Tag Archives: San Bernardino County

The Day San Bernardino Stood Still

Photo courtesy: SBCS In memory of the victims: Shannon Johnson, 45, Los Angeles (DOB: 03/06/70), Bennetta Bet-Badal, 46, Rialto (DOB: 03/08/69), Aurora Godoy, 26, San Jacinto (DOB: 02/01/89), Isaac Amanios, 60, Fontana (DOB: 06/29/55), Larry Kaufman, 42, Rialto (DOB: 08/12/73), Harry Bowman, 46, Upland (DOB: 06/08/69), Yvette Velasco, 27, Fontana (DOB: 04/03/88), Sierra Clayborn, 27, Moreno Valley (DOB: 06/15/88), Robert Adams, 40, Yucaipa (DOB: 05/02/75), Nicholas Thalasinos, 52, Colton (DOB: 10/14/63), Tin Nguyen, 31, Santa Ana (DOB: 04/06/84), Juan Espinoza, 50, Highland (DOB: 06/24/65), Damian Meins, 58, Riverside (DOB: 02/02/57), Michael Wetzel, 37, Lake Arrowhead (DOB: 04/29/78)

Photo courtesy: SBCS
In memory of the victims: Shannon Johnson, 45, Los Angeles (DOB: 03/06/70), Bennetta Bet-Badal, 46, Rialto (DOB: 03/08/69), Aurora Godoy, 26, San Jacinto (DOB: 02/01/89), Isaac Amanios, 60, Fontana (DOB: 06/29/55), Larry Kaufman, 42, Rialto (DOB: 08/12/73), Harry Bowman, 46, Upland (DOB: 06/08/69), Yvette Velasco, 27, Fontana (DOB: 04/03/88), Sierra Clayborn, 27, Moreno Valley (DOB: 06/15/88), Robert Adams, 40, Yucaipa (DOB: 05/02/75), Nicholas Thalasinos, 52, Colton (DOB: 10/14/63), Tin Nguyen, 31, Santa Ana (DOB: 04/06/84), Juan Espinoza, 50, Highland (DOB: 06/24/65), Damian Meins, 58, Riverside (DOB: 02/02/57), Michael Wetzel, 37, Lake Arrowhead (DOB: 04/29/78)

By Monique Valadez

SAN BERNARDINO – On the morning of Dec. 2, Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, of Redlands, who worked as an inspector with the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health, attended an employee holiday gathering at the Inland Regional Center. According to police, Farook left the gathering abruptly and returned with his wife Tahfeen Malik, 27. Witnesses said the couple opened fire, massacring 14 coworkers and wounded 21 others.

Some call it the worst terrorist attack on American soil since Sept. 11, 2001.

“It was overwhelming and surreal,” Fontana Police Officer Scott Snieder, a first responder on the scene last week, said. “Immediately, it hit home that this was not a training drill. It was one of the worst things I’ve had to experience in my entire career.”

Despite this tragedy and loss, all communities in the county are stronger than ever.

“The real heroes are those who were in the room that day who protected others and pulled injured out of the building,” McMahon said during a press conference. “They acted selflessly and courageously not thinking about what would happen to them but what they could do to save someone else.”

Many took to social media to post their support and well wishes to first responders and local law enforcement.

“This shooting has caused each victims family, friends and co-workers, along with the first responders, to suffer an enormous personal tragedy. We must stand strong and offer support to each individual affected by this senseless attack”, stated San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon.

County Sheriff’s Department has kept the community abreast on the investigation through their Facebook page. They reassure resident’s that their safety is of utmost importance.

“As we continue to mourn with ‪#‎SanBernardino and the entire world, we know that despite it all our communities are strong,” the sheriff’s department posted on their Facebook page. “Rest assured that all agencies in San Bernardino County’s main priority is to protect the citizens.

Law enforcement continues to ask the community to be cautious and report any suspicious behavior to the authorities.

“We ask that you stay vigilant, be aware of your surroundings and most importantly if you see something, say something,” authorities said on Facebook.

At this time, investigators are still trying to piece together profiles of the couple who killed coworkers and died in a gun fight with police last week. Local agencies will continue to work with the FBI.
 

