teams worked throughout the night trying to locate him, according to an El Dorado County Sheriff's Office news release.

The search resumed this morning, and an additional 25 search members arrived at the command post. About 9 a.m., one of the teams searching the area on foot found the hunter on the side of the mountain. Sheriff's deputies arrived and confirmed that he was deceased.

January 18, 2012
Police report missing Rocklin man located

Todd Dettner.jpgRocklin police announced this afternoon that Rocklin resident Todd Dettner (pictured), who was reported missing Monday, has been located.

Police Tuesday evening requested the community's help finding Dettner, 47, who had not been seen since leaving his home Monday for his workplace in Citrus Heights.

January 18, 2012
Sacramento deputies investigating woman found dead in car in Rio Linda

Sacramento County sheriff's homicide detectives are headed to Rio Linda after a woman was discovered dead in a car there, according to authorities.

Deputies responded to the 2600 block of Q Street about 4:15 p.m. after a caller said there was a group of people gathered around a parked car and yelling that a person was dead inside, said sheriff's Deputy Jason Ramos.

The woman, who appears to be in her 40s, has no obvious signs of trauma. However, homicide detectives are en route to investigate, Ramos said.

Check back later for more information.

January 18, 2012
Shaffer guilty of murder in Rancho Cordova sex killing

A Sacramento jury today convicted Demetrius Shaffer of murder in last year's sex killing of Rajneet Kor Singh.

The Superior Court panel also found Shaffer guilty on seven other counts of sexual assault on a second victim in an attack that took place on Thanksgiving Day 2010.

Judge Maryanne G. Gilliard scheduled the sentencing on the 32-year-old defendant for Feb. 16.

January 18, 2012
Lawyer pleased to hear stolen special-equipped van found in Bay Area

By Cynthia Hubert
chubert@sacbee.com

Sara Granda is the first to admit that her beige 2001 Ford Econoline van is not a "hot" car in the traditional sense of the word.

But it became one this weekend when thieves stole it from the driveway from her apartment in Davis.

Granda, a lawyer who is paralyzed from the neck down, was left wondering why anyone would want the van, which has been gutted to accommodate her wheelchair and medical equipment, plugs along at about 10 mph and "has a hard time accelerating," she said.

January 18, 2012
Teen pepper-sprayed in scuffle with police on Roseville campus

Roseville police say officers used pepper spray on a teenager who appeared on the Woodcreek High School campus this afternoon and fought with officers after refusing to identify himself or to leave when asked to do so by school officials.

Roseville Police Department spokeswoman Dee Dee Gunther said the school resource officer, a Roseville police officer assigned to the campus, requested backup from other officers about 2:40 p.m. after the 17-year-old youth, who was not a Woodcreek student, became uncooperative.

When the youth refused to identify himself or leave the campus, the officer attempted to take him into custody. A scuffle ensued and pepper spray was used.

January 18, 2012
Applications available for Placer sheriff's Community Awareness Academy

The Placer County Sheriff's Office is accepting applications for its Community Awareness Academy, which offers the public an inside look at the law enforcement agency.

Participants are asked to attend eight classes, each covering a different topic. The classes will take place Monday and Wednesday evenings from March 5 through March 28. Participants will hear from members of the department's special units, including air operations, search and rescue, bomb squad, special enforcement team, marine unit, investigations, hostage negotiators and drug task force. A demonstration also will be given by members of department's K-9 team.

Field trips will include visits to the county jail and morgue, emergency dispatch center and air operations hangar.

January 18, 2012
Man, serving life for one murder, admits to a second killing

A man already serving life without parole on one murder conviction pleaded guilty Tuesday to another murder he had previously committed.

Langimaa Faulolo, 29, entered his plea in Sacramento Superior Court in the Jan. 11, 2004, attempted drug robbery stabbing death of 17-year-old Eddie Heydaragha in Citrus Heights. Faulolo is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 15 by Judge Marjorie Koller.

A second defendant, Benjamin Philmath Taholo, 33, last year pleaded no contest to manslaughter charges and was sentenced to six more years in state prison -- on top of the life term with no chance of parole he also was serving already.

Faulolo and Taholo both were convicted in 2007 in the robbery murder of Danny Johnson, 21. The Johnson killing took place about three months before Heydaragha was slain.

January 18, 2012
Amber Alert for Stanislaus County teen called off

An Amber Alert regarding an alleged teen abduction that occurred last night in Salida in Stanislaus County has been cancelled after the girl returned home.

According to the CHP Amber Alert, Christina Anderson, 16, was taken by force from her home about 10 p.m. Tuesday.

A Stansilaus County Sheriff's Department press release said that Calvin Paul Rodrigues, 38, forced his way into Anderson's home and kidnapped her.

About 12:30 a.m. today, the suspect's vehicle was spotted approaching Anderson's home. Deputies searching for the girl surrounded the suspect's vehicle and took Rodrigues into custody.

Anderson was in the vehicle.

January 18, 2012
Elk Grove crash victims identified by coroner

Names of the man and woman who died in a collision in Elk Grove last night have been released by the Sacramento County Coroner's office.

The coroner's website identified Ashley Simpson, 21, of Elk Grove, and Christopher Ragosa, 34, of Elk Grove as the crash victims.

Elk Grove police spokesman Officer Christopher Trim said the crash occurred shortly before 6 p.m. on Kammerer Road east of McMillan Road.

Investigators have determined that Simpson was driving a white Ford Mustang westbound on Kammerer Road when she lost control and crossed into oncoming traffic, striking a Ford Focus traveling in the opposite direction

The Mustang was forced off the roadway and into a ditch. Simpson was partially ejected from the car. She and her passenger, Ragosa, died at the scene.

The driver of the Focus, the only person in that vehicle, was taken to a hospital. Trim said he did not know the nature of the man's injuries.

