Southern California breaking news and trends

Cash-flying, dog-biting, van-jumping, police-chase suspect in court, accused of 5 bank heists

police dog

Photo by Thomas Hawk via Flickr Creative Commons

Not an actual police dog.

Jerry Lee Franklin, the parolee accused of robbing five banks Southern California banks last year, and recently leading police on a cash-flying, dog-biting, van-jumping, credit union-heisting police chase, is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday in West Covina Superior Court.

Los Angeles County prosecutors are charging 39-year-old Franklin with five counts of second degree robbery, and one count of evading police, following his April 23 arrest.

He faces more than 24 years in state prison if convicted as charged, according to the District Attorney's Office. Prosecutors are seeking bail to be set at $1.2 million.

The alleged robberies occured:

  • U.S. Bank, Hacienda Heights - July 6, 2011 
  • Bank of the West, Rowland Heights - July 12, 2011
  • Bank of the West, Rowland Heights - January 11, 2012
  • Citibank, Rowland Heights - January 14, 2012
  • First Federal Credit Union, West Covina -  April 23, 2012


CA lawmaker from West Covina arrested on suspicion of drunk driving

 Roger Hernandez

Screenshot via 57th District official website

California state lawmaker Roger Hernández was arrested this week for suspicion of drunk driving after Concord police followed him into a hotel parking lot for allegedly not using his turn signal, Capitol Alert reports.

The 57th District assemblyman from West Covina said he'd been visiting a friend in the Bay Area, explaining, "After dinner I had a couple of drinks and because of the late hour I decided to stay in the town of Concord." He told officials he had two to three glasses of wine in the course of more than four hours.

Police administered a field sobriety test and Hernandez refused a breathalyzer. "I didn't believe that was necessary. I'd only had a couple of drinks and I had safely, without putting anybody in danger, made my (way) to the hotel," he said. 

Hernandez was arrested, booked on suspicion of driving under the influence, detained for hours, and gave blood for testing. Those test results are pending. Said Hernandez Thursday morning, "At this point there is no proof that I tested above the legal limit." 

When asked if he was alone, Hernandez replied, "I won't get into that."

"I want my constituents to know that I'm very regretful for this incident because it's embarrassing to my community and it's unfortunate that negative press will follow as a result. I am very confident, however, that the results will be in my favor."


Marijuana delivery man allegedly robbed by 'ninjas'


Photo by Tha Goodiez via Flickr Creative Commons

West Covina pot ninjas are possibly a thing. Detectives are reportedly searching for a pair that allegedly jumped from the bushes and robbed a medical marijuana delivery man, the L.A. Times reported.

Lt. Alan Henley said two men with masks over their faces allegedly chased a medical marijuana vendor in the 800 block of South Sunset Avenue, causing him to drop a bag that contained an unknown amount of marijuana and money. The suspects were equipped with batons and took the bag, Henley said.

The 40-year-old delivery man told officers the run in occurred just before 10 p.m. on Friday. Authorities said they were not aware of dispensaries in the area where the attack was reported, nor were they aware of any dispensaries that offered a home delivery service. Police are looking into...   all of it.