 

Inland Empire: Couple Arrested For Identity Theft

Staff Reports

San Bernardino County – An El Monte couple is jailed for numerous identity theft that occurred at San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino.

Authorities arrested Vinny Hoai Nguyen and Quynhnhu Nguyen on Nov. 25.

On Nov.23, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s were contacted by a Bank of America fraud investigator, reporting a theft. Bank investigators were alerted to a theft by fraud that occurred at the San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino in May of 2015. A bank customer reported $46,866 was stolen from their savings and home equity line of credit accounts. The suspect made numerous cash withdrawals over a five-day period, using the victim’s identity and stolen banking information.
With the assistance of the Bank of America fraud investigator and investigators from the San Manuel Tribal Gaming Commission, detectives identified Vinny Hoai Nguyen of El Monte as a suspect. On the morning of Wednesday, Nov. 25, an arrest warrant was issued for Nguyen. Detectives contacted Nguyen, at his home, at the 5000 block of La Madera Avenue, in El Monte. Nguyen’s girlfriend, Quynhnhu Nguyen, was also inside the residence when detectives arrived. A search warrant was obtained for Nguyen’s residence.
During a search of the home, detectives found numerous credit card manufacturing devices, hundreds of credit cards in various stages of being altered, dozens of stolen identification cards, numerous altered checks, several laptop computers and $8,300 in one hundred dollar bills.
The couple was booked at the Central Detention Center in San Bernardino.

Supervisor Seeks Applicants for Workforce Development Board

Courtesy: Twitter Supervisor Curt Hagman

Courtesy: Twitter
Supervisor Curt Hagman

Staff Reports

SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY – Supervisor Curt Hagman knows that a strong workforce is vital for the county’s recovery. And Hagman along with the county’s four other supervisors are seeking applicants for the first-ever San Bernardino County Workforce Development Board (WDB).

The WDB identifies growing employment centers and trains local residents to fill new jobs and assists business in avoiding employee layoffs through improving their businesses’ productivity, showing them how to reduce costs and operate more efficiently, according to county officials.

Hagman, who represents Chino and Chino Hills, said, “Open government has always been a priority of mine. All qualified residents of the Fourth District deserve fair consideration for all my appointments and I look forward to receiving your application.”

The WDB was established after the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) was signed into law in 2014.

On August 25, 2015, the County Board of Supervisors authorized the Workforce Development Department (WDD) to implement a recruitment and application process. Each County Supervisor appoints two business members to sit on the 19 member Board.

Additionally, Hagman is requiring the selected appointee’s business or organization be barred from receiving any WDB services to prevent potential conflicts of interest.

By law, business members of the WDB must provide employment opportunities for members of the public and must participate in one or more local business organizations or trade associations. The deadline to apply is Nov. 30. Interested applicants can apply online at http://www.sbcounty.gov/COB/Main/NewBCCApp.aspx.

Sheriff Warns of False Kidnapping Scams

Staff Reports

San Bernardino County – Last week, several victims in various cities in the County of San Bernardino have received phone calls from unknown suspect(s), claiming their child/children had been abducted.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department is warning the public of these alleged kidnapping phone scams that are on the rise. These scams target parents to extort money from them claiming that they have and will harm their children.

According to Sheriff’s reports, the suspect(s) have threatened to harm or kill the child/children if the victim did not cooperate with their demands. The suspect(s) have personal knowledge of the intended victim(s), including their children’s names. The suspect(s) claims they are monitoring police scanners and would know if law enforcement was notified.

During a couple of the scam calls, the suspect(s) used a child as a decoy, having the child cry and beg for help over the phone. The suspect(s) directed the victims to remain on the phone, proceed directly to a bank and withdraw funds. The suspect(s) instructed the victims to go to a money transfer location and wire the money to them. The suspect(s) kept the victim on the telephone during the entire transaction.
Sheriff’s have no verified kidnappings to date. If a similar call is received, immediately call 911 or Sheriff’s Dispatch at 909-387-8313 or 760-956-5001 and, verify the whereabouts of your child/children. If you have information regarding the suspects involved in this activity, please contact Sheriff’s Dispatch.

SBC Sheriff Celebrates New Training Center

Photo Courtesy of S.B.C.S.

Photo Courtesy of S.B.C.S.
SB County Sheriff John McMahon cuts the ceremonial red ribbon at the grand re-opening of the Frank Bland Regional Training Center in Devore on Oct. 22.

By Monique Valadez

SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY – The San Bernardino County Sheriff Department officially unveiled its new, expanded training center Thursday, Oct. 22 at a dedication ceremony led by Sheriff John McMahon.

The Frank Bland Regional Training Center in Devore is a completely new building, having been rebuilt on the spot where their old center stood last August before it was demolished. The new facility expanded to a 4,000-square-foot administrative building that includes training classrooms with upgraded tech tools.
“The improvements symbolize many great things: the legacy of those whose vision we carried, tremendous support and collaboration between the CEO, County Board of Supervisors, and the Sheriff’s Department; and our commitment to providing quality service to our communities by enhancing our capacity to deliver professional training,” said Sheriff Captain Darren Goodman.

According to sheriff officials, training staff now has office space necessary to conduct their daily administrative tasks in close proximity of the classrooms and have a view of the physical training field. Classrooms were increased to provide additional space for larger academy classes with state of the art digital technology to deliver one of the state’s top recognized training academies.

Providing basic training for new recruits since 1973, the new center is already taking full advantage of its new digs. As of Oct. 5, the 200th academy began with recruits who will receive 26 weeks of training.

The new center brings additional space for larger academy classes for aspiring sheriffs throughout the state, boasting an average of 300 graduates each year in the academy programs.

“Our basic academy is one of few “intensive delivery” programs still operating in the state,” sheriff officials said. “We believe the emphasis on discipline, stress and real-world scenarios helps develop a well-rounded officer, better prepared to handle the challenges of a law enforcement career.”
In addition to the administrative building and classroom upgrades, several improvements were made to the firearms ranges.

“Our high standards, professionalism, and commitment to excellence contribute to the constant demand for training our facility receives from agencies throughout the county and state,” sheriff officials state in a press release.

The 800-acre training center also holds an eight-mile Emergency Vehicle Operations Center, one of the largest outdoor ranges in the region. Five 50-yard ranges, a Trap and Skeet range, and a 300-yard rifle range for multiple firearms training.
“From constantly seeking the most relevant and useful tactics, to the newest state of the art technology, the Training Center’s mission will always be to prepare today’s officers for tomorrow’s challenges,” Goodman added.

San Bernardino Sheriff Makes a Child’s Wish to Fly Come True

Photo Courtesy of SB County Sheriff Dept.

Photo Courtesy of SB County Sheriff Dept.
Abigail, 12, is granted wish to fly in San Bernardino Sheriff Department’s 40King helicopter made possible by S.B. and Riverside Sheriffs’ and the Loma Linda Children’s Hospital based Debbie Chisholm Memorial Foundation.

Staff Reports
San Bernardino County – Twelve-year-old Abigail Snipes, who was born with a genetic nerve disorder that causes tumors, told her mother she dreamed about flying someday. On Oct. 21, Abigail’s wish was granted, thanks to the San Bernardino Sheriff Department’s Aviation Division and the Debbie Chisholm Memorial Foundation.
Abigail was born with neurofibromatosis, a genetic disorder of the nerves. Abigail and her family have spent most of her life in and out of hospitals. Recently, doctors told Abigail and her family that nothing can be done for her growing tumor and an operation would be too dangerous.
Abigail and her mother Angela arrived at the San Bernardino Airport where they were greeted by several members of the Sheriff Department. They were given a special tour of the Sheriff’s Aviation Division. Following the tour, Abigail was given some helpful instructions by sheriffs while getting strapped into the sheriff’s 40King helicopter.
Donning a big smile and helicopter helmet, Abigail’s wish to fly came true as the helicopter flew around the Inland Empire.
The tour and flight was made possible through the Debbie Chisholm Memorial Foundation (DCMF), the San Bernardino County Safety Employees Association (SEBA) and the Riverside Sheriffs’ Association (RSA).
DCMF, SEBA and RSA have worked together for over 15 years to grant wishes of catastrophically ill children throughout the Inland Empire. The charity is named after 12 year old Debbie Chisholm, the daughter of Riverside County Deputy Sheriff Fred Chisholm. After a very hard fight with brain cancer, Debbie died in February of 1994. DCMF has granted over 400 wishes of sick children and provided gifts to more than 3,000 pediatric cancer patients at Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital.