The cause of the crash is under investigation.

January 18, 2012
Deputy kills North Highlands man during violent struggle

A Sacramento County Sheriff's deputy, in the midst of a violent struggle last night with a suspect, was forced to draw his handgun and kill his attacker, department officials said.

The Sacramento County Coroner said the man killed by the deputy is Johnathan William Rose, 24 of North Highlands.

Deputies were called to a home in the 6200 block of San Martin Street in North Highlands about 10 p.m. Tuesday. Rose's father said in a 911 call that his son was acting violently with family members and throwing items around the house.

The first deputy inside the home was aggressively confronted by Rose, according to a sheriff's press release. The deputy tried to calm Rose but the man came toward him and tackled the officer.

With Rose on top of the officer, a struggled began, the suspect wildly punching the deputy several times in the head. The deputy feared for his life, unable to get out from under Rose.

At one point Rose tried to grab equipment on the deputy's gun belt, according to the sheriff's department.

The injured deputy drew his service weapon and fired several shots at Rose, hitting him in the upper body. The deputy then called for medical help, which responded, along with other deputies.

Rose died at the hospital. The deputy was treated at the hospital for his injuries. Rose's family members were not hurt.

The deputy, 31, has been with the department 8 years. He was placed on administrative leave, pending a review of the shooting.

January 17, 2012
Update: Amber Alert issued after girl abducted in Stanislaus County

The California Highway Patrol has issued an Amber Alert regarding a child abduction that occurred at 8:55 tonight in Salida in Stanislaus County.

According to the CHP alert, Christina Anderson, 16, was taken by force from her home.

The suspect is Calvin Paul Rodrigues, 38. He is described as Hispanic, 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighing 180 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. According to the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department, he was driving a 2003 brown GMC Yukon with California license plate 6HGG186.

January 17, 2012
Officials urge people on oxygen therapy to avoid fire sources

Fire officials are reminding people with medical conditions requiring oxygen therapy to steer clear of fire, whether in the form of burning cigarettes, or open flame from gas stove tops, lighters, matches, candles or wood stoves.

"The oxygen molecules from an oxygen tank literally cling to clothing, hair, bedding, furniture, etc. and can cause a fire to burn faster, hotter and at lower temperatures," Unit Chief Kelly Keenan, of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection's Amador-El Dorado Unit, said in a written statement.

The warning comes following a recent fatal fire in Pollock Pines that officials say may have been started by a individual smoking while on oxygen therapy. One person died and another was injured.

January 17, 2012
Update: Two killed, one injured in Elk Grove collision

A man and woman have died and another man has been injured in a two-vehicle collision on Kammerer Road east of McMillan Road in Elk Grove.

Elk Grove police spokesman Officer Christopher Trim said the crash occurred shortly before 6 p.m. A white Ford Mustang was westbound on Kammerer Road with two occupants when it veered into oncoming traffic and was struck broadside by a Ford Focus.

Trim said the Mustang flipped over and one person was ejected. Both occupants of the Mustang, who appeared to be in their 20s, were pronounced dead at the scene, he said. The driver of the Focus, the only person in that vehicle, was taken to a hospital. Trim said he did not know the nature of the man's injuries.

He said Kammerer Road will be closed to traffic for several hours from just east of the Elk Grove Promenade to McMillan Road while officers conduct their investigation.

January 17, 2012
Rocklin police seek help locating man missing since Monday

Todd Dettner.jpgThe Rocklin Police Department seeks the public's help locating a 47-year-old man.

Police said Todd Dettner (pictured), 47, was last seen Monday when he left is Rocklin home for his workplace in Citrus Heights. He was driving a white 2010 Ford Taurus with California license plate 6LVT082.

Anyone with information regarding Dettner's whereabouts is asked to call 911 or the Rocklin Police Department at (916) 625-5400.

January 17, 2012
Man who frequented racist websites sentenced in West Sacramento murder

A West Sacramento man has been sentenced to 45 years to life in prison for a murder that reportedly was triggered by a dirty look.

Christopher Allen Smith, 31, was sentenced Friday by Yolo County Superior Court Judge Stephen Mock for the murder of Gidd Gomel Robinson IV.

Shortly after noon Nov. 3, 2009, Smith, who is white, was driving with his 7-year-old son in his pickup truck after leaving his father's house in West Sacramento, when he encountered Robinson, an African American man, who was walking his children to school.

January 17, 2012
One man arrested, two sought in vandalism of Linda home

One man was arrested and two others are being sought in connection a domestic dispute in the Yuba County community of Linda that officials said turned into an rock- and brick-throwing confrontation.

Deputies responded to the 5700 block of Riverside Drive shortly before 6 p.m. Monday regarding a large fight. An investigation revealed that Marcelino Sumait, 31, of Linda had gone to the Riverside residence with a few of his friends to confront his ex-girlfriend, according to a Yuba County Sheriff's Department news release.The men allegedly began breaking out the windows of the home using a stick, bricks and rocks.

During the disturbance, one of the men, later identified as James T. Mims, 19, of Linda, allegedly threw a brick through one of the windows, striking a 14-year-old boy inside the house in the arm. The boy was not injured.

January 17, 2012
Parolee shot in struggle with deputy booked on firearm, resisting arrest charges

The man shot during a violent struggle with a Sacramento County sheriff's deputy last weekend has been booked into jail, according to authorities.

Hammett.jpgAfter treatment for his non-life-threatening injuries, 23-year-old Lonnie Hammett, pictured at left, was arrested and booked on suspicion of resisting a peace officer, possession of stolen property, unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and violating parole, said sheriff's spokesman Deputy Jason Ramos.

