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Feb 2024
Rebecca Grossman Found Guilty Of Murdering 2 Westlake Village Boys
Law Enforcement News

Rebecca Grossman Found Guilty Of Murdering 2 Westlake Village Boys

A Los Angeles County jury found socialite Rebecca Grossman guilty Friday on all five charges, including murder, in the deaths of two young boys who were struck in a Westlake Village crosswalk by Grossman’s car in 2020. The 60-year-old was convicted on two counts each of murder and vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence and one felony count of hit-and-run driving. The nine-man, three-woman panel deliberated for nearly two days to hand down the verdict to the defendant. Deputy District Attorney Ryan Gould argued the boys, 11-year-old Mark Iskander and his 8-year-old brother, Jacob, were hit by Grossman’s speeding white Mercedes-Benz SUV as the Hidden Hills woman was “driving too fast” and was “impaired.” Speaking outside the Van Nuys courtroom after the verdict was announced, Nancy and Karim Iskander, the parents of Mark and Jacob, said they welcomed the closure after more than three years. "Mark and Jacob did not die. They were murdered," said Nancy Iskander, who also added she felt for the woman who was convicted of killing her sons as the Grossman family cried and hugged each other after the verdict was read. "I don't have any hate for her. My heart broke for her children," Nancy Iskander said. "I'm a mother." The prosecutor also said during the trial that Grossman hit the children as they were in a marked crosswalk and had a “duty to stop,” but “never returned” to the scene. 


1 Killed, 1 Wounded During Two Separate Shooting Incidents In Watts

One man was killed and another wounded during two separate shooting incidents in Watts on Saturday, separated by just 20 minutes and a few blocks. The first shooting happened just minutes before 9 p.m. on Saturday in an alley behind the 10400 block of S. Wilmington Avenue, according to Los Angeles Police Department. Officers arrived to find a 34-year-old man unconscious and not breathing.He was rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment where he later died from his injuries, a statement from LAPD said. Shortly after, at around 9:20 p.m., police were dispatched for reports of another shooting, near 107th Street and Wilmington Avenue. They arrived to find a man in his 60s, who was allegedly attacked by two men that were believed to be around 18 or 19 years. old. At least one of them was believed to be armed with a handgun, police said. The victim was taken to the hospital in unknown condition. There were no details provided on either of the alleged suspects. Anyone who believes they have additional information is asked to contact investigators at (877) 527-3247.


Fake Labels, Exclusive Shoes And Hijacked Packages: How The LAPD Cracked A ‘Sophisticated’ Nike Theft Ring

Most die-hard sneakerheads wouldn’t think twice about waiting hours in line to be the first to score the Air Jordan 4 BRED Reimagineds — which retail for $200, but can resell for double that on the collectors market. Some write computer code to snap up pairs of limited edition Jordans and other coveted Nikes as soon as they go on sale online. And then there are those suspected of going to even greater lengths to get exclusive kicks. Los Angeles police are investigating a theft ring that allegedly swiped millions of dollars worth of shoes in an elaborate scheme that stretched from a cavernous Nike warehouse in Memphis, Tenn., to a swanky Hollywood apartment building. So far, only one person has been charged in connection with the case, a 37-year-old Tennessee man who police say operated around L.A. — allegedly with the help of a Nike employee from back East. The suspected insider has not been charged, and court records suggest others involved have also avoided arrest and prosecution. The case has roiled the L.A. sneaker world, where collectors have been left wondering whether local retailers had knowledge of the thefts. Los Angeles authorities announced the seizure of a large cache of stolen Nike gear at a news conference late last month, but a search warrant affidavit filed by LAPD detectives and reviewed by The Times offers new details into the operations of the theft ring, which remains under investigation.

Los Angeles Times

LAPD Releases Photo Of Man Sought In Altercation On Koreatown Bus That Preceded Other Man's Death

Los Angeles police on Saturday released a photo of a man who is being sought in connection with an altercation on a Metro bus in Koreatown that preceded another man's death. The individual, who allegedly used pepper spray in the incident, is described as a man in his 30s who wore black attire and rainbow-colored shoes, according to the LAPD. The confrontation was reported around 10:45 p.m. Thursday at the intersection of Western Avenue and Olympic Boulevard, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. When the officers arrived, they learned that two men had been involved in an argument and at some point one of the men pepper-sprayed the other man and then ran off the bus, police said. Paramedics from the Los Angeles Fire Department were called to the scene and pronounced the 63-year-old man dead. LAPD West Bureau Homicide detectives "are seeking to speak with the other individual involved in the altercation," a statement said. "This individual ... did not stay at the scene to meet with law enforcement." In a statement, Metro said both of the men were passengers and that the official cause of death was unknown.


70-Year-Old Man Arrested Hours After Deadly Hit-and-Run In Pacoima 

The Los Angeles Police Department announced the arrest of an elderly man who allegedly struck a pedestrian with his car and kept driving on Saturday night. According to LAPD officials, the silver Nissan Cube involved in the collision was traveling eastbound on Van Nuys Boulevard near Remick Avenue in Pacoima around 10 p.m. when it struck a man walking in the roadway on Van Nuys. “The driver of the Nissan continued eastbound, failing to stop, identify themselves or render aid as required by law,” LAPD said in a release. Paramedics with the Los Angeles Fire Department responded to the scene and transported the victim to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The decedent was identified as a 29-year-old Hispanic man. His identity is being withheld pending notification of next of kin. Just hours after the crash, authorities arrested Arturo Sepulveda Carrera, 70, of Van Nuys. Carrera was booked into the Van Nuys Jail on a charge of felony hit-and-run. His bail was set at $50,000. 


