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Anaheim PD Plays Key Role in First Countywide Curfew Sweep

Anaheim PD joined about two dozen law enforcement agencies Thursday night in the first ever Orange County curfew sweep aimed at cracking down on truancy and gang recruitment.LA Times photo

Organized by the Gang Reduction Intervention Partnership, the sweep began about 10 p.m. Thursday – with officers bringing violators to command posts in Anaheim, Aliso Viejo and Orange.

Anaheim investigator Ed Arevalo was featured in a wire service story that was picked up by a number of news agencies.

“It’s a little bit of scared straight, a little bit of tough love and then we give them the resources to follow up with social services,” Arevalo told a reporter.

To read the story, click here.

The Los Angeles Times followed Sgt. Mike Haggerty and Investigator Brian Browne. Its story can be found here.

Legendary OC Register Reporter Profiles Most Notorious OC Cases

For the better part of the past four decades, journalist Larry Welborn has chronicled the biggest criminal cases in Orange County.OC Register's 50 Cases

Serial killers. Gang rapists. The corruption trial of a sheriff.

Which cases rank among the most memorable?

The verdict is in.

Starting last week, Welborn began profiling Orange County’s 50 most notorious cases on the Orange County Register’s Web site.

Among those on the list: The 1958 slaying of Leslie Simpson in Anaheim.

To follow Welborn’s series, which will continue through the end of the year, visit his Blog here.

At the end of the series, readers can vote on the top 10.

Which cases do you think should be on his list? Contact Welborn at lwelborn@ocregister.com or post a comment at the bottom of his Blog.

Larry Welborn

Anaheim PD’s Newest Rookie A Different Breed

Popeye stands out among police dogs.

For starters, he’s a different breed – a black Lab from Texas.

Popeye, APD's newest recruit, has incredible play drive

Popeye, APD's newest recruit, has incredible play drive

His Anaheim Police Department colleagues – Cisko, Bruno, Indy, Tago, Gunther and Recon – are German Shepherds from Europe.

And when Popeye completed his training last week, he became Anaheim’s only full-time Dope Dog.

Even the way the department acquired Popeye was unique – the result of a persistent  narcotics investigator and generous Anaheim businessmen.

“It started with a great idea from Investigator Cat Panov,” said Sgt. Craig Friesen, who heads the street narcotics unit. “And became reality because of the outstanding support we receive from the community.”

While it can take investigators hours to find contraband hidden by savvy criminals, a well-trained Labrador Retriever can sniff the drugs in less than 15 minutes.

Adding a Lab would make the team more efficient, Panov argued.

Friesen agreed, but told Panov the challenging economic times forced the department to make difficult decisions about new expenditures. There would be no city money for new dogs. At least for now.

“What if I raised the money myself?” Panov asked.

It didn’t take long before the cost of the dog – and some of his vet bills – were covered through donations from the Anaheim business community.

Picking up the cost of the dog were Bill Taormina, CEO of Clean City, Inc., and Jerry Zomordian, owner of All-American Petroleum.

Anthony Pena, owner of Tax and Financial on Lewis Street; Gregory Boiko, owner of Express Pipe and Supply and Steve Marovich, owner of the Juke Joint, contributed smaller amounts that will be spent on healthcare.

“We want other business leaders to follow our lead,” said Taormina. Added Zomorodian: “Our police department needs every citizen to give of their time and, if possible, their financial resources.”

A three-year-old with tons of energy, Popeye earned a badge for his collar for completing a four-week training course. His primary role will be assisting the street narcotics team in arresting Anaheim-based drug dealers.

'My daughters love him,' Popeye's partner says

'My daughters love him,' Popeye's partner says

Once in a while, he’ll work bigger regional or even international cases with the major narcotics unit. Popeye will also be available to assist other police departments.

He’s already off to a good start.

On his first day on the job, he assisted APD’s major narcotics team in locating 12 kilos of cocaine with a street value of $264,000. He also helped the street team locate an ounce of methamphetamine.

Panov said Popeye’s boundless energy and “play drive” have been outstanding additions at home, too.

“My daughters (5, 4 and 2) love him,” he said.

Anaheim Detective Protects Seniors by Partnering with UC Irvine Center Studying Elder Abuse

Facing pressure from her family, the bruised, elderly woman changed her story: Her grandson didn’t beat her over a television remote dispute; a cereal box fell on her.

But the size of the bruises led Det. Cherie Hill to conclude the 74-year-old woman’s original story was the truth.

New research helped prove it.

“We handle elder abuse cases completely different than we had ever handled them in the past,” she said, referring to studies that distinguish between accidents and abuse.

A member of University of California Irvine’s Center of Excellence on Elder Abuse and Neglect’s Forensic Team, Hill is the Anaheim Police Department’s expert on elder abuse. The newfound expertise and relationships have led to more “criminal filings and getting (dangerous) people off the streets,” she says.

In June, Hill discussed the recent “Geriatric Bruising Study” study at the National Institute of Justice 2009 conference in Arlington, Va.

Among the findings:

  • Bruises in half of victims were at least two inches in diameter.
  • Accidental bruises rarely occur on the neck or head.
  • Seniors who are abused can tell you how they got the bruises; Only a quarter who got them accidentally can recall the cause.

To read the study, click here.

To view the conversation, click on the image below.

Det. Cherie Hill discusses elder abuse

Det. Cherie Hill discusses elder abuse

Citizen’s Tip Led to Arrest of 7-Eleven Bandits

A citizen who recognized a security camera image broadcast on local television stations was credited for playing a key role in the arrests of three suspected convenience store robbers.CAMERA6

The robbers hit as many as 17 stores, including 7-Elevens in Anaheim, San Clemente, Lynwood and elsewhere.

The robbery spree is believed to have started June 20, and ended last week with the arrests.

Police chief John Welter said good police work, media attention and the citizen’s tip led to the arrests.

“This case is an outstanding illustration of how the public can help police solve crime,” he said.

Wearing dark hooded sweatshirts, the suspects were captured on surveillance video in an Anaheim store.

The police department shared the video with media, which led to the tip from a viewer.

Arrested were two 17-year-olds – one from Chula Vista, the other from Anaheim, and Raymond Moreno, 18, of Anaheim.

Read the entire press release here.