(Photos courtesy Fillmore Fire Department)
Updated--A Fillmore church was destroyed by a fire that also displaced a family of five.
The fire was reported around 4:50 AM Sunday morning in the 900 block of 3rd Street.
Fillmore Fire Chief Keith Gurrola told KVTA News that when firefighters arrived at the scene they found the single story chapel and three story steeple fully engulfed in flames.
Firefighters from Fillmore City, Santa Paula City and the County of Ventura responded to the fire and had it knocked down by 5:42 AM.
Gurrola says that they were able to keep the fire from spreading to the Pastor's home and other nearby structures.
However the Pastor and his family were displaced by the fire.
The Red Cross was being called in to help them.
At one point the steeple collapsed into the chapel
Gurrola says no one was injured.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
This is Christian Evangelical Church located on 3rd Street across from the packing house where 3rd Street curves.
A weak system moved through Ventura County late Saturday night into Sunday morning bringing a very small amount of rain.
Most areas of the county received between a tenth and a quarter inch of rain by 6 AM Sunday morning.
That includes the foothills, mountains and watersheds above local lakes and reservoirs.
Showers are still in the forecast for the remainder of the morning Sunday and then a slight chance of showers Sunday night into Monday morning.
Here are rainfall totals as of 6 AM Sunday from the automated rain gauges of the Ventura County Watershed Protection District....
Port Hueneme .10
Santa Paula .24
Thousand Oaks .13
Simi Valley .12
There was some snow reported in the higher elevations and at one point the CHP was escorting vehicles on Interstate Five through Gorman because of the snow.
The Oxnard Police Department says they conducted a crackdown on DUI and unlicensed drivers in two different ways Saturday.
From 8 PM to 2 AM they set up two DUI/DL checkpoints in the city, one in the westbound lanes of Fifth Street west of Hobson Way and the other in the westbound lanes of Wooley Road west of A Street.
Between the two checkpoints they screened 209 vehicles and arrested one person for DUI-alcohol.
Six drivers were cited for driving without a license or driving on a suspended or revoked license.
A total of 22 citations were issued and four vehicles were towed.
Then, police also conducted saturation patrols where officers hunted for impaired drivers.
That yielded four arrests for either driving drunk or under the influence of drugs, including one driver who was also arrested for possession of marijuana for sale and the illegal transportation of marijuana.
One driver was arrested for taking part in a speed contest, one for an outstanding misdemeanor warrant and six citations were issued for various vehicle code violations.
Five vehicles were towed.
Updated---Ventura police say the man they chased and caught midday Saturday was the suspect in a carjacking.
They say the incident began shortly after 1 PM in the 3000 block of E. Main Street.
The owner of a new BMW/SUV had stopped at a business and went inside, leaving his 13-year-old son in the vehicle with the motor on.
Police say that's when the suspect, identified as 23-year-old Chance Daugherty of Santa Paula, is alleged to have gotten into the vehicle and ordered the 13-year-old boy out.
The boy got out unharmed and the suspect took off in the vehicle.
The incident was immediately reported to police and responding officers spotted the stolen vehicle on Thompson Boulevard near San Jon Road.
A vehicle pursuit began that traveled to Harbor Boulevard and west towards California Street.
The suspect was involved in a non-injury crash just before getting on the southbound 101 at California.
The pursuit, which reached speeds of 100 mph, continued southbound on the 101 until just before the 126 where the suspect got involved in a second non-injury crash and rolled off the freeway.
The suspect then got out of the vehicle and fled on foot but was captured by police at gunpoint in the area of Arundell Avenue near Market Street.
Police say the suspect, Daugherty, was treated for minor injuries at VCMC and then booked into the Ventura County Jail for carjacking, felony evading and hit and run.
The stolen BMW/SUV sustained moderate damage and was impounded.
Ventura police are looking for a man who they say robbed a woman at knifepoint Friday afternoon in Grant Park.