West Nile Virus on the Rise in San Bernardino County

Photo courtesy: Google Images

Photo courtesy: Google Images

Staff Reports

Ontario– Local medical centers have reported a rise in West Nile virus exposures in San Bernardino County.

In response, San Bernardino County’s Public Health Department, local vector control agencies and San Bernardino County’s Sheriff Department have joined forces to reduce the risk of exposure.

On Oct. 10, the West Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District (WVMVCD) reported a total of 212 mosquito samples tested positive in the district.

The San Bernardino County Vector Control Program also had 8 positive mosquito samples in basins and channels in Chino, Ontario, and Chino Hills during the past two months.

County entities will remain vigilant with reporting the common breeding areas for mosquitoes, district officials said in a news release. These areas are typically found in stagnant bodies of water and unmaintained pools.
“Aviation helicopters utilize mapping systems that are downloaded with the County’s parcel information,” sheriff officials said. “If an area is observed during the crew’s proactive patrol, the flight officer can obtain the specific address information. Once identified, the information will be forwarded to Vector Control for any enforcement or corrective action.”
The West Valley District’s Board President Glenn Duncan urges residents to maintain vigilant and wear repellents when outdoors at peak biting times, dusk and dawn.

In addition, the West Valley District is distributing repellent wipes and mosquito dunks (a larvicide homeowners can use) to residents in an effort to help them in the fight against mosquito-transmitted diseases.

The West Valley District also provides mosquito fish, a small, guppy-like fish that residents can put in standing, permanent sources of water like ponds, fountains, and water gardens. West Valley Vector Control District consists of the cities of Chino, South Montclair, South Ontario and areas of unincorporated county land, including Chino Hills and the Dairy Preserve. Visit their website for more information, www.wvmvcd.org.

Most people infected with the virus do not become seriously ill, some experience flu-like symptoms and about 1 percent of them can develop serious neurologic illness. People who are 50 and over or who have pre-existing medical conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure have the greatest risk of developing complications.

Until the weather cools, residents are urged to continue taking precautions, by remembering the three D’s:

  • DEET:Use it as insect repellent.
  • Dawn and dusk:Mosquitoes bite in the early morning and evening.
  • Drain:Eliminate all sources of standing water on your property, because that’s where mosquitoes breed.

 

16th Annual P.R.C.A. Sheriff’s Rodeo

Photo Courtesy:  SBSD Facebook

Photo Courtesy: SBSD Facebook

Staff Reports

San Bernardino County – The 16th Annual P.R.C.A Sheriff’s Rodeo is coming to the Glen Helen Regional Park, Sept. 25 – 27!

Several of the world’s top professional cowboys will be performing bareback and saddle bronc riding, bull riding, steer wrestling, tie down roping, barrel racing and team roping. Also performing will be clowns and comedy trick-riding acts. This year’s entertainment will include the Bobby Kerr Mustang Act.
Friday night’s event will be dedicated to bringing awareness to Domestic Violence. The rodeo will be making a donation to the “Man Up Crusade.” Wear purple on this night at the rodeo, and Take A Stand to Break the Cycle of Domestic Violence.
For Saturday’s events, the question will be asked:  Are you Tough Enough to Wear Pink?” Wear pink on this night at the rodeo and show your support for Breast Cancer Awareness. The rodeo will be making a donation to Loma Linda University Hospital for breast cancer research.
A dance featuring Eli V will follow the Friday and Saturday night rodeos.
According to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department (SBSD), proceeds from the event will continue to support youth in the community, with the ultimate goal of developing them into responsible citizens. Cash donations will be given to the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, the Challenged Children’s Rodeo, the Children’s Fund, the 4H Club of San Bernardino, the Yucaipa Equestrian Center, the California State Horsemen’s Association, Loma Linda University Hospital for breast cancer research, the Man Up Crusade to bring awareness to Domestic Violence, East Valley Second Chance, and several service clubs.
SBSD encourages you to arrive early and meander among the merchandise vendors and partake in the food and beverages that will be available.

