Man hits woman in face with kitten
A Salinas man was arrested Thursday after he allegedly struck a woman in the face with a kitten, killing the animal.
Police said that about 10:30 p.m., Juan Mejia, 22, and a 20-year old acquaintance were both intoxicated and engaged in a physical fight. Mejia had recently found a kitten that was a couple of weeks old, and he was holding the kitten during the fight, police said.
Mejia struck the woman in the face with the kitten, which officers said killed the kitten instantly.
Mejia was arrested and booked into Monterey County Jail on suspicion of cruelty to animals and parole violation.
Pot seized in raids in Los Padres forest
Monterey County law enforcement agents seized thousands of marijuana plants, nearly 1,000 pounds of processed marijuana and 3,000 pounds of trash in raids on four large grow sites in the Los Padres National Forest.
Starting Monday, members of the county Marijuana Eradication Team were helped by a U.S. Forest Service helicopter crew to eradicate the large gardens in the national forest.
A sheriff's office news release said about 3,000 pounds of trash — including irrigation lines, fertilizers, poisons and propane canisters — associated with the grow sites were taken out of the forest. The raids also turned up a ballistic vest and ammunition for a .45-caliber handgun, the sheriff's office said.
The team took away 960 pounds of processed marijuana and 10,659 plants.
Two people were spotted fleeing the area into the forest, but they were not found with the assistance of a Forest Service K-9 dog.
Central Coast robbery suspect strikes again
The female bank robbery suspect who became known as the Central Coast Bandit has now moved east to the Central Valley, according to news reports.
Citing FBI sources, television stations KSBY and KCOY reported that a woman with a similar description displayed a firearm and robbed a Farmers and Merchants Bank in Modesto about 5p.m. Thursday.
The reports said she fled in a gray sedan. The robber this time wore a scarf instead of a brimmed hat, as the woman believed to have robbed several Central Coast banks this year has done.
FBI officials believe the woman's spree began New Year's Day in Pacific Grove, when she handed a Monterey Credit Union teller a note demanding money, flashing a black semi-automatic handgun.
Many of the robberies have taken place after 5 p.m.
The woman is also linked to bank robberies in Nipomo, Atascadero and Paso Robles, and is described as 40 to 50 years old.
Residents warned of magazine scam
Police warned residents of a door-to-door magazine sales scam after a resident was defrauded.
Officers said two young men knocked on doors at an apartment complex on Pacific Grove Lane, soliciting money for magazines to be sent to soldiers in Afghanistan and for the "Washington Park Softball Team."
A check from one resident for $34 made out to "MSA" was later "washed," police said, and ended up being cashed for $212. The checked was stamped with "Sharon B. Crabtree dba Monument Subscription Agency," which officers said was "an apparent fake organization" in Livingston, Texas, that has had many Better Business Bureau complaints. Police said they were unable to contact the company.
Pacific Grove municipal code prohibits door-to-door solicitation without a city-issued solicitor and peddler licence, and officers advise residents to ask to see the permit and identification before conducting business with a solicitor.
Man robbed at gunpoint in parking lot
A man was robbed at gunpoint in a Big Lots store parking lot about 8 p.m. Thursday, police reported.
Officers said a 36-year-old man told them he had just parked his vehicle in the lot at 335 E. Alisal St. when the car door was opened by a man pointing a handgun at him.
The robber demanded his wallet, which the man handed over, but the robber became angry when he found no cash inside, police said.
He then took a cellphone from the man, walked to a vehicle parked nearby and robbed that person.
Police said the first victim said the suspect had acne on his cheeks and possibly had a female accomplice following in a white Crown Victoria. Officers could not find the second alleged victim.