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KVTA Local News

SPHS Band Booster Arrested For Embezzlement

KVTA News Tuesday September 30, 2014

Santa Paula police say they've made an arrest in connection with the theft of thousands of dollars from the Santa Paula High School Band Booster Club.

They say that 29-year-old Michael Suniga of Santa Paula turned himself in to police and was booked into the Ventura County Jail for embezzlement with bail set at $50,000.

Back in April, allegations were raised that Suniga, a member of the booster club, had embezzled funds.

Police say during the investigation, and a forensic audit done by the Ventura County DA's Office, it was determined that $15,000 to $22,000 had been stolen from the booster club.

This was money raised from community to send the band to attend a performance in San Francisco.

Police say the investigation identified Suniga as the suspect in the embezzlement and an arrest warrant was issued.

That's when he turned himself in.

According to court records, Suniga was arrested by Oxnard police last year for grand theft-embezzlement and pleaded guilty in February of this year.

He was given probation and two weeks in jail.

Oxnard Man Accused Of Starting Ventura Brushfire

KVTA News Tuesday September 30, 2014

The Ventura County Sheriff's Department arrested an Oxnard man for setting the 50 acre brush fire that burned Monday above east Ventura.

Deputies say they 24-year-old Garrett Smith was detained by deputies as he fled from the scene in Harmon Canyon north of Foothill Road around 1:15 PM Monday.

He was arrested for arson and prowling and later booked into the Ventura County Jail with bail set at $60,000.

More than 150 firefighters from Ventura and Los Angeles counties responded to the blaze which was fully contained Tuesday morning and expected to be fully controlled by 7 PM Tuesday.

One firefighter suffered a minor injury fighting the fire.

No structures were damaged or destroyed.

Former School Administrator Sentenced In Sex Case

KVTA News Tuesday September 30, 2014

A former administrator in the Oxnard Union High School District was sentenced Tuesday for a crime he reportedly said he did not commit.

42-year-old Felix David Gallegos was an Associated Principal at Camarillo High School two years ago when he was arrested and charged with misdemeanor child molestation involving a female students and misdemeanor sexual battery involving a female staff member at the school.

Earlier this month, Gallegos pleaded guilty to the charges and Tuesday he was sentenced to 180 days in jail and three years formal probation.

He must also register as a sex offender.

The prosecutor indicated that Gallegos wrote in a letter to the probation department he did nothing wrong but pleaded guilty to avoid what he thought would be more serious charges he might face if he didn't.

Ventura Brushfire 100% Contained, Arrest Made

KVTA News Monday September 29, 2014

(Photos courtesy Kari Pina)




UPDATED AT 5 PM--The 50 acre brushfire that burned in a canyon above east Ventura Monday was fully contained at 50 acres Tuesday morning with full control expected at 7 PM.

Meanwhile, a man who was detained trying to leave the area when the fire started was questioned and later arrested for arson.

At one point, six farm structures and some Edison facilities, were considered threatened, but none were damaged.

Crews spent all night conducting overhaul on the fire and making sure it's completely out.

More than 150 firefighters from Ventura and LA counties responded to the fire, including hand crews, the aircrarft, and engine companies.

There were no reports of injuries.

The fire broke out around 1:15 PM in Harmon Canyon north of Foothill Road near Kimball Road.

Subject Of El Rio SWAT Callout Still At Large

KVTA News Sunday September 28, 2014

The Ventura County Sheriff's Department says they're still looking for the suspect who prompted a SWAT callout in El Rio Saturday.

They say that 21-year-old Ralph Lopez was seen in front of a home in the 1000 block of Will Avenue around 10 AM Saturday with a handgun, making threats against his family.

When deputies arrived, Lopez was not spotted and believed to be in the home which led to a perimeter being set up and the SWAT team being deployed.

After several hours, during which several streets in the area were shut down, deputies determined Lopez was not in the house or in the neighborhood.

Deputies say Lopez is still the subject of an active criminal investigation and is still being sought by the authorities.

They say he is 6'1" tall, 200 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes.

They say if you see him call 911.

Ventura Council Considers Crackdown On Massage Parlors

KVTA News Sunday September 28, 2014

Two members of the Ventura City Council want to use a new state law to get tough on massage parlors.

The city of Ventura has more than 60 massage businesses operating within its boundaries, more than any other city in Ventura County.

Mayor Cheryl Heitmann and Deputy Mayor Erik Nasarenko will ask the council at their Monday night meeting to instruct staff to come up with an emergency moratorium on all new massage parlors.

It will last until the city develops new land use regulations specifically designed to, among other things, limit the number of such businesses within a specific area and ban them from being too close to schools.

In the past, state law greatly limited how much local governments could restrict massage parlors, saying they could not be restricted any differently than any other business.

