North County Local News
Armed Bank Robbers Sought by Carlsbad Police
On July 1st at approximately 10:30am, Carlsbad Police received a 911 call and responded to the report of a bank robbery at Citi Bank located at 1810 Marron Road.
Three male suspects were reported to have entered the bank ordering everyone to the ground and demanded cash. All three suspects wore dark masks, hooded sweatshirts, and claimed to be armed. After obtaining an unspecified amount of cash, the suspects fled east out of the bank.
Carlsbad Police responded to the scene and located a vehicle, abandoned with the motor still running, behind the Marshall's Store which is located in the same shopping center. It was discovered that this vehicle had been reported as stolen from the Los Angeles area. The surrounding area was searched by a police K-9 and other officers, however the suspects were not located.
The robbery is being investigated by the Carlsbad Police Department and the FBI.
Any persons who may have witnessed any suspicious or related activity to this event are asked to contact the Carlsbad Police Department at (760) 931-2197.
San Marcos Fireworks Show Goes Haywire - Four Injured - Show Halted
Fire Department and other city officials are investigating why and how part of the fireworks show went awry and caused minor injuries to spectators. Immediately after the incident, the rest of the fireworks show was canceled.
Mayor Jim Desmond called it an "unfortunate accident." Desmond was present and watched as the errant firework unit headed directly toward a caretaker’s residence where it exploded. The pink firework exploded near the caretaker's residence on the park's northwest side, he said.
Fire engines were present just for such an emergency and responded immediately, Desmond said.
The Sheriff's Department has taken over the investigation from the city's Fire Department. There were no details about what might have caused the firework to misfire.
The incident happened about 9:20 p.m. About 4,000 people were in the park and the show was near the finale when things went wrong.
The show was put on by Rialto-based Pyro Spectacular, one of the country's largest and oldest fireworks show producers, according to published reports. The company produced about 400 shows nationwide this Fourth of July, according to its website.
The ambulance took one man with minor burn injuries to Palomar Medical Center in Escondido. The man was treated and later released. Three other people were treated for minor injuries but did not need to go to the hospital, according to city officials.
This was the first major problem in over 25 years of presenting the event by the city. This year's display cost about $20,000, with community donations providing the funding.
City officials await the results of the investigation before taking further action.
Results from Escondido DUI/Driver’s License Checkpoint
On July 2, 2010, the Escondido Police Department conducted a DUI Sobriety / Drivers License Checkpoint at the intersection of Valley Parkway and Avenida del Diablo from 6:00 PM until 12:00 AM. The emphasis of this checkpoint was to detect intoxicated and unlicensed drivers as well as to provide a highly visible operation to deter driving under the influence.
The following activity resulted from this checkpoint:
• 2,061 vehicles entered the checkpoint
This checkpoint operated in conjunction with Mothers Against Drunk Driving and the North County Law Enforcement Traffic Safety Council.
60 Year Old Male Struck and Killed by Train
At approximately 11:00 AM on July 1st, a northbound Coaster train carrying approximately 50 passengers struck and killed a 60 year old male who stood on the tracks as the train passed through the Cassidy Street intersection in Oceanside. Preliminary reports indicate that this was a suicide. Oceanside Police and San Diego County Sheriff’s Deputies are investigating.
All train service in the vicinity of the incident was temporarily halted. Immediately following the incident, passengers on the northbound Coaster train were transported via charter bus to the Oceanside Transit Center. Southbound Coaster passengers headed toward San Diego were transported via Amtrak after a parallel track was reopened.
Normal service resumed a short time later.
Not Much Room At The Inn for Animals
Summertime. And the livin’ ain’t too easy. At least not for a lot of animals.
Area animal rescue shelters are asking for your help in providing or helping to find homes for the many animals that have pushed their facilities to the limit.
As readers of The Paper are probably aware, we feature available pets for adoption every week within our pages. Katie Woosley tells us, "We are very full ---- summertime is our busiest time of year."
