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Nov 2023
Plainclothes Shoplifting Stings Result In 11 Arrests During Black Friday Weekend
Law Enforcement News

Plainclothes Shoplifting Stings Result In 11 Arrests During Black Friday Weekend 

Officers with the Los Angeles Police Department’s Organized Retail Crime Task Force conducted a sting operation against flash mob robberies and shoplifters that led to 11 suspects being arrested. According to the LAPD, plainclothes officers worked with three Los Angeles-area retailers in “identifying, arresting and disrupting retail theft” between Nov. 22 and Nov. 25 – which included this year’s Black Friday shopping holiday. “All suspects who were arrested for shoplifting were observed by the retail stores’ Loss Prevention officers who notified the plainclothes police officers in the operation,” LAPD officials said in a release. “The plainclothes officers then notified uniformed officers to come in and effect the arrest of the suspects.” The first sting operation was conducted by the LAPD’s Hollywood Division at a store near the 5500 block of Sunset Boulevard on Nov. 22.


Historical Plaques At El Pueblo De Los Angeles Historical Monument Stolen By Scrap Metal Thieves

Historical metal plaques and markers located at El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument and Chinatown Central Plaza have been stolen by scrap metal thieves. The thefts happened in the last two weeks, causing damage to public monuments and statues. More than a century of history surrounds the Pueblo historical monument in Downtown Los Angeles. A place people travel from all over the world to visit. Sadly bandits have nabbed nearly a dozen plaques honoring more than a century of LA history. "We are sitting in the birthplace of the city of Los Angeles," said Arturo Chavez, the GM of the Pueblo Historical Monument. "We've been hit with a series of bronze plaques that have been stolen here from the area and the kiosk that we are standing in. These plaques were historic plaques that were dedicated to various activities that have happened throughout the years here at Olvera Street." "I think some the earliest plaques go back to about the 1920s and about every decade every generation of Angelenos added in its own layer of plaques," said Edgar Garcia, the assistant GM of the Pueblo Historical Monument.


Chatsworth Family Has $200K Worth Of Valuables Stolen While Black Friday Shopping 

A Chatsworth family shopping on Black Friday came home to find $200,000 worth of items stolen from their property. The goods were stolen around 6 p.m. Friday evening from a residence in the 10300 block of Hillview Avenue, according to the homeowner, Alex Perez. During the theft, thieves bear sprayed Perez’s two Pomeranians, he told KTLA. The property stolen from his residence included several luxury watches, 30 to 45 designer handbags, and jewelry. “It’s probably a quarter million dollars worth of items all put together,” Perez said. Video captured by the home’s security cameras shows the suspect’s vehicle parking across the street moments before the break-in occurred. “Someone broke into there,” Perez said, motioning towards his home’s back door. “Then we went outside and saw someone had broken into the garage, and then we came inside and noticed a lot of our items were missing.” No suspect description has been released. 


Burbank Police Search For Suspect That Spray-Painted Swastikas On Synagogue

Burbank police are looking for a 32-year-old man who allegedly spray-painted antisemitic graffiti on an apartment complex and synagogue. Suspect Klinton Allister Dion allegedly vandalized the apartment complex and synagogue last Friday. The Burbank Police Department said he sprayed painted swastikas, an iron cross and an "SS" Nazi symbol to the Temple Emanu El near N. Glenoaks Boulevard and Amherst Drive. Detectives described Dion as a transient who splits time between Burbank, Pasadena, Temple City, El Segundo and Los Angeles. They added that he has a faint tattoo above his left eyebrow. Anyone with information that can lead to Dion's whereabouts is urged to contact officers at (818) 238-3210 or via email at [email protected].


Authorities Seek Help Identifying Corvette Thieves

Authorities sought the public’s help Saturday identifying suspects caught on surveillance video stealing a Corvette from a dealership in Calabasas and leaving it at a Burger King in downtown Los Angeles. The burglary occurred Nov. 12 at Mercedes-Benz of Calabasas at 24181 Calabasas Road, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. The suspects allegedly shattered a pane of glass on a metal roll gate to enter the delivery garage. They entered a midnight blue 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 with a “Mercedes of Calabasas” rear paper plate and “started it by unknown means,” the LASD reported. “The suspects drove the vehicle through the roll-up gate to exit the location, possibly causing damage to the roof,” according to a statement from the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station. Sheriff’s officials said the Corvette was spotted a day later at the Burger King at 700 W. Cesar Chavez Ave., at the intersection with Grand Avenue. Anyone with information about the alleged burglary was urged to contact the sheriff’s station at 818-878-1808. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.


