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KVTA Local News

Slight Increase In Ventura County Population In 2015

KVTA News Monday May 2, 2016

The latest estimates from the California Department of Finance indicate that Ventura County's Population grow by less than one percent last year.

It rose by .7 percent in 2015 to an estimated 856,508.

The fastest growing city was Moorpark with a 1.8 percent increase to 36,715.

It was followed in the rate of growth by Camarillo (1.5% to 69,924) and Oxnard (1% to 206,997).

All the other Ventura County cities grew by less than one percent with Santa Paula having the slowest growth rate of .2 percent to 30,752.

Oxnard remains the largest city in Ventura County followed by Thousand Oaks with 132,365, Simi Valley with 127,167 and Ventura at 108,557.

The smallest city in Ventura County is Ojai with 7,477.

Port Hueneme has 22,702 and Fillmore 15,529.

There are 98,323 people living in the unincorporated areas of Ventura County.

Meanwhile, California's total population grew by .9 percent to an estimated 39.256,000 as of January 1st of this year.

Los Angeles remains the biggest city with more than 4 million residents with San Diego second with almost 1.4 million and San Jose with just over one million. 

Craigslist Ad Leads To Suspected Drug Dealer

KVTA News Monday May 2, 2016


Investigators with the Ventura County Interagency Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit just followed the advertisement to arrest a suspected drug dealer.

They say last week they noticed an ad on craigslist.org offering Roxicodone for sale.

Roxicodone is a prescription drug which contains the powerful opioid oxycodone.

Investigators went undercover and made contact with the seller who agreed to meet them to sell the drug at a location in Simi Valley.

Detectives were able to identify the seller as Cody Harvey of Los Angeles and they followed him to the meeting place, a parking lot on Tapo Canyon Road, north of the 118 Freeway.

They arrested Harvey and found approximately 200 oxycodone pills, worth about $5000 in his possession.

Harvey was booked into the Ventura County Jail for drug dealing, drug possession and for driving under the influence of drugs. 

His bail was set at $50,000 and he is due in court tomorrow for arraignment.

K9 Tracks Down Robbery Suspect In Newbury Park

KVTA News Monday May 2, 2016

Deputies in Thousand Oaks say one of their K-9's, "Dano," tracked down a robbery suspect Sunday night in Newbury Park.

Around 10:42 PM deputies responded to a robbery in progress call at a shopping center in the 500 block of N. Ventu Park Road.

When they arrived on scene they found two males who told deputies that a man had robbed one of them and tried to rob the other.

The suspect did not use a weapon but he did assault the victims before walking away with the stolen property.

The deputies requested help from Deputy Flores and his K-9 partner "Dano" who responded to the scene and tracked the scent of the suspect to the townhouses located in the 600 block of Paseo La Perla.

Deputies say they found a man who was identified by the victims as the suspect.

23-year-old Juan Guzman of Newbury Park was arrested and booked into the Ventura County Jail for robbery and attempted robbery.

Deputies say Guzman is also on active parole so a parole hold was placed on him and bail was set at $120,000 pending arraignment.

Five Hour Standoff Ends In Santa Paula

KVTA News Sunday May 1, 2016


(Photos courtesy Alex Marinos)

A man is in custody after a more than five hour standoff with Santa Paula police Sunday.

The incident began at 11:55 AM when officers responded to the 300 block of S. Steckel Drive to a report of a man with a gun.

When officers arrived they spotted a man matching the description and later identified as 48-year-old Manuel Rivas of Santa Paula.

Police say Rivas refused to comply with officers demands and ran into an apartment at that location.

Mutual aid was requested and the Ventura County Sheriff's helicopter and some deputies responded but later released.

Meanwhile, Santa Paula police secured the area, called in the SWAT team and began trying to contact Rivas and get him to come out.

They say over the next five hours Rivas refused to even talk with police let alone surrender so police shot OC pepper gas into the apartment.

Shortly after that, around 5:30 PM, Rivas came out and surrendered without further incident.

Police say a search of the apartment did not turn up a gun, but they say Rivas is a documented gang member on active parole and a Post Release Offender for being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.

