Thursday, February 18, 2021

Sage: Marijuana farm busted, weapons and cash seized

Sage, CA - On Tuesday, February 16, 2021 investigators from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department’s Marijuana Enforcement Team (MET) served a search warrant at an illegal marijuana cultivation operating at a private residence in the unincorporated area of Riverside County known as Sage. The search warrant was authored in response to citizen complaints about the residence.

Upon arrival, investigators located several outbuildings containing marijuana plants in various stages of growth. Additionally, investigators located a cannabis edibles manufacturing operation on the property. A further search of the property turned up a large cache of illegal weapons and over $700,000 in US Currency. Employees of the operations were detained, questioned, and later released. The investigation is ongoing.

Hemet: Human remains found in Mountain Center, confirmed to be missing woman from July 2020

On Tuesday, July 7, 2020, family members of 73-year-old Rosario Garcia reported her missing from their residence in Hemet. Garcia was last seen driving her silver 2016 Nissan Altima away from the residence. 

On Thursday, July 9, 2020, deputies from the Palm Desert Station responded to the 70100 Block of Hwy 74, Mountain Center in regards to Garcia’s vehicle being located in the area. The vehicle was located and it appeared to have become high centered on the rough road. Garcia was not located in or around the vehicle. 

A search by Desert Sheriff’s Search and Rescue (DSSAR), Riverside Mountain Rescue Unit (RMRU), bloodhounds and Riverside County Sheriff’s Aviation Unit was conducted, however, Garcia was not located. On Saturday, August 8, 2020, an additional search of the area was conducted. RMRU and Hemet Station personnel searched the mountainous area but were again unsuccessful in locating Garcia.

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Murrieta: Community Policing Team arrests man with weapons and drugs

Murrieta CA - On Wednesday February 10, the Murrieta Police Department Community Policing Team (CPT) were conducting extra patrol in the shopping center near Whitewood Road and Los Alamos Road when they contacted a male in the parking lot.  

Officers conducted a routine records check on the male, identified as Drey Aguilar, and discovered that he was on probation out of San Bernardino County.  Due to the terms of Drey’s probation, the officers conducted a probation search on his vehicle.  

During the search of the vehicle, the officers located two guns, extended magazines, ammunition and a significant amount of methamphetamine and M30 fentanyl pills.  Drey was arrested on several weapons and narcotics related charges and booked into the Cois Byrd Detention Center.

Corona: Man arrested for arranging sex with minor, police seeking info about possible other victims

Corona CA - On Wednesday, December 23, 2020, the Riverside County Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force (RCAHT) received a referral from the Hemet Police Department regarding the possible sex trafficking of a minor. During the course of the investigation, investigators found the minor was being sexually exploited for money via social media/internet. One of the men having sexual contact with the minor was identified as Steven Rawley, 35, of Corona.

As the investigation continued, investigators found a YouTube video posted on February 19, 2019 by Arizona Predator Prevention (APP), a citizen watch group, of an incident that occurred in December 2018 in Mohave County, Arizona. 

In the video, Steven Rawley contacted an undercover account online which had been set up by APP. The undercover account posed as a fake 15-year-old girl. Rawley propositioned the undercover account for sexual acts, and even after being informed several times that “she” was 15, Rawley set up a meeting for sex. The video shows the citizens confronting Rawley about the online conversations in a parking lot.

Idyllwild: Son arrested for murder of his father

Idyllwild CA - On February 10, 2021, deputies from the Hemet Station responded to the 53000 block of
Country Club Drive to investigate a report of a shooting. When deputies arrived, they located a deceased adult male who appeared to have been shot. 

The victim was identified as Adrian David Denava, a 50-year old male from Idyllwild. Investigators from the Central Homicide Unit and the Hemet Station were notified and have assumed the investigation. 

The suspect, later identified as Adrian Denava Jr. a 24 year old male, fled the area but was later located and arrested for the murder of his father. 

This is an active investigation and anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to contact Investigator Gonzales of the Central Homicide Unit at (951) 955-2777 or Investigator Atkinson of the Hemet Station at 951-791-3400.

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Hemet: Police searching for hit and run driver that injured two teens

Hemet CA - On Christmas night, 12/25/2020, at 8:57pm, officers from The Hemet Police Department responded to a traffic collision which occurred on Sanderson Avenue near Menlo Avenue in Hemet. 

Two teenagers were seriously injured in the collision and the driver fled the scene. Hemet Police Traffic Investigators have been searching for the suspect in this case and are asking for the public’s help in locating video or evidence which may lead to the vehicle and/or driver.

The vehicle is described as an unknown year model pick-up truck, possibly a Toyota Tundra or similar. The vehicle is gray, and should have collision damage to the front end, specifically the right front corner, and/or the right side of the vehicle. (The vehicle may look similar to the stock image included)

If you were in the area of Sanderson Avenue and Menlo Avenue in Hemet on 12/25/2020 between 8:45pm and 9:00pm, or if you have any information which may lead investigators to identify the suspect in this case, you are urged to contact the Hemet Police Department Traffic Division at (951) 765-3725.

