Claremont Insider: Thursday Crime Report

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Thursday Crime Report


The Los Angeles Times reported yesterday that Moun Chau, the owner of a Claremont donut shop, was indicted by federal officials on January 19th on charges that he illegally purchased and imported elephant ivory from Thailand.

The article said Chau purchased the items on eBay. It went on to say:

Fish and wildlife agents tracked the shipment of tusks to Chau's business in Claremont, where they later seized dozens of ivory pieces. Samples of those items and others from undercover ivory purchases in Thailand were sent to Fish and Wildlife's forensic lab in Ashland, Ore., for DNA testing, which determined they were from endangered African elephants, Dean said.

A joint investigation by her agency and the Royal Thai Police, with help from animal welfare groups such as the Freeland Foundation, led to the indictment of Chau and his alleged accomplice in Thailand, Samart Chokchoyma, 36.

The Times article didn't name the business, but according to the Claremont Courier, Chau owns Pixie Donuts, which is located in the Vons Shopping Center at Base Line Rd. and Mills Ave.

According to the indictment (posted online by the Daily Bulletin), Moun's transactions occurred in 2006. EBay has since banned the sale of ivory on its site.

(One non-crime note: Pixie Donuts also has the best donuts in the immediate area. This news is a real surprise. )


Wes Woods II over at the Daily Bulletin posted a couple snippets of other police blotter action:

The Claremont PD is warning residents to watch out for scammers claiming to solicit donations for Haitian earthquake victims. CPD reminds people to use common sense, to verify the organization's identity, and to not give out any personal identifying information.

The city of Claremont also has Red Cross donation boxes located at City Hall and the Alexander Hughes Community Center. More info here.

The CPD offers residents this advice:

Haitian Earthquake: Be Wary of Donation Solicitations

Claremont PD reminds Internet users who receive appeals to donate money in the aftermath of Tuesday's earthquake in Haiti to apply a critical eye and do their due diligence before responding to those requests. Past tragedies and natural disasters have prompted individuals with criminal intent to solicit contributions purportedly for a charitable organization and/or a good cause.

Therefore, before making a donation of any kind, consumers should adhere to certain guidelines, to include the following:
  • Do not respond to any unsolicited (spam) incoming e-mails, including clicking links contained within those messages.
  • Be skeptical of individuals representing themselves as surviving victims or officials asking for donations via e-mail or social networking sites.
  • Verify the legitimacy of nonprofit organizations by utilizing various Internet-based resources that may assist in confirming the group's existence and its nonprofit status rather than following a purported link to the site.
  • Be cautious of e-mails that claim to show pictures of the disaster areas in attached files because the files may contain viruses. Only open attachments from known senders.
  • Make contributions directly to known organizations rather than relying on others to make the donation on your behalf to ensure contributions are received and used for intended purposes.
  • Do not give your personal or financial information to anyone who solicits contributions: Providing such information may compromise your identity and make you vulnerable to identity theft.
Anyone who has received an e-mail referencing the above information or anyone who may have been a victim of this or a similar incident should notify the IC3 via

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Wood's Claremont Now blog also carried news of an armed robbery at the Baskin-Robbins at 973 W. Foothill Blvd. The robbers apparently got away with $220. No word on whether they took that in a cup or cone.