On Sunday morning, a deputy patrolling the Arden-Arcade area saw two men walking away from a closed county building on Fulton Avenue, Ramos said. As the deputy tried to talk to them, one of them, later identified by authorities as Hammett, punched the deputy and ran, Ramos said.

A juvenile boy who was with Hammett did not run, was questioned later and released.

January 17, 2012
Fairfield man convicted of car bombing targeting former tenant

A Fairfield man was convicted today of a 2011 car bombing targeting a former tenant.

Daniel Ricahrd Garcia, 30, was found guilty of malicious use of explosives, possession of a destructive device in relation to a crime of violence, and two counts of possession of unregistered destructive devices, according to a federal Department of Justice news release. The guilty verdict was returned by a federal court jury in Sacramento after a four-day trial before U.S. District Judge Lawrence K. Karlton.

According to testimony presented at trial, about 1 a.m. May 27, Garcia placed a bomb underneath a sport utility vehicle parked next to an apartment building in Fairfield. The bomb detonated, causing a fireball and sending shrapnel into the car and the nearby apartment building where two young children were sleeping. Investigators were able to piece together parts of the bomb and link them to Garcia.

January 17, 2012
Jury begins deliberations in Rancho Cordova sex killing

Jurors began deliberations today in the rape-murder trial of Demetrius Shaffer who is charged in the New Year's Day 2011 strangulation death of Rajneet Kor Singh in Rancho Cordova.

Shaffer, 33, also is charged with seven additional sexual assault charges on a second victim.

Deputy District Attorney Thienvu Ho told a Sacramento Superior Court jury that Shaffer raped and killed Singh when she refused his sexual advances after he had given her methamphetamines and gambling money. Her body was found about a block away from the Rancho's Club Casino on Mills Park Drive and Folsom Boulevard.

Assistant Public Defender Michael Nelson said a jealous boyfriend killed the 37-year-old victim.

January 17, 2012
Body of man found along railroad tracks near Plumas Lake

The Yuba County Sheriff's Department is working to identify the body of a man found Monday morning beside the Union Pacific Railroad tracks near Plumas Lake.

Union Pacific employees found the body about 7 a.m., according to a Sheriff's Department news release.

Investigators are waiting for the results of an autopsy, scheduled for Wednesday, to determine the cause of death.

January 17, 2012
33 Granite Bay kick-the-door burglaries since August

Upscale neighborhoods in the Granite Bay area are being warned about nighttime kick-door burglars who have hit 33 homes since August.

The burglars approach the front of darkened homes and kick the front door. If it appears nobody is home, they then kick in the door or a window.

Once inside, they take money or small items such as jewelry. Lt. Mark Reed of the Placer County Sheriff's Department said in one recent incident, the burglars kicked at the door, not knowing if the resident was home.

January 17, 2012
San Joaquin convicted killer found dead in Lassen trailer

Loren Herzog.JPGConvicted killer Loren Herzog, found dead in his Lassen County trailer, apparently hanged himself.

Herzog, 46, initially convicted of three first-degree murders and implicated in several others, was found dead in his trailer on state property outside of High Desert State Prison near Susanville.

His body was discovered at about 11 p.m. Monday. Herzog has lived in the mobile homes since September 2010.

January 17, 2012
Marysville bicyclist hit broadside last night

A bicyclist wearing no helmet and without proper lighting on his bike suffered major injury last night when he was broadsided by a Jeep in Linda, Yuba County, according to the CHP.

The bicyclist, Laurence R. Kundert, 53, of Marysville was riding a mountain bike northbound on North Beale Road just east of the intersection of Hammonton-Smartville Road about 8 p.m. Monday.

The California Highway Patrol said that he was wearing dark clothing, was helmetless, was without proper bike lighting and may have been wearing headphones when he was hit by a vehicle eastbound on North Beale Lane.

The driver of the Jeep Cherokee that hit Kundert had a green light and suddenly saw the bike rider in front of her, according to a CHP press release. She applied her brakes but still struck the bike, causing major head trauma and body fractures to Kundert.

January 16, 2012
Sacramento police: Mom leaves kids in cold, goes to McDonalds

By Phillip Reese
preese@sacbee.com

Sacramento police found two children, ages 10 and 4, huddled in some bushes, shivering, near Richards Boulevard and Bercut Drive around 9:30 p.m. Sunday evening.

An officer took the children to the warmth of a patrol car. The children said their mom had left them so she could go to McDonalds, police said. After 15 minutes, the woman returned, but was drunk, police said.

They arrested and charged Farris Star Martin, 39, of Sacramento, with endangering the life or health of a child, and booked her in Sacramento's main jail, where she is being held on $60,000 bail. Police also notified Child Protective Services.

The children were placed in the custody of a relative.

Updated at 5 p.m. to correct time

January 16, 2012
Police arrest parolee after high-speed chase ends in Sacramento

By Denny Walsh
dwalsh@sacbee.com

Storms.JPGA parolee led officers from three police agencies on a high-speed chase this morning that ended in Sacramento when the suspected carjacker pulled over and surrendered on eastbound Interstate 80 at El Camino Avenue, according to Fairfield Police Officer Cleo Mayoral.

Jamaal Storms approached a parked car occupied by three young women about 7:45 a.m. in a commercial strip on North Texas Street in Fairfield, pounded on the driver's window and yelled at the women to get out of the car, Mayoral said.

Storms kicked in the window and reached in and unlocked the door while the three women were jumping out of the vehicle through the right rear door, the officer said. Storms then drove the white 2005 Toyota Carolla north on North Texas, and a bulletin was broadcast on the vehicle.

January 15, 2012
Sacramento deputy shoots twice after man attacks, say officials

A Sacramento County Sheriff's deputy shot a man he stopped for questioning shortly after 11 a.m. today after the man began pummeling the officer, a department spokesman said.

