By Mary O’KEEFE
From April 14 to 17 there were six drug related arrests involving Crescenta Valley residents and/or in the Crescenta Valley area. Two more were arrested just outside of the area in nearby Tujunga.
“In the past week there has been an unusual number of drug arrests in the area,” said Sgt. Tom Lorenz.
He attributed the arrests to a heightened awareness from Glendale officers on the issue of drugs in the area and an increased awareness by community members.
“[Community members] are starting to notice things out of the ordinary,” he said.
On April 14 at about 3 p.m., a 26-year-old former Crescenta Valley High School student was arrested on the suspicion of possession of heroin and under the influence of heroin. A Glendale officer noticed the suspect walking slowly and picking up cigarette butts in the parking lot behind the 2300 block of Honolulu Avenue near a public restroom. According to the report the suspect appeared to be lethargic and there were physical signs of possible drug use.
An officer went into the public restroom and found two large pieces of burnt foil in the trashcan. Another officer allegedly discovered another piece of foil as well as other paraphernalia and what appeared to be black tar heroin in the suspect’s possession. Foil is often used to smoke heroin. The suspect was arrested for suspicion of possession of heroin and for being under the influence of heroin.
Also on April 14, at 10:33 p.m. a Sun Valley man was stopped as he was driving westbound on Vickers Road near Sparr Boulevard. The police officer stopped the driver and after an investigation arrested him on suspicion of possession of cocaine and driving under the influence. Later that night at 11 p.m. 24-year-old man and a 20-year-old woman both from Sun Valley were stopped on Foothill Boulevard and Marcus Avenue in Tujunga. The man was arrested for driving on a suspended license and the woman was arrested on suspicion of possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.
On April 15, at 3:44 a.m. a 36-year-old La Crescenta man was stopped by police on Lowell Avenue just north of Santa Carlotta Avenue. After an investigation a scale, several baggies and what appeared to be marijuana was found. The man was arrested for possession of marijuana for sale and unlawful possession of a credit card that did not belong to him. On that same day a 30-year-old man was allegedly found with illegal drugs and paraphernalia after being stopped in the Big Lots Parking lot in the 2200 block of Foothill Boulevard. He was arrested on suspicion of possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.
On April 17, a two people were arrested at Glorietta Park. A citizen noticed two men entering and exiting the park bathroom with one of them acting as what appeared to be “a look-out.” Officers approached the two suspects and found a 19-year-old La Crescenta man and a juvenile from Sparr Heights area. After an investigation officers found the juvenile had a hypodermic needle and what appeared to be heroin in his possession along with Darvocet pills.The juvenile was on probation, under house arrest and wearing a tracking device on his ankle. He allegedly admitted to lying to his parole officer about going to the park. The juvenile reportedly told police the La Crescenta man was a friend and he had acted as a look-out allowing him to get “high” in the park’s bathroom. The juvenile was arrested on suspicion of heroin and Darvocet and under the influence. The La Crescenta man was arrested for contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Earlier on April 3 at 9:25 p.m. officers discovered two women, both 22 years old from San Clemente, sitting in their vehicle parked in the Vons market parking lot in the 3200 block of Foothill Boulevard allegedly attempting to inject drugs into their arms using a syringe. After an investigation officers found a syringe of what appeared to heroin. Both women allegedly admitted to using the drug. One woman reportedly told the officer she used to smoke heroin but now injects it. In addition officers allegedly found multiple syringes and aluminum foil in the vehicle. The suspects were arrested on suspicion of possession of heroin and paraphernalia. One of the women was in the area visiting family members.
The arrests come after the CV Drug and Alcohol Prevention Coalitions educational forum.
“I think these arrests show that law enforcement is doing their job and that the community is becoming aware of the issue,” said Howard Hakes, coalition president.
The monthly meeting of the coalition is tonight at 7 p.m. at the La Crescenta Library. Capt. Dave Silversparre and several of his staff will be on hand to speak about the drugs in the area and what law enforcement has and will be doing. The community is invited to attend. The Drug and Alcohol Prevention Coalition is looking at outreach programs and positive ways to help educate the community on the issue.
“Identifying the issue is only part of the process. We have to find solutions,” Hakes said.