Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, March 17, 2012

MVNews this week:  Page 3


Mountain Views-News Saturday, March 17, 2012 


By Chris Bertrand on Special Assignment


These Sierra Madre 
Rotarians are all smiling, 
because they enjoy this 
dynamic service group’s 
camaraderie, great weekly 
speakers who make a 
difference in their lives, 
and the support they give 
the local and international 
communities through 
extensive programs, 
scholarships, mini-grants, 
international Rotary 
volunteer trips, and of 
course, Rotary’s famous 
tri-tip sandwiches served at 
the yearly Wistaria Festival 
event in Memorial Park. 

If you are looking for a 
way to give back to the 
special community of 
Sierra Madre, to support 
our teachers, students and 
work on projects of great 
international import, like 
the work to stop polio, give 
us a try! 

We’re an eclectic group of dedicated volunteers, as well as local business owners, finance, real estate, 
educators, attorneys contractors and other professionals, and some of us are retired. And we’re a fun 

Come visit a Rotary meeting Tuesday mornings at the Hart House in Memorial Park, located at 222 W. 
Sierra Madre Boulevard. Chef Mario provides a wonderful breakfast beginning at 7 am, and you’ll be 
off to work or activities by 8:30 a.m. 

Come be our guest. Your first breakfast is on Rotary! Just RSVP to Peggy Beauregard at PeggyBeau@ 

For more information, contact SM Rotary President, or Publicity Chair, Peggy 

 On Monday evening, March 12, officials from 
Sierra Madre Police Department met with 
the community’s Neighborhood Watch Block 
Captains to bring the representatives up to 
date on local as well as national crime trends, 
identifying critical safety precautions and 
measures to minimize the public’s exposure to 

 Police Chief Larry Giannone, Lt. Mike 
Kirkpatrick, Officer Ruben Enriquez, plus 
Cadets Ho and Gonzalez each delivered parts 
of the program. Due to an arising police issue, 
Lt. Len Hundshamer’s Emergency Preparedness 
and Lessons Learned from the December 
Windstorm presentations were tabled for a 
future meeting.

Credit Card Skimming

 The topics of internet crime, identity theft and 
fraud were a hot topic, in the wake of the Valero 
skimming operation uncovered several months 
ago, barely a year after 600+ patrons of the EVG 
gas station just a block away became victims of 
credit card fraud, now tied to the Russian mafia.

PD officials indicated that both cases are 
being investigated by federal authorities from 
the Secret Service, due to the overseas and 
organized crime connections to the cases. The 
Valero incident has generated about 55 victims 
since coming to light in December, 2011. 

 Though the alert was sounded months ago, one 
neighborhood watch captain discovered fraud 
from the Valero incident only recently, and was 
encouraged to file a police report. 

 Although this type of criminal activity is 
rampant, especially at gas stations across the 
country, consumers can reduce risk by using 
pumps that employ tamper tape, though this 
is not 100% effective. “Whenever a new anti-
criminal technology is used, the criminals will 
always try to get around it,” said Enriquez. 

 A YouTube® video
watch?v=lLAFhTjsQHw&sns=em produced 
by a television news program about the identity 
fraud vulnerability posed with Radio Frequency 
Identification (RFID) chips in credit cards was 
shown. These RFID chips are embedded in 
some credit cards in order to enable a “fast pay” 
rather than swipe procedure.

 The percentage of these chips embedded in 
American credit cards is low, the risk to those 
whose cards have the chip is high. After the 
initial installation of a skimming device within 
the pump, criminals can capture information 
from credit cards without even lifting the 
card from a victim’s wallet through wireless, 
Bluetooth technology. 

 The SMPD recommends removal of these 
chips to reduce credit card fraud risk. They also 
recommend a vigilant watch on transactions 
through credit accounts, though they 
recommend the used of credit cards over debit 
cards, due to the greater ease of funds recovery. 

Mail Theft Arrests and Local Property Crime 

 An SMPD officer made a relatively routine 
traffic stop on Baldwin recently, and discovered 
that the two occupants’ vehicle contained mail 
and other stolen items from Sierra Madre 
and other LA municipalities. Fourteen open 
investigations were solved by the observant 
actions of the alert SMPD officer.