Mark your calendars for Sept. 25, 27 and 27 for this very special Sheriff’s PRCA Rodeo, benefitting the children of San Bernardino County.  This rodeo is made possible through generous donations from local businesses and organizations throughout the county.

Gates open at 4 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, with the main rodeos beginning at 8 p.m. The Challenged Children’s Rodeo will begin on Saturday at 6 p.m., prior to the main event. Gates open at 1 p.m. on Sunday, with the main rodeo beginning at 5 p.m.
Tickets are $15 each for Friday and Saturday shows; $10 for Sunday’s show. Children 6 and under are free each night.

The rodeo grounds are located at the Glen Helen Regional Park in Devore, a short distance from the I-15/215 Interchange. Take the Devore turn off or Glen Helen Parkway.

Inland Empire: Successful Search And Rescue

62-year old female hiker found after being lost 9 days

 

Staff Reports

San Bernardino County – On Wed., Aug. 26, the Volunteer Forces Division of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department (SBSD) received a Mutual Aid request from the California Office of Emergency Services to provide Search and Rescue assistance to Fresno County.

According to SBSD, a 62-year old woman was overdue from her hike in the Sierra Nevada mountain range. The responding searchers had to be certified for extreme terrains and be self-sufficient in the field for three days.

Four searchers and a Deputy Coordinator assisted in the effort. The searchers were inserted into the search area by a National Guard Chinook helicopter and were not able to be extracted until the morning of Sun., Aug. 30 due to smoke and poor visibility from the nearby Rough Fire.
On Sat., Aug. 29, the woman was found alive by a Fresno search team. She suffered from broken bones and survived by crawling two days to a creek so she could drink water through a filter straw. When she heard searchers nearby calling for her on the ninth day of the search, she was able to use a plastic whistle to call out to them.
Hikers are encouraged to be properly prepared with food, water, emergency supplies, a personal locator beacon, cell phone, portable charger, etc. Inform others of the hiking area and when possible, hike with another person.

For more information regarding preventative Search and Rescue, please contact San Bernardino Sheriff’s Volunteer Forces/Search and Rescue at (909) 387-0641

Inland Empire: 11 Gang Members Arrested

Multiple agency investigation results in the arrest of known “Noe Luv Gangster Crips” members

 

Staff Reports

San Bernardino County – For the past four months, Investigators with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Gang Intelligence Team/FBI Gang Task Force have been investigating the illicit activities of a criminal street gang known to Inland Empire Law Enforcement Authorities as the “Noe Luv Gangster Crips.”

According to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, for the past several years, members and associates of this particular gang have been known for their violent nature toward members from other criminal street gangs; more specifically, gangs from the Inland Empire. Based on several gang related shootings that have occurred at various locations throughout the County – some in which innocent citizens have also been victimized – Investigators conducted surveillance operations to gather evidence to establish the gang’s criminal conduct.
On Thurs., July 23, Investigators, Deputies and Officers from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, San Bernardino Police Department, San Bernardino County Probation Department, California Highway Patrol, Rialto Police Department and FBI, served ten search warrants at various locations throughout San Bernardino County. As a result of the investigation, 22 firearms were located and seized, as well as six ounces of cocaine.

Several alleged members and associates of the Noe Luv gang – including Rahshun Turner, 30, Fox Burroughs, 30, Mark Tibbs, 33, all of Rialto; Dewitt Johnson, 55, of Fontana; and Thomonte Rander, 29, Markyse Tuggle, 23, Liza Flores, 27, David Blakely, 30, Lancaster Alexander, 21, Sharhonda Jackson, 24, and Sobriety Jackson, 20, all of San Bernardino, were also taken into custody for various criminal charges including: criminal street gang conspiracy, attempted kidnapping, assault, human trafficking/pimping, prostitution, and additional weapons and narcotics violations.
This investigation served to represent the cooperation of law enforcement authorities within San Bernardino County and their commitment to the relentless pursuit of those who engage in criminal street gang activities. In addition, through allied cooperation, authorities will continue to strive toward keeping the County’s citizen’s safe from criminal street gang activity through aggressive anti-gang enforcement and the application of current anti-gang legislation.

Lake Fire Update

June 29 Update: 30,726 acres with 60 percent containment.

Photo Courtesy:  SB County Fire

Photo Courtesy: SB County Fire

Staff Reports

San Bernardino County – As of June 29, the Lake Fire is reported at 30,726 acres, with 60 percent overall containment.  The cause is still under investigation. The estimated cost to date is $30.2 million and there are four reported injuries.

On the afternoon of June 24, the fire turned and is currently burning south and east of Onyx Summit in a northward fashion.  Unified Command has identified key decision points that may result in evacuations of Lake Williams, Erwin Lake, and Baldwin Lake.  If the Lake Fire reaches the pre-designated trigger points, residents in these areas will be notified to evacuate.

According to the San Bernardino County Fire Department and the Big Bear Sheriff’s Station, a message has been issued to these lake areas to give residents advance notice in order to prepare for an evacuation – particularly those with livestock that were encouraged to relocate their animals early.  As of 8 a.m. on June 25, the fire was only 1.5 miles from the first trigger point.

The fire has burned down into Little Morongo and Big Morongo canyons, and firefighters have been focusing on the area south of 10,000 Foot Ridge where the fire is in steep, rocky terrain.  The fire is spreading by burning vegetation rolling downhill.

Mandatory evacuations are currently in effect for the Burns Canyon and Rimrock areas; Pioneertown is under voluntary evacuation.  The shelter for evacuees in these areas is located at Copper Mountain College, 6162 Rotary Way.  Small animals for these areas may be taken to the Town of Yucca Valley Animal Shelter, 4755 Malin Way.  Large animals may be taken to the Yucca Valley Equestrian Center, 7429 Avalon Avenue – all in Yucca Valley.  The Red Cross Evacuation Center is located at the Big Bear Community Church, 40946 Big Bear Blvd., in Big Bear.
Closures:  The fire perimeter is currently six air miles from Big Bear, 11 air miles from Pioneertown, and nine air miles from Morongo Valley.  Within this area, all campgrounds and hiking trails, as well as Highway 38; and the Barton Flats area are closed.

The Lake Fire started on June 17, and more than 113 Engines, 54 Crews, 18 Helicopters, 3 Air Tankers, 18 Water Tenders, 10 Bulldozers and 1,922 personnel have been assigned to control and extinguish this massive fire.  While the cause is still under investigation, the cost has been estimated at close to $12 million.  So far there have been four fire-related injuries.
High temperatures and low humidity are making conditions formidable, and fire personnel are under considerable threat as they continue to work around the clock toward 100 percent containment. You can help contribute to their safety by staying away from the risk region, evacuating areas when instructed to do so, and respecting road closures and other emergency warnings.  If you live near the area but out of evacuation danger, make every effort to keep family and pets indoors to avoid inducing respiratory emergencies from skies full of smoke and ash.

If you are in a risk area, stay tuned to local news and radio stations (including KBHR radio 93.3 FM) for additional information, updates and evacuation instructions.  There is also information available by calling (909) 383-5688, or visit inciweb.nwcg.gov (Lake Fire); https://twitter.com/sbcountysheriff; https://twitter.com/SBCOUNTYFIRE.

Sheriff’s HOPE

Positive Change, Not Spare Change

Image Courtesy:  SBSD

Image Courtesy: SBSD

Staff Reports

San Bernardino County – The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department HOPE (Homeless Outreach and Proactive Enforcement) Team is launching the “Positive Change, Not Spare Change” community awareness campaign. The goal of this campaign is to educate the public on those asking for spare change or holding “Homeless” signs seeking help.
Statistics demonstrate that 65% of panhandlers are not homeless.  When you provide money to a panhandler you may be contributing to a drug or alcohol addiction.
Legitimate homeless service providers can channel your donation to real solutions for moving people beyond homelessness.  Signs, posters, flyers, and bumper stickers will be posted throughout the county and are available to anyone who wishes to support this effort.
If you are interested in obtaining promotional materials, please contact HOPE at (909) 387-0623, or toll free at (844) 811-HOPE (4673).  You can also email your request to HOPE@sbcsd.org.