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 approximately 3:15pm, the Ventura Police Command Center received a 911 call of a Robbery that had just occurred at the Lowe’s shopping center. As officers arrived, they were informed that as the suspect was leaving the store he activated the store security system. A store employee went to contact the suspect and when he did the suspect brandished a knife to the employee. The employee smartly allowed the suspect to leave the store and called the police department.
During a search of the area, witnesses told officers that the suspect was last seen in the parking lot of Pacific View Mall. Officers searched the parking lot however they were unable to locate the suspect. The officers contacted Mall security to see if their security cameras had recorded the suspect in the area. Mall security officers informed the officers that the suspect had committed a theft from Target . They said the suspect was last seen running from Target.
At approximately 5:30pm, the Ventura Police Command Center received a 911 call of the same suspect attempting to enter occupied vehicles in the intersection of Mills and Maple. The driver of one of the vehicles pulled over while calling 911 and the suspect began to approach him. The driver asked the suspect what was going on and the suspect threw one of the items stolen from Lowes at the driver and then brandished a knife. The suspect then ran away. A search of the area including the use of a K9 was unsuccessful.
On July 18, at approximately 10:30am, the Ventura Fire Department responded to a structure fire at a residence in the 7000 block of Brannan Street. Their investigation determined the cause of the fire was arson. Ventura Police Major Crime’s detectives assisted with the investigation and determined 60 year old Ventura resident Katherine Britigan was responsible for starting the fire. On July 26, at 5pm, patrol officers located Britigan and she was taken into custody. At the conclusion of the investigation, she was booked into Ventura County Jail on the felony charge of arson.
Indecent Exposure and Parole Violation Arrest
On July 27, at approximately 5:45pm, officers responded to a call regarding a male committing lewd conduct adjacent to the businesses in the 1100 block of South Victoria Avenue. The suspect had fled prior to officers arrival, and after a searching the area, the officers were unable to locate the suspect.
At approximately 7:45pm, the Ventura Police Communications Center received information that a parolee, 51 year old vagrant Steven Perry, had just cut off his ankle monitor in the 1400 block of South Victoria Avenue. Officers checked the area and located Perry and took him into custody for the parole violation of removing the ankle monitor. Perry, who is on parole for Indecent Exposure, matched the description of the suspect from the earlier lewd conduct call in the 1100 block of South Victoria Avenue. At the conclusion of the investigation, officers determined he was the suspect from the earlier incident. He was booked into Ventura County Jail on the charges of Indecent Exposure and a Parole Violation.
Brandishing an Imitation Firearm, Violently Resisting Officers, Battery on a Police K9 and Possession of Methamphetamine Arrest
On August 8, at approximately 11:45pm, a witness called and reported a disturbance in the 2100 block of Harbor Blvd. The suspect was yelling at passing vehicles and people in the area. When the first officer arrived, they found the suspect, 35 year old Ventura resident Guadalupe Juarez Lopez,and discovered she was holding a handgun. She was waiving and brandishing the gun and was uncooperative with the officers verbal instructions. Additional officers arrived on scene and contained the suspect in a parking lot.
The suspect retreated from officers and hid near a large propane tank in the parking lot and remained uncooperative with officers as they attempted to get her to drop the hand gun. After 20 minutes of talking with the suspect, she still refused to disarm, and she threatened to shoot the nearby propane tank. At that point, officers used a less lethal projectile in an attempt to disarm the suspect and prevent her from shooting the propane tank. The K9 was also deployed. The less lethal rounds were effective, causing the suspect to fall to the ground. The K9 then apprehended the suspect, and she began battering the K9. After briefly fighting and resisting the K9, the suspect was taken into custody. As officers were approaching the suspect during the K9 apprehension, they discovered the hand gun she was holding was a BB gun.
The suspect sustained minor injuries during the incident. After she was medically cleared at the Ventura County Medical Center, she was booked into Ventura County Jail on the charges of Brandishing an Imitation Firearm, Violently Resisting Officers, Battery on a Police K9 and Possession of Methamphetamine.
Fatal Hit and Run Investigation
On August 10, at 8:37 pm, the Ventura Police Command Center received a call of a hit and run collision that just occurred at Ventura Ave and Prospect. As officers arrived on scene, they learned from witnesses that the victim Michael Pedigo, walked between two parked cars and into the northbound lane of traffic on Ventura Avenue. A white four-door vehicle driving northbound struck Pedigo and immediately pulled over to the side of the road. Without checking on the well being of Pedigo, the driver and car left the scene. Paramedics from Ventura City Fire and AMR who also responded administered first aid to Mr. Pedigo, and transported him to VCMC.
Pedigo succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead at the hospital. This is an ongoing investigation, and anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the investigating officer Corporal Al Gomez at 805-339-4474.