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Man accused of exposing himself to high schooler

St. Helena police are seeking charges against a man who allegedly exposed himself in front of an underage St. Helena High School student.

The female student told police she’d been waved down by a driver near the corner of Spring Street and Oak Avenue on Aug. 29. When she approached the driver to see what he needed, the driver exposed himself to her, police said in a press release.

Officer Melissa Brown obtained video footage of the suspect’s car and sent it to a lab for enhancement. The enhanced footage revealed the car’s license plate, which led police to question Kelvin Alberto Diaz Luna, 36, of American Canyon.

Police say Luna provided a detailed confession. The St. Helena Police Department is seeking charges from the Napa County District Attorney’s office of indecent exposure and committing lewd or lascivious acts in front of a minor.

On Tuesday, Acting Chief Chris Hartley said he expects a warrant to be issued for Luna’s arrest shortly.

July jewelry burglary tied to Chilean ring

Police say a Chilean woman arrested on burglary and theft charges in New York has confessed to acting as a lookout during a jewelry heist in downtown St. Helena.

Massiel Mondaca, 34, has also given police the names of three Chilean men she said broke into the Padis jewelry store on the night of July 7-8 and stole a significant amount of jewelry, according to a St. Helena Police Department press release.

The three men are in custody on an immigration hold in San Bernardino, where they are awaiting deportation to Chile. As hearsay evidence, Mondaca’s confession alone isn’t sufficient to charge the men, so St. Helena police are trying to use DNA evidence to tie them to the crime scene before they are deported.

At about 3 a.m. on the night of the burglary, an officer contacted a woman on Money Way behind the Padis jewelry store. Working with surrounding law enforcement agencies and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, police used the officer’s body camera footage, photos and contacts to identify the woman as Mondaca.

Under interrogation by the FBI, Mondaca confessed to her involvement in the Padis burglary and named her three accomplices, police said. She is currently in New Jersey awaiting extradition to Napa County. Police said Mondaca is tied to a Chilean group that has been involved in similar crimes around the U.S. and Canada.

Acting Chief Chris Hartley said the entire St. Helena Police Department worked on the investigation, which was led by Officer Todd Heald, with assistance from the Napa Police Department’s evidence technician, New Jersey police, San Leandro police, and the FBI.

Woman killed in Napa County crash identified

The Napa County Coroner’s office released the identity Tuesday of the passenger killed Monday morning when a vehicle carrying five people crashed on Dry Creek Road.

The deceased was Edelmira Ruiz-Lopez, 25, of Santa Rosa, said Coroner’s spokesperson Henry Wofford.

Ruiz-Lopez was killed when a Chevy Suburban ran off the roadway and rolled down a hillside, ejecting her.

The CHP said the vehicle was traveling too fast on a rain-slick roadway.

The driver and the other passengers were from Sonoma County, the CHP said.

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