Lake Elsinore: Man arrested for kidnapping and false imprisonment

Lake Elsinore CA - On February 9, 2021, deputies from the Lake Elsinore station responded to the 33000 block of El Contento Drive, Lake Elsinore, regarding a possible assault. 

Through their investigation, deputies gathered information from the victim she was driven from the Hemet area to Lake Elsinore. The victim attempted several times to get out of the car, but wasn’t allowed to by the suspect. 

Once in Lake Elsinore, the victim was forced out of the car and the suspect left the location with the victim’s purse. The victim provided information the suspect was employed at a business located in the 16500 block of Lakeshore Drive, in the city of Lake Elsinore. 

Monday, February 8, 2021

Murrieta: Fire burns barn in La Cresta

Murrieta CA - Many local residents noticed the plume of smoke coming from the hills west of Murrieta today. At 12:17pm a fire was reported at 38400 Avenida Bonita in the La Cresta area of Murrieta. 

Firefighters responded and found a 2 story barn fully engulfed in flames. Six engines, 1 water tender and 1 medic squad were on site and the fire was contained at approximately 1:16pm.

Based on the photos, the barn is believed to be a total loss. Photos courtesy of CalFire.

Riverside County: Sheriff's Department looking for missing persons, seeks public help

Riverside County CA - The Southwest Sheriff's Station is seeking the assistance of the public in locating reported missing persons. 

If you have information that can help in locating a missing person, please call the Southwest Station Missing Person Tip Line at (951) 696-3089. 

The missing persons on the below flier are individual cases and investigations with no apparent ties.

Menifee: Police Department adds two more officers

Menifee CA - The Menifee Police Department is happy to announce the addition of two more police officers to their ranks. 

Both were sworn in last week by City Clerk, Sarah Manwaring, and were presented with their badges by Chief Pat Walsh.  

Officer Tyler Roach came to Menifee from San Marino PD. Officer 

Damon Bowen came to Menifee from the Wyoming Highway Patrol back in May of 2020.  He started as a Community Service Officer due to COVID-19 delays with processing out of state police officer POST waivers.  

"We were thrilled to be able to promote Officer Bowen to the rank of Police Officer.  Both are excited to get to work protecting Menifee!" 

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month.

Check out Safe Family Justice Centers for information on how to attend virtual workshops and start the conversation at home.

***UPDATE*** Murrieta Police Department arrests three, needs help identifying theft victims


Early Saturday morning, an observant citizen witnessed a vehicle burglary occur and immediately called Murrieta Police Dispatch.  Several officers responded and quickly located the suspect vehicle and three males nearby. 

Officers conducted a records check on the three males they had detained, Jason Hopkins, Ian James and Jacob Lessley.  The records check revealed that Jason Hopkins was on Post Release Community Supervision (PRCS) for possession of a stolen vehicle.  

The check also revealed that Ian James was on two separate formal probations, both for being in possession of a stolen vehicle.  The officers conducted a search of the truck the suspects were driving and located numerous items that appeared to have been recently stolen, most likely from other nearby Murrieta residents.  

While the officers were investigating the vehicle burglaries that had just occurred, they also discovered that Ian James had attempted to steal a vehicle in the same neighborhood.  All three males were arrested and booked into Cois Byrd Detention Center. 

Jason Hopkins – Resident of Hemet; 466 PC – Possession of Burglary Tools; 496(A) PC – Possession of Stolen Property; 182(A)(1) PC – Conspiracy to Commit Crime; 667.5(b)PC – Prior Prison Enhancement; 3455(A) PC – Post Release Community Supervision Violation

Ian James – Resident of Hemet; 466 PC – Possession of Burglary Tools; 496(A) PC – Possession of Stolen Property; 182(A)(1) PC – Conspiracy to Commit Crime; 459V PC – Vehicle Burglary; 664/10851 VC – Attempted Vehicle Theft; 1203.2(A) PC – Violation of Probation

Jacob Lessley – Resident of Hemet; 466 PC – Possession of Burglary Tools; 496(A) PC – Possession of Stolen Property; 182(A)(1) PC – Conspiracy to Commit Crime

Officers continued their investigation and conducted a probation search of Jason Hopkins’ residence in Hemet, per the terms of his PRCS probation.  During that search, officers located stolen mail, stolen checks and a stolen license plate.  Murrieta Case # MR21-0727

From the Murrieta Police Department facebook:

"Some vehicle burglary suspects were at it again early this morning. But guess what!?  Thanks to some alert citizens who called 911, the suspects were caught red handed by our officers. 

Murrieta PD is currently trying to identify the victims from this morning. If your vehicle was broken into or items were removed from your vehicle this morning, please call our non emergency line at 951-696-3615."


Menifee: Suspicious person call results in one arrest for drugs and theft

Menifee CA - On 2/3/2021 Menifee Officers responded to a suspicious person call for service. Officers contacted Ricardo Ferguson near the 26700 block of Murrieta Road. Ferguson was found to be on Parole for Burglary and other various charges. 