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California Man Sentenced To Prison For Phoning Bomb Threats To Planned Parenthood

A California man who phoned in bomb threats and left threatening voicemails to several Planned Parenthood offices has been sentenced to 18 months in federal prison. In June, Nishith Tharaka Vandebona, 34, of Oxnard, admitted to one felony count of transmitting threatening communications and one misdemeanor count of “threatened forcible intimidation regarding the obtaining and provision of reproductive health services under the federal Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances,” according to the United States Department of Justice. He’s remained in law enforcement custody since pleading guilty to the charges this summer. Vandebona, who was living in Camarillo at the time, admitted to using an anonymous phone number to leave voice messages that contained death threats to multiple Planned Parenthood offices. The threats were made in the wake of the United State Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the landmark Roe V. Wade decision, which ruled that women had a constitutional right to abortion. The controversial reversal of the decision led to mass protests, calls for Supreme Court Justices to resign, and massive outcry from Roe v. Wade supporters. Within hours of the ruling, Vandebona left a threatening message, including death threats, to a Planned Parenthood Central Coast in the Santa Barbara area.


Pennsylvania Woman Sentenced In DUI Crash That Killed 2 Troopers, Pedestrian

A woman has been sentenced to decades in prison after pleading guilty to driving under the influence and then striking and killing two state troopers and a pedestrian on an interstate in Philadelphia last year. Jayana Webb, 23, of Eagleville pleaded guilty Wednesday in a Philadelphia courtroom to three counts each of third-degree murder and homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence in the early morning crash in March 2022. She was sentenced to 27 1/2 to 60 years in prison. District Attorney Larry Krasner called it “a just resolution of one of the most shocking incidents of vehicular violence in recent memory.” Police said Troopers Martin Mack III and Branden Sisca were trying to get a pedestrian to safety from the southbound lanes of Interstate 95 near south Philadelphia’s sports stadiums when a vehicle “traveling at a high rate of speed” struck all three. The troopers and the pedestrian, identified as 28-year-old Reyes Rivera Oliveras of Allentown, died at the scene. Defense attorney Michael Walker told The Philadelphia Inquirer that Webb, who is seven months' pregnant, will be allowed to remain out of custody until she gives birth in February and will be allowed some time after that to bond with the child before she reports to prison.

Associated Press

Pennsylvania Police Detectives Who Stopped Chief's Killer Honored With Medals Of Valor

Pittsburgh police Detectives Sean Stumpf and Mike Slatcoff still remember rushing to the city's Homewood-Brushton neighborhood on Jan. 2 to chase the fugitive who killed Brackenridge police Chief Justin McIntire. The fugitive — Aaron Lamont Swan Jr., 28, of Duquesne — emerged from a wooded area after crashing a stolen car nearby. He opened fire with an automatic weapon, hitting Stumpf square in the chest. A ballistic vest thwarted the bullet. Stumpf said Monday he only faced a situation that intense in Pittsburgh once before, when responding to the Squirrel Hill synagogue shooting in 2018 — the year before he became a detective. "It's not easy, it's really not easy, but you have to rely on your training," Stumpf said. "It's just like sports — nobody becomes a professional athlete without a lot of practice." Stumpf and Slatcoff both returned fire, striking Swan. The manhunt involved scores of law enforcement officers and ended with the fugitive's death at the scene. "Stumpf and Slatcoff knew who they were chasing and what he was capable of," Pittsburgh police Chief Larry Scirotto said. On Monday, the two Pittsburgh police officers joined their peers as they received official honors for their service and bravery. Scirotto kicked off an hourlong awards ceremony at the old Steamfitters building near Beechview by presenting the pair with Medals of Valor. Stumpf also was awarded a Purple Heart.

The Tribune-Review

Public Safety News

3 Injured, Several Homes Destroyed After Massive Fire In South Los Angeles

Five residential buildings were destroyed and three people were injured by a massive fire that ripped through a South Los Angeles neighborhood Tuesday morning. The incident was reported around 3:30 a.m. near the intersection of Lima Street and Vernon Avenue, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. Officials say the flames originated at a "multi-family residential building in the framing stages of construction" and then spread to nearby structures. Over 140 firefighters battled the flames and extinguished the fire in just over an hour. The department says a total of seven buildings were impacted by the fire, five of which were deemed a total loss. A number of cars were also charred. About 17 residents will not be able to return to their homes. A number of residents in the area were evacuated when the fire was raging. One of them described what it was like as they ran out the house: "You could hear like popcorn cracking... like fireworks. It was terrible. I was screaming," said Maria Diaz, who lives right across the street from where the fire started. A 66-year-old man and 64-year-old woman were taken to the hospital with serious burn injuries, according to the fire department. A third person was evaluated on scene and declined to be transported.


