Search for downed plane empty, more news from Ventura County

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

Reported plane crash is empty

MUSSEL SHOALS — A report that a plane crashed into the ocean north of Ventura on Friday afternoon kicked off a major search effort that had come to nothing as of 6 p.m.

Only one caller had reported a plane crash shortly after 1 p.m., according to Ventura County Fire Department officials.

Initially, crews were to meet at Mondos Beach along the Pacific Coast Highway, north of Emma Wood State Beach. Later they were directed to Mussel Shoals, closer to La Conchita.

In addition to several fire engines and trucks, the report brought boats from local Harbor Patrols and the U.S. Coast Guard as well as sheriff’s helicopter crews. Ventura City and Carpinteria Fire Units also responded.

A search of the area revealed no evidence of a plane crash at 6 p.m. Authorities said they contacted local airports and the Naval Base Ventura County Air Facility in Point Mugu and learned no planes were missing.

Clear skies and minimal wind accelerated the search, firefighters said.

Ventura County Fire Captain Brian McGrath said late Friday afternoon that Coast Guard officials were continuing to search the area as a matter of due diligence. County Fire Boat 15 and a field battalion chief continued to assist with the search effort until approximately 4:30 p.m.

No debris or oil slick indicating a craft had fallen into the water was found, McGrath said. Authorities were worried about the possibility that an experimental plane had crashed, he said, because their flights are not being tracked. Based on the original report, officials did not believe the call involved a hang glider, he added.

Coast Guard officials said in a tweet that they had five boats, two jet skis and two planes involved in the search as of 3:30 p.m. Officials said they would search until sunset.

On Saturday morning, Coast Guard officials said they determined no planes had crashed.

“After further investigation, the report of a plane crash was inaccurate,” read a tweet from the Coast Guard. “The plane was fine and landed at an airport.”

For subscribers: Michael Abram, professor at Oxnard College, remains a VCCCD employee

The Halloween drive-in returns to Simi

SIMI VALLEY — Residents can drive by Saturday for a free drive-in Halloween event hosted by the Simi Valley Police Department.

The drive-thru has two components. A less scary version for younger kids will air from 4-7 p.m. A slightly scarier version for older children will follow from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Drivers will start at the City Hall parking lot at 2929 Tapo Canyon Road. The land is accessible from Lemon Drive northbound and Avenida Simi eastbound.

The event ends at the front parking lot of the police department at 3901 Alamo Street. The street will be closed to regular traffic.

Participants will stay in their cars during the drive-in. No foot traffic is allowed.

This is the police department’s second annual Halloween drive-in. Officials planned the first during last year’s COVID-19 shutdowns, Officer Casey Nicholson said. The department wanted to give the community “a sense of normalcy” with a holiday-related event, he said.

“It was more popular than expected,” Nicholson said.

About 550 cars turned out last year, he said. This year, authorities are predicting perhaps double that number. They hope to make the drive-in an annual event.

No candy is handed out at the drive-thru, Nicholson said. There will be two themes that include live actors: a haunted hospital and a haunted carnival.

Traffic officers will be on hand to help direct traffic.

The department’s auxiliary parking lot will be open to anyone requiring police assistance during the event.

A man killed near a camp

OXNARD – Police are investigating a shooting Thursday night near Ormond Beach in South Oxnard.

The incident was reported around 11:50 p.m. near the Arcturus Avenue and McWane Boulevard cul-de-sac, Oxnard Police Department reported.

Officers searched the area and found a man near a homeless encampment with multiple gunshot wounds to his legs, officials said. He was transported by ambulance to hospital and is said to be in stable condition. The injuries were moderate in severity and did not appear to be life-threatening, a police official said on Friday.

No one had been arrested by Friday afternoon.

Anyone with information is asked to call Oxnard Police at 805-385-7600.

Two armed robberies in Ventura

VENTURA — Ventura police responded to a pair of separate armed robberies at local stores Thursday night.

Shortly before 7:30 p.m., officers responded to Sally Beauty Supply at 4705 Telephone Road.

A man wearing a black beanie and camouflage face mask reportedly walked in and demanded money from employees as he lifted his jacket to show a handgun in his belt, according to the Ventura Police Department.

After getting money from an employee, the man fled on a bicycle. Officers arrived within two minutes but were unable to locate the suspect.

Shortly after 10 p.m., officers responded to another armed robbery at the Wild Side Smoke Shop at 2850 Johnson Drive. A man believed to be in his 20s demanded money from the clerk while revealing a gun in his belt, the department said. He fled after collecting money.

Officers arrived at the second scene within two minutes and searched with a K-9 police dog but could not locate the man.

No injuries were reported in either incident. Anyone with information on either flight is asked to call 805-650-8010.

Cytlalli Salgado is a breaking news reporter for the Ventura County Star. She can be reached by calling 805-437-0257 or emailing [email protected]

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