The man, whose identity was not immediately available, was with a juvenile. The two were walking away from a closed county building in the 2700 block of Fulton Avenue when the lone officer stopped his car to ask why they were in the area, Sheriff's public information officer Deputy Jason Ramos said.

"When he got out of his car and called them over, one of them swung a punch and tried to hit (the deputy)," Ramos said. "Then he started to run away."

January 15, 2012
Coroner identifies 2 who died in apparent homeless camp tragedy

By Phillip Reese

preese@sacbee.com

The Sacramento County Coroner's Office today identified the two men found dead inside their tent Saturday as Kevin Christopher Moore, 38, and Chester Raymond Sletto, 44.

Police believe the men and their dog were apparent victims of carbon monoxide poisoning from a camp stove inside their tent, which was staked near the American River just east of the Highway 160 bridge.

The coroner's office has not yet confirmed a cause of death, but police do not believe foul play was involved.

January 15, 2012
Pedestrian killed in Carmichael traffic collision is identified

Sacramento coroner's officials today identified a man who died Saturday after trying to cross Fair Oaks Boulevard in Carmichael as 50-year-old Richard Edward Halford.

Halford left a McDonald's restaurant at Fair Oaks Boulevard and Manzanita Avenue about 7 p.m. Saturday and was crossing the road when he was hit by a motorist headed north on Fair Oaks Boulevard, California Highway Patrol officials reported.

CHP spokeswoman Officer Liz Dutton said paramedics recognized Halford Saturday night as the same man who had suffered broken ribs in a fall the previous night.

The driver in the collision was not cited.

January 14, 2012
Oroville motorist, 32, dies in collision

By Denny Walsh
dwalsh@sacbee.com

A 32-year-old Oroville man was killed late Thursday night after he drove his 2008 Toyota into the rear of another car on a state road in Butte County.

Andrew Daniel Odor was pronounced dead at Oroville Medical Center, where he was taken after being pulled from the burning wreckage of his car and given cardiopulmonary resuscitation by California Highway Patrol officers, according to a news release from the California Highway Patrol.

The release states that Odor's car was traveling at a high rate of speed and "for an unknown reason" struck the rear of a 1991 Lexus driven by Sandra Eloise Lord, causing both vehicles to leave the road. Odor's northbound car then crossed the southbound lanes and crashed into a metal road-sign support structure in the center median, the release states.

A CHP dispatcher in Chico said that officials have not determined whether alcohol was a factor in the collision and that there would be no further comment beyond the news release.

Lord, 61, complained of a headache but declined treatment and was released from the scene of the accident, the release states.

Call The Bee's Denny Walsh, (916) 321-1189.

January 14, 2012
Woman admits embezzlement, elder abuse in Yolo County case

A Calistoga woman has pleaded guilty to embezzlement and elder abuse in a case involving a Yolo County resident.

Denise Ann Conophy pleaded guilty to embezzlement, elder abuse and tax evasion, and admitted that she took more than $200,000, according to a Yolo County District Attorney's Office news release. Conophy also agreed to forfeit more than $300,000 in cash and property, previously seized by the District Attorney's Office over the course of the investigation, to pay restitution to the victim.

Officials said Conophy was hired by the victim to handle bookkeeping and other financial affairs relating to a bed and breakfast business that the victim operated in St. Helena. Over the course of her seven-year employment, Conophy transferred the victim's assets to various accounts to pay her personal bills and to start an Internet business.

January 13, 2012
Rio Linda pastor's sentencing delayed until March

By Andy Furillo
afurillo@sacbee.com

The sentencing of Rio Linda First Baptist Church pastor Tommy Gene Daniels was delayed Friday after his lawyer filed a motion for a new trial.

Sacramento Superior Court Judge Trena Burger-Plavan rescheduled Daniels' sentencing to March 12.

Jurors convicted Daniels last fall of molesting five girls in his Citrus Heights home between 2003 and 2005.

January 13, 2012
CHP truck inspectors halt contaminated tissue-holder shipment

A recent truck inspection by the California Highway Patrol's commercial truck inspectors prevented a shipment of bathroom tissue holders with radiation contamination from reaching retail stores in Northern California, according to a CHP news release.

The items were detected during routine commercial vehicle inspection and determined to be made of contaminated metal containing Cobalt-60, officials said. The CHP notified the California Department of Health Services, leading to a nationwide recall of the product.

The CHP has the largest commercial vehicle inspection program in the nation, conducting more than 600,000 inspections annually, according to the news release. The department operates 51 commercial vehicle enforcement facilities in 37 locations statewide, plus 73 mini-sites. Sixteen of these facilities are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Although highway safety is the primary purpose of commercial vehicle inspections, officials said the inspections often turn up narcotics, illegal contraband and other potential hazards.

January 13, 2012
Roseville man pleads guilty to possessing child pornograhy

Roseville resident Brian David Clayworth, 43, pleaded guilty today to possession of child pornography.

According to the plea agreement, in December 2004, Homeland Security Investigations agents in Los Angeles received information about a website selling access to child pornography. During that investigation, Clayworth was identified through email and financial records as someone who had purchased child pornography from the website, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

On April 19, 2007, Sacramento Homeland Security Investigations agents interviewed Clayworth at his home, and Clayworth admitted to using the Internet to access child pornography websites and to using his credit card to pay for the access, officials said.

January 13, 2012
Detectives seek to ID person of interest in Rescue burglaries

4Jan2012 Image3(1).png4Jan2012 Image2.pngThe El Dorado County Sheriff's Department is asking the public's help in identifying a "person of interest" sought in connection with several burglaries and attempted burglaries that have occurred over the past 45 days in the Rescue area, near Starbuck Road.

Homes typically have been entered during the daytime by forced entry or other means, according to a Sheriff's Department news release. Items stolen have included jewelry, money, cell phones and appliances.

