Month in Review – Snapshots from last month’s most significant news and developments – March 2018

by | Feb 21, 2018 | Community

SCV Man Sentenced to 13 years

A Santa Clarita man was charged and convicted for driving his pickup truck off a cliff with his 68-year-old father in it. McClelland was arrested on July 4th, 2016. Police were notified that he threatened his mother and father with a machete and then drove his pick up over 500 feet down an embankment close to Templin Highway and Interstate 5. District Attorney’s office announced that Sean McClelland, 47, was sentenced to 13 years and eight months in prison. He plead no contest to one felony count of kidnapping and attempted murder.


Domestic Violence Ends in Fire

A man from Castaic was arrested and charged with attempted murder and assault for allegedly trying to set his ex-girlfriend on fire. Ryan Wesley, 35, was arrested in Saugus after he and his ex-girlfriend had a domestic dispute. It was reported that the couple got into an argument that turned physical when Wesley proceeded to strike her with a blunt object. She reported that after he struck her he poured an alcoholic beverage all over her and took a bottle of cleaning solution and doused her with it. Allegedly, then Wesley attempted to use a lighter to set her a flame but was unsuccessful.

Credit Card Thieves Arrested

Four suspects, two men and two women, were caught and arrested for allegedly using stolen credit cards at a Centre Pointe Business in Santa Clarita. The four suspects are from Bakersfield and were encountered while deputies were doing a patrol check. Deputies answered a call to a burglarized vehicle in the 27000 block of Woodlands Drive in Valencia. The surveillance video provided great information to identify the vehicle the suspects were driving and a description of the four suspects. Deputies detained all four suspects – Kristina Black, 32; Jessica Fisher, 52; Brandon Lane, 31; and Romel Fatouhi, 26. All four are from the Bakersfield area and were identified as the same four suspects in the vehicle burglary from the week prior.


Couple Rescued from Car
Accident in Canyon

A couple was rescued from their vehicle after it plunged into Little Tujunga Canyon. With the help of Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station, California Highway Patrol, and the Los Angeles County Fire Department the couple was pulled out of the canyon. The car plummeted into the canyon about 100 feet in and the driver called 911. When police arrived, they spent over an hour attempting to locate the vehicle but were unable to find it. At first, the couple thought they were in the Sand Canyon. The 911 GPS was able to locate the couple and dispatched help accordingly.


Officials Warn of Scam Calls

This day and age everyone has their cellular device glued to their hip, and recently cell phone users have seen an increase in telemarketers and scam calls. Law enforcement officials have provided insight on why the scammers “spoof” a local cell phone number. It was reported the reason for this is so the caller might believe it is from someone local, which increases the chances of the person receiving the call to answer the phone. The person who actually owns the number they are “spoofing” has no idea it is being used in this way. Officials are urging the community to please be mindful and to remember if you receive a call from an unrecognized number they could always leave a voicemail if it is important.

California Slipping into
Another Drought

It seems like just yesterday Californians were dusting off the rain gear and dodging rain drops. Just last month it was reported that the Golden State might be slipping into another drought. A federal report stated half the state is undergoing a moderate drought and small regions are experiencing a severe drought. The monthly snow survey uncovered to experts a meager snowpack throughout California. Despite record rainfall this past January the temperatures did not allow for the rain to become snow. The snow helps replenish the reservoirs that supply the state with water. There is still time for some heavy storms to come through the month of March.
Four Pharmacies Have
Been Burglarized
This last month Law Enforcement officials have been looking into a string of burglaries at four pharmacies in the Santa Clarita Valley. The first, occurred at The Druggist in Valencia off of Smythe Drive. The Second burglary occurred 15 minutes after the first at Saugus Drugs and Hallmark on Bouquet Canyon Drive. There was another incident at the Walgreens on Sloan Canyon Rd in Castaic. The last break-in was the Newhall Pharmacy on Main Street in Newhall. As of now, all four incidents may not be related but officials will update the public as soon as more information is available.

Santa Clarita Woman
Charged with Murder
Last month a 28-year-old Santa Clarita resident was charged with murder. Nicole Danielle Thibault was charged with 14 counts: one count of grand theft, six counts of attempted murder and six counts of assault with a deadly weapon. Thibault stole a vehicle and drove through red lights at unsafe speeds. She eventually drove onto the 210 freeway driving westbound in the eastbound lanes. The suspect collided head-on with unsuspecting vehicle which led to the death of one man, Daniel Castillo, 69 and injuries to others. Thibault faces a possible maximum sentence of 57 years to life in prison if convicted.

A Family Killed in
Agua Dolce Plane Crash

Tragedy has struck the Hastings family in last month’s Agua Dolce plane crash. Jackson Hastings identified the four victims as his father, the pilot, Thomas Hastings; Amber Hill (the pilot’s daughter), her husband, Jacob Hill; and their daughter Madison Hastings Saxelby. However, at this time the coroner is withholding the official identification until further notice. The family was returning from a trip to Las Vegas when the plane crashed along Briggs Road which is located amongst rugged terrain and hillsides. Officials are currently investigating what went wrong and the preliminary report is expected to be released soon.


Trail Closures and Temporary
Bus Stop Relocation

The southwest segment of trail between Newhall Ranch Road and Anza Drive is closed for approximately two months as part of the work being done by the City to complete the roadway and improve the trail connection from Avenue Tibbitts to the Newhall Ranch Road Bridge over San Francisquito Creek. Detour and closure signs will be posted along the trail to inform residents. These updates are part of the Newhall Ranch Road Bridge Widening Project. In addition, the eastbound bus stop on Newhall Ranch Road has been temporarily relocated to northbound Avenue Tibbitts before the crosswalk on Newhall Ranch Road. The temporary bus stop is anticipated to remain at this location for approximately two months.
The City Raises Awareness on
Teen Dating Violence
February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. The City of Santa Clarita, in partnership with the Child and Family Center’s Domestic Violence Program, presented a special one day showing of “A Walk in Their Shoes,” a traveling art exhibit to build awareness around teen dating violence. Four pairs of shoes were painted to depict the stories of local teens who have experienced dating violence. The traveling display made visits to local high schools and College of the Canyons. According to the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, every year approximately 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner, and three out of four parents have never talked to their children about domestic violence.

Santa Clarita is Growing
The City of Santa Clarita has put in motion the potential annexation of over 11,000 residents. The area encompasses over 3,000 acres and has about 1,300 residential units.
Plum Canyon and Skyline Ranch are the areas currently considered as unincorporated Los Angeles County. City officials have sent out surveys asking if the current residents want to be a part of the city. If they get a resounding yes, then they will move forward with the annexation. The City Council will meet on April 24th for approval. If the annexation is passed by city council, the last and final approval will come from Local Agency Formation Commission.





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