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Monrovia City Manager Heading to Huntington Beach

Monrovia City Manager Oliver Chi Will apparently be moving on to be city manager of Huntington Beach. According to the Daily Pilot, Chi’s hiring will be official with a vote by the Huntington Beach City Council on Monday.

In a statement Friday Chi said, “I am humbled, excited and grateful for the opportunity to join a city as dynamic and iconic as Huntington Beach. Surf City is simply premier in every way, and I am looking forward to partnering with the mayor, City Council and staff as we work together to help build community and enhance the local quality of life.” https://is.gd/ur9TOZ

In a statement on the Monrovia city website (https://is.gd/2nlnfK), Chi wrote:

“While I am deeply honored that the City of Huntington Beach is considering my appointment, I can’t begin to describe what a genuine privilege it has been for me to serve Monrovia these past five years,” Chi said. “I have been so blessed to have had the chance to work with Mayor Adams and an outstanding team of thoughtful City Council Members, and the amazing array of spectacularly talented City staff here in Monrovia are truly second to none. Our shared mission has been to serve the people of Monrovia to create a community that offers a premier quality of life, and looking back on it all, I feel such immense pride at what we have been able to do together.”

The statement adds:

"The Monrovia City Council will review the matter and determine next steps in a Closed Session meeting on August 6th. If he is confirmed by the City of Huntington Beach to serve as their next City Manager, Mr. Chi intends to work closely with the Mayor and City Council during the next two months to help coordinate the process for identifying his replacement."

Comment: Big loss for Monrovia. Aside from his accomplishments - opening the long-delayed Wilderness Area, the GoMonrovia transportation program that is being imitated around the country, dealing with Monrovia's part in the statewide retirement funding fiasco, and basically re-piping and repaving the city - he's also just an awfully nice guy. Sorry to see you go, Oliver!

- Brad Haugaard

Search for Amanda Custer Expands to Mountain Community of Lytle Creek

The search for kidnapped Monrovian, Amanda Custer, has expanded from the Mount Baldy area to a small community of about 700, called Lytle Creek, about 16 miles northwest of downtown San Bernardino, in the mountains just west of the Cajon Pass.

The LA County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau report that "the suspect has great knowledge of this area as well as the Mount Baldy area."

"We are asking the community to remain vigilant and keep an eye out for Amanda Custer.

"Anyone in the area of Mount Baldy or Lytle Creek on Monday July 29, 2019, between 9:00 A.M. and 3:30 P.M., that observed Suspect Camou, Victim Custer and/or the Toyota Prius, are encouraged to contact Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau. http://nixle.us/B7WH6

- Brad Haugaard

Lunch at Sena

Lunch at Sena, on the west side of Myrtle just south of Lime. Got the Pork Verde tacos for $11 and a beer for $6. Very good!

- Brad Haugaard 

LaJoya McCoy Murder to be on TV Program 'Fatal Attraction'

The 2015 murder of Monrovian, LaJoya McCoy, 31, is being featured as an episode on the true crime documentary series, "Fatal Attraction." https://is.gd/UvDiR4

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Kidnapping; Man Wounded in Shooting; Car Bought With Fake Check; Stolen License Plates; Drunk Driving; Etc.

[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for July 25-31. - Brad Haugaard]

During the last seven-day period, the Police Department handled 404 service events, resulting in 73 investigations.

Hit & Run Traffic Collision
July 25 at 10:07 a.m., a caller reported a non-injury traffic collision in the 400 block of E. Duarte. An officer responded and found one of the motorists fled the scene. The suspect vehicle was not located. This investigation is continuing.

False Vehicle Registration Tabs / Warrant – Suspect Arrested
July 25 at 1:27 p.m., a parking enforcement officer located a vehicle with false registration tabs parked in the 700 block of W. Lemon. A patrol officer responded and the owner of the vehicle approached him. A computer check revealed the owner of the vehicle had a warrant for his arrest and he was taken into custody.

Shoplifting
July 25 at 2:20 p.m., security at a business in the 500 block of W. Huntington reported a female subject just left the store with merchandise without paying. She had been in the store previously and took items without paying as well. When officers arrived, the subject was gone and couldn't be located. This investigation is continuing.

Hit & Run Traffic Collision
July 25 at 4:35 p.m., a driver reported a hit and run collision at the intersection of Duarte and Myrtle. Another motorist collided into the back of her vehicle in the intersection, and then fled the scene. Officers searched the area for the suspect, but did not locate him. This investigation is continuing.

