Saturday, January 31, 2009

MPD issues Coyote Warning in Robo-dial

For those of you who don't have a local number on a land line you missed out on an important "robo-dial" recorded message from Monrovia PD this afternoon, Saturday 1/31 around noon.
The gist, and pardon the paraphrase;

" Good afternoon, this is a Public Safety Announcement from the Monrovia Police Department.  Monrovia Animal Control has identified 2 coyotes that have lost their natural fear of humans.  They are found around the Grand Avenue Park and wander several blocks in all directions.

Monrovia Police Department asks that you watch your surroundings at all time.  MPD asks that you watch your small children and animals at all times when they are outdoors.

Monrovia Police Department and the California Department of Fish and Game are working together for a resolution.

If you have any additional questions or concerns please contact the Monrovia Police Department at: 626-256-8000"

Julie and I talked about this very issue earlier this week after Joey and I had spotted a coyote on the street around 8PM.  She had learned from Laurie Cohen she had seen a coyote also on that Saturday.  Things like not leaving food out for pets, bringing the small pets indoors at night, and in particular keeping close eye on the kids when they are out is needed.

As always, share what you know with us.  We'll do the same.  Be safe all!

Sunday, January 25, 2009


Some of you may have noticed three police cars out in front of our house today (Saturday, Jan 24). At approximately 11:30 A.M. a young Hispanic teen came to our door.  Like an idiot, I opened the door without first finding out who was there (got a real talking to later by Rob, speaking as both my boyfriend and attorney!)  The kid was dressed in gang type attire; long plaid shorts, LA baseball cap, oversized clothes, etc and told me that he was selling subscriptions to the Pasadena Star Telegram. He also said he was a student at Monrovia High School and that he was participating in the “BSO” program and that he would get school credits for doing this. He didn’t have any brochures or anything, just sign up forms. I asked for his business license, and he said that he didn’t have it, but I was welcome to speak to his manager, whom he said was in the area checking up on the other sales people.  I explained to him that he (and his manager) may be detained and possibly even arrested as our neighborhood watch was extremely vigilant and intolerant of solicitors. 

The young man gave me his name and offered to leave his phone number with me, and said that he would have his manager come back and show me all of the documentation. (However, when I asked him, he did not know his manager’s last name, but still insisted that this was an approved activity of the Monrovia High School).  I closed the door and was about to call the police, when his manager arrived a few minutes later and again I opened the door (I know, stupid!).  The manager confirmed the young man’s story. Interestingly enough, the manager did not seem very familiar with the young man’s name either! The “manager” showed me a completely water soaked print out of a civil code from a website that stated that he was not required to have a license since they were soliciting on the weekends and before dark.  At this point, I told him that I wanted to check with the Monrovia Police dept to legitimize this, and he agreed, Again, I went inside, closed the door and called the MPD

I explained the situation to the dispatcher, while amazingly enough, the two men waited on my front porch.  Before I was even off of the phone, three squad cars had pulled up and were in the process of interviewing the solicitors. At this point, I called Rob for back up and he came right home. 

Sergeant Coleman from MPD explained to the men that they were absolutely REQUIRED to have a business license from their company and additionally, they each were REQUIRED to have an individual personal license with a photo ID that they were REQUIRED to wear around their necks in order to solicit in the town of Monrovia. In the course of the interview, it turns out that the “Monrovia student” didn’t even live in Monrovia, but rather resides in Baldwin Park, and apparently is on suspension of some type. His “manager” supposedly works for a company called “Infinity Marketing” in Rancho Cucamonga, and claims he was unaware that he needed any kind of permits.  The police informed the two men that they would be arrested and their van confiscated if they continued to do this activity in Monrovia

Sargeant Coleman stayed a few extra minutes with us and explained that there are a number of companies out there who are dropping off carloads of these people, and that they do not tell the individual solicitors of the permit requirements, nor do they stand behind them when they are detained.  These companies do not want to pay the licensing fees, and therefore they just abandon the perps when they are busted. 

BOTTOM LINE:  DO NOT open your door to strangers, and DO NOT do business with solicitors who do not have a MONROVIA business license PLUS individual photo ID permits from the CITY of MONROVIABOTH of these things are requirements, and they should be able to display them BOTH to you. Also, if you see this activity, Sargent Coleman said to CALL THE MPD immediately.  I am so glad that I did, and I can’t say enough wonderful things about their response time and handling of this matter. 

