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Police arrest gang member, check on others

July 30, 2009|By Veronica Rocha

SOUTH GLENDALE — A 46-year-old reputed gang member was arrested Thursday morning on a $100,000 warrant for vandalizing an elevator at the Americana on Brand, which was likely done in retaliation for the incarceration of 20 Toonerville members three weeks ago, police said.

With an arrest warrant in hand, Glendale Police detectives went to Alonzo Loera’s one-bedroom apartment on the 500 block of Windsor Road, which he shares with his father, and took him into custody.

Loera appeared from the apartment with blood-draining from several needle marks on his hands. Other needle markings were on his legs.

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“He’s been a heroin addict for years,” said Sgt. Scott Bickle of the Glendale Police Gang Unit. “All he does, is for drugs.”

A large, infected open sore on his arm was likely going to need medical treatment, Det. Rafael Quintero said.

Loera tried to flush a needle containing brown-colored heroin down the toilet as police knocked on his apartment door, but he was unsuccessful after authorities retrieved the needle as evidence.

Loera, a reported Toonerville gang member who goes by the nickname “Chino,” was captured two weeks ago on surveillance video at the Americana etching the gang’s initials into the mall’s elevator, said Glendale Police Sgt. Scott Bickle. The vandalism came nearly a week after multiple police agencies, including Glendale’s, raided the homes of suspected Toonerville gang members wanted in connection with four murders, assaults, narcotics and weapon-related charges.

The raid was the culmination of an investigation that started when Glendale police detectives began looking into the death of a Mongol gang motorcyclist, who was gunned down Oct. 8 on the Glendale (2) Freeway.

Glendale Police detectives wire-tapped some Toonerville gang members’ phones for six months to retrieve details about their criminal activities.

On Thursday, Glendale police detectives and other officers were briefed about Loera’s past before going to his apartment to arrest him.

“He’s a heroin addict,” Bickle said. “Make sure you wear gloves when you’re putting your hands in his pockets and be careful for needles.”

Bickle advised police to keep a close eye out for their surroundings when they approached the apartment. Det. Eric Meyer told fellow officers if anyone was severely injured, they should go to Huntington Memorial Hospital.

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