They say the 23-year-old woman was in her parked car at the Cross around 5:30 PM when a man came up and demanded money from her.
The woman told police she gave the man her wallet but when he demanded her necklace, she refused.
She said that's when the man brandished a knife and then struck her in the face causing minor injuries.
Police say the woman managed to drive away and report what happened but when officers arrived and searched the area around Brakey Road, they could not find the suspect.
They described the suspect as a Hispanic male in his late 20's with a mustache and goatee.
He was wearing a black hoodie and black pants.
Anyone with information about this crime please contact the Ventura Police Department at 339-44325.
An anonymous tip can be made by calling Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS.
Ventura police say they arrested a young man Friday afternoon following a series of violent incidents and threats in the neighborhood just east of the Pacific View Mall.
The incident began around 4:50 PM with a call from a woman who told police her grandson had tried to break down the door to their residence and had threatened his grandfather.
Officers responded but when they arrived the young man was gone.
However, while officers were there, the suspect called his grandparents and police say he threatened one of the officers.
Police began searching the area and spotted the suspect and he ran into the apartment complex at 3700 Dean Drive.
While all this was going on, police received a call from additional victims at Anacapa Middle School who said the individual police were looking for had taken a skateboard from a 12-year-old and had placed the victim in a choke hold and threatened a 14-year-old with a weapon.
At the apartment complex on Dean Drive the suspect was tracked down and taken into custody by an officer with the help of a K-9.
Both the officer and the suspect, identified by police as 18-year-old Skylar Martin of Ventura, received minor injuries and were taken to VCMC to be treated.
Police say the victims at Anacapa Middle School identified Martin as the suspect in their incident.
Martin was booked into the Ventura County Jail for robbery as well as an active juvenile warrant for residential burglary.
(Photos courtesy Ventura County Fire Department)
(Update)---Ventura County Fire officials say that the father who died with his son in their Port Hueneme apartment fire early Friday morning had safely rescued his wife and daughter but died when he went back into the burning building to try to save his son.
The bodies of 24-year-old Mario Rangel and his five-year-old son Diego were found inside the second story apartment in the eight unit building at C and Second streets.
Autopsies concluded that both died from smoke inhalation and their deaths were ruled an accident.
Meanwhile, Ventura County Fire spokesman Steve Swindle tells KVTA news investigators are still trying to determine how the fire started and whether the apartment had working smoke alarms.
The fire was reported around 4:10 AM Friday and when firefighters arrived on scene they found the apartment well involved in flames.
The fire was knocked down around 4:25 AM.
One firefighter was treated for smoke inhalation.
More then 20 tenants of the building were displaced by the fire and the Red Cross was helping out.
The Ventura County District Attorney's Office says a man who used a fraudulent plumbing business to victimized senior citizens has been sentenced to ten years in state prison.
They say that 50-year-old Albert Solano of Camarillo had earlier pleaded guilty to two counts of first degree residential burglary, eight counts of felony elder theft, one count of obtaining money by false pretenses, one felony count of attempted grand theft by false pretenses, 15 counts of filing a fraudulent instrument and three counts of insurance fraud.
The authorities say that Solano targeted the senior citizens community with an advertisement for a $49.95 drain clearing special that he used as a "bait and switch" tactic to get into victims' homes.
They say once inside the home, Solano created phony plumbing problems and used that to get the victims to sign contracts for thousand of dollars in work that did not need to be done.
Prosecutors say Solano would then alter the contracts to increase the costs to the victims and when the victims disputed the charges he would send them to collections and file fraudulent mechanic's liens on their homes.
They say the total amount of the fraudulent liens exceeded $309,000.
In addition to the ten year prison sentence, the judge ordered Solano to fully replay all 31 victims.
The Santa Paula Police Department released crime statistics for 2016 and they say it shows an overall decline.
They say the crime rate went from 16.49 crimes per 1,000 residents in 2015 to 13.85 crimes per 1,000 residents in 2016.
That is an overall decrease in the crime rate of 17 percent.