At the Escondido Humane Society, all adoptions are half price in the month of July, said Woolsey.
The shelter has overflow kennels in hallways and offices to make room for all its adoptable pets, which recently was 57 cats, 42 kittens, 64 dogs, one puppy and 42 rabbits. Summer can be the best time to take an animal home because kids are out of school and parents are home more often.
The Escondido shelter, which has contracts with that city, Poway and San Marcos to provide animal control services, is only taking in animals found stray in those cities. It cannot accept owner-surrendered animals, Woolsey said.
Anyone seeking to surrender a pet will be given a list of rescue groups and other shelters to try, she said. Woolsey suggests people find homes for animals themselves, through friends or classified ads.
The San Diego Humane Society North Campus in Oceanside, reports their shelter is also too full to accept owner-surrendered pets.
This summer, the county has waived adoption fees for cats over six months old and for any dog over age 5 or that has been at its Carlsbad, Bonita and San Diego shelters for more than 30 days.
It’s well accepted that with kittens it's better to have two rather than one. That way theyhave someone to keep them company and to play with when you’re not home.
Escondido City Officials Beginning to Smile Again. . .But Just a Little
The news that several prominent commercial vacancies in Escondido will be receiving new tenants soon came as welcome news to Escondido City officials who had been sadly watching the declining sales tax revenue in their city.
Dick's Sporting Goods, Ross, Souplantation, Furniture Warehouse and Melrose Stores are just five new tenants that will be new occupants. Dick's and Ross will split the vacant Mervyn's Building on Ninth Avenue, Souplantation will open on Auto Park Way near Applebee's, Furniture Warehouse is taking over the long-vacant Good Guys site and Melrose Stores will open next to Vallarta supermarket, on East Valley Parkway, in the former site of Aaron's rentals.
The new stores and restaurants will also increase the city's sales tax revenue, which has declined badly during the recession.
Annual revenue from sales tax was $33.4 million in fiscal 2005- 06, but that fell to $25.4 million in fiscal 2008-09 and is projected to drop below $22 million during the fiscal year 2009- 2010.
In addition to those retail merchants cited above, the upscale Ruth's Chris Steak House, is slated to open in the new Lexus dealership, In-N-Out Burger, which is under construction behind Coco's, and Five Guys Burgers, which is negotiating for a site near Target.
Word has it that the vacant Circuit City site will also soon have a major new tenant.
Landlords have been busy lowering rents by as much as 40 percent because of the recession. These incentives appear to be working and drawing in new, highly desirable tenants.
City officials were particularly pleased to find new tenants for the vacant Mervyn's Store. They divided the store up into two units, one site for 44,000 square feet, which will house Dick’s, while Ross will take 32,000 square feet.
City Councilman Dick Daniels said, "They've found strong retailers with good track records, I think this proves the retail sector is starting to come back."
The Good Guys site, which has been vacant for more than three years, was also a pleasant surprise, Daniels said.
Alleged San Marcos Gunman Arrested by Sheriff’s Deputies
Sheriff ’s deputies have arrested and filed charges of attempted murder against a 20-year-old man accused of opening fire on a car outside a donut shop Sunday night.
An argument had ensued about 10:45 p.m. Sunday evening between the suspect and three other men in front of the Yum Yum Donuts at 1240 E. Mission Road. The suspect reportedly then then shot at them repeatedly with a 9mm pistol as they left in a car, according to sheriff ’s reports.
A 28-year-old man in the car suffered minor injuries when he was struck by window glass, officials said. His friends drove him to Palomar Medical Center in Escondido, Deese said.
The gunfire broke windows at the San Marcos Bakery and a Thai restaurant as well as causing flying glass to cause minor injuries to a 28-year old man in the fleeing car.
Detectives identified 20-yearold Daniel Helewski as a suspect. The suspect was booked into the Vista jail on suspicion of attempted murder, burglary, vandalism and possession of a controlled substance, according to jail records.