Photos (above) from a residential surveillance system shows a man who appears to be white, in his 20s with short hair. In the photos, he is wearing a green "matrix" logo shirt, black pants and black shoes. Sheriff's officials said a white vehicle shown in one of the photos is not related to the subject.

January 13, 2012
Jim Newcomer named to Sac Metro Fire District board

By Brad Branan
bbranan@sacbee.com

The Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District board has picked a former district captain to fill a vacant director position.

At its Thursday night meeting, the board of directors selected Jim Newcomer to replace Gregory Granados. Granados moved to Arizona to take a new job.

Sac Metro received 23 applications to fill the spot, and the board interviewed 15 candidates Thursday before tapping Newcomer. He will have a place on the nine-member board at least until the November elections.

He joins a board that has been dominated by former and current firefighters and public employee union members.

Newcomer worked for the district and a department that was merged into the district for 34 years. He retired in December 2007 as a fire captain.

January 13, 2012
Police: Motorcyclist at fault for fatal Roseville collision

By Ed Fletcher
efletcher@sacbee.com

Roseville Police believe the motorcyclist killed in a collision Thursday evening -- identified today as Grant Alan Severson, 42, of Roseville -- was at fault in the accident.

Severson, who was riding a 1981 Kawasaki motorcycle, was westbound on Pleasant Grove Boulevard when ran the red light as was stuck by a Mazda pickup truck traveling south on Washington Boulevard.

That collision launched Severson into an Audi sedan waiting in left turn lane of eastbound Pleasant Grove Boulevard, said Dee Dee Gunther, a spokeswoman for the department.

January 13, 2012
UPDATE: River City High football coach accused of molesting 4 female students

By Kim Minugh and Melody Gutierrez
kminugh@sacbee.com

West Sacramento police arrested River City High School football coach Arturo Bustamante today on suspicion of molesting four female students over the course of a year, according to authorities.

Bustamante, 42, turned himself in to police after being notified that there was a warrant out for his arrest, said police Lt. Tod Sockman. The coach, who also teaches social science at River City High, was booked into the Yolo County Jail this afternoon on three counts of felony lewd or lascivious conduct with a child 14 or 15 years old and six counts of misdemeanor annoying and/or molesting a child under 18.

He was being held in lieu of $150,000 bail.

Sockman said the four victims are 15 or 16 years old. He did not know how they came into contact with Bustamante, but said the alleged incidents all occurred on the high school campus.

One of the four alleged victims came forward to police in September, Sockman said. During the course of their investigation, police identified three other alleged victims.

The alleged molestation took place over the course of about a year leading up to the time police were notified, Sockman said.

Call The Bee's Kim Minugh, 916-321-1038. Follow her on Twitter @Kim_Minugh.

January 13, 2012
Jury selection in Davis 'sweethearts' case set for March 19

With rulings pending on two key motions, jury selection for the Davis "sweethearts" murder trial is now tentatively scheduled to begin on March 19.

Sacramento Superior Court Judge MIchael W. Sweet today scheduled hearings for later this month to resolve two of the stickier issues in the case against defendant Richard HIrschfield.

The judge is expected to rule in a hearing set for Jan. 23 on whether prosecutors can admit a suicide note written by the defendant's brother, Joseph HIrschfield. In the note, Joseph Hirschfield said he was at the scene of the killings 30 years ago of UC Davis students John Riggins and Sabrina Gonsalves at a ravine near Lake Natoma. The brother also said in the note that Richard HIrschfield killed the couple.

January 13, 2012
House guest arrested in attempted homicide in El Dorado arson

A woman has been arrested on suspicion of attempted homicide in connection with an arson fire earlier this week in El Dorado County.

At about 7 a.m. Wednesday El Dorado County sheriff's deputies responded to a fire in the Mt. Aukum area at a home in the 8200 block of Kirk Lane.

Pioneer District firefighters were already on the scene to extinguish the blaze. A sheriff's department press release said that a deputy's investigation revealed that a house guest at the home is suspected of being responsible for the fire.

Deputies found Amber Nash, 33, in the area and placed her under arrest on suspicion of attempted homicide and arson.

January 13, 2012
Woodland metal shop burns in early morning blaze

A large metal shop suffered major damage in an early-morning fire today on the outskirts of Woodland.

Fire companies were dispatched to 16604 County Road 98B at about 3:30 a.m. today. When firefighters first arrived on scene, the metal shop was ablaze. Fire did not spread to a nearby unoccupied residence.

Crews attacked one side of the building, first deploying 1,500 feet of fire hose to the nearest hydrant. Two water tenders were also called in to spray water on the other side of the metal shop.

In about an hour, the fire was brought under control, according to a press release from the Woodland Fire Department.

The cause and dollar loss sustained have not been determined.

January 12, 2012
Update: Police say motorcyclist in fatal Roseville crash ran red light

A motorcyclist was killed late Thursday afternoon after running a red light and clipping a vehicle in a heavily traveled intersection.

Roseville Police Lt. Marc Glynn said the motorcyclist was westbound on Pleasant Grove Boulevard about 5:30 p.m. and went through a red light at Washington Boulevard. Vehicles in two left-turn lanes on Washington Boulevard were turning onto eastbound Pleasant Grove, and the motorcyclist clipped one of them, Glynn said.

No one in the other vehicle was injured.

The name of the motorcyclist has not been released pending notification of family.

The intersection was closed for several hours while police investigated the crash.

January 12, 2012
Yuba City man pleads guilty to attempted murder in stabbing

A Yuba City man has pleaded guilty to attempted murder in the stabbing of a man last May.

Harjiwan Mann, 36, admitted stabbing Mohammad Bath of Yuba City numerous times in the head and neck with a screwdriver on May 3, 2011, according to a Yolo County District Attorney's Office news release.

