MONTEREY PARK ( — An Azusa man was arrested Tuesday for allegedly making a series of phone threats against several schools, a health facility and a shopping mall in the east San Gabriel Valley last week.

Gerardo Cortez, 26, was taken into custody in Monrovia around 4 p.m. and booked on five counts of felony making criminal threats and five counts of false report of an emergency. His bail was set at $250,000.

Capt. Mike Parker of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said Cortez, who has a prior criminal history, was tracked down with “advanced technology.”

Last Thursday, officers searched the campus of Arcadia High School after someone called 911 and threatened to shoot students with an assault rifle.

On Sept. 10, the Arcadia Police Department received threats against the Westfield Santa Anita Mall. Also, Northview Intermediate School and Duarte High School were placed on lockdown after a threat was called in.

On Sept. 9, the Covina Police Department received a call from a man who said he was going to shoot people with an AK-47 at “Citrus Medical Center.” The facility doesn’t exist, so authorities searched and locked down multiple hospitals in the area.

That same day, the Monrovia Police Department got a telephonic threat from someone threatening to kill children at Santa Fe Middle School.

Police confirmed that Cortez was sentenced to 16 months in June for making similar threats in Pasadena. Since he had been in custody since Oct. 2012, he got credit for time served and was released by June 24.

The suspect’s brother told KCAL9’s Suraya Fadel that Cortez doesn’t own any guns and he was in a work study program.

Anyone with information regarding the crime was asked to contact Monrovia police at (626) 256-8041.


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