Stolen License Plates
July 25 at 7:57 p.m., a female subject reported her license plates were stolen from her vehicle. She parked her vehicle in the 700 block of E. Central and went inside a business. When she returned to her vehicle, she discovered someone had removed her license plates. Investigation continuing.

Grand Theft
July 25 at 8:35 p.m., an employee from a business in the 700 block of E. Huntington called police to report a grand theft. Three female suspects entered the location, filled up shopping bags with merchandise and fled without paying. Investigation continuing.

Driving Under the Influence – Suspect Arrested
July 27 at 2:02 a.m., an officer was on patrol in the area of Duarte and California when he saw a driver commit a vehicle code violation. A traffic stop was conducted and the driver displayed signs of being under the influence of alcohol. After further investigation, the driver was arrested for DUI and was held for a sobering period.

Injury Traffic Collision
July 27 at 2:19 p.m., a traffic collision was reported at the intersection of California and Lemon. A vehicle was traveling north on California and struck a vehicle attempting to cross on Lemon. One of the drivers complained of pain and was taken to a local hospital. Investigation continuing.

Shoplifting / Warrants – Suspect Arrested
July 27 at 9:09 p.m., an employee from a business in the 100 block of W. Foothill called police to report a shoplifter being detained by loss prevention. Officers arrived and conducted an investigation. The subject was placed under private person's arrest by the loss prevention employee and was taken into custody. The subject was also found to have warrants for his arrest.

Driving Under the Influence – Suspect Arrested
July 28 at 1:32 a.m., an officer was patrolling the area of Mountain and Lemon when he saw a vehicle commit a vehicle code violation. A traffic stop was conducted and the driver displayed signs of being under the influence of alcohol. After field sobriety testing, the subject was arrested for DUI and held for a sobering period.

Possession of a Controlled Substance / Warrants / Resisting and Delaying an Officer – Suspect Arrested
July 28 at 10:21 p.m., an employee from a business in the 700 block of E. Huntington called police to report a female adult possibly prostituting on the property. Officers arrived and attempted to contact the female, but she ran across the street to avoid the officers. Officers gave chase and eventually detained the subject. She had warrants for her arrest and was found to be in possession of drugs. The suspect was arrested.

Kidnapping – Suspect Arrested
July 29 at 8:20 a.m., officers responded to the 600 block of Vaquero regarding a domestic violence incident. The officers arrived and located evidence that there was an apparent assault that had occurred. The male and female involved in the incident were gone prior to police arriving. Investigators believe the victim was kidnapped and taken against her will. The Monrovia Police Department Detective Bureau responded along with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
July 30 at approximately 3:00 a.m., the suspect vehicle was located in downtown Los Angeles with one occupant. Multiple agencies assisted and, after a long standoff, the male occupant was taken safely into custody. This investigation is continuing.

Grand Theft
July 29 at 2:58 p.m., a resident in the 300 block of S. Canyon called police to report someone entered her unlocked vehicle and numerous items were taken. There is no suspect information at this time. Investigation continuing.

False Information to an Officer / Warrant – Suspect Arrested
July 30 at 10:01 a.m., an officer was patrolling the area of Olive and Primrose when he saw a bicyclist commit a vehicle code violation. A traffic stop was made and the subject initially gave a false name to the officer. Further investigation revealed the identity of the subject and it was learned he had an outstanding warrant for his arrest. He was arrested and taken into custody.

Warrant – Suspect Arrested
July 30 at 2:25 p.m., an officer stopped a bicyclist in the 100 block of W. Foothill for a vehicle code violation. A computer check revealed the subject had several outstanding warrants. He was arrested and taken into custody for the warrants.

Petty Theft
July 30 at 4:57 p.m., a resident in the 100 block of W. Olive called police to report someone had entered his unlocked vehicle and took two pairs of sunglasses and a wireless speaker. No witnesses were located. The investigation is continuing.