L.A. Teen Seeking Treatment For Disease That Causes Constant Excruciating Pain

A simple injury playing sports has derailed the life of Michael Lopez, activating a debilitating condition that has filled his everyday life with excruciating pain. Michael was in the eighth grade and playing football when he injured his knee, which triggered this disease. It’s a rare disease that affects 200,000 people each year, and there is no cure, but there is treatment; however, that’s expensive. “So my son has CRPS, that’s complex regional pain syndrome, and basically the brain is looping and sending pain signals throughout my son’s body continuously,” said Michael’s dad, Michael Lopez Jr. Over the last 14 months, the Lopez family has experienced intense pain. Michael, suffering from the debilitating illness, faces both emotional exhaustion and severe physical pain to the point where he cannot be touched or hugged. “We’ve gone through times where his spine feels like it’s been ripped out of his back. We’ve lost many days of him crying in pain and saying things that a parent doesn’t want to hear because he feels like there are times that he just can’t go on anymore because of the pain,” Michael’s father said.


SoCal Teen Rescues 3-Year-Old Family Member Who Fell Into Backyard Pool On Thanksgiving

A Southern California teen relied on her CPR training to save a 3-year-old family member who fell into a backyard pool on Thanksgiving. Security camera video captured the rescue Thursday at the Atkinson family's Northridge home. Three-year-old Maxine walked outside onto a patio and toward the pool. A family dog ran outside shortly after Maxine fell into the water before an uncle found her a few minutes later floating facedown in the pool. In the security camera video, Maxine's arms and legs appeared to dangle lifelessly as the uncle carried her from the pool. That's when 15-year-old Madison Atkinson came to the rescue and began CPR. "She was pretty much lifeless," mother Kirsten Atkinson said on 'TODAY.' "Madison’s just pumping away for a couple of minutes, and finally, Maxine starts to open her eyes and start to breathe. "The dispatcher said, 'Put her on her side.' And when we did that, Maxine opened her eyes and starts to literally breathe on her own." Madison learned CPR in a sports medicine class. "“I was just trying to remember what I'm supposed to do," Madison said. "I was just like, 'Let's get this baby alive.'" Responding paramedics said Madison did a great job, family members said.


Local Government News

LA City Council To Weigh Hike Limits On Rent-Controlled Units

The Los Angeles City Council Tuesday will consider adopting an ordinance that would limit rent increases on rent-stabilized units to 4%, or up to 6% if landlords cover gas and electric costs. On Nov. 14, the council voted 10-2 to move forward with a proposal intended to limit rent hikes for properties that are subject to the city's rent-control law. According to the draft ordinance, the law would limit rent increases from Feb. 1 to June 30, 2024. Council members instructed the Housing Department, in consultation with the United to House LA Citizens Oversight Committee, to develop programs assisting landlords and tenants, as well as small housing providers, for the maintenance and preservation of rent-controlled units. The council also amended its proposal to include a report back on establishing a rule or policy that would help distinguish mom-and-pop landlords from corporate landlords, in an attempt to ensure small landlords can receive city resources to stay afloat.

FOX 11

L.A. Council To Vote On Requiring Hotel Developers To Replace Lost Housing

The City Council Tuesday will vote on whether to require developers of new hotel properties to replace any permanent housing lost in the process. The proposed law, called the Responsible Hotel Ordinance, was co- authored by the office of Council President Paul Krekorian, the Unite Here Local 11 hospitality workers union and representatives of the hotel industry. It's intended to replace a ballot initiative sponsored by the labor union, which was set to appear on the March 2024 ballot. Officials previously stated the ballot proposition would be withdrawn if the ordinance is enacted. The proposed ordinance would also introduce provisions intended to bolster public oversight over short-term rentals, hotels and other properties, and increase the supply of interim housing available to the city. Hotel developments would be required to obtain a permit from the Department of City Planning. In addition, hotels, short-term rentals and motel owners would be required to obtain a police permit for operation.

Westside Current

About the LAPPL: Formed in 1923, the Los Angeles Police Protective League (LAPPL) represents more than 8,900 dedicated and professional sworn members of the Los Angeles Police Department. The LAPPL serves to advance the interests of LAPD officers through legislative and legal advocacy, political action and education.

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