Crime Roundup: Church Vandalism, a Police Standoff, a Marijuana Grow Operation and a Burglary Ring

The week of Jan. 27-Feb. 2 was one of the busiest weeks in crime Arcadia has seen in recent memory.

All signs indicated January 2013 would go down as an especially quiet month in crime for Arcadia.

However, on Jan. 27, a man crashed his vehicle along Santa Anita Canyon Road in an apparent attempt to kill himself and his female passenger. Patrick Anthony Gonzalez then allegedly broke into a home near the Santa Anita Dam and engaged police in a standoff that lasted several hours, and ended when a Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department SWAT team stormed the home and took him into custody.

Around the same time they were engaged in the standoff with Gonzalez, Arcadia Police received a loud noise complaint that led them to a "sophisticated" marijuana grow operation in an abandoned home in the 2500 block of Santa Anita Avenue. Police seized more than 500 marijuana plants and arrested 30-year-old Alhambra resident Chuan W. Pang on suspicion of felony cultivation of marijuana.

The very next day, a man robbed a clerk at the Chase Bank branch on 60 E. Huntington Drive. Police are still on the lookout for the suspect, described as a Hispanic man in his early 30s with a black mustache. He wore a black sweatshirt, black hat and black glasses.

Then that afternoon, firefighters evacuated the science building at Arcadia High School. Turns out students were partaking in an experiment that involved bringing cyclohexane, a chemical used primarily to make nylon and solvents, from a frozen to a liquid state. The chemical, which was in a beaker, apparently overheated too quickly and caused a small fire.

All the activity appeared to slow down Tuesday, but the serenity would not last long.

On Wednesday, vandals broke into Holy Angels Church in an apparent hate crime. Police revealed a few weeks before.

Also on Wednesday, Sheriff’s detectives announced the arrest of an Arcadia resident and three others on suspicion of carrying out a string of burglaries throughout the San Gabriel Valley that targeted residents who were on vacation and had directed The Los Angeles Times to hold delivery of their newspaper subscriptions while they were gone.


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