3 ARRESTED FOR HIGH-END CUSTOM BICYCLE THEFTS : LOS ANGELES (AP) — Investigators say three men used Craigslist and Facebook to steal 200 high-end bicycles throughout Southern California.
The stolen custom bicycles, which cost up to $15,000 each, were worth $250,000.
Los Angeles County sheriff's investigators arrested 23-year-old Julian Herrera, his 21-year-old brother Jamie Herrera and 34-year-old Alberto Mejia.
Authorities say 200 bikes were stolen by the trio in the past two years. Some stolen bicycles and bike parts were recovered.
Detectives said the thieves scanned Craigslist and Facebook to prey on the growing online bicycling community who share photos of their bikes and look for parts on the Internet.
FRESNO COP KILLS SUSPECT WHO HAD SCREWDRIVER : FRESNO (AP) — A Fresno police officer has been placed on administrative leave after killing a carjacking suspect who authorities say advanced on him with a screwdriver.
Police Chief Jerry Dyer told the Fresno Bee (the officer had tried to use his stun gun to bring down the suspect, to no avail. He then fired five shots.
According to Dyer, a woman had flagged down an officer Tuesday afternoon and said a man who was acting bizarrely had tried to carjack her in the middle of an intersection.
The officer spotted the man walking down the street and tried to confront him.
A witness told police the suspect put his hands in the air as if to surrender. Dyer said he was flailing them.
WOMAN RETURNS CROSS STOLEN FROM FRESNO CHURCH: FRESNO (AP) — A Fresno church that was targeted by metal thieves had its prayers answered when someone found an ornate metal cross believed to hold a relic of Jesus.
Officials at St. Therese Catholic Church say a woman returned the 2-foot cross to the church Tuesday night. She told them she found it in a field and learned of its significance after seeing a story in the news.
The cross is believed to hold a splinter from the cross upon which Jesus died.
Father Michael Burchfield says cross was returned undamaged, and the woman will receive the $500 reward raised for its return.
Metal thieves had smashed a stained-glass window earlier this month to steal the cross and other religious items.
ARREST FOR TORCHING CAB AFTER 2010 LAKERS VICTORY: LOS ANGELES (AP) — A man videotaped torching a taxi after the Los Angeles Lakers won the NBA championship two years ago was charged with arson and police will crack down on any fan violence this year if the Lakers, Clippers or Kings triumph, officials said Wednesday.
"We have to celebrate responsibly" if the Lakers, the NBA rival Clippers or the NHL's Kings advance in the ongoing playoffs to win their championships in coming weeks, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said outside Staples Center, home of the three teams.
The Lakers defeated the Boston Celtics to win the NBA championship there on June 17, 2010. After the game, knots of rowdy celebrants set fires, rocked cars, smashed windows and threw objects at fans and police officers, leading eventually to some 45 arrests.
SHASTA COUNTY IMPROPERLY WITHHELD COURT RECORDS: REDDING (AP) — Shasta County officials have released court documents in thousands of criminal cases dating back to the mid-1980s that were improperly sealed, after a local newspaper argued they were public records.
The documents in some 2,400 cases were released last week, the Record Searchlight of Redding reported on Tuesday.
Court officials have said they were wrong to deny public access to the documents.
"The authority I thought we had — that I would have bet money we had — when I looked into it, it clearly wasn't there," said Melissa Fowler-Bradley, the county court's executive officer.
The cases in question all involved pending arrest warrants that were obtained by prosecutors. Fowler-Bradley said the goal of keeping such cases confidential was to avoid tipping suspects off about the charges they faced.
State laws supported that practice in felony cases until 1986. Shasta County never changed its policy when the laws were updated, Fowler-Bradley said.
OC FIREFIGHTERS MAY GET BOTH PENSIONS, PAYCHECKS: SANTA ANA, (AP) — Dozens of firefighters who lost their jobs when Santa Ana dissolved its fire department may be eligible for both pensions and paychecks.
The city eliminated its 128-year-old department last month and contracted with the county for services at an estimated savings of $10 million a year. The county says it will hire any eligible firefighters.
At least two firefighters retired from their city jobs and now work for the Orange County Fire Authority, entitling them to pension and salary checks for essentially the same job.
Santa Ana personnel director Ed Raya tells the Register that about 70 ex-city firefighters are eligible to do the same thing.
It's all legal under state retirement policies.
ROVER ON THE MOVE AFTER SURVIVING MARTIAN WINTER : PASADENA (AP) — The Mars rover Opportunity is on the go again.
After spending nearly five months conducting experiments in one spot, the NASA rover moved for the first time this week, rolling off the rock outcrop where it hunkered down for the Martian winter.
The mission team received confirmation late Tuesday that Opportunity successfully drove downhill. Engineers will check its power supply before directing it north to study dust and bedrock.
Since landing in 2004, Opportunity has surpassed expectations. Its twin Spirit lost contact in 2010 not long after it got stuck in a sand trap.