A parole search revealed Ferguson had prescription medication that didn’t belong to him and (12) W-2 forms. Officers contacted the owners of the W-2’s and they happened to be recent victims of mail theft. 

Ferguson was arrested and booked into county jail for possession of stolen property, identity theft, possession with intent to sell, and a parole violation.

Riverside County: Board names new County Executive Officer

The Riverside County Board of Supervisors unanimously appointed Jeffrey A. Van Wagenen Jr. to be the next county executive officer (CEO) in a special closed session meeting

Riverside CA - Jeffery A. Van Wagenen has worked for 14 years in public service with the County of Riverside, including the last three years as assistant CEO for seven public safety departments. Prior to his latest tenure with the county, he owned and operated a criminal law office for 10 years. Van Wagenen earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California and his juris doctorate from the University of California, Hastings College of Law in San Francisco.

“After doing a competitive, nationwide recruitment, I am pleased that one of our Riverside County residents will be our next CEO,” said Board Chair Karen Spiegel, Second District Supervisor. “Jeff has been a driving force within the county and built a strong reputation for collaborative solutions to tough problems.”

Perris: *UPDATE* two car accident results in a death

Perris CA - On Sunday, February 7, 2021 about 2:02pm, deputies from Riverside County Sheriff’s Department - Perris Station responded to a major injury traffic collision near the intersection of 4th Street and Park Avenue in the city of Perris. 

Deputies arrived within minutes and located a collision involving a white Hyundai Accent and a silver BMW 328i at 525 West 4th Street, Perris.

The driver of the Hyundai suffered major injuries and life-saving measures were attempted; however, the driver succumbed to injuries at the scene. The identity of the deceased is Lynne Brown, a 65 year old female from Menifee. 

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Riverside County: Operation Reclaim and Rebuild 2021 results in 64 arrests

Riverside County CA - The Riverside County Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force (RCAHT) in partnership with the La Quinta Special Enforcement Team, Palm Desert Special Enforcement Team, Lake Elsinore Special Enforcement Team, Temecula Special Enforcement Team, Riverside Police Department and Murrieta Police Department effected sixty-four arrests during a nearly week-long proactive enforcement operation that targeted online prostitution and those whose demand for these unlawful activities fuels an illicit underground economy, both locally as well as across the State of California. 

Riverside County’s role in this operation, dubbed Operation Reclaim & Rebuild, ran for four consecutive days before concluding on January 28, 2021. Operation Reclaim & Rebuild is an annual multi-agency statewide initiative that focuses on rescuing victims of sexual slavery and human trafficking, identifying and arresting their captors, and disrupting demand for these vulnerable victims. Operation Reclaim & Rebuild is timed to coincide with National Human Trafficking Awareness Month and serves as a reminder that human trafficking will not be tolerated in California.

Last year’s “Operation Reclaim & Rebuild” included participation from over 70 law enforcement agencies statewide and resulted in 76 adult and 11 minor victims being recovered; 266 males arrested for the charge of Solicitation; and 27 suspected traffickers and exploiters arrested. In total, 518 arrests were made.

Monday, February 1, 2021

Perris: *UPDATE* Infant found in trash can, RivCo Sheriff's Dept investigating

Perris CA - On Friday, January 22, 2021, at 1:00pm, Perris Station deputies responded to the 1700 block of Goetz Road in the city of Perris regarding a report of a dead body. Upon arrival, deputies discovered a deceased infant who was discarded in the trash and found at the location.

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Central Homicide Unit has taken over the investigation. An autopsy was performed, and it was determined that the infant was alive at birth and not a stillbirth baby. 

The Safely Surrendered Baby Law (also known as the Safe Haven Law or Newborn Abandonment Law) allows a parent to “safely surrender” their unwanted newborn within 3 days of birth. 

You can surrender the infant to an employee at any hospital emergency department, most fire stations or other designated “safe havens” in California, without the fear of arrest or prosecution, as long as the baby has not been abused or neglected.

San Jacinto: Homeless and at Risk Population - HARP

San Jacinto CA - The City of San Jacinto is currently performing a community needs assessment, in order to appropriately serve the homeless and at-risk community. The goal is to serve those that have been affected by homelessness and those that are at-risk. 

The City of San Jacinto will be partnering with law enforcement, faith-based organizations, and community partners that help bring and connect the community to resources, proactive outreach, and community education initiatives.

Temecula: Lewd Conduct, Sexual Battery suspect still outstanding, police searching for details on him

Temecula CA - On December 11, 2020, about 6:40pm a lewd conduct and sexual battery incident occurred at a retail store on the 32000 block of Temecula Parkway in the city of Temecula. 

An unidentified adult male was caught on security cameras fondling himself and following female customers around the retail store. 

The male subject eventually sexually assaulted a female customer before leaving the store. That incident was also caught on security cameras.

The investigation is currently on-going and the male subject has not been identified. 

If anyone has information in regards to this incident, or the male subject, they are encouraged to call Investigator Cornett at the Southwest Station at 951-696-3000.

Citizens may also submit a tip using the Sheriff’s Crime Tips online form.