Southern California breaking news and trends

Typhus threat: Health officials set cat traps at two Santa Ana schools

fleas typhus

Photo via NBC LA

The Orange County Vector Control District has reported a case of flea-borne typhus in Santa Ana. This image is from the district's warning flyer that was distributed to residents.

Orange County Vector Control is attempting to capture cats on the campuses of two Santa Ana schools on Tuesday in an effort to reduce the flea population following a case of typhus that sent a girl to the hospital last month.

Animal control specialists are trying to trap the feral cats near Frances E. Willard Intermediate School and El Sol Science and Arts Academy, notes NBC LA. City spokesman Jose Gonzalez said the child, who has since recovered, had no connection with any local schools, but was living nearby, CBS LA reports.

Typhus infections occur when a person is bitten by fleas or lice carrying the bacteria Rickettsia typhi or Rickettsia prowazekii.

Of the two types of typhus infections -- murine typhus and endemic typhus -- endemic typhus is the deadlier, but is less common in the U.S. Southern California has seen a rise of murine typhus in recent years, killing about 2% of untreated patients, according to NBC LA.


Tow truck chase ends peacefully in Burbank after over 2 hours


A reporter from NBC talks to the tow truck driver who tells him "I'm not going to hurt anyone". The driver complained that the LAPD was trying to pull him over but he hadn't done anything.

Tony Pierce / KPCC

Police chase a AAA tow truck on Fountain before he turns onto Edgemont.

Tony Pierce / KPCC

Police chase a tow truck up Edgemont in Hollywood


A tow truck flees from police in Studio City during a pursuit.

[Update 6:45pm: The man driving the tow truck got out and surrendered to police in Glendale after fleeing for 2 hours and 15 minutes.]

A man driving an Auto Club tow truck is leading police through a unique pursuit.

LAPD is keeping their distance while a tow truck driver flees through the streets of the San Fernando and now Hollywood.

Near Burbank just after 6pm, an NBC reporter happened to ask him a question as they sat waiting for a stop light to turn green. "I'm not going to hurt anyone," the driver said, complaining that the LAPD was trying to pull him over but he hadn't done anything wrong.

"They're trying to give me a ticket for no reason," he said.

LAPD Lt. Andy Neiman spoke with CBS2 live on air early in the pursuit and explained that cruisers are not going to try to confront the suspect as long as he drives safely. Instead, police will monitor his movements via television helicopters above and police units on the ground.  


FBI releases composite sketches of 'Snowboarder Bandit' of Orange County


Composite sketches of the Snowboarder Bandit

The FBI released several composite sketches Monday of the man who is suspected of holding up 10 Southern California banks, including a Wells Fargo last week in Irvine.

Known as the "Snowboarder Bandit" due to his affinity for wearing ski clothes and a knit cap, he has also sported a motorcycle helmet during one trip to a Citibank in March, says the FBI.

Witnessed have described him as a tall man, about 6' 2", and between 25 and 32 years old.

Two banks are each offering a $5,000 reward for his arrest and conviction, meaning $10,000 could go to someone who turns in one of Orange County's most-wanted bandits.

The FBI can be reached at their Santa Ana office at (714) 542-8825 for people who may know of his identity or location.





'I knew that I had the killer gene,' accused Ocampo reveals in OC homeless killings case

Homeless Homicides

Anaheim Police/AP

Itzcoatl "Izzy" Ocampo (Photo courtesy of Anaheim Police Department)

Scarier than fiction, the grand jury transcript of accused killer Itzcoatl "Izzy'" Ocampo, published Wednesday night by the Orange County Register, reveals hideous details about the murders of four homeless men and two others during a three-month killing rampage.

Ocampo, an Iraq war veteran, was disappointed not to see combat during his six-month tour of duty, and told a detective that killing "had to be done." Detective Daron Wyatt, a lead detective on the serial killer task force who took Ocampo's confession, said that Ocampo felt he needed to kill in order to become a real Marine.

The detective testified that Ocampo "seemed to get excited when he was talking about the actual kill," and he asked him if he was "aroused by the act of killing." According to the transcript, Ocampo questioned what he meant by arousal, but then commented, "my balls felt like they were going to explode, and I knew that I had the killer gene."


Marine fatally shot by deputy had daughters in the car

san clemente high school google maps

Screenshot of San Clemente High School via Google Maps

Circumstances are still largely unexplained in the fatal shooting early Tuesday of Sgt. Manuel Loggins Jr. by an OC sheriff's deputy in a parking lot of San Clemente High School. 

A decorated Marine who managed inbound and outbound cargo at Camp Pendleton, Loggins was known to be a religious man who would take morning "prayer walks" at the track with his daughters. 

Both girls, age 9 and 14, were sitting nearby in the family's SUV at the time of the shooting, notes the L.A. Times.

Sheriff's spokesman Jim Amormino said a deputy doing paperwork in his patrol car pulled up behind the SUV after the Marine crashed his vehicle through a school parking lot gate around 4:30 a.m. 

Loggins reportedly exited the SUV and initially ignored orders to stop as he headed toward the athletic field. When he did turn around and head back to the vehicle, the deputy felt threatened and opened fire, said the spokesman.