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Redlands Police Recognize Local Heroes Who Were Unafraid to Step Up

Two Redlands residents, witnesses to crimes, were recognized for their quick thinking.

Redlands Police Chief Mark Garcia with local honoree Maria Valdez. Photo courtesy of Redlands Police.
Redlands Police Chief Mark Garcia with local honoree Maria Valdez. Photo courtesy of Redlands Police.

Story courtesy of Carl Baker, City of Redlands spokesman

The Redlands Police Department recently recognized a number of employees and volunteers and welcomed new members to the department.

Redlands-Loma Linda Patch will post the stories on the honorees, as presented by city spokesman Carl Baker, in separate articles.

Police Chief Mark Garcia presented Chief’s Commendations to two residents, two department employees and a business. Lifesaving awards were presented to an RPD officer, five members of the Redlands Fire Department and a civilian member of the public for their actions in treating a driver who suffered a heart attack.

Below are a few of the stories:

Paul Holley

“On the afternoon Sept. 20, Paul Holley was at his mother’s residence in a neighborhood on the east side of town when a man rang the doorbell.  When Holley answered, the man asked about the residence, saying that his mother was interested in buying the home which was up for sale.

After Holley spoke to him, the man walked away and got into a newer Hyundai parked in the driveway. Holley watched the man as he sat in the vehicle for several minutes. Something told him the subject’s behavior was just not right.  He kept a close eye on the man and watched as he drove away and parked around the corner.   He saw the man park the Hyundai on the wrong side of the street, exit the car and walk toward the back yard of a neighboring residence.  A minute or two later, he saw the man with another man carrying a large flat-screen television and another object to the Hyundai. Holley called police.

While he was speaking with dispatch, Holley saw the Hyundai pull away from the curb.

He quickly sprung into action and followed the suspect’s car in his own vehicle while giving dispatch the vehicle’s license plate and direction of travel.  He followed the vehicle for about three miles while updating police dispatchers until the RPD air support unit was able to spot them and direct officers who detained the three occupants.  Inside the vehicle were several items stolen in the residential burglary including a flat screen television.

Police arrested the three men who had also been involved in an attempted burglary a day earlier.  If not for Holley’s quick actions and willingness to help, there is no doubt the suspects would have evaded capture that day.  Who knows how many other people they would have victimized?”

Maria Valdez

“On Aug. 13, Maria Valdez was traveling on Church Street approaching Brockton Avenue when she saw a man standing near the northwest corner of Church and Brockton.  Suddenly, the man started firing a gun towards a residence on the southwest corner of the intersection. Valdez heard several gunshots and someone screaming. The man turned and ran eastbound across Church Street directly in front of Valdez’s car.

Valdez watched as the man entered the driver's seat of a black four-door car parked in an alley east of Church Street. Despite the potential danger that existed, she turned east onto Brockton Avenue and watched as the suspect vehicle pulled out of the alleyway in front of her.   She memorized the license plate to the vehicle, pulled over, and immediately called 911.

Later when detectives showed her a photographic lineup containing a possible suspect, Valdez identified the suspected shooter.  Valdez is commended for her great observation skills. Her actions and observations quickly led to the arrest of the suspect and took a dangerous criminal off the streets.”    

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