Assault with a Deadly Weapon / Shooting
July 30 at 10:29 p.m., California Highway Patrol and the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department received multiple calls reporting that a shooting had just occurred near the Walmart in Duarte. Callers reported 7 to 8 shots were fired. Approximately three minutes later, Monrovia Police Department dispatch received a call reporting a hit-and-run traffic collision just occurred in the area of Mayflower and Genoa. Officers arrived on Genoa and located a vehicle with multiple gunshot holes and a gunshot victim sitting near the vehicle. The victim sustained one gunshot wound to his right arm, which was determined to be non-life-threatening. The investigation revealed the shooting occurred between two vehicles in Monrovia's jurisdiction, as both vehicles were traveling south on Mountain, between Evergreen and Duarte. The investigation is continuing.

Public Intoxication – Suspect Arrested
July 30 at 10:29 p.m., a resident in the 100 block of W. Colorado called police to report a male adult that was stumbling and appeared intoxicated. Officers arrived and located the individual. It was determined the subject was too intoxicated to care for himself or his own safety. He was arrested and held for sobering.

Public Intoxication – Suspect Arrested
July 30 at 11:17 p.m., an employee from a business in the 900 block of E. Huntington called police to report an adult female refusing to leave and causing a disturbance. An officer responded and contacted the subject. It was determined the subject was too intoxicated to care for herself or her own safety. She was arrested and held for a sobering period.

Grand Theft Auto
July 31 at 9:07 a.m., an Orange County Sheriff’s Department investigator called and asked for assistance in contacting a person in the 800 block of W. Olive. He believed the resident may have sold a vehicle to a suspect he is investigating for auto theft. An officer responded and spoke with the resident. She did sell her vehicle to the suspect, who used a fraudulent check to purchase it. The vehicle was entered into the system as stolen. Investigation continuing.

Search for Missing Woman Centers on Mt. Baldy Area; Suspect Had Criminal Charges Pending Against Him

The search for the missing Amanda Custer is now centered in the Mt. Baldy area, according to The Monrovia Weekly. https://is.gd/7TE3we

Robert Anthony Camou, 27, the Monrovia man suspected of abducting Custer, had been ordered to wear an electronic-monitoring device, and had a burglary and domestic case pending against him, according to a report in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune: https://is.gd/4cVmvY

- Brad Haugaard

Car-to-Car Shooting on Mountain


On Tuesday, July 30, at approximately 9:30 pm, Monrovia Police Department officers were dispatched to a report of a possible hit and run traffic collision. When they arrived, they determined that the vehicle in question was involved in an alleged car-to-car shooting, and that one of the occupants had sustained a non-life threatening wound to his right arm. Around the same time, the CHP and Los Angeles Sheriff's Department 911 centers began receiving calls of a shooting that had just occurred in the area of 1700 S. Mountain Ave. in the City of Monrovia. Sheriff's Deputies, CHP Officers, and a police helicopter were dispatched to the Monrovia Police Department officers responded and determined that the two incidents were related. The area was closed down for investigation for approximately two hours.

Source: Monrovia Police press release

- Brad Haugaard

Candlelight Vigil for Amanda Custer

There will be a candlelight vigil at 8 p.m. tonight in Library Park asking for Amanda Custer's return. Custer has been missing since Monday morning. A man suspected of kidnapping her has been arrested but she has not been found. The vigil is being organized by Monrovian Carmen Martinez.

- Brad Haugaard

Panel Discussion on Senior Scamming

There will be a panel discussion sponsored by Senator Anthony Portantino on protecting seniors from scams at Westminster Gardens, 1420 Santo Domingo Ave., Duarte Thursday, August 8 at 6 p.m.

This free event will include speakers from various Los Angeles County Departments: District Attorney’s Office; Workforce Development, Aging, and Community Services; Consumer and Business Affairs; and the Sheriff’s Department. Speakers will answer questions for caregivers and senior care providers related to protecting seniors from fraud and scams. A mixer with the panelists will follow the panel discussion. For more information please contact Kristi Lopez at Kristi.Lopez@sen.ca.gov or (909) 599-7351.

Comment: Good topic. I really think that if we want to prevent seniors from being scammed, we should especially communicate with banks, markets and wire transfer companies. These scams usually involve telling the senior to buy $2,000 of Target gift cards, or send large amounts of money by wire transfer, and seniors are likely to withdraw large sums from the bank, or buy gift cards for large dollar amounts from markets, or send money by wire transfer. So if the employees at these companies are aware of the scams and see a senior possibly falling for a scam, the employee could perhaps hand the senior a little flyer outlining the scams and gently suggest he or she read it before sending money.