It made 2016 the safest year of the past five.
Police say when you combine all violent crimes (homicides, rapes, robberies and assaults) the rate was down 17 percent.
However, there were two homicides in 2016 compared to one in 2015 and robberies increased from to 26 in 2016 from 16 in 2015.
But aggravated assaults dropped from 68 in 2015 to 43 in 2016.
There were two fewer rapes in 2016 compared to 2015.
Meanwhile, property crimes were down overall by 16 percent.
Property crimes include burglary, larceny-theft, vehicle theft and arson.
All property crimes were down from 2016 compared to 2015.
A former Counselor at the California Youth Correctional Facility near Camarillo has been sentenced for smuggling cell phones into the wards and selling them to the wards for a profit.
Earlier, 56-year-old Samuel Grimes of Port Hueneme had pleaded "no contest" to one felony count of conspiracy.
A "no contest" plea is considered a guilty plea by the court.
The judge sentenced Grimes to spend six months in the county jail and be placed on three years of formal probation.
Prosecutors say for at least seven months while Grimes worked at the Youth Correctional Facility he smuggled in cell phones and then sold them for a profit using a ward as his intermediary.
A Ventura County Grand Jury has indicted a Palmdale man in connection with the killing of a transient in Ventura last year.
Prosecutors say that 33-year-old Matthew Paoli stabbed 51-year-old Rito Estrada 67 times as Estrada slept on a bus bench at Main and Ash streets on December 4, 2016.
They say it was an unprovoked attack.
The motive is unclear but at the time of the attack Paoli was out on bail for an incident in Los Angeles County a couple of months earlier when he allegedly tried to run down a homeless man collecting cans by the side of the roadway.
The investigation led to Paoli as the suspect in the Ventura killing and he was located and arrested a two weeks later.
The indictment includes a murder charge plus use of a deadly weapon.
If convicted Paoli would face 28-years-to-life in prison.
Paoli remains in the Ventura County Jail with his bail set at $1.5 million.
His arraignment on the indictment was postponed until April 3rd.
Ventura police say they've arrested a man for allegedly burglarizing a school.
They say that around 7:40 AM Thursday morning an employee at Poinsettia Elementary School at 350 N. Victoria Avenue saw a man in the auditorium of the school holding school property.
Police say when the employee asked the man what he was doing there, the man fled the campus.
Officers responded and located the suspect a short distance away from the school.
They say 35-year-old Jason Sevier, a vagrant, was taken into custody.
Police say during their investigation they determined that Sevier had entered school buildings and taken property and money belonging to the school and students.
They also say Sevier was found in possession of a syringe loaded with heroin.
He was booked into the Ventura County Jail for second degree commercial burglary and possession of a controlled substance with bail set at $10,000.
He is due in court Monday to be arraigned.
According to court records, Sevier has 9 misdemeanor convictions in Ventura County for drug related charges and petty theft plus a felony charge that was reduced to a misdemeanor under Proposition 47.
Updated---Oxnard police say a shooting in Oxnard Thursday morning led to a SWAT operation in Port Hueneme.
Around 9:20 AM there was a fight and a shooting in the 4900 block of S. C Street in Oxnard.
When police arrived they found evidence of a shooting but no victim or suspect.
However, based on a description of the alleged shooter, an Oxnard Violent Crimes Investigator who was in the area of the shooting saw the suspect riding a bicycle.
He was detained and police learned that the gun involved in the shooting might be at the Surfside Motel in Port Hueneme.
Oxnard and Port Hueneme police responded to the motel and found two people in the room where the shooting suspect said his gun was located.
But when they asked those two people to come out, they initially refused and that started a brief standoff that brought in the SWAT team.
Finally those two people came out of the room and were detained by police.
Police says they obtained a search warrant and found the gun.
They arrested 34-year-old Edward Yusef Salaan of Oxnard for three separate firearms related felonies and booked into the Ventura County Jail.
There were no reports of injuries in the incident.