Woodland police arrested Mann outside Woodland Memorial Hospital, and during an interview with detectives, Mann admitted that he had been thinking about stabbing Bath because he was angry with him, officials said.

January 12, 2012
Doctor posing as Sacramento clinic owner sentenced in scam

A Los Angeles physician who assumed the role as co-owner of a Sacramento medical clinic has been sentenced to federal prison for his participation in a Medicare fraud scam.

Alexander Popov, 47, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Morrison C.England Jr. to eight years and one month in prison for committing health care fraud and conspiring to commit health care fraud, according to a federal Department of Justice news release. He was found guilty by a jury in July.

In sentencing, Judge England found that Popov was responsible for more than a million dollars in fraudulent billings submitted to Medicare and more than $600,000 in payments made on false claims.

January 12, 2012
Motorcylist dies in Roseville collision, intersection closed

A motorcyclist has died in a collision that has closed a heavily traveled Roseville intersection.

Roseville Police Department spokeswoman Dee Dee Gunther said the collision between the motorcycle and a car occurred about 5:30 p.m. at the intersection of Washington and Pleasant Grove boulevards. She said the motorcyclist was pronounced dead at the scene.

Details regarding the collision were not immediately available.

Gunther said the intersection is expected to be closed for several hours while police conduct their investigation. Motorists are asked to avoid the area and use alternate routes.

January 12, 2012
Resident's call leads to arrests in catalytic converter thefts

vang_jovi_toua (3).jpegvang_cai.jpegvang_chee_jeff.jpegvang_tou.jpegRoseville police credit an a alert resident and quick response by law enforcement officers with the arrest of four men suspected of stealing catalytic converters.

At 3:42 this morning, a resident of the Crocker Ranch/Diamond Creek area called police after seeing two men working under a vehicle near her home. Numerous officers converged on the area and took three suspects into custody, according to a Police Department news release. A fourth got away but was later arrested in Sacramento.

Inside the suspects' van, officers found several catalytic converters believed to have been stolen during the night from the Roseville and Rocklin areas.

January 12, 2012
Galt police arrest man accused of carrying loaded shotgun

Vargas.jpgGalt police have arrested a man on suspicion of carrying a loaded firearm in a public place after they say he was found with a sawed-off shotgun.

About 9:40 p.m. Wednesday, officers approached Reynaldo Vargas, 21, in the 500 block of Poplar Street because of suspicious behavior, according to a Police Department news release.

Vargas, who is on probation, became combative when he saw officers, trying to strike and kick them with his hands and feet, officials said. When an officer attempted to restrain Vargas, a sawed-off 12-gauge shotgun fell from Vargas' waistband.

January 12, 2012
Man gets 12 years in stabbing death of co-worker in Elk Grove

A man who pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter in the stabbing death of a co-worker in Elk Grove was sentenced Wednesday to 12 years in state prison.

Patrick S. Koenig, now 27, entered his plea Dec. 8 to the Sept. 14, 2009, killing of Eric Williams Lange, 27, of Vacaville. The stabbing took place at the Extended Stay Hotel on Longport Drive where the two men were both employed.

Sacramento Superior Court Judge Lawrence G. Brown imposed the term on Koenig.

January 12, 2012
Deputies investigate shooting of 2 in south Sacramento strip mall parking lot

Sheriff's deputies are investigating the shooting of two people in a strip mall parking lot in south Sacramento County.

One victim was shot in the head, the other in the leg, said sheriff's Deputy Jason Ramos. Both men are expected to survive.

About 1:40 p.m., deputies responded to calls of 10-15 shots fired in the area of Savings Place, a short stretch of mostly strip malls off the 65th Street Expressway near Stockton Boulevard.

January 12, 2012
Man dies in wood chipper accident in Nevada County

The Nevada County Sheriff's Department is investigating as a tragic accident the death of a man who became caught in an industrial wood-chipping machine this morning.

Sheriff's Sgt. Hap Penaluna said the accident occurred about 8:30 a.m. The man, who was about 50 years old, was working with the crew of a commercial landscape maintenance firm clearing brush and debris from private property in the 10000 block of Indian Shack Road, in a rural area northwest of Nevada City.

Penaluna said it appears that the man became entangled in a rope that he was using to move bundles of brush into the chipper and was dragged partially into the machine.

The man's name has not been released pending notification of family.

January 12, 2012
Yolo County cop killer's attorney file second motion for new trial

By Kim Minugh
kminugh@sacbee.com

Attorneys defending convicted cop killer Marco Antonio Topete jumped on a U.S. Supreme Court ruling handed down earlier this week and submitted a second motion for a new trial just before their client was to be sentenced this morning.

In today's session, Yolo Superior Court Judge Paul K. Richardson was to hear arguments on the previous motion, submitted by attorneys Hayes H. Gable III and Dwight M. Samuel on behalf of Topete, before potentially sentencing him.

The new motion created another delay in the trial, with the next hearing scheduled for Feb. 7.

January 12, 2012
Sacramento police search for suspect, car in hit-and-run collision

Sacramento police are seeking the public's help in locating a person who struck a 15-year-old girl last month and seriously injured her before fleeing the scene.

2009_ford_focus_20239476-E.jpgPolice have no description of the driver involved in the Dec. 31 accident in the Valley Hi area, according to a news release. However, he is believed to have been driving a dark Ford Focus, made sometime between 2006 and 2010, similar to the one pictured at left, the release states.

The girl and a friend were walking eastbound in the bicycle lane on Valley Hi Drive, near Hitchcock Way, when a driver travelling the same direction struck the teen, the release states. She was knocked to the sidewalk. The driver did not stop.

The girl later was transported to a local hospital with serious injuries, police said.

Anyone with information about this case is asked to call police Detective Brian Schrum at (916) 808-6032, the dispatch center at (916) 264-5471 or Crime Alert at (916) 443-HELP. Callers can remain anonymous and might be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

January 12, 2012
Memo to would-be crooks: Watch those traffic rules

Planning a copper heist? Then it's a good idea to obey traffic laws during the getaway.

Rocklin police say they stopped a car shortly after 4:30 a.m. today on Pacific Street near Sunset Boulevard after seeing the driver commit an unspecified traffic violation.

Both the driver and his passenger were found to be on probation. In a search of the car, police found three copper water backflow devices, the department reported.

January 12, 2012
State farm bureau president calls on animal activists to solve Harris Ranch blaze

The head of the California Farm Bureau called on animal rights activists to help authorities identify those behind the burning of cattle trucks at Harris Farms in western Fresno County Sunday.

"We encourage animal welfare organizations to help authorities find those responsible," said Paul Wenger, president of the Sacramento-based farm bureau. "If they sit by silently while animal rightists attack law-abiding businesses, they are passively endorsing domestic terrorism."

Animal rights activists are behind the burning of the cattle trucks, according to a statement by a clearinghouse for activists.

The Fresno Bee reported that a statement released by the clearinghouse

purports to describe how the fire, which heavily damaged 14 tractors and several cattle-hauling trailers, was set.

The statement also says the attack was aimed at "the horrors of factory farming."

January 12, 2012
Missing man returns home to Florin area

The Sacramento County Sheriff's Department said that a man who was reported missing from his residence in the 9000 block of Crofton Court, in the Florin area has been located.

Stephen Gilbert, 38, had last been seen about 7 p.m. Monday and was considered at risk because of his unstable mental condition, according to a Sheriff's Department news release.

The sheriff's department said last night that he had returned home.

January 11, 2012
Rocklin, Folsom police report rash of catalytic converter thefts

Police in Rocklin and Folsom are warning residents to take steps to protect their vehicles following a rash of catalytic converter thefts in recent days.

Rocklin police reported that at least 10 Toyota owners were victimized Tuesday night or early this morning. Hardest hit was the Pinnacles Drive area near South Whitney Boulevard, according to a Police Department news release.

In Folsom, police reported that 13 catalytic converters were stolen throughout the city Friday morning. All the targeted vehicles were Toyota trucks or sport utility vehicles.

January 11, 2012
Pizza delivery woman fights off robbers in Yuba County

A 22-year-old woman delivering pizza in the Yuba County community of Linda fought off two men who allegedly tried to rob her Tuesday night.

According to the Yuba County Sheriff's Department, the woman was delivering pizza to an apartment in the 6000 block of Alberta Avenue about 9 p.m. when she was accosted by two men.

When the woman refused a demand for money, one of the men shoved her and again demanded money. The woman instead punched the man in the face, knocking him to the ground, according to a Sheriff's Department news release.

The woman ran as the second man chased her. She was able to reach her vehicle, drive away and call authorities.

January 11, 2012
Appeals court overturns Sacramento man's conviction

By Denny Walsh
dwalsh@sacbee.com

An appellate court has thrown out a teenager's conviction in a high-profile gang prosecution stemming from the 2008 killing of another young person at a house party in the Meadowview area of Sacramento.

A three-justice panel of the 3rd District Court of Appeal ruled Tuesday that Marvel Montreal Barksdale was wrongly found guilty by a jury of voluntary manslaughter because his lawyer was ineffective, resulting in the introduction of otherwise inadmissible evidence that prejudiced Barksdale.

January 11, 2012
Accused Sacramento tagger pleads no contest to vandalism

A 21-year-old man has pleaded no contest to five counts of vandalism for tagging property in downtown and midtown Sacramento with graffiti.

From May to July 2011, Nicholas Larson vandalized downtown and midtown walls, signs, sidewalks, poles, trash bins and other property with graffiti tags under the moniker "Reid" and "Reidel", according to a Sacramento County District Attorney's Office news release.

An investigation by Sacramento police and code enforcement officers, and the District Attorney's Office led to service of a search warrant at Larson's home. During the search, officers found a variety of graffiti tools and controlled substances.

January 11, 2012
Motocyclist killed in crash on Salmon Falls Road identified

An Auburn woman who died Sunday afternoon when she lost control of her motorcycle on Salmon Falls Road has been identified by the El Dorado County Sheriff's Department as Vickie G. Altman.

According to the California Highway Patrol, Altman, 52, was northbound on her 2007 BMW motorcycle on Salmon Falls Road north of Pilot View Road in El Dorado County at an unknown speed about 3:45 p.m. when she traveled off the roadway. The motorcycle hit a utility pole and Altman was thrown from the bike. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

The CHP said there were no witnesses to the accident.

January 11, 2012
Man who died in custody identified by Sacramento coroner

The Sacramento County Coroner's office has released the name of the inmate who died in custody earlier this month in jail.

He was identified as Mark Anthony Scott.

The 48-year-old man, in custody since Dec. 1, died Friday in Sacramento County Main Jail, according to a press release from Sheriff's Department officials.

He was found unresponsive in his cell shortly before 10 p.m. when his cellmate returned from recreation time, officials reported.

Scott was pronounced dead at 10:22 p.m. His death is listed as undetermined on the coroner's website.

Scott had been arrested for outstanding warrants.

January 11, 2012
Murder trial begins in 2008 torture killing

Attorneys delivered their opening statements today in a murder trial over the torture killing of a Sacramento man three years ago.

Defendants Derrick Dwayne Sam, 33, Genneledward Miles Jr., 29, and Shannon Raymond Shorter, 35, are on trial for the Dec. 19, 2008, shooting death of Timothy Brodie, 30, who was killed in an apartment complex on Laurelhurst Drive in Rancho Cordova.