Police Seek Suspects After Two Men Commit Knife-Point Robbery At Ralph's Grocery Store

Authorities are seeking public assistance today in locating the two men who robbed a Ralph’s at knifepoint in Mid-Wilshire, the Los Angeles Police Department confirmed. Around 11 p.m. Friday, two men entered the Ralph’s located at 260 S La Brea Ave and threatened employees with a black knife before fleeing the scene with property defined as “miscellaneous,” according to the LAPD. The first suspect was identified as a Hispanic man wearing a black sweatshirt, black shorts and black socks with a black backpack while the second suspect was only identified as a Hispanic man, police said. No injuries were reported, according to authorities. 

Westside Current

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Tech-Driven Crime Reduction: San Diego Sees Results From Smart Streetlight And ALPR Systems

Following final City Council approval in November 2023, the San Diego Police Department (SDPD) has begun installing and using Smart Streetlight cameras and Automated License Plate Recognition (ALPR) technologies that have already assisted in solving crimes. “Having our Smart Streetlight and ALPR technology is already making our city safer, with examples just in the first two months of operating that show their ability to help police locate and apprehend dangerous suspects more efficiently and with greater certainty,” San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria said. “With the level of transparency and accountability for the use of the technologies we have in place, we’re enhancing San Diegans’ safety while protecting their right to privacy.” SDPD’s five-year agreement with Ubicquia Inc., paired with Flock Safety’s ALPR technology, included the installation and maintenance of an initial 500 locations citywide. Since late December, over 100 of the 500 cameras have been installed, with new installations occurring almost daily. “The San Diego Police Department already produces clearance rates for solving crimes above the national average. Instead of casting a large net based on sometimes vague descriptions, the Smart Streetlight cameras and ALPR system now allow officers to be laser-focused on who committed the crime. This investment is precision, intelligence-led policing at its finest and will deliver results,” Police Chief David Nisleit said.


Shooter Fired More Than 100 Rounds Without Warning In Incident That Left 2 Minnesota Officers, 1 Medic Dead

Shannon Cortez Gooden fired more than 100 rounds at police and first responders without warning during a predawn standoff in a Burnsville neighborhood that left two officers and a paramedic dead, state investigators disclosed Thursday. That disclosure and other details came in the most specific release of information yet from the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension since Gooden killed the three early Sunday at Gooden’s home in the 12600 block of S. 33rd Avenue. Killed were Paul Elmstrand and Matthew Ruge, both 27, and firefighter/paramedic Adam Finseth, 40. A public memorial service for the three is scheduled for Wednesday at Grace Church in Eden Prairie. A third officer, 38-year-old Sgt. Adam Medlicott, was wounded and is now recovering at home. The BCA provided this account in a statement and a court document filed this week by the agency leading the investigation: Officers responded to a home in Burnsville shortly before 2 a.m. after receiving reports of a sexual assault. The arrived and spoke to Gooden, who refused to leave the home but said he was unarmed and had children inside. The officers entered the home and negotiated with Gooden for about 3 1/2 hours in an effort to get him to surrender peacefully. At about 5:26 a.m., Gooden opened fire on the officers inside the home without warning. Ruge, Elmstrand and Medlicott are believed to have been initially shot inside the home.

Star Tribune

Public Safety News

Deadly Reseda Car Crash Kills 1, Sends 6 Others To The Hospital

One person was killed and six people were rushed to a hospital Sunday in a crash involving at least four vehicles and two additional parked vehicles in Reseda. Firefighters and paramedics were dispatched at 11:18 a.m. Sunday to 18153 W. Vanowen St., the Los Angeles Fire Department reported. "Upon arrival, firefighters found that one trapped patient was deceased (left in place for law enforcement investigation and medical examiner), and two others were in need of extrication. Crews used hydraulic rescue tools (similar to "Jaws of Life") to free both trapped patients from one vehicle, an LAFD statement said. Eleven patients were evaluated at the scene and six people were rushed to a hospital, authorities said. Four people declined transport to a hospital. The crash also left a fire hydrant sheared, which was shut down by firefighters. No further information is available at this time.

FOX 11

Firefighters Put Out Smoky Fire In Vermont Square Building

It took 80 firefighters 37 minutes to locate and put out a smoky fire in a two-story Vermont Square building Saturday evening. The fire was reported at 8:06 p.m. Saturday at 4161 S. Vermont Ave., said the Los Angeles Fire Department’s Nicholas Prange. The smoke was found on the first and second floor and spreading through the building that had commercial use on the first floor and residential use on the second, Prange said. Once the flames were out, crews set up blowers to get the smoke out of the building, he said. No injuries were reported, Prange said. The cause of the fire was not immediately known.


Local Government News

City Council Moves Forward On `Master Lease' Housing Program In West L.A.

The City Council Friday moved forward on plans to begin a "master leasing" program in the city -- picking up an approach already in use by L.A. County to expand the number of available units for unhoused residents. "Master leasing is the securing of all or part of an apartment building on a long-term lease, then subleasing the units to unhoused individuals or families while providing them with supportive services," said Councilwoman Katy Yaroslavsky, who in December 2022 first proposed the city adopt the approach. Friday, in a 14-0 vote, council members instructed staff to prepare contract terms and other benchmarks to implement the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority's Master Leasing Program. It will start with a pilot program in Yaroslavsky's Fifth District, encompassing West L.A. neighborhoods or other feasible sites. Yaroslavsky said that -- with few interim housing sites for the general unhoused population available in her district -- the master-leasing plan could address a big need, and do so swiftly. She noted that, with new state funding, L.A. County and LAHSA launched a master-leasing initiative in November 2023 -- and in about three months, they've been able to lease and fill 105 units, with another 530-plus units in the pipeline.

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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