By Dan Abendschein and City News Service
A suspect was arrested in connection with a series of telephoned threats that led to the lockdowns of various Southland schools, sheriff's officials announced today.
Gerardo Cortez, 26, of Monrovia was arrested around 4 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon, according to Capt. Mike Parker of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Parker said investigators used "advanced technology" to trace and find Cortez, but did would not provide additional details.
Cortez has a previous conviction of a similar nature, he said.
Police have not yet found a weapon at Cortez's home but were still searching late Tuesday afternoon, according to Parker.
The most recent threat occurred Thursday at Arcadia High School, which received an anonymous call saying someone had a gun on the campus. On Sept. 10, Northview Intermediate School and adjacent Duarte High School, which are on the same campus, were placed on lockdown, according to deputies at the sheriff's Temple Station.
Parker announced at a press conference on Tuesday that shoppers at the Santa Anita Mall were threatened by the same caller on September 10.
On Sept. 9, the Covina Police Department received a call around 1 p.m. from an anonymous male who said he was at Citrus Medical Center and had an AK- 47 "and was going to start shooting people."
A similar telephone call shut down a middle school in Monrovia about the same time.
The FBI was among the agencies that took part in the investigation.
If anybody has additional information about the calls or about Cortez, they are urged to call the Monrovia Police Department at 626-256-8041 or the anonymous Crimestopppers line at 800-222-8477.