Rivas was checked out at the hospital and than booked into the Ventura County Jail for a parole violation, obstruction of a peace officer, possession of a controlled substance and possession of a smoking device. He is being held without bail.

Ventura Police Arrest Carjacking Suspect

KVTA News Sunday May 1, 2016

Ventura police say they've arrested a suspect in a carjacking.

Around 4:20 AM Sunday morning officers responded to the 3300 block of Armada in Ventura to a reported carjacking.

When they arrived on scene the victim told them he was sitting in his vehicle when a man approached, pointed what looked like a gun at him and demanded that he turn over the car keys and get out of the vehicle.

The victim complied and the suspect got into the vehicle and drove away.

As officers were talking to the victim on Armada, other officers spotted a possible suspect in the parking lot at Borchard Drive and Thompson Boulevard.

The suspect was taken into custody and police say that property taken from the victim was found on the suspect.

But the stolen vehicle was not there.

A search of the area between where they found the suspect and where the carjacking occurred turned up the stolen vehicle, abandoned, at the intersection of Joanne Avenue and Porter Lane.

Police say they also recovered an "Airsoft" gun that was used in the carjacking.

No one was injured in the incident.

Coast Guard Rescues Ill Man From Fishing Boat

KVTA News Sunday May 1, 2016

The Coast Guard says a 45-foot response boat from Channel Islands Harbor rescued a man suffering medical issues in the ocean off the harbor Sunday morning.

The Coast Guard received a report at 8:10 AM of a 47-year-old man suffering from dehydration and other health issues on the 60-foot sport fishing vessel the Pacific Eagle.

The Coast Guard boat with a Ventura County Fire Department paramedic on board was dispatched to rescue the man and take him back to shore.

Two Arrested In Wild Port Hueneme Incident

KVTA News Sunday May 1, 2016

Port Hueneme police say they've made two arrests in connection with a wild and violent incident last Monday that involved gunfire and a machete attack.

It began with two men arguing in a garage in the 700 block of Hemlock in Marina Village.

Police say one of the men left, came back with a gun and started shooting as the other man fled on foot.

The man with the gun returned to his car and left.

The man he was chasing came back and got his car and the two of them became involved in a vehicle confrontation at Anchor Avenue and Marina Village

The man with the gun fired more shots, but this time the other man grabbed a machete from his vehicle and attacked the man with a gun.

Injured, the man with the gun fled but was found later a few blocks away in Oxnard and was taken to the hospital for treatment.

The man with the machete was never hit by gunfire.

Police arrested 33-year-old Gregory Ivory of Port Hueneme for assault with a deadly weapon, the machete.

The man with the gun, 33-year-old Robbie McNary of Oxnard, was also arrested for assault with a deadly weapon and also for being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Five Rescued From Rip Currents In Port Hueneme

KVTA News Sunday May 1, 2016

(Photo courtesy Ventura County Fire Department)

Lifeguards and fire personnel were kept busy throughout Southern California Sunday rescusing people from strong rip currents.

At Port Hueneme beach, the Ventura County Fire Department responded to a rescue operation involving five people caught in rip currents.

Three of them ultimately were taken to local hospitals to be checked out.

The National Weather Service has been warning about strong rip currents along the coast this weekend.

Two Motorcycle Crashes In Los Padres Sunday

KVTA News Sunday May 1, 2016

Emergency responders were kept busy Sunday morning responding to two separate motorcycle crashes in less than an hour on Highway 33 in the Ventura County portion of the Los Padres National Forest.

The first was reported around 8:30 AM on the 33 about a mile north of Rose Valley Road.

The sheriff's air squad helicopter was dispatched to that crash but canelled before it got there because paramedics on scene decided the victim could be taken by ground ambulance to the hospital in Ojai.

The second crash happened around 9:15 AM also on Highway 33 but a few miles south of the first crash.

That crash was described as a minor injury incident.

The CHP was investigating both crashes.