Escondido Police Confirm That Their Officer Was "Driving Too Fast”
Escondido police lieutenant Tom Albergo said that a fairly new Escondido police officer was apparently traveling too fast when he slammed a patrol car into a corner home during an emergency response Monday night. Albergo said the officer apparently took the turn too fast.
Officer Luis Martinez, an Escondido officer for just under two years, was released from the hospital Monday evening and was pain-free according to Albergo.
A student who was a passenger in the car, Adrian Sherley, 19, also was released from the hospital Monday, but was still feeling a little sore Tuesday, Albergo said. The Escondido college student was riding with Martinez as a class assignment for a college criminal justice course.
Albergo, who oversees Escondido traffic investigations, said Martinez was dispatched at 7:53 p.m. to assist the California Highway Patrol on Vicki Place. The CHP was following up on an investigation at a home there, and the officer requested emergency backup when a fight broke out, Albergo said.
A preliminary investigation indicates the officer was going about 40 mph heading into the turn, Albergo said.
The cruiser's airbags deployed in the impact, Albergo said.
The homeowner, Walter Somerby, 81, said police told him the city would pay for any damages.
Albergo said Escondido officers receive formal training every two years on safe emergency responses. Department policy says officers should go as fast as necessary without endangering themselves or others, he said.
Albergo said the department will review the crash to see if any disciplinary action or new training is appropriate.
Yorba Linda Man Fails to Report Gross Receipts from Anaheim Company Pleads Guilty to Filing False Tax Return with IRS
Emmanuel Chukwueke, of Yorba Linda, California, pleaded guilty to one count of subscribing to a false United States Income Tax Return, Form 1040, which he filed with the Internal Revenue Service for the 2005 tax year. Chukwueke entered his guilty plea before the Honorable United States District Judge George H. King.
According to his plea agreement, Chukwueke admitted that during the years 2004, 2005, and 2006, he knowingly underreported business receipts of at least $454,200, $770,100, and $488,500, for the respective years, which resulted in defendant failing to pay taxes due to the IRS of at least $390,000.
Former President of xélan, Inc. Found Guilty of Tax Fraud By Claiming a Sham Charitable Deduction
The United States Attorney’s Office announced on Friday, June 24, 2010, that United States District Court Judge Jeffrey T. Miller found former xélan, Inc. president Lewis Donald Guess guilty on two felony counts of filing false income tax returns. According to court documents, Guess, a dentist, owned and controlled the Xelan Family of Companies, which specialized in financial planning and aggressive tax management for medical professionals. Guess also controlled the xélan Foundation, which purported to be a public charity.
After a week-long trial, Judge Miller found that Guess filed false and fraudulent U.S. Individual Income Tax Returns for the calendar years 2001 and 2002 by falsely claiming that he donated $800,000 worth of stock to the xélan Foundation, a charity that he controlled. According to the guilty verdicts, the transaction was “illusory” and Guess operated a “shell game” where he “reaped the profits.”
“On the honesty of individual tax payers the integrity of a voluntary tax system exclusively depends,” said Attorney for the United States Attorney Kevin J. Kelly.
“Dr. Guess, a medical professional who had full control of a non-profit charitable entity, undermined the integrity of our U.S. tax system by falsely claiming a $800,000 donation in stock to an entity that he also fully controlled,” said Leslie P. DeMarco, Special Agent in Charge for IRS-Criminal Investigation in the Los Angeles Field Office. “The guilty verdicts demonstrates to all honest taxpayers that they should not have to assume the burden for those individuals who intentionally file false tax returns and cheat the government.”
Judge Miller set a sentencing date for September 16, 2010 at 9:00 a.m.
Arizona Flags in Short Supply
Persons trying to order an Arizona flag to fly below their American flag are finding there are waiting lists due to the heavy demand from others who wish to show their solidarity with Arizona.
The flag companies report that orders are coming in nationwide, faster than they can supply them.