Wednesday, January 31, 2007

A New Twist On Ding Dong Ditch

Sherman Oaks, CA

Growing up, one of the things kids in my neighborhood would do is something they called Ding Dong Ditch. Basically, they'd ring a doorbell and then run away. Big laughs when you're an 8 year old and nobody's yet introduced you to huffing cans of Krylon.

Seems over in the Valley, someone's taken it a step farther.
The suspect apparently rang the doorbell and immediately shot the victim when he opened the door, Setzer said.

"There's been an ongoing problem in this neighborhood," Setzer said, declining to elaborate.
Wait. What? An ongoing problem? With people getting shot when they answer their door? How many times does it have to happen for it to be "ongoing"?

If you live in the Valley, you might want to consider answering the door with a loaded 12 gauge. Just sayin'.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Her Name Is Nicole Harvey

Playa Del Rey, CA

The woman whose body was found on fire in the 8100 block of Tuscany Avenue in Playa Del Rey, yesterday, has been identified as Nicole Harvey, 21, of Los Angeles. According to the LAPD Blog, the coroner has determined that she died due of a gunshot wound and was, mercifully, dead before being set on fire.

No suspects or motives so far. Robbery Homicide is asking for the public's help in getting anything that might help figure out who did this.
Anyone with information is asