For details about the wave of residential burglaries, and police advice on protecting your home, visit and click “Crime Log: Police advise public to lock doors.”

The verdict is in. An Orange County jury found Joseph Ettima guilty of murdering his grandmother roughly five years ago. Now the jury must decide if he was sane at the time. If found sane, he faces a possible sentence of life imprisonment without parole. For details, visit and click on “Man convicted in Los Alamitos murder-arson case.”

In 2009, a Los Alamitos woman was murdered and the apartment set on fire with two children inside. This week, opening arguments began in the trial of the man accused of committing the crime—the deceased’s grandson. For details, see and click on “Crime Log: Trial starts in 2009 Los Alamitos murder-arson case”

Congratulations to newly promoted Los Alamitos Police sergeants Chris Karrer and Rick Moore and new corporals Kain Gallaugher and Paul Barbieri on their promotions. Well done.

A formal promotion ceremony will be held Monday, July 15. For information about the officers, see the Crime Log in the July 18 print edition of the Sun.

Starting next week, we’ll eliminate a disclaimer that has appeared in the Crime Log for about six years in its current form. The disclaimer explains which law enforcement agencies provide crime log information and reminds everyone that each suspect is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

That last statement is currently true, but I see no point in telling Seal Beach residents that we got information about Seal Beach crime—such little as we normally get—from the Seal Beach Police Department. The same is true of Rossmoor residents, served by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and Los Alamitos residents, who are served by Los Alamitos PD.

In related news, I’m looking for an intern to assist me with the Crime Log. You’d have to be an adult. There is no pay. If you want college credit, you have to work that out with your school. You will learn the jargon of the Crime Log and how to translate it into English. It isn’t tough, but it requires a bit of work and a little experience helps.

Sorry, no public employees or volunteers with public agencies. That’s a potential conflict of interest.

If you’re interested, e-mail—I don’t do end runs around my boss—and carbon copy to me at

See you next week,

I cover crime for the Sun. Which is to say, I compile the Crime Log. So for these week’s blog, I’d like to ask a few questions.

What would you like to see more of in the Crime Log?

Do you feel safe in your community?

Are there problems you don’t feel have been adequately covered?

Remember, I can’t report about it if no one tells me anything, so—tell me what you’d like to see.

Always a pleasure,

My first Crime Log was published in the July 15, 2005 issue of the Sun Newspaper. I looked up that first log recently. I cringed. I like to think I’ve improved, if only a little, as both a reporter and a writer since I wrote the story “Smell of death in the air remains a mystery.” A resident reported smelling a dead body. Police never found a body–or anything else to explain the unpleasant smell.
By the way, I didn’t write that headline.
Weak as that story was—a weak Crime Log is good for the community, but bad for the crime reporter—the log was an important step in regaining a journalism career I thought gone when events sent me into the advertising business. (I’m not going back. I’ll throw myself into the jaws of a shark before I return to advertising.)
The log seemed funnier during the early years than it is now. I’ve never forgotten the dog that wouldn’t allow the dogsitter back into his own home or the women who fought over the shark. Good times.
I’ll also never forget the uglier crimes: robbery, rape, murder and child abuse.
I prefer the lighter side.
Trouble is, I can only write about what’s in the log and what I’ve learned about the local crime scene. If criminals are more petty and cruel than stupid and sloppy, that’s what I have to report.
A man once asked me to put his name in the Crime Log. He didn’t want to report the person who shot him with a BB gun, he just wanted his name in the Crime Log.
We only report crimes that have been reported to law enforcement. Are we clear?
Do you folks have any suggestions for making the log better?