by Cindy Summers
Police reports are provided to us by the Ventura Police Department and are not the opinions of the Ventura Breeze. All suspects mentioned are assumed to be innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
On August 4, at 11:53pm, the Ventura Police Command Center received a 911 call of a stabbing victim outside Rookies Bar, 419 E. Main St. Officers, along with Ventura City Fire and AMR personnel, responded to the call and found the victim, later identified Nathan Little, suffering from a single non-life threatening stab wound to his torso. He was immediately transported to VCMC for treatment of his injuries. The suspect was last seen fleeing from the scene on foot northbound on Oak St.
Officers began checking the area and located the suspect, later identified as 29 year old Santa Paula resident Jaime Vazquez, several blocks away in the Downtown parking structure. Vazquez was taken into custody without incident.
During the investigation, officers learned from bar security that the victim, who was working as a security guard, and Vazquez got into a verbal argument over Vazquez cutting in line outside the bar. A physical altercation occurred, and the victim was stabbed. Vazquez and a couple of his friends fled from the area on foot.
A second involved subject was located, but was not arrested. At the conclusion of the investigation, Vazquez was arrested and booked into the Ventura County Jail for assault with a deadly weapon.
On August 4, at 6:10pm, the Ventura Police Department Command Center received a call from a cyclist reporting a suspicious subject walking on the Ventura River bike path carrying two large machetes.
When one of the patrol officers arrived on scene he saw the subject, later identified as 31 year old vagrant Armando Mendoza, walking near the intersection of Olive St. and Main St., and attempted to stop him. At the time, Mendoza was carrying a 3’ long machete and a large pair of cutting shears. Mendoza refused orders by the officer to stop and began running towards a nearby shopping center. He then ran into an open Vons Store, still carrying both weapons.
Officers pursued Mendoza into the store and chased him until he entered a restroom towards the back of the store.
Once the area of the store surrounding the restroom was safely cleared of customers and employees, and it was determined Mendoza was inside the restroom by himself, officers gave him orders to come out. Mendoza refused to exit on his own, so with the assistance of a police K-9, officers entered the restroom and took Mendoza into custody after forcing their way into a locked restroom stall.
Mendoza was found to still be in possession of both weapons, although never threatened anyone with them. He was arrested for resisting arrest and booked into the Ventura County Jail.
Residential Burglary Arrests
In May 2017 the Ventura Street Crimes Unit detectives began an investigation into several residential burglaries that had occurred in the east end of Ventura. Numerous items of property, jewelry, and credit cards were stolen during these crimes.
One suspect identified as 40 year old Oxnard resident Frank Orta JR was determined to be on active parole for burglary. He did not have any permanent address which made it difficult for detectives to track him down. The second suspect identified as 39 year old Ventura resident Stephanie Bura also had no permanent address however her vehicle was often seen parked in front of a residence on Amherst St.
On August 4, Street Crimes Unit detectives served the search warrant on Amherst, however, Bura was not present. During the search of this residence detectives located stolen property, stolen mail, and other evidence linking Bura the recent string of burglaries.
Later that same afternoon VPD patrol officers responded to a report of a residential burglary in progress on the east end of Ventura. The suspects fled in a vehicle and witnesses provided the responding officers with a license plate and description. A short time later the suspect vehicle was observed entering the 101 freeway from Rose.
The male that was apprehended was identified as Frank Orta Jr. he was arrested and transported back to VPD to be interviewed by detectives. Orta made several incriminating statements and was later booked into the Ventura County Main Jail for residential burglary and a parole violation.
On August Street Crimes Unit detectives canvases several areas of Ventura and Oxnard and at approximately 9:30 am they observed the outstanding suspect Stephanie Bure driving north on Ventura Rd. A marked police unit was called in to make a stop and Bura was taken into custody without incident.
Bura was interviewed by detectives and also made incriminating statements re the burglaries and credit card theft. She was later booked into the Ventura County Main Jail on one count of residential burglary, seven counts of forgery, eleven counts of commercial burglary, and twelve counts of identity theft, all felony crimes. Her bail was set at $750,000.
This investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information about this crime please contact the Ventura Police Department Street Crimes Unit at 805-339-4325.
Commercial Burglary, Conspiracy, and Resisting Arrest
On August 11, at approximately 5:30am, a concerned citizen saw two subjects break a window at College Liquor and enter the store. The citizen called 911. Officers arrived on scene shortly after as the two juveniles were exiting the window with stolen property. Both males fled on foot, but both were apprehended after short foot pursuits.
The two conspired together to break into the business to steal alcohol and tobacco. The juveniles caused significant damage to the business while trying to make entry. Both were lodged at Juvenile Hall for the above listed offenses.
On August 13, at 4:50pm the Command Center received 911 calls from residents in the 1300 block of Saratoga Ave., reporting that several subjects had been prowling in the area and were now attempting to gain access into a neighbor’s residence.
As officers were responding the witnesses observed two males and a female enter the residence through an unlocked rear door. Moments later, the three were seen exiting with a large amount of stolen property. The suspects placed the property into a vehicle and were in the process of fleeing when officers arrived. A traffic enforcement stop was conducted and all five occupants in the vehicle were taken into custody.
All are Ventura residents. Luke Forehand 23, Austin Capelli 20, Kendall Sanders 26, Tara Riley 38, Alexis Keirn 19.
All suspects were placed under arrest and booked into the Ventura County Jail for residential burglary, possession of stolen property and criminal conspiracy. Forehand was additionally booked for an outstanding parole violation warrant.