East Valley News: LAPD Officer Reportedly Injured in Hit-and-Run; Dr. Phil's Stolen '57 Chevy Recovered

Here are some of the top stories from around the East San Fernando Valley this week.

Here are some of the top police and fire stories recently in the East San Fernando Valley from areas not directly covered by Patch. Go to Sherman Oaks Patch, Studio City Patch and North Hollywood-Toluca Lake Patch for news in those areas.

Mission Hills

A Los Angeles motorcycle officer was struck and injured by a hit-and-run driver in Mission Hills, police announced Friday.

The crash occurred at approximately 7:15 p.m. on Thursday in the 15500 block of Rinaldi Street, according to Officer Cleon Joseph of the Los Angeles Police Department.

Investigators believe a dark colored four-door sedan, possibly a Dodge Charger, traveling east on Rinaldi Street, veered right and hit the LAPD motor officer, who was also traveling eastbound on Rinalldi, Joseph said.

The motor officer lost control of his bike as a result of the collision and crashed into a tree before landing on the roadway, Joseph said. The motorcycle continued on in a southeast direction and crashed into a building, according to Joseph.

The officer was taken to a hospital for treatment, Joseph said. His condition was not released.

The other motorist did not stop and was last seen driving through the parking lot of Presidente restaurant, located at 11451 Sepulveda Boulevard, then southbound on Sepulveda, Joseph said.

Authorities urged anyone with information regarding this collision to contact Valley Traffic Division detectives at (818) 644-8022 or 1-877-LAPD-24- 7.


A 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air owned by talk show host Phil McGraw was among several stolen classic cars recovered in a series of raids by the sheriff's Taskforce for Regional Autotheft Prevention, authorities revealed this week.

McGraw's car was found in an undisclosed location in Los Angeles on Sunday, said Lt. Greg Jones. Jones said he could not reveal the location because the investigation is ongoing.

McGraw's car had minor body damage but was otherwise in good condition, Jones said.

McGraw's car was taken from a garage in Burbank in August by a ring specializing in classic cars, Jones said. Several of members of the ring have been arrested, including one of the masterminds about a month ago.

Task force members have visited at least 30 locations since August, seeking leads on stolen cars, Jones said.

The ring is made up of people who know each other. Often the vehicles have had their identifying numbers altered to avoid being identified as stolen. In some cases, people paid as much as $50,000 for one of the cars before learning their vehicles were stolen, Jones said.   Typically, the ring members would get rid of the original identifying numbers and then register them as their own before selling them.


A Sylmar man pleaded no contest Thursday to killing his father by running him over with a  sport utility vehicle and injuring one of his own brothers.

Martin Martinez, 27, pleaded no contest to one count each of voluntary manslaughter and attempted voluntary manslaughter, according to Jane Robison of the District Attorney's Office.

He is due back in Los Angeles Superior Court for sentencing Jan. 7, when he is facing 11 1/2 years in state prison, Robison said.

Martinez, who uses a wheelchair and drove a vehicle he operated with hand controls, ran down his father and struck his brother outside the home in the 13200 block of Bradley Avenue on June 7, 2011, authorities said.

Francisco Martinez, 62, was fatally injured following an argument that had spilled outside the house, authorities said.

The defendant's brother suffered fractures to both legs, according to the District Attorney's Office.


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