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Department store burglar is sought

CANOGA PARK - Police were searching Tuesday for a burglar who rappelled by rope into Robinsons-May, tried to break into a vault, but failed, then possibly climbed up the rope and disappeared.

The burglar entered through a vent between 2 and 3 a.m. Sunday at the Topanga Plaza store in the 21900 block of Vanowen Street. Police responded to an alarm and searched the area, but couldn't locate the intruder. No other details were available.

- Daily News

Woman gives plea in business scam

VENTURA - A 58-year-old Sherman Oaks woman has pleaded not guilty to charges of grand theft and elder abuse after she allegedly tried to get a number of Ventura County residents to invest in businesses that did not exist, officials said Tuesday.

Ventura County District Attorney Gregory Totten said that Benilda Batoon Olivo approached six residents of Ventura County with opportunities to invest in various businesses she claimed to own or operate.

``Investigation has yielded no evidence that any of the businesses Olivo promoted ever existed,'' the District Attorney's Office said in a statement Tuesday. ``The losses claimed by Olivo's six known Ventura County victims exceeded $136,000.''

Olivo was arrested Dec. 22, 2004, and pleaded not guilty in Ventura County Superior Court, officials said.

- Daily News

Simi Valley man dies of fire injury

SIMI VALLEY - A 22-year-old man who suffered severe injuries in a Jan. 6 house fire has died, officials said Tuesday.

Osmar Rosales died Sunday at the Grossman Burn Center at Sherman Oaks Hospital. His girlfriend Marisol Urbina, 19, and their 2-year-old son were released from the hospital Tuesday, a hospital spokeswoman said.

The fire started in the kitchen of a home in the 2300 block of Cochran Street. Cause of the fire has not yet been determined, although officials say the home had been illegally reconfigured to accommodate several families.

- Daily News

Best Teen Chef contest on burner

The Art Institutes in California are summoning the state's best teen chefs to strut their culinary chops.

Local ``Best Teen Chef 2005'' competitions will be held at The Art Institutes in Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego on March 12, it was announced Tuesday.

Open to high school seniors in the United States and Canada, the competition was created to encourage and recognize young culinary talent. More than $200,000 in tuition-scholarship prizes are up for grabs.

The deadline for entries is Feb. 11. Entry requirements include a notebook with original recipes for a two-course meal, an entry form and a high school transcript.

For more details on the competition and entry requirements, students and parents should visit or contact The Art Institutes, toll-free, at (888) 328-7900.

- City News Service

Riders union asks for 576 new buses

The Bus Riders Union is calling on the MTA to beef up service with 576 new buses - while cutting trains and freeway improvements - as part of the federal consent decree, organizers said Tuesday.

The union wants bus-only lanes, freeway buses and community shuttles, according to its filing with the court-appointed Special Master.

But the Metropolitan Transportation Authority said it cannot keep adding buses at the expense of other improvements, and filed an alternative plan.

The Special Master is expected to decide the issue in coming months.

- Daily News

Retiring sheriff's official is honored

The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday honored Undersheriff William Stonich, who is retiring after 35 years with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

Stonich was appointed undersheriff on Feb. 1, 2000, by Sheriff Lee Baca.

``It's been a privilege and honor to work with Bill over the years in his different capacities,'' Supervisor Don Knabe said.

Stonich served in the U.S. Army and did a short stint with the Santa Ana Police Department before joining the Sheriff's Department in 1969.

In 1996, Stonich was presented the department's Distinguished Service Award for his coordination of the Cultural Awareness Training Project.

Each supervisor wished Stonich luck and thanked the Newport Beach resident for his service.

- City News Service
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Jan 19, 2005

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