Oxnard Police Investigate Shooting

KVTA News Sunday May 1, 2016

Oxnard police say they're investigating a shooting incident early Sunday morning but they're not getting much help from the victim.

Police were called to the area of Hill Street and Benton Way around 12:20 AM to a report of a shooting victim.

The found a man in his mid 20's suffering from a non-life threatening gunshot wound to his lower leg.

He was treated at the scene and then taken to the hospital.

Police say the man was uncooperative as far as providing any information about where the shooting took place or any other details about the incident.

Annual Mussels Quarantine Begins In California

KVTA News Sunday May 1, 2016

The annual quarantine on all sports-havested mussels in California began Sunday.

The quarantine is due to increased levels of the toxin demoic acid in filter-feeding animals such as bivalve shellfish like olysters, clams and mussels from the Spring to Fall.

The quarantine involves all sports-harvested shellfish from the ocean, all bays and estuaries.

The California Department of Public Health says the toxins cannot be reliably destroyed by cooking.

They say the quarantine does not apply to commercially harvested shellfish because they are subject to strict testing requirements to make sure all shelfish that make it to market are free of toxins.

Vehicle Chased By Deputies Plunges Off Hwy 33

KVTA News Saturday April 30, 2016

(Photo courtesy Ventura County Aviation Unit)

UPDATED--A vehicle pursuit started with a routine traffic stop in Ojai and ended with the suspect plunging 150 feet over the side of Highway 33 in the Los Padres National Forest.

The incident began shortly before 4:30 PM Saturday when a male driver failed to yield when deputies tried to pull the vehicle over for a traffic violation at West Matilija and North Blanche streets in Ojai.

A pursuit went through surface streets in Ojai into Meiners Oaks, at times reaching 80 miles per hour with the suspect running at least one stop sign.

It then continued north on Highway 33 into the Los Padres National Forest where the suspect vehicle plunged off the highway into a deep ravine between Wheeler Gorge and Rosa Valley Road.

The suspect survived the crash and was rescued by deputies, firefighters and the sheriff's Air Squad 9 using a hoist operation to lift the driver out of the ravine and then airlifting him to VCMC with major injuries.

The CHP's special accident investigation unit known as SIRT was investigating the crash.

One DUI Arrest At Ventura Checkpoint

KVTA News Saturday April 30, 2016

Ventura police say they made one arrest at a DUI/DL checkpoint Friday night and early Saturday morning.

The checkpoint was conducted between 8 PM and 3 AM on Thompson Boulevard west of California Street.

Police say that 337 vehicles went through the checkpoint and were screened.

They say 19 field sobriety exams were administered that resulted in the arrest of one driver with a blood alcohol level of .20 percent.

There were 13 citations issued, one vehicle was impounded because the driver had a suspended license.

One citation was issued for driving on a suspended license while three citations were issued for driving without a license or having an expired license.

Ventura Man Robbed In Front Of Bank ATM

KVTA News Saturday April 30, 2016

Ventura police were looking for the knife wielding suspect who robbed a man in front of a bank ATM late Friday night.

It happened around 10:30 PM outside the Bank of America branch at 2698 E. Main Street.

Police say the 22-year-old victim had just gotten out of his vehicle and was walking over to the ATM when the suspect came up from behind, brandished a knife and demanded money.

The victim complied and the suspect fled on foot westbound in the alley to the rear of the bank.

Police say the victim waited about ten minutes before calling them and they responded officers to the scene.

The officers searched the area but did not find the suspect.

There were no injuries reported.

The only description given of the suspect was an unknown race male wearing a black hoodie and grey pants.

Casitas Fire 100% Contained At 50 Acres

KVTA News Friday April 29, 2016

(Photo courtesy Ventura County Fire Department)

Updated--The brushfire that burned 50 acres Thursday near Casitas Springs was fully contained around 8:20 PM Friday night.

About 130 local, state and federal firefighters, including hand crews, engine companies and bulldozers, spent Thursday night and Friday morning working on containment lines and hot spots.  

By Friday afternoon most had left.

Even though the fire is now 100 percent contained, crews will remain on scene through Friday night into Saturday to make sure all the hot spots are extinguished.