Julie Goldstein

Julie - thanks for sharing and giving us the detailed information.  The interesting part is that we have them claiming to be an MHS student which follows with some other scams, including one we were alerted on via an MUSD robo-dial message.  Scammers are out there.  Be alert and call MPD when you have a question about their legitimacy.  fraz

Coyote on the street Friday evening 1/23

Shortly after 8PM I was coming back from the Y with Joey.  We spotted an animal, looked like a dog walking from Roberto's through Julies yard into the street.  At first we were worried it might be someones dog on the loose.  Imagine our surprise when it crossed our headlights and we saw it was a coyote.

We stopped and backed up to keep an eye on it as it went across the Chan's yard between their house and the pink house.  When it hit the dead end it took of running, first to the Cohen's yard and back up towards the Birkholz.  We followed it a bit but it was running hard as it went around the street across yards.  We lost sight of it after the Valentines yard.  Given the speed it was running I suspect it kept going for a while longer.  Had it gone into someones back yard we would have alerted the neighbor and animal control.

Its just a reminder the wild animal problem we have been experiencing around town the last several months.  Coyotes are looking for food.  The will eat whatever food you leave out for your pets, or worse your pet if they are small enough.  Best way to keep them from hanging around don't put food out.  Keep an eye on your small pets  when they are out.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Strange door-to-door "sales"

Friday 1/16 night Stacey B had around 8-8:30 PM ring her door bell.  20ish Hispanic kid with a faux-hawk (her words) said he was selling magazines.  She said she wasn't interested.  He knocked again and was loudly begging her to please open the door.  She called MPD who responded.  She didn't ask for a call back regarding the outcome.  All we do know is that MPD responded.

Saturday  1/17 evening around 5PM a 20ish white guy, crew cut, mustache dark jeans and t's was came up to our porch.  I happened to be on the couch and heard the steps.  Our bell didn't ring.  He was looking into the house from the window.  Imagine his surprise when I just opened the door and asked if he needed help.  He said he was selling subscriptions and wanted to know what papers we get.  I asked him for his solicitation permit.  He said he didn't have one, but he knew where he could get one.  I asked him if he was aware he needed to have it on him and able to produce if we asked.  he said no.  I told him that we're serious with Neighborhood Watch and told him he's likely not going to get off the street before MPD would arrive.  He split.  MPD arrived and did their field interview.  

Point to this is strangeness is afoot.  Ask for their solicitation permit and if they don't have it ask them to leave.  

I need to let you know that a friend on Granite  Ave reported her neighbors work truck was broken into.  The window was smashed and there was an obvious tampering on the tool box.

Be alert.  Report what you see.  Make certain your house and cars are locked.  Make certain you don't leave things visible for a thief on the prowl can just grab.

One final note.  There were shootings again in the SE part of town on Sherman Ave.  The shootings is where Mr Rawlins was shot to death exactly one year ago.  The irony is that this took place during the Mayor's state of the city speech.  The larger story is currently locked over at the Star news but there is this small item here.  The frightening part is the clear racial overtones in the violence and in the topix discussion to the PSN article HERE.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Weds 1/14/09 oddity

Here's how it went.  Around 10:45 there was a Dark Gray Jeep parked at the end of my driveway.  I spotted it when I went out to get Kari over at MHS.  I returned a few minutes later and it was still there.  It was an older Cherokee type.  It was full of personal stuff like blankets, clothes and some food wrappers.

The occupant was a sitting/reclining in the driver seat.  Small guy, though heavy for his size.  Hispanic maybe late 30's.  I went up and asked him if he was waiting for anyone.  He sat up and pointed towards Rob and Julie's house.  He said he worked construction and was waiting for someone and pointed to a Champion Van parked by their house.  

I went into the house from the rear with the intent to call Rob/Julie and then MPD.  In the minute it took me to walk around he was gone.

I did talk with Julie and she verified they weren't having contruction done.

I did talk with Watch Commander Cpt Lee at  MPD.  He will pass the information on to the next watch commander.  He reminded me that I should have just called MPD right away instead of trying to talk with Rob and Julie first.  My fault.  I should have called even without a plate as the could have been watching for him right then.  He's gone and no harm done this time.

Lesson learned.  Call MPD immediately.