But earlier this month, Governor Brown signed legislation giving local governments more power over specifically regulating massage parlors "in the best interests of the community."

Heitmann and Nasarenko say that while some massage businesses are legitimate, others may not be, and many are crowded into sections of the city and that has eroded the quality of life, particularly in midtown Ventura.

Monday night's council meeting is at 6 PM at Ventura City Hall at 501Poli Street and this item is at the end of the agenda.

Here's a link to the item

SWAT Team In El Rio After Man With Gun Threatens Family

KVTA News Saturday September 27, 2014

(Update-at 5:30 PM SWAT searched the house and found NO one.  Incident is over at that location but the investigation will continue and they are still want to talk with that individual)

Background-The Sheriff's SWAT team was called to El Rio Saturday morning after deputies received a report there was a man with a gun outside of a home and he had threatened family members.

Ventura County Sheriff's Captain Don Aguilar tells KVTA News that was around 10:05 AM Saturday morning in the 1000 block of Will Avenue.

When deputies arrived there was no sign of the man outside of the home so they set up a perimeter and the SWAT team and negotiator were called to the scene.

They tried, but failed, to contact the individual they believed was in that home so they could talk with him.

The bomb squad's robot was deployed in an effort to contact the man and Aguilar says they used other means in an effort to contact him, but to no avail.

At 5:30 PM, the SWAT team entered the home and searched it, but they found NO one.

The incident was declared over on Will Avenue, but the investigation will continue and deputies want to find the individual so they can talk with him.

The following road closures were in effect at the following intersections and were being lifted as soon as possible...

Simon and Rose 

Simon and Balboa 

George and Lemar 

George and Salem 

Balboa and Will 

Please avoid the area and plan alternate routes.

Tow Truck Driver Dies A Week After Being Hit By Car In Oxnard

KVTA News Saturday September 27, 2014

Oxnard police say a tow truck driver who was struck by a vehicle a week ago has died from his injuries.

They say that on Monday September 22nd around 7:13 AM, 46-year-old Larry Caro Sr. of Piru was standing at the back of his flatbed tow truck in the 3200 block of W. Hemlock Street.

Police say that's when a vehicle driven by a 23-year-old Oxnard woman struck Caro, throwing him under his tow truck.

Caro was rushed to VCMC where he underwent emergency surgery and was listed in critical condition until he died early this morning.

Oxnard police say they are still investigating the incident.

Small Boat Runs Aground Near Ventura Harbor

KVTA News Saturday September 27, 2014

A small boat ran aground near Ventura Harbor Saturday afternoon.

It was reported around 3:45 PM on the beach near the mouth of the Santa Clara River just south of the harbor.

There were several people on board the craft and all are reported safe on the beach.

Fire and ambulance were dispatched to the scene to treat a 9-year-old male with what was described as a mild case of hypothermia.

Facebook Post Lures Man To Carjacking In Oxnard

KVTA News Saturday September 27, 2014

Oxnard police are investigating a reported carjacking.

Officers responded to Fifth Street and Rose Avenue around 5 AM Saturday morning where the victim, a 29-year-old Oxnard man, said he was carjacked.

The victim told police he was lured to that location by a female on Facebook.

When he arrived, two females and two males forced him out of his vehicle at knifepoint and then took off in his vehicle.

Police offered no description of either the suspects or the victim's vehicle.

They're asking anyone with information that could help in the investigation to call the Violent Crimes Hotline at (805) 982-7070 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Pedestrian Killed In Thousand Oaks Identified, Driver Arrested

KVTA News Friday September 26, 2014

Updated--The Ventura County Medical Examiner's Office has identified the pedestrian who was struck and killed by a car in Thousand Oaks early Friday morning. 

33-year-old Nina Hughes of Thousand Oaks was reportedly crossing Westlake Boulevard near Townsgate Road around 12:50 AM when she was hit by the vehicle and killed.

She died from blunt force trauma.

Traffic investigators say that Hughes was crossing Westlake Boulevard eastbound just south of Townsgate Road outside of the crosswalk when she was struck by a vehicle traveling southbound on Westlake.

The driver of the vehicle was contacted at the scene and later arrested for driving under the influence.

The driver was identified as 21-year-old Victoria Elizabeth Lundberg of Westlake Village.

Ventura Police Investigate Shooting

KVTA News Friday September 26, 2014

One person was wounded in a shooting in Ventura early Friday morning.

They say officers responded to the 1200 block of Prairie Dog Place around 3 AM Friday to a report of shots fired.

When officers arrived, they found evidence of a shooting, but all of the involved parties were gone.

A short time later, the victim, a 28-year-old male from Santa Paula, showed up at Saint John's Medical Center in Oxnard with a gunshot wound.

He was undergoing surgery and is expected to recover.

Police are trying to determine a motive and find a suspect in connection with the shooting.