The fire started shortly before 2 PM Thursday afternoon and pushed by gusty winds and steep, rugged terrain, grew quickly to 50 acres in just three hours.

More than 150 firefighters from several agencies, helped by several water dropping helicopters, battled the fire and stopped it at 50 acres.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Trials Ordered In Gang Killing Near Fairgrounds

KVTA News Friday April 29, 2016

A Ventura County judge Friday ordered trials for two defendants in what prosecutors say was a gang related killing near the County Fairgrounds in Ventura in 2013.

The authorities say that 18-year-old Gabriel Gutierrez of Ventura was found shot to death on the bike path near the Ventura River behind the fairgrounds on July 31, 2013, during the fair.

Ventura police said that Gutierrez and the two defendants, 27-year-old Erick Estrada and 20-year-old Timothy Adams, were involved in a verbal confrontation at the fair then left and walked to the area behind the fairgrounds where they got into a fight.

The authorities allege that during that fight Gutierrez was shot multiple times and died.

The suspects had fled the scene before police arrived.

Estrada was later identified as a suspect in the killing and arrested in jail where he was already facing attempted murder charges in another gang related shooting in west Ventura.

The authorities say Adams fled the state and was tracked down and arrested in Idaho and returned to Ventura County to face charges in the Gutierrez killing.

Adams is facing a gang related murder charge for Gutierrez killing but Estrada is facing those same charges plus a special circumstance allegation that could make him eligible for the death penalty if the DA pursues that.

He is also facing charges in connection with the attempted homicide shooting in the unrelated case. 

Both men remain in jail with Estrada's bail set at $3.5 million and Adams's bail set at $510,000.

Charges In Gang Related Inmate Attack

KVTA News Friday April 29, 2016

(From top to bottom, Pulido, Forrest, Cueva)

The Ventura County Sheriff's Department says three inmates have been arrested and charged in connection with what they say was a coordinated gang related assault on a rival gang member in a holding cell at the County Courthouse in Ventura.

Investigators say it happened on March 20th after three defendants had been taken from the jail to the holding cell for court appearances in their prior cases.

Deputies say that the three suspects, 27-year-old Jacob Pulido, 29-year-old Eric Forrest, and 20-year-old Gabriel Cueva, all from Ventura, are documented gang members.

The victim, who was housed at the Todd Road Jail, was placed in the same courthouse holding cell as the suspects.

Deputies say the victim is a documented member of a rival gang.

Investigators say there's a history of violence between the two gangs.

They say a deputy assigned to security at the courthouse saw Pulido use a unique sign language to communicate with Forrest and shortly after that Forrest allegedly battered the victim in the holding cell.

Deputies say after the first incident, the victim was placed back in the holding cell and was battered again, this time allegedly by Cueva.

The victim sustained minor injuries. 

The DA's office has filed gang related battery charges against all three defendants.

Probe Into Inmate's Courtroom Death Concluded

KVTA News Friday April 29, 2016

The Ventura County Sheriff's Department says the death of a jail inmate who collapsed and died while in court a week ago appears to have been the result of a pre-existing medical condition.

They say an autopsy and investigation into the April 22nd death of 70-year-old Timothy Kicker of Simi Valley showed no indication of any violence or suspicious circumstances.

Deputies say that Kicker was in court a week ago to be arraigned on a DUI charge when he collapsed and died. 

At the time he had been in custody since his arrest on the evening of April 20th.

Rash Of Residential Burglaries In Simi Valley

KVTA News Friday April 29, 2016

Simi Valley police are warning residents of a recent series of residential burglaries that appear to be related.

They say there have been several over the past few months but there's been an increase lately in the north and northeast sections of the city.

The most recent burglaries have been in the late evening hours although overall they had occurred at any time of day.

Police say the suspects focus on homes where the residents are gone for the time being but they have entered homes where someone is there.

In those cases the suspects appeared to want to avoid confrontation and they fled.

Police say burglars usually look for signs that no one is home including locations with no lights on or where no vehicles are parked in the driveway.