Ventura police say two males were wounded by gunfire late Wednesday night in the Pierpont area and the two suspects remain at large, but that's about all they know right now.
The incident happened around 11:45 PM in the parking lot behind the Motel 6 on Harbor Boulevard.
Police say there was some sort of confrontation between four people and shots rang out.
A 17-year-old male and an 18-year-old male, both from Arizona, were both wounded in the leg by gunfire and both were taken to the hospital and will recover.
Police say they're having a hard time investigating the incident because the two victims are not cooperating very much and what they are saying is in conflict with each other.
Meanwhile police scoured the area looking for the two suspects who did the shooting but did not find them.
Police say they have no motive for what happened and no information on the suspects.
The December 16, 2015 fatal shooting of 23-year-old Bryant Duncan in Camarillo by a Ventura County Sheriff’s Deputy has been ruled a “justifiable homicide.”
The District Attorney’s Office reviewed the deputy-involved shooting and released a 28-page report that concluded Deputy Leon Mah acted reasonably.
The DA says that Mah used lethal force only after Duncan advanced on him while armed with a knife and only after retreating for some 100 feet while repeatedly ordering Duncan to stop.
The report says that Duncan told Mah and others several times that he wanted to die and that the shooting amounted to “suicide by cop.”
Interviews with family members indicated that Duncan was troubled by many aspects of his life including the death of his mother when he was very young.
Duncan was a methamphetamine user but at the time of his death he only had marijuana in his system.
The Ventura Count Sheriff's Department says they've arrested four suspects in the robbery at a 7-Eleven store in Newbury Park on December 27th of last year.
The robbery happened at the store in the 3300 block of Kimber Drive.
One of the suspects pointed a gun at the clerk while the other three stole merchandise and cash from the register.
Last month Burbank Police arrested one adult and two juveniles in connection with an armed robbery at a Little Caesars in Burbank.
A search of one suspect's North Hollywood home turned up a gun and additional evidence that linked them to the Little Caesars robbery.
They also found evidence that linked them to the 7-Eleven hold-up.
Additional investigation identified four males from North Hollywood who were arrested in connection with the 7-Eleven robbery in Newbury Park.
One of them was identified as 25-year-old Carlos Ramirez of North Hollywood.
The other three were 16-year-old males from North Hollywood.
The combined total of all crimes in all jurisdictions of the Ventura County Sheriff's Department was down by one percent last year compared to the year before.
That's the total of all violent and property crimes for the unincorporated areas plus the contract cities of Ojai, Fillmore, Camarillo, Thousand Oaks and Moorpark combined.
However, the combined total of all violent crimes in all those jurisdictions was up by one percent or six total crimes.
Only Fillmore showed a decrease (-49%) in violent crimes.
All of the jurisdictions showed decreases in property crimes except for Thousand Oaks where it was up by 7 percent.
Sheriff's officials say despite the slightly decrease in overall crime between 2015 and 2016 if you look at a two year period from 2014 to 2016 you see a 5 percent increase.
The most dramatic increase in that two year period is in violent crimes, up 30 percent.
Officials say it's too early to tell if that's the result of voter-approved Proposition 47 which reclassified a number of felonies to misdemeanors in 2014.
For details information on these statistics go to: http://www.vcsd.org/crime_stats.php
Overall crime in the city of Ventura declined last year with both violent and property crimes showing decreases.
Ventura police say that latest statistics show that in 2016 crimes dropped by 3.59% overall with violent crimes down by 1.87% and property crimes 3.76% lower than in 2015.
However, homicides were up with 8 in 2016 from 2 in 2015.
There was one less rape reported in 2016 compared to the year before and 15 fewer robberies.
There were three more aggravated assaults last year compared to the year before.
There were 30 more burglaries last year than in 2015, 25 more auto thefts but 203 fewer types of other thefts.
There was one more arson than the year before.
Ventura police say they've arrested a man for allegedly threatening protesters at the Planned Parenthood on Ralston Street Wednesday morning.