- Brad Haugaard

Trees Removed in Front of Monrovia High; $25 Off Water Bill for Low Water Landscaping, Etc.

In his latest report (https://goo.gl/aOqX7O) City Manager Oliver Chi reports:

~ As you may have noticed, a lot of trees (20 to be exact) were removed on Colorado in front of Monrovia High. Chi said the city considered trimming the roots, but it would have killed the trees; and moving the new sidewalk further from the trees, but the city doesn't have right-of-way to do that. Also, the camphor is considered an invasive tree species. The city will "construct a wider and safer sidewalk that will allow for easier student drop-off and pick-up," and will replace the 20 camphor with 40 new trees.

~ The Monrovia Historic Preservation Group will conduct a walking tour in Downtown Monrovia on Saturday, August 3, starting at 10 a.m. Cost is $5 per person, and the tour will last about two hours.  Meet at the southeast corner of Myrtle and Palm.

~ If you have low-water landscaping and want a one-time $25 break on your water bill, go here - https://is.gd/0YMSua - to submit an application for the city's sustainable landscaping program. Your drought-tolerant area should be in the front yard, visible from the street; no more than 50% of your landscape should be turf; and no more than 30% of your landscape should be non-permeable, such as concrete.

~ The Library will have an on-site Veterans Service Officer at its Veterans Resource Center on Mondays from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. to provide assistance to veterans and their families. Call 256-8294 for an appointment.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia High Track and Field Upgraded

Monrovia High School's stadium was upgraded this summer. A total renovation of the track and field at Monrovia High School included smoothing out the field to eliminate uneven areas, a complete turf replacement, and an upgrade of the rubber pellet infill to a cool-fill product, which decreases the temperature of the turf. Communication boxes were also relocated to outer parts of the field, ensuring the continued safety of students.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia School Superintendent's July Update

Monrovia Unified is committed to the continued success of our scholars, a goal reflected through work done at the District level and at our facilities this summer.

Our Board of Education approved the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) for the 2019-20 school year. The LCAP focuses on goals such as high academic achievement and increased student engagement. Major actions outlined in the LCAP are access to experienced teachers, high-quality instructional materials and well-maintained facilities.

During July, the track and artificial turf field at Monrovia High School underwent a full renovation, ensuring that MHS athletes, scholars, and the community can enjoy the field for 10 to 15 more years! In addition, air-conditioning systems at Plymouth Elementary School and Clifton Middle School were replaced.

Continuing on with the exciting news, the District received notice that Monrovia High School was listed on the 2018-19 California Honor Roll. We are proud of our students and educators from MHS and are thankful for this recognition!

Lastly, the City of Monrovia started repairing and replacing crumbling sidewalks in front of Monrovia High School this month. The project includes tree removal, concrete cutting, and curb removal; the city has indicated the trees will be replanted when the project is finished. For more information, please contact the City of Monrovia Public Works Department at (626) 932-5575. We look forward to the improvements beautifying the paths at MHS!

School starts back up on Aug. 14, and we are excited to see the successes our students will achieve this year! From our intensive arts program to dual-language immersion, from robotics to Code to the Future, Monrovia Unified offers a deep array of engaging curricular options to engage our students’ interests and spark their creativity.

Dr. Katherine Thorossian
Superintendent

Source: Monrovia School District press release

- Brad Haugaard

Kidnapping Suspect On Video Rapping About Killing, Burying Woman

KTLA has broadcast a video that it says appears to show Monrovia kidnapping suspect Robert Camou rapping about killing and burying his girlfriend. Camou has been arrested but Amanda Custer is still missing. https://is.gd/vklnpy

- Brad Haugaard

Hagrid - Enchanting Gentleman, Purrfect Manners

The Harry Pawter spell that has recently befallen Pasadena Humane Society, brought us the sweetest, most charming, kitty cat character, Hagrid (A415052). An 8-year-old, mystical, ball of fluff, Hagrid is an enchanting gentleman with purrfect manners. He dreams of magical transport into a forever family and asks that you prepare your Floo Network (for muggles, that's a wizarding transportation) for his arrival. Hagrid is part of our bewitching FREE adoption spell, so count your lucky stars, wave your magic wand and seal the deal. Hagrid is quite possibly your soulmate.

The adoption fee for cats is $90. All cats are spayed or neutered, microchipped, and vaccinated before being adopted.