According to police and prosecutors, Brodie had won $16,000 at an Indian casino prior to his death. They said Brodie knew Sam through a marijuana growing and distribution ring they operated together. An autopsy showed that Brodie had been beaten in his legs and on his head before he was shot and killed while trying to escape.

January 11, 2012
Chat live: Q&A with Sacramento FBI's Herb Brown

January 11, 2012
Residential robbery in Citrus Heights results in arrest

Gary Hendriks.JPG
When a Citrus Heights resident opened her door last night, she was confronted by a parolee who robbed her at gunpoint, police said.

The female resident in the 6000 block of Dewey Drive opened her front door to investigate some sort of commotion outside about 9 p.m. Tuesday. Police said she was then confronted by Charvelle Clark, 38, a parolee with a handgun.

Police allege that Clark ordered the female resident, two children and an older woman to the floor. Clark then stole items from the home and fled.

Citrus Heights police responded, along with the Sacramento County Sheriff's department helicopter. The chopper crew used an infrared camera to find Clark, who was arrested by officers on the ground.

He was booked on suspicion of robbery and a parole violation.

PHOTO CAPTION: Gary Hendricks. Citrus Heights Police

January 11, 2012
Look out for phony Ronald McDonald magazine sales fundraiser

Magazine subscription sellers are going door-to-door with phony claims that they are raising money the Ronald McDonald House.

Ronald McDonald House Charities is not mounting a magazine sales drive to raise money. The sellers are fraudulently representing themselves as being part of the charity.

"It's appalling that certain individuals are attempting to deceive the community under the guise of raising money for seriously ill and injured children," said Stacey Hodge, director of community relations.

The charity has two major fundraisers a year: the Red Shoe Crawl and the RMHC Golf Classic.

The Sacramento Ronald McDonald House provides accommodations for family members when their child is hospitalized.

January 10, 2012
Help sought locating man missing from Florin-area home

Gilbert,+Stephen.jpgThe Sacramento County Sheriff's Department is asking the public's help in locating a man who was reported missing from his residence in the 9000 block of Crofton Court, in the Florin area.

Stephen Gilbert, 38, was last seen about 7 p.m. Monday and is considered at risk because of his unstable mental condition, according to a Sheriff's Department news release.

Gilbert is described as about 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighing about 180 pounds. He has short brown hair and hazel eyes, and was last seen wearing a blue, long-sleeved T-shirt, blue pajama pants and black slippers.

January 10, 2012
Speed feedback signs target drivers near Rancho Cordova school

Rancho Cordova officials announced that two speed feedback signs have been installed this week near Mills Middle School and the intersection of Coloma Road and Chase Drive.

The signs, which alert drivers to the speed limit and the speed they are traveling, are intended to encourage motorists to slow down around the school.

The signs originally were proposed at a neighborhood traffic management meeting, attended by approximately 70 residents, to discuss safety concerns, according to a city news release.

Since Rancho Cordova incorporated, officials said, several improvements have been made to improve safety along Coloma Road, including bike lanes, sidewalks, medians, and road resurfacing and paving.

January 10, 2012
Men killed in Folsom crash identified as Citrus Heights residents

Two men who died in a head-on crash in Folsom on Saturday night have been identified by the Sacramento County Coroner's Office as Christopher Stephen Martell, 37, and Robert Todd Ohlander, 32, both of Citrus Heights.

The men were northbound on Folsom Boulevard in a Saturn about 6:45 p.m. when a southbound sport utility vehicle, driven by Michael Sharp of Folsom, crossed the center line into the northbound lane, hitting the Saturn head-on near Parkshore Drive, according to the Folsom Police Department.

Emergency personnel declared Martell and Ohlander dead at the scene. Another person in their vehicle was taken to a local hospital with what were described as non-lethal injuries.

Sharp was arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. He was initially hospitalized due to his injuries but was booked into Sacramento County Jail on Sunday night. Bail is set at $2 million.

January 10, 2012
Volunteer firefighter apprehends Yuba County arson suspect

A volunteer Oregon House fireman was credited with apprehending a man suspected of arson in Yuba County.

Volunteer firefighter Michael Bernardis was driving on Marysville Road, north of Highway 20, just after 6 p.m. Monday when he saw a man who appeared to be starting grass fires in the area, according to a Yuba County Sheriff's Department news release.

Bernardis approached the man, who swung at Bernardis with a cloth bag that contained several full beer cans. The two fought, but Bernardis was able to subdue the man and make a radio call for assistance, officials said.

January 10, 2012
Man arrested in Sacramento burglary, sexual assault

suggs.jpgA man accused of sexually assaulting a woman in her Sacramento home Monday morning has been arrested.

Aaron Suggs (pictured), 29, was booked into Sacramento County Jail on suspicion of burglary and multiple sexual assault crimes, and is being held without bail.

Sacramento police officers were called to a home on E Street at 8:46 a.m. Monday. The victim told police that she had gotten out of the shower and found that the back door of her home was open. When she went to close the door, a man grabbed her, then sexually assaulted the woman and ransacked her home before leaving with several of her possessions.

January 10, 2012
Former Folsom resident pleads guilty in fraud case

By Denny Walsh

dwalsh@sacbee.com

Christopher J. Warren, who fled the country with a fortune in gold and returned with a paltry $70,000 in cash stuffed into the cowboy boots he was wearing, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Sacramento federal court to identify theft and wire fraud related to cheating lenders out of $19 million.

Warren, 29, was one of three men who skipped the country while under investigation as part of a federal probe of Roseville-based Loomis Wealth Solutions, which authorities say was a front for a Ponzi scheme that spread over five states and clipped investors for at least $100 million. He ha