Common Criminal Actions & What You Can Do

Annoying Phone Calls

Not all unwanted calls are criminal in nature. Some may be as simple as a fax machine or computer modem inadvertently programmed with the wrong number. The Alhambra Police Department will do what it can to assist to solve this problem. Steps to stop annoying phone calls:

  • Complete a police report - if the calls are criminal in nature, then call your phone service provider (if you have Pacific Bell, call 800-698-7223).
  • Tell your provider that you would like to have a "phone trap" placed on your line. You will need to provide them with the Alhambra Police Department's report number that was issued to your case.
  • The trap will be placed on your line for approximately 14 days. During this time, you must maintain an accurate log of all illegal calls including date and time, and contact your service provider as soon as possible with the information. It is very important to track the exact time of each call.
  • A trap is considered successful if you receive two or more illegal calls from the same telephone number. If your representative tells you they have a "hit", call the Alhambra Police Department Investigations Division at 626-570-5157, and request to speak to the detective who has been assigned to your case. Have your police report number available.
  • The results of the phone trap will be faxed to the police department usually within 2 weeks. Your service provider cannot release any information directly to you.

Restraining Orders

Restraining orders will normally prohibit the restrained party from harassing, bothering, molesting, phoning, or otherwise contacting the protected person, and usually specifies a distance that the restrained party must stay away from the protected person, his/her home and place of employment. Steps to obtain a restraining order:

  • You can apply for a restraining order at the Alhambra Superior Court at 626-308-5307 located at 150 W Commonwealth Avenue, Alhambra, or at the Pasadena Superior Court, at 626-356-5689 located at 300 East Walnut Avenue Room 102, Pasadena.
  • Restraining orders may also require one party to move out of a residence, award temporary custody of children and prohibit the restrained party from possessing or acquiring firearms.
  • Types of Restraining Orders: - Domestic Violence - These restraining orders are "free," and apply to parties involved in a dating or marital relationship. Family members who live in the same household (such as brothers and sisters) also are covered by domestic violence orders. - Civil Restraining Orders - These are given in instances where domestic violence does not apply; the cost is $192. However, fee waivers are available if you qualify.
  • Once the court grants a Restraining Order, you must serve the person(s) to be restrained and file the Restraining Order along with the "proof of service" with the law enforcement agency in the jurisdiction(s) where you live/work in order for the Restraining Order to be valid. The initial Restraining Order is only "temporary."
  • A Restraining Order may be made permanent following a later hearing at the Pasadena Superior Court where both the restrained party and the protected person are present.
  • Any violation of a restraining order should be reported to the law enforcement agency where the violation occurs. Only the judge who issued the order can modify it. You should keep a copy of the signed order and proof of service on hand.
  • Assistance for victims of domestic violence can be obtained by calling 1800-799-SAFE, 24-hours a day for referrals to state and local programs.

Missing Persons

The Alhambra Police Department will make a missing person report regardless of when or where the missing person was last seen and then forward a copy to the appropriate agency for further investigation. Steps for reporting a missing person:

  • To report missing juveniles or adults, call the Alhambra Police Department Dispatch at 626-570-5151. 
  • Most missing persons reported to the Alhambra Police Department are located in good health and return home within 24 to 48 hours.
  • Most missing and runaway children return home on their own. Common reasons why children run away or are reporting missing include teens upset over discipline issues, misunderstandings between parents and children as to when they are to return home, and young children who lose track of time while playing with friends.
  • Which forwarding agency the report is sent to will depend on where the missing person was last seen or if he/she resides in another jurisdiction.
  • Responding uniformed officers will interview you and check your house and yard for the missing child. Young children are often found hiding from their parents inside or near the home.
  • To assist detectives in locating your child, have available a recent picture of your child and the full names, addresses, and phone numbers of your child's friends.

Counterfeit Checks

The instances of fraud using counterfeit checks have skyrocketed. Now anyone can acquire a computer, software, scanner, and color printer that makes counterfeiting a do-it-yourself operation. Steps to avoid counterfeit checks:

  • Know your customer when cashing checks. If an individual presents a payroll check drawn on a company that's not local to you and their identification shows an address some distance away, ask yourself why they are shopping with you.
  • Unless you have great prices or unique merchandise they can't find closer to home, ask yourself why this customer is patronizing your store. This is especially true at markets on weekends when verifying the validity of the check with the employer or bank is not an option.
  • Nearly all fraudulent payroll checks passed at local merchants are computer-generated. They are often for amounts just shy of $400. Misspellings and inconsistencies in addresses or other information that appears on the face of the check are common errors on fraudulent documents.
  • Be cautious of accepting cashier's checks from strangers on weekends. Cashiers checks are a favorite with counterfeiters and are often used to purchase high-dollar items such as vehicles, computer equipment, and jewelry. Ideally, accompany the purchaser to the bank that issued the check to verify its validity. If that is not possible, do not ship or deliver your merchandise until you confirm that the check is valid.

Internet Safety

  • Keep your passwords private - even from your best friend! Your online service will never ask for them, so neither should anyone else.
  • Use only your Log-In Name and/or email address when chatting or sending an email.
  • Never give out personal information such as your name, address, or phone number.
  • Always delete any unknown email attachment as it could contain a destructive virus.
  • Remember that nothing you write on the Web is completely private, including email, so be careful what you write. Remember also that people are not always as nice, charming, or entertaining as they may seem in email correspondence, so be careful when meeting "online" friends in person.
  • Children should always ask for permission before meeting an "online" friend in person and a parent or guardian should accompany them on the first visit.
  • Don't respond to messages that make you feel uncomfortable or uneasy.
  • Never give out a credit card number or online password over the Internet.


The subpoena is an order from the court to appear in person at a specific time and place. Failure to appear is a contempt of court and can lead to an arrest. Only the District Attorney or the Court can excuse someone from appearing. What to do if you receive a subpoena:

  • Call 626-570-5163 to reach one of the Division's Subpoena Control Officers.
  • The Alhambra Police Department's Investigations Division serves subpoenas issued by the District Attorney.
  • If you have received a subpoena from the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office, you are either a victim or witness to a crime. The back of the subpoena has further information about the court system.
  • If you have questions about the case or why you have received a subpoena, you may call the District Attorney's Office. The name and phone number of the Deputy District Attorney issuing the subpoena are located on the bottom right-hand corner of the subpoena.
  • Some subpoenas are "on-call". This means that you do not have to appear in court, but you need to make arrangements with the District Attorney so they can reach you if your presence is required. Instructions can be found in the box entitled "Special Instructions to Witness."
  • Another type of subpoena is the Subpoena Duces Tecum, commonly referred to as an SDT. This subpoena requires that someone, usually the "custodian of records," bring specified documents or other business records to court. A personal appearance may not be required for an SDT. The subpoena will explain the procedure for compliance. Questions should be directed to the District Attorney issuing the subpoena.