New adopters will receive a complimentary health-and-wellness exam from VCA Animal Hospitals, as well as a goody bag filled with information about how to care for your pet.

View photos of adoptable pets at pasadenahumane.org. Adoption hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

Pets may not be available for adoption and cannot be held for potential adopters by phone calls or email.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Faces Greater Wildfire Danger than Paradise, California

According to a study by USA Today and the Arizona Republic, the danger to Monrovia from wildfire is greater than the danger to Paradise, California, which was so badly damaged in the Camp Fire.

On a 1 to 5 scale, with 5 being the most dangerous, Paradise ranked 3.81. Monrovia ranks 4.46. Of particular concern is Monrovia's "evacuation constraint," meaning the ability of people to rapidly escape an advancing fire. Monrovia scored a very high - and bad - 816 (the median is 110).

My guess is that this refers primarily to the foothills area, especially along Norumbega, and up Canyon Boulevard.

Source article: https://is.gd/I6kFjz
Monrovia stats: https://is.gd/Y5sWz4

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police, Sheriff's Department Working on Kidnapping Investigation


UPDATE: Suspect arrested; woman still missing. https://is.gd/vw1T9v

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau Detectives are assisting Monrovia Police Department with a Kidnapping/ Domestic Violence investigation.  The incident occurred on Monday, July 29th, 2019, at approximately 8:15 a.m., on the 600 block of Vaquero Road, in the city of Monrovia.

Monrovia Police Department responded to the 600 block of Vaquero Road, in the city of Monrovia regarding a domestic violence incident. Upon their arrival they located evidence that there was an apparent assault that had occurred.  Investigators believe the victim was kidnapped and taken against her will in a 2017 gray Toyota Prius, CA License plate, “8AOR167”.

We are seeking the communities help in locating the above vehicle and/or suspect and victim.

The suspect, Robert Anthony Camou, is a male White, 27 years old, 6’00ft, 150lbs, Brown hair and Brown eyes.

The victim is, Amanda Kathleen Custer, is a female White, 31 years old, 5’08, 140lbs, brown hair and green eyes.
     
The investigation is ongoing, and there is no additional information available at this time.

If anyone has any information regarding the above incident or the whereabouts of the victim, suspect or vehicle pictured they are encouraged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500. If you prefer to provide information anonymously, you may call "Crime Stoppers" by dialing (800) 222-TIPS (8477).

Source: https://is.gd/Dq488a

- Brad Haugaard

Sidewalk Repairs Next to Monrovia High for Next Two Weeks

The City of Monrovia has started repairing and replacing crumbling sidewalks in front of Monrovia High School along Colorado Boulevard to ensure the continued safety of students and community members. The project is expected to run during the next two weeks and to be completed by the start of school on Aug. 14.

The project will include tree removal, concrete cutting, and curb removal; the city has indicated the trees will be replanted when the project is finished.

For more information, please contact the City of Monrovia Public Works Department at 932-5575. https://is.gd/RRSHLs

- Brad Haugaard

Lecture on Collecting at John Moran Auctioneers

On August 18, at 2 p.m., Monrovia's John Moran Auctioneers will open its Monrovia Auction House at 145 E. Walnut for a  program about the art of collecting sponsored by the Pasadena Museum of History.

Learn about the history of collecting and the market for acquiring and selling collectibles. A group of collectors will comprise a panel to discuss What? Why? and How? Reservations required. $12 for members of Pasadena Museum of History; $15 general. Tickets here: https://is.gd/3fS0bf

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia's Oak Crest Institute Wins U.S. i6 Government Grant

Oak Crest Institute of Science, a Monrovia-based non-profit science research and education organization, has been approved for full funding support through the i6 Challenge program under the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s Regional Innovation Strategies Program.

Oak Crest is one of only 22 awardees out of 183 applications in 2019, and one of only two awardees from California.

Since 2011, Monrovia has focused its economic development on making the city a premier location for technology and science-focused businesses, such as Oak Crest.

Source: City of Monrovia press release - https://is.gd/ZBzQ5d

- Brad Haugaard

Dinner at Oto Oto

Dinner at Oto Oto Izakaya Japonaise restaurant, at the shopping center at Fifth and Huntington. Got the Ginger Pork Set for $16.50 and a beer for $7. Came with egg custard, a side dish (I have no idea what it was but it tasted fine), salad, miso soup and rice. Tasted fine. 

- Brad Haugaard