They say that around 8:40 AM the man was taking a female companion to the facility when he became involved in a confrontation with protesters who were on the sidewalk in front of the building.
Police say that at one point the man is alleged to have threatened one protester and displayed a knife and said he would kill the protester.
Officers responded and arrested 30-year-old Brandon Beechum for making criminal threats and brandishing a knife.
No one was injured during the incident.
Ventura police are looking for two suspects in a home invasion robbery.
They say that around 8:20 AM Wednesday police received a call from a distraught resident of a home in the 300 block of Ferro Drive in the Grant Park area.
She told police that a man had forced entry into her home, forced her into the bedroom and made her cover her eyes.
The suspect then demanded jewelry and the victim told him where her valuables were located.
She told police the suspect was in the residence for about ten minutes before leaving and joining up with another male outside who was acting as a lookout.
No one was physically injured during the incident.
The suspects were described as two black males in their 20's.
The one who entered the home was wearing a red hoodie with a Ferrari emblem and red shoes.
Anyone with information that could help police is asked to called (805) 339-4488.
Ventura police say they've arrested an Oxnard man for allegedly using his vehicle to try to run down one of their officers.
They say the incident happened shortly before 2 PM on Monday in the area of Thompson Boulevard and Chestnut Street in downtown Ventura.
Police say the officer was conducting a traffic stop and was standing near the driver's side window when another vehicle drove by eastbound on Thompson and the driver of that vehicle yelled profanities at the officer.
The officer continued to talk with the other driver when he noticed that the vehicle that had just drove by made a U-turn and accelerated westbound back towards the officer and allegedly tried to run him down.
The officer managed to get out of the way and was not struck.
Police say the suspect vehicle left the area and was not found.
But based on information provided by the officer, investigators Tuesday tracked the vehicle to a residence in the 3000 block of Regatta Place in Oxnard and arrested the suspect driver.
They say that 35-year-old Adam Gilbert Matthews of Oxnard was booked into the Ventura County Jail for felony assault on a peace officer with a deadly weapon.
(Photo courtesy Roxanna Baldonado)
Updated--Ventura police say they are looking into whether a second vehicle might have been involved in the crash Sunday morning that killed an Oxnard man near the County Government Center.
The Ventura County Medical Examiner's Office has identified the victim as 21-year-old Alex Ford of Oxnard.
Ford was the passenger in a car that smashed into a signal light pole on the southwest corner of Victoria Avenue and Telephone Road around 6:47 AM Sunday.
He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The driver, a 21-year-old female, was taken to VCMC with unspecified injuries and police said she's expected to recover.
Police would not say whether or not she would be facing charges in connection with the crash.
They say the investigation is ongoing.
(Photo courtesy CHP)
UPDATED--The California Highway Patrol says the man found dead in the center divider of the northbound 101 in Thousand Oaks Tuesday morning appears to have been the victim of a fatal hit and run.
They say that the 68-year-old Thousand Oaks man, whose name has not been released yet, suffered from dementia and probably wandered onto the freeway where he was struck by a passing car.
Exactly when, they don't know.
That vehicle, which might have been a Toyota, never stopped and is being sought.
The CHP says the initial report to them at 7:17 AM was that the man was wrapped in a blanket.
But they says that turned out to be false.
They say the man's clothing made it look like he was in a blanket, but he was not.
The incident prompted the closure of the left lane of northbound 101 north of Highway 23 for about five hours causing a major backup on both the northbound 101 and the southbound 23.
This collision is currently being investigated as a felony hit and run traffic collision by the CHP's Moorpark Area office.
Any potential witnesses to this collision are encouraged to contact the CHP's Moorpark Area office at (805) 553-0800.
"Someone out there knows they struck a human being, or a large object early this morning. Following the collision, they did nothing. There is no evidence to suggest they returned to the scene to check on what they struck, or dialed 9-1-1. You need to to the right thing and call us" said the CHP Moorpark Area Commander R. D. Cohan.