 According to Enriquez, comparing the 2011 
to 2012 periods from January 1 through March 
12, residential and commercial burglaries 
had no change, with 5 occuring in both years 
during this period. Auto burglaries and thefts 
from vehicles increased from 5in 2011 to 7 in 
2012. Auto thefts increased from 0 to 2 between 
the two years. All other thefts increased from 
6 in 2011 to 11 in 2012 during the period in 

 Enriquez stressed that securing vehicles and 
homes by locking them will reduce crimes of 
opportunity greatly. Though Sierra Madre is 
quite safe, the PD recommends locking cars 
and houses, and to refrain from leaving purses, 
wallets, laptops and especially GPS navigators 
completely out of sight in vehicles.

Stolen Bicycle Sting Successful

 A Sierra Madre residence recently reported a 
$2,000 bicycle as stolen from his residence. Later 
that day, the resident checked bicycle listings on 
Craig’s List, and found a listing matching his 
cycle. He gave the information and the serial 
number of the bike to police. 

 Sierra Madre cooperated with Pasadena Police 
and performed a sting to attempt to “purchase” 
the bike from the alleged perpetrator at a 
Pasadena location. The bike was indeed the 
same one, identified by PD personnel acting 
as buyers. The seller, who was identified as a 
Sierra Madre resident, offered the stolen item 
at $1,000 for a quick sale, was arrested. Officer 
Enriquez stressed that the bicycle was able to be 
recovered so easily, because the owner recorded 
the serial number of the item.

Overnight Parking Permit Process Online April 

 For Sierra Madre resident convenience as well 
as to better utilize police department staffing, an 
online parking permit program will go live on 
April 1. SMPD fields up to 30 requests a day for 
overnight parking permits for on-street parking 
during the daily no parking time of 2-5 a.m. on 
city streets.

 Captain Giannone indicated the process 
took much longer to bring online than earlier 
expected, but will finally be available in the next 
few weeks, through a parking service center 
company called

 Yearly permits as well as daily permits up to 7 
days long can be purchased online, and permits 
printed immediately and conveniently at home 
if paid online by credit card. The PD will 
continue to handle walk-in requests for parking 

Rise in Burglaries May Be Tied to 
2011 Public Safety Realignment 
In a post-meeting email, Chief Giannone 
shared that increased crimes may point to the 
early release of incarcerated inmates as a result 
of the 2011 Public Safety Realignment. He 
indicated that a rash of burglaries in the San 
Fernando Valley has some wondering if the 
inmate early release program could be to blame. 
While it is too early in year to get statistics on 
the people committing these crimes, the Los 
Angeles Police Department has noted a trend.

 “Of the people that we are arresting associated 
with property crimes, we find that they are 
people who already have arrest records,” said 
LAPD Captain Paul Snell with the Van Nuys 
Division. “And many of which have already 
been in state prison.”

 SMPD recommends common sense procedures 
for crime prevention. Be alert to your 
surroundings. “If you’re headed into a dark alley 
alone, consider waiting to join other pedestrians 
as a group. Be alert if you are alone in secluded 
places like movie theaters,” an uncomfortable 
experience Enriquez and his wife recently had. 
Activate security alarms even when home, and 
use motion lights. Most importantly, report 
suspicious persons. 

 Enriquez concluded, “Our citizens and 
Neighborhood Watch are our eyes and ears. We 
can’t be everywhere at once. If you see a person 
or car that doesn’t belong, call us at 626-355-
1292 or at 911. We will be happy to come and 
check it out.”

SMPD Seeks More Neighborhood Watch Groups

 As part of the department’s communication 
program, the SMPD meets regularly with both 
Block Captains and Business Owners to keep 
them apprised of information that will help all 
keep the crime level down and public safety up. 

The PD welcomes the opportunity to offer 
as many Neighborhood Watch meetings 
as a group would like to have, according to 
Giannone. Many of the groups represented had 
been about two years since a neighborhood 
meeting was held. Though the city has many 
active Neighborhood Watch areas, many areas 
have no active Watch. 

