Irvine Police Establish Tip Line for Information on Armed Robberies
Irvine, Calif. (March 14, 2019) – The Irvine Police Department has established a tip line for information on four armed robberies that have occurred in the City this month. Residents are urged to call 949-724-7394 to report information. Call 9-1-1 for crimes in progress. The Irvine cases are believed to be tied to a string of robberies across Orange County.
The most recent crime in Irvine occurred Wednesday night at 7-Eleven, 8693 Irvine Center Drive. At approximately 11 p.m., the suspect entered the store, brandished a silver handgun and demanded money from the clerk. The clerk refused, and the suspect fled. The suspect is between 5’5” and 5’7” and weighs 130 to 160 pounds. He wore a white T-shirt with a black long-sleeve shirt underneath and concealed his face with a ski mask. Irvine Police believe there is a second suspect involved in the robberies. The suspect is described as 5’9,” weighing approximately 150 pounds. He has been seen wearing a black windbreaker jacket, an orange beanie, and ski goggles.
Other robberies in Irvine took place at the Doubletree Hotel, 60 Pacifica, on March 1; the Marriott at 7905 Irvine Center Drive on March 11; and the La Quinta Inn, 14972 Sand Canyon, also on March 11.
Callers to the new tip line at 949-724-7394 may choose to remain anonymous. Information can also be provided via email to email@example.com.
When former O.C. Supervisor Todd Spitzer was elected to serve as our new O.C. District Attorney last November it opened up a seat on the O.C. Board of Supervisors, in the Third District, which includes parts of Anaheim, Orange, Villa Park and Irvine. A Special Election will take place on March 12 to replace Spitzer.
There are quite a few well-known candidates running for the Third District, including Irvine Mayor Don Wagner; Anaheim City Councilwoman Kris Murray; former U.S. Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez; former Villa Park City Councilwoman Deborah Pauly as well as several lesser known candidates including Kim-Thy “Katie” Hoang Bayliss, an attorney; Larry Bales, a retired auditor for the O.C. Assessor’s office and Katherine Daigle, a perennial candidate.
While several of these candidates are registered Republicans only one of them, Wagner, is endorsed by the Republican Party of Orange County. Wagner has also been endorsed by:
- Lincoln Club of Orange County
- Greater Irvine Chamber Prosperity PAC
- North Orange County Business Alliance Council
- The Orange Club (金橙俱樂部）
- Orange County Young Republicans
- California Republican Assembly
- California Impact Republicans
- Association of Orange County Deputy District Attorneys
- Orange County Gun Owners PAC
We find it hard to take Sanchez seriously. She is the only Democrat in the race, after former Irvine City Councilwoman Beth Krom dropped out. But Sanchez is fairly new to the Third District. While she originally ran for the Anaheim City Council many years ago, when she was a Republican, she ended up moving to Santa Ana after she got elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. Then she mostly lived in Virginia while serving in D.C. More recently she moved to Orange and then filed for this Special Election.
Sanchez is the de facto union candidate in the race, which means she will be shilling for the unions if she gets elected.
We have a hard time getting behind Murray given the millions of dollars she wasted on corporate welfare during her tenure on the Anaheim City Council. She has been a reliable vote, in particular, for the Disney resort.
Wagner has our endorsement because he is the most capable of the many candidates for the Third District. He has been a solid Mayor in Irvine – which remains Orange County’s best-managed city.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Department is investigating a homicide in the city of Stanton.
Friday morning at approximately 10 a.m. O.C. Sheriff Deputies were called to the 12000 block of Leafwood Street in the city of Stanton regarding a suspicious vehicle. The vehicle, a silver sedan, was parked along the curb on Leafwood. The vehicle’s driver side window was smashed and there was blood on the exterior. Upon examination of the vehicle, deputies discovered a deceased male adult in the trunk of the vehicle.
Homicide investigators responded to the scene. The Orange County Coroner then worked to determine a preliminary cause and time of death. How the victim died, and if the death occurred at another location remain under investigation.
The man who was found dead in the trunk of a car in Stanton was identified on Saturday as a 31-year-old Irvine resident, Jeffrey Cheng.
If you have any information to aid in the investigation, please contact OCSD at 714-647-7000. Anonymous tips can be reported to OC Crime Stoppers at 1-855-TIP-OCCS.
Irvine, Calif. (Feb. 27, 2019) – Irvine Police Department Detectives have arrested a sexual assault suspect who was caught trying to flee the country. Gaoyang “Gary” Li, 20, was apprehended at Los Angeles International Airport on Friday, February 22. Detectives believe he was attempting to return to China.
The case against Li began on January 29, when a 16-year-old victim reported a sexual assault. The victim reported that on September 9, 2018, she met Li on the Chinese dating app Tan Tan. They had further communication on the WeChat app and agreed to meet. The victim reported that Li forced her to perform oral sex. On January 29, Li again contacted the victim via Tan Tan and demanded money under the threat that he would post a video of the sexual assault on social media and send it to the victim’s friends and family. Li is also suspected in another sexual battery case in Irvine.
On February 6, 2019, Li was located on the UCI campus and arrested. He was subsequently released from custody while further investigative follow-up was conducted. When Detectives learned of his plans to travel out of the country on February 22, they located and arrested him. He is being held at Orange County Jail on $1 million bail.
Irvine Police Detectives believe there may be other victims in this case. Anyone who believes they have been a victim is urged to contact Detective Gavin Hudson at 949-724-7168 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Victim identities will be kept confidential. IPD will provide translation services upon request.
SANTA ANA, Calif. – A man was extradited from Spain to face fraud charges for embezzlement of $3.2 million in public funds from a charter school in Santa Ana. Emilio Vazquez, 61, Irvine, was charged on March 3, 2009, with one felony count of misappropriation of public funds, one felony count of forgery, seven felony counts of conflict of interest in a contract, two felony counts of grand theft, and sentencing enhancements for aggravated white collar crime over $500,000 and fraud or embezzlement over $500,000. Vazquez faces a maximum sentence of 19 years and eight months in state prison. He is in custody on $3.12 million bail and must prove the money came from a legal source before posting bail. Vazquez is scheduled for a continued arraignment on Feb. 22, 2019, at 10:00 a.m. in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana.
From 2002 to 2006, Vazquez was the executive director of Albor Charter School in Santa Ana. The Orange County District Attorney’s Office (OCDA) and Franchise Tax Board investigated this case following an audit in 2007. Charges were filed in 2009 and an arrest warrant was issued for Mr. Vazquez in the amount of $2 million dollars by the Orange County Superior Court on March 30, 2009.
Vazquez was located in Spain, and in September 2009, the U.S. Department of Justice submitted a request to Spain for his extradition. In April 2010, his extradition was approved for the above listed charges. While Vazquez was released on bail in Spain, he fled to China and was not surrendered to the United States.
Vazquez was deported from China to Spain in 2019 and surrendered to the United States Marshals pursuant to his extradition order. Vazquez arrived in Orange County on Feb. 8, 2019, and was booked into the Orange County Jail.
Deputy District Attorney Nick Miller of the Major Fraud Unit is prosecuting this case.
Irvine, Calif. (Feb. 7, 2019) – The suspect in an attempted rape that occurred in the early morning hours Wednesday, February 6, is in custody. Irvine Police Department Detectives arrested Eduardo Godoy Gonzalez, 21, of Santa Ana at his workplace in Tustin on Thursday around 5 p.m. Gonzalez was in possession of a knife believed to be used in the attack at the time of his arrest. A replica Glock handgun was recovered at the scene.
Police were led to Gonzalez thanks to several tips from citizens who saw media coverage of the case.
On Wednesday around 1:20 a.m., the suspect entered an unlocked door of an office at 17877 Von Karman Ave. and approached a woman who was cleaning the facility. The suspect asked the victim in Spanish if she was the only one there. When she said yes, he made aggressive sexual comments to her and ordered her to have sex with him. When she refused and said she was going to call police, the suspect pulled out a handgun and pointed it at the victim, threatening her life.
He then pushed her into another room and forcefully tried to undress her. For four minutes, the victim is seen on video pleading for her life and fighting off the attacker.
Eventually, the victim was able to overpower the suspect and disarm him. The victim then ran for help in a nearby building.
The gun was found at the location and determined to be a replica Glock handgun. The victim also reported seeing a knife during the attack. She suffered injuries during the assault, including bruising to her arms, hands and breast and scratches to her face.
The investigation in the case is ongoing. Anyone with further information is asked to contact Irvine Police Department Detective Haldor Larum at 949-724-7194.
The Irvine Police Department is looking for a male suspect who violently attacked and tried to rape a woman who was doing janitorial work at an office in Irvine, according to KTLA.
The attack happened early on Wednesday morning, February 6, 2019, at 1:20 a.m., at an office located at 17877 Von Karman Ave. The suspect entered the facility through an unlocked door.
The suspect was carrying a skateboard. He walked up to the victim and then he asked her in Spanish if she was alone. After she said yes, the man made sexually suggestive remarks and ordered the victim to have sex with him, according to the Irvine Police.
The woman refused and she then threatened to call the police. However the attacker then pulled out a gun and pointed it at her, as captured in surveillance video that was released by the Irvine police.
The attacker shoved his victim into another room and then tried by force to take off her clothing. The victim however first begged for her life then tried to fight off her attacker, according to unreleased video footage.
Fortunately the woman was in the end able to overpower her attacker, who was slight of frame and she even disarmed him. She then fled to a nearby building for help.
The man escaped before the police could arrive. The officers did find the weapon, which turned out to be a replica Glock.
The victim told the police that the suspect also had a knife.
The victim had bruises and scratches due to the assault but escaped serious injury.
The suspect is described as a male Hispanic, 20 to 25 years old, about 5 feet 4 inches tall, weighing 130 to 140 pounds, according to the Irvine police.
The suspect has black hair, brown eyes and he wore glasses during the attack. He was dressed in a gray hooded sweatshirt, black pants and a black knit cap with the letter “P” on the front.
Anyone who recognizes the suspect is asked to contact Detective Haldor Larum by calling 949-724-7194 or emailing him at email@example.com.
Irvine, Calif. (Jan. 24, 2019) – The Irvine Police Department (IPD) will conduct a sobriety checkpoint as part of the Department’s continued commitment to reducing injuries and deaths caused by impaired drivers. The checkpoint will be conducted Saturday, January 26, from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. in the area of Culver Drive and Barranca Parkway.
The checkpoint will be clearly marked and vehicles will be selected for further screening on a pre-set basis to ensure objectivity. Motorists will be greeted and given information about the dangers of driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Trained officers will direct suspected impaired drivers to a secondary area for further evaluation. Most motorists will experience little or no delay.
This checkpoint is being carried out with the use of grant funding awarded by the California Office of Traffic Safety.
High-visibility enforcement can reduce drunken driving fatalities by as much as 20 percent, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration research has shown. IPD publicizes these highly visible sobriety checkpoints to deter impaired drivers, encourage the use of sober designated drivers and rideshare services, and bring increased awareness to the consequences of impaired driving.
Irvine, Calif. (January 25, 2019) – A foot pursuit Wednesday ended in the arrest of a suspect tied to at least nine residential burglaries in Irvine. Ismail Luqman Wasi, 20, of Irvine is suspected of breaking into homes in University Park and other areas, sometimes while residents were at home. The Irvine Police Department has recovered much of the tens of thousands of dollars of property Wasi stole since his spree began in December.
At 4:30 a.m. Wednesday, a resident on Gillman was awakened by sounds coming from a nearby room. The resident went to investigate and found the suspect holding her laptop computer. The suspect fled the home. The resident called police, who set up a search for the suspect.
After fleeing the home on Gillman, the suspect broke into homes on Dewberry and Sandburg Way. He was then seen on Montanas Norte, near Rancho San Joaquin Golf Course. Police were alerted to this activity and closed in on the suspect. Around 7:25 a.m., Wasi was spotted by police and a brief foot pursuit ensued before he was taken into custody.
At the time of the arrest, Wasi had property in his possession from the burglary on Gillman, as well as from a December burglary at San Leon apartments. Later, detectives located a storage unit belonging to Wasi that contained stolen property from previous residential burglaries.
Wasi is believed to have entered the residences he burglarized through unlocked doors. He is being held on $1 million bail. Wasi may be linked to more burglaries in the City. Anyone with information on this case is asked to contact Irvine Police Department Detective Justin Brouwer at 949-724-7124 or firstname.lastname@example.org.