530 Crime Watch: Felon with loaded guns arrested after traffic stop, police say

Damon Arthur Mike Chapman David Benda
Redding Record Searchlight

A felon was arrested in downtown Redding early Wednesday after officers found two loaded guns and drug paraphernalia in his vehicle, police said.

Officers stopped a 1967 Chevrolet Malibu around 1:45 a.m. on Pine Street because it was driving with no lights on. Police said the driver was identified as Steven Schlapia, 56, of Redding.

Steven Schlapia

Schlapia became hostile and refused to listen to officers before he finally surrendered and officers got him out of the car, police said.

During a search of the vehicle, officers found a loaded 9 mm handgun with a round in the chamber between the two front bucket seats, police said.

The officers also found inside the vehicle a methamphetamine smoking pipe, a loaded .22 caliber rifle and another loaded magazine for the rifle, police said.

Because he is a felon, Schlapia is prohibited from possessing guns or ammunition, police said.

Schlapia was arrested and booked into Shasta County Jail.

Man arrested in Anderson on suspicion of kidnapping, carjacking

Monday, Nov. 23

A Stockton man on post-release community supervision was arrested in Anderson on suspicion of domestic violence and kidnapping after police say he punched his girlfriend multiple times while she was driving on Interstate 5.

Michael Galindo

Police were called to North Street around 7:30 p.m. Friday.

The girlfriend told police she was able to get out of the vehicle after pulling off the freeway. That’s when Michael Galindo, 28, got into the driver’s seat and drove away with the girlfriend’s 5-year-old son still in the vehicle, police said.

Officers later located the vehicle in the area of Loop Street and attempted to arrest Galindo, who refused to surrender and began shouting profanities at them, police said.

Officers told Galindo they would use police K-9 Ivan if he continued to resist arrest. Galindo then got out of the vehicle and turned away from officers and dropped his hands to his waist, police said.

Ivan was deployed and he took Galindo to the ground before he was detained.

The boy was found safe in the vehicle and returned to his mother, police said.

Galindo was on post-release community supervision for being a felon in possession of a gun, police said.

He was treated at the hospital for bite wounds and released. Galindo also was arrested on suspicion of carjacking, child endangerment, DUI, resisting arrest, and a probation violation.

Police canine credited with finding stolen hunting gear in Redding

Thursday, Nov. 19

A police canine is credited with helping recover stolen hunting gear after a Redding man had his truck and equipment stolen from him early Thursday morning from the 2200 Block of Gold St., police said.

Redding Police K9 Otto used his scent to help authorities recover stolen hunting gear and shotguns on Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020.

The man was preparing to go on a hunting trip with two children when he went into his house to grab coffee, according to authorities.

Redding police said he then returned outside. His truck, three shot guns and ammunition were gone, authorities said.

The truck was found by a passing motorist on Canyon Creek Road and Starburst Drive with one of the firearms along with the ammunition inside the vehicle, officials said.

The other firearms were located using K-9 Otto, officials said. K-9 Otto picked up the scent of the hunting equipment in a heavily wooded area near the vehicle off Canyon Creek and Starburst Drive, officials said.

Police Cpl. Chris Mills said no arrests were made and the incident is still under investigation. 

Deputies find a dozen guns inside wanted man's Shasta Lake home

Friday, Nov. 13

Deputies found an arsenal of firearms inside the home of a Shasta Lake man, who had been wanted since this past summer, the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office said.

Jacob Tyler Pearson
The arsenal of guns the Shasta County Sheriff's Office found inside the home of a wanted man on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020.

Jacob Tyler Pearson, 35, was arrested at his home in the 5200 block of Grand Avenue around 2:45 p.m. Th, deputies said.

Deputies found 12 firearms inside Pearson’s residence, including three illegal assault rifles, a sawed-off shotgun and a handgun and rifle that had been reported stolen, deputies said.

Pearson was wanted for possession of a loaded and concealed handgun during an incident in August, investigators said. A Shasta County sheriff’s news release did not give details of the incident.

In addition to the warrant, Pearson was arrested on suspicion of possessing an assault weapon, possession of a sawed-off shotgun and other charges.

Anderson woman arrested for alleged insurance fraud

Thursday, Nov. 12

An Anderson woman, who claimed her vehicle was stolen in January 2020, was arrested after filing a false report, California Department of Insurance officials said on Thursday. 

Officials said 36-year-old Donn Lurrinda Hayden filed a police report and insurance claim after she said her 2006 Ford Mustang was stolen while drinking at a bar in downtown Redding.

Redding police found Hayden's car abandoned a mile from the downtown area. It crashed in an embankment and had damage to the front, officials said.

Redding police investigated the crash and discovered items belonging to Hayden. They said they learned from witness statements someone who matched Hayden's identity had been seen leaving the scene on foot, officials said.

California Department of Insurance conducted its own investigation and found Hayden filed the insurance claim and police report several hours after the vehicle was found, officials said.

CDI officials said Hayden made inconsistent statements to Redding police investigators during the night of the event and stated she was "buzzed" from drinking when she claimed an unknown person had stolen her car.

Hayden's voice was heard during a 911 call aggressively yelling at a bystander at the scene to end the call, officials said. 

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Redding police and CDI officials determined Hayden left the scene and by doing so, she evaded a DUI investigation, officials said.

Hayden's insurance company was forced to pay over $6,500 dollars for the loss of the vehicle, officials said.

Hayden, who was on parole for a violent felony, was arrested on suspicion of felony insurance fraud, filing a false police report and witness intimidation, officials said. She was booked into Shasta County Jail.

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Redding man arrested for the 18th time, police say

Wednesday, Nov. 11

A Redding man with a violent criminal history was arrested Wednesday morning for the 18th time after crashing his vehicle and running from officers, police said.

Michael Vandolah, 63, was arrested after being found by K-9 Gunner hiding in overgrown brush surrounding a water hazard at the former River Tasalmi golf course off South Bonnyview Road, a Redding Police Department news release said.

Michael Vandolah

Police were sent to the intersection of South Bonnyview Road and Indianwood Drive for a solo-vehicle collision around 10:45 a.m. Wednesday. Officers spoke to Vandolah, who they said was the driver.

While officers were investigating the crash, Vandolah ran to the former golf course in the River Bend Estates neighborhood.

“Vandolah has an extensive history of violence and fleeing from officers and is currently on probation for drug related offenses. Officers also discovered there was an active warrant for Vandolah’s arrest,” a police news release said. 

Police set up a perimeter around the golf course before they found Gunner.

Vandolah was arrested on suspicion of hit and run, resisting arrest and violation of probation. His criminal record in Shasta County dates to 1992, police said. 

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Woman accused of starting seven fires in Redding

Wednesday, Nov. 11

A woman was arrested on suspicion of arson of starting seven fires in the area of East Cypress Avenue and Hartnell Avenue in Redding earlier this week, fire investigators said Wednesday.

Ashley Mellot

Ashley Mellot was booked into Shasta County Jail, authorities said.

On Sunday morning, firefighters were dispatched to multiple fires, including a small spot of vegetation and trash near Pulse Urgent Care, a tire fire and spot vegetation fire at Big O Tires and three trash cans on fire in front of America’s Tire in the Cobblestone Shopping Center, investigators said.

All the fires were quickly put out.

Investigators then obtained video surveillance footage. It showed a woman, who they later identified as Mellot, at all three locations igniting at least one of the fires, the Redding Fire Department said.

California Alcoholic Beverage Control logo

Police: Four store clerks cited for selling alcohol to a minor

Friday, Nov. 6

A minor decoy operation resulted in four store clerks being cited for selling alcohol to an underage customer.

The Redding Police Department said its officers and agents from the state's Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) went to Anderson to conduct the operation from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday.

Clerks were issued citations at the following locations:

  • Valero on North Street
  • Arco am/pm on Rhonda Road
  • Mike's Food and Fuel on Ox Yoke Road
  • 7-Eleven on North Street

"Minor decoy operations involve minors who work under the direct supervision of officers and attempt to purchase alcohol from retail licensees," the RPD said in a news release.

Store employees who sell booze to a minor as a first violation face a minimum $250 fine and/or 24 to 32 hours of community service, police said.

ABC also will take administrative measures toward a store's alcoholic beverage license for violations. Those actions could include fines and a suspension or permanent revocation of the license. Furnishing alcohol to a minor carries a minimum $1,000 fine and 24 hours of community service, police said.

A 1994 ruling by the California Supreme Court determined the use of underage decoys "is a valid tool of law enforcement to ensure that licensees are complying with the law," police said.

Minor decoy operations have been around since the 1980s and when they first began, violations ran as high as 40% to 50%. The rate in some cities has since fallen to 10% or lower. 

There have been times in the Redding area when all the store clerks tcontacted have refused to sell to the minor decoys.

Funding for the program comes from ABC grants.

Homeless man arrested in Redding on suspicion of arson

Thursday, Nov. 5

A homeless man was arrested Thursday for starting a small fire in grass and brush on Rancho Road, the Redding Fire Department said.

Firefighters were dispatched to the 3590 block of Rancho Road around 9:15 a.m. Thursday for a report of a vegetation fire. They located a 30-foot-by-10-foot spot fire near a homeless camp when they arrived and quickly put it out, investigators said.

Authorities later received information that a man later identified as Robert Ward was seen leaving the area shortly after the fire started, investigators said.

Ward confessed to starting the fire and was subsequently arrested on suspicion of arson, authorities said. 

Man helping with remodel accused of sexually assaulting two teens

Tuesday, Nov. 3

A 20-year-old man who was hired to help with a home remodel in Red Bluff has been arrested on suspicion of child molestation, police said Tuesday.

Authorities identified the man as Donald Conner and said he was brought into the victims’ home to help their father remodel the house. In exchange, Conner lived with the family and was to be compensated for his work when the job was done, Red Bluff Police Department investigators said.

Conner slept in the same room as two teenage girls due to the condition of the house during the remodel, police said.

While their parents slept, the girls reported being sexually assaulted by Conner over a period of several months, investigators said.

Conner was arrested at his parents’ Red Bluff area house and booked into the Tehama County Jail, where is bail is $450,000, police said.

Tehama County man arrested on suspicion of rape 

Tuesday, Nov. 3

Police arrested a 21-year-old Tehama County man who they said drugged and raped a woman after a Halloween party at a residence in Red Bluff.

Red Bluff Police Department said in a news release the 22-year-old victim had invited Gavin Parker to her party. She told investigators that during the party, she believes Parker gave her an unknown substance that made it difficult for her to stay awake.

After most of the guests left, Parker asked to stay the night and was told he could sleep on the couch, investigators said.

Investigators said Parker made a romantic advancement on the victim, and when she refused, he “forcibly raped and strangled the victim until she passed out,” according to the news release.

Parker, who is on parole for domestic violence, was contacted by detectives on Monday at the state parole office in Red Bluff. He was arrested on suspicion of rape and booked into the Tehama County Jail. His bail is $315,000.

Police: Man arrested for DUI, throwing objects at store clerk

Monday, Nov. 2 

A Santa Rosa man was arrested in Redding on Monday morning after police said he drove drunk, crashed into at least two vehicles and threw items at a Circle K store clerk.

Michael Hernandez, 46, was arrested on suspicion of battery, hit-and-run driving and driving under the influence of drugs, according to Redding police.

Hernandez was at a Circle K store in Redding, where he struck an employee by throwing items inside the store, police said. The employee pepper-sprayed Hernandez, who then got in his car and drove away, police said.

Michael Hernandez

Hernandez eventually drove to a family member's house on Corona Street, where officers met up with him, police said.

Hernandez's vehicle, a 2004 burgundy Pontiac Grand Prix, collided with an occupied vehicle in the area of Hartnell Avenue and Victor Avenue and it hit a parked car in the 3900 block of Polaris Street, police said.

The man initially refused to obey officers' commands, but he ultimately surrendered without incident at about 7:30 a.m., police said. He was arrested and booked into Shasta County Jail, police said.

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