To inquire about setting up a Neighborhood 
Watch in your Sierra Madre neighborhood, 
or to give personal feedback on how the 
SMPD is doing, contact Capt. Giannone at 
626-355-1414 or email him at LGiannone@ 

Front row (L to R): Christy-Joy Brendel, Sec., (Chief) Marilyn 
Diaz, -VP, Tom Brady, Pres., Peggy Beauregard, Board, John 
Stubbs, Pres. Elect

Middle Row: Vokouhi Unell, Karen Swisher, Jennie Jacobsen-
Huse, Kris Poulsen, Jeff Porter, Chris Haddow

Back Row: Alan Unell, Dan Alle, Doug Kerns, Michael (Dr. Bud) 
Budicich, John Harabedian, Bart Doyle


The Volunteer Sierra Madre 4th of July Committee is seeking nominations for the 2012 
4th of July Parade Grand Marshal. The Parade will be held as always the morning of July 

Parade Grand Marshal nominees should embody the spirit of Sierra Madre, be an active

volunteer in any of the local nonprofit organizations or in some way contributed to the

betterment of Sierra Madre.

Nominations must be submitted in writing by Tuesday, May 9th and should be sent to 
the 4th of July Committee, PO Box 1073 Sierra Madre CA 91025 or emailed to

This All-American friends and family event is made possible through the wonderful

contribution of donors and sponsors, if you’d like to help please contact us through the

information or above or follow us on Facebook

City of Sierra Madre

Public Hearing Notice

To: Citywide

From: The City of Sierra Madre


The City of Sierra Madre gives notice, pursuant to State of California Law, that the City Council will hold a 
Public Hearing on March 27, 2012, at 6:30 PM, or soon thereafter, to hear testimony on the Citywide Fees.

The City is proposing updated fee changes to be effective after approval by the City Council. .

The draft of the Fee Schedule is available at City Hall and the Sierra Madre Library for the public to review.

If you have any questions about this matter please contact Administrative Services Director, Karin Schnaider, at 



City of Sierra Madre City of Sierra Madre

City Council meeting City Council Chambers

Tuesday, March 17, 2012 232 W. Sierra Madre Blvd.

(Hearing begins at 6:30 p.m.) Sierra Madre, CA 91024

All interested persons may attend this meeting and the City Council will hear them with respect thereto.

For further information on this subject, please contact the Administrative Services Department at (626) 355-

By Order of the City Council

Karin Schnaider,

Administrative Services Director


An Evening of Prayer, Reflection and Music

 St. Rita Church will host a special ecumenical 
event on Palm Sunday evening at 7 p.m. on April 1. 
Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week’s 
traditional commemoration of the series of events 
that define Christian faith: Jesus’ triumphal entrance 
into Jerusalem, when palm branches were placed in 
His path, the time before His arrest on Holy Thursday 
and His Crucifixion on Good Friday.

Choir members from churches in Pasadena, South 
Pasadena, Walnut and Glendale, plus vocalists from 
three colleges, USC, CSULA and PCC will join the 
St. Rita choir. The event will debut poignant new 
music and script written as a collaborative effort by 
Sierra Madreans, Mimi Mycroft and Paul Puccinelli, 
interspersed with traditional reflective Lenten prayer 
and music. 

Puccinelli, Director of Liturgy and Music at St. Rita, 
said the evening will present a fresh perspective, as 
seen through the eyes of passersby on the “Journey to 
the Cross” with an overarching theme of forgiveness.

Said Mycroft, an experienced playwright and pageant 
producer, “We wanted to make the week of the 
Passion a special spiritual experience for the parish 
and community.” She has worked on “connecting the 
dots with narrations, and viewing the same situation 
through different eyes.”

The duo’s goal is to offer a full fledged experience from 
different perspectives. A young girl will reflect the 
joy of Jesus the King coming to Jerusalem. Another 
vignette will follow two apostles as they prepare for 
the fest in the upper room. 

A miffed Judas will speak in soliloquy after being 
dismissed by Jesus from the supper table. At the 
Crucifixion, Mary Magdalene will reflect on Mother 
Mary at the foot of the cross. Later, the Centurion 
who won Jesus’ cloak in a roll of the dice, will share 

Mycroft and Pucinelli hope to spark renewed 
reflection and prayer, engendered by “What if I were 
there?” “What would I have said?” and “What would 
I have done?” 

All are welcome at this ecumenically appropriate 
evening. Donations will be gratefully accepted. 

St. Rita Catholic Church is located at 318 N. Baldwin 
Avenue, Sierra Madre. For more information, please 
call 626-355-1292 or visit the parish website, www.

Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 Email: Website: