Somis motorcycle crash victim named, burglars plead guilty, more Ventura County news

Somis motorcycle crash victim named, burglars plead guilty, more Ventura County news


Here’s a roundup of recent incidents and announcements from Ventura County agencies:

Moorpark man identified in fatal Somis crash

VENTURA COUNTY — California Highway Patrol officials released additional details about a motorcycle crash that killed a Moorpark man on Monday.

The victim was identified as Todd E. Coursey, 42, according to the Ventura County Medical Examiner’s Office.

The crash was reported at 9:10 a.m. Monday at the intersection of Highway 118, also known as East Los Angeles Avenue, and Bradley Road in the unincorporated Somis area.

Coursey was riding westbound on the 118 on a 1994 Harley-Davidson, approaching the intersection with Bradley Road. At the same time, a 54-year-old Somis man drove a 2004 Dodge Ram 1500 southbound on Bradley Road, CHP officials reported on Tuesday.

Coursey crossed over the double-yellow lines to pass a vehicle as the driver of the pickup was making a left turn onto the highway, CHP officials said, resulting in the collision.

Coursey, who was wearing a helmet, was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the pickup, who wore a seat belt, was uninjured.

The CHP’s Ventura office is investigating the accident.

Ventura widow defrauded of more than $1 million, prosecutors say

VENTURA — A San Diego man was charged with numerous felonies for his suspected role in defrauding over $1 million from a 94-year-old Ventura woman, according to the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office.

Worthey Tobe Smith Jr., 84, of San Diego, was charged this month with 22 counts of money laundering, one count of conspiracy and one count of receiving stolen property, according to Ventura County Superior Court records. He pleaded not guilty to all counts on Monday.

Prosecutors allege that Smith worked with an unidentified co-conspirator who tricked the victim, a widow, into believing she had received a large grant but that she needed to contribute money first. The co-conspirator lured in the victim with a series of phone calls, prosecutors allege, while Smith obtained 24 checks from her totaling $1.14 million.

More local news: Pets die in house fire, semi drives off Highway 118, RV fire victim named

Smith is suspected of negotiating 22 of the checks, converting them into cashier’s checks that he sent to a second unidentified co-conspirator in Michigan. He is also believed to have linked a debit card to the victim’s bank account and withdrawn more than $15,000. The case was investigated by the Ventura Police Department.

Smith was arrested on April 12 and remains in custody at Ventura County jail with bail set at $500,000, according to online jail records. He is scheduled for an early disposition conference at 1:30 p.m. April 27 in courtroom 12.

Chilean burglary suspects plead guilty

CAMARILLO — Two Chilean nationals pleaded guilty in a Camarillo burglary case that involved a high-speed pursuit into Los Angeles County, the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office said Tuesday.

The suspects, identified as Byron Manuel Moris Perez, 25, and Galvez Valdivieso, 33, pleaded guilty to charges of felony residential burglary, felony conspiracy and resisting arrest. Perez also pleaded guilty to charges of felony evading arrest and possession of burglary tools.

The burglary was reported at 7 p.m. on March 2 in the 800 block of Corte La Cienega in Camarillo. A resident at the home said there were several suspected burglars inside.

Ventura County Sheriff’s deputies responded and pursued the suspects, sometimes at high speed, into the Van Nuys area of Los Angeles. Los Angeles Police Department officers and a helicopter crew assisted. Two suspects were arrested at the end of the pursuit, while two more were arrested a week later.

The other two suspects, a 15-year-old boy and an 18-year-old man, also from Chile, have been arrested and pleaded not guilty to their charges. All four are suspected to be members of a South American Theft Group.

Sentencing for Valdivieso is scheduled for 9 a.m. May 5 in room 23 of Ventura County Superior Court, while Perez is due for sentencing at 9 a.m. on June 6. Both remain in custody at county jail in lieu of $250,000 bail each.

Simi police warn of phone scam

SIMI VALLEY — The Simi Valley Police Department reported multiple instances of a new phone scam among Ventura County residents.

A caller, who claims to be a Simi Valley police officer, tells victims there is an urgent legal matter and that they must take care of the issue by calling a telephone number provided by the scam caller.

Police Department officials said Tuesday the calls are fraudulent. Detectives are following up on known calls. Anyone with information is asked to contact the department’s detective bureau at 805-583-6950.

Jeremy Childs is a breaking news and public safety reporter covering the night shift for the Ventura County Star. He can be reached by calling 805-437-0208 or emailing [email protected]. You can also find him on Twitter @Jeremy_Childs.

This article originally appeared on Ventura County Star: Roundup: Somis crash victim named, Chilean burglars plead guilty, more


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