Residents are reminded to immediately report any suspicious activity in your neighborhood.

They say burglars will often knock on the front door or ring the bell to make sure no one is home.

Anyone with information that could help in the investigation should call Detective Collett at (805) 583-6968.

50 Acre Brushfire Near West Ventura 50% Contained

KVTA News Thursday April 28, 2016


(Photos courtesy Ventura County Aviation Unit)

Updated--The 50 acre brushfire burning near west Ventura is now 50% contained.

Crews will be out there all night completing containment lines and working on hot spots.

The fire was reported just before 2 PM Thursday afternoon near Ventura Avenue and Casitas Vista Road.

By 2:20 PM it had burned 3 acres and was growing.

By 2:40 it had burned 40 acres and was growing rapidly from west to east.

But by 5:15 PM only about 50 acres had burned so clearly firefighters had slowed the progress of the fire.

Firefighters from Ventura City and County were battling the fire along with hand crews and water dropping helicopters.

About 150 firefighters from several different agencies were assigned to the fire including a number of hand crews, engine companies and several water dropping helicopters.

Fixed wind air tankers had problems due to power lines in the area and the gusty winds.

All road closures were lifted.

The Teen Challenge facility was threatened but firefighters protected it and the fire moved past that area.

The are no structures in any immediate danger.

The fire has stayed to the east of Highway 33.

In addition to the high power lines, there is a 20 inch high pressure underground natural gas pipeline that runs beneath the power lines on the ridge where the fire is burning.

The forecast calls for gusty winds this evening but they should die down by morning and there's even a chance of low clouds and fog Friday morning.

No injuries reported.

Cause of the fire was under investigation.

Man Facing Life For Molesting Ventura Girl

KVTA News Thursday April 27, 2016

A Ventura County jury has convicted an Arizona man of the extensive sexual abuse of a Ventura girl.

Prosecutors say that 41-year-old Richard Gonzales molested the girl for three years starting when she was five years old.

They say Gonzales was involved in a relationship with the girl's mother at the time.

The case came to the attention of the authorities after the little girl told a friend at school and the friend went to the school principal and reported it and the principal notified the authorities. 

Gonzales is now facing life in prison when he is sentenced on May 20th.

Grand Juror Admits Stealing From Grand Jury

KVTA News Thursday April 27, 2016

A Moorpark man has admitted that while a member of the Ventura County Civil Grand Jury he submitted false time cards and forged the signature of the Grand Jury Foreman in order to get paid for time he was not working.

Prosecutors say that 85-year-old Robert A. Pesky served on the Civil Grand Jury for four years and was its treasurer for a time.

They say that during that time he submitted false time cards on four occasions for services as a grand juror on days he did not serve and then forged the signature of the grand jury foreman and submitted them to the county for payment.

They say he ripped off the taxpayers off for about $1,540.

Pesky pleaded guilty to misdemeanor grand theft and was sentenced to 30 days of home confinement with an ankle bracelet and three years summary probation.

Pesky paid full restitution.

The Civil Grand Jury's role is in part to make sure government is running efficiently and effectively and above board.

Jail Inmate Accused Of Assaulting Deputy

KVTA News Thursday April 27, 2016

A female Ventura County Jail inmate has been charged with assaulting a deputy while in custody at the Todd Road jail near Santa Paula.

Deputies say 23-year-old Sarah Robledo of Camarillo was charged with battery on a peace officer, obstructing and resisting a peace officer.

They say during the incident on the night of April 13th, the deputy was directing two inmates in the housing unit hallway when Robledo allegedly failed to follow several directives and began to walk away.

Deputies say as the deputy tried to stop Robledo, she turned around and immediately started flailing her arms and tried to punch the deputy several times.

A second deputy responded and the two deputies were able to finally restrain Robledo.

The two deputies received minor injuries during the incident.

Deputies say that Robledo was originally in custody for second degree robbery, battery and resisting arrest and has been in jail since January.

She has pleaded not guilty to the latest charges and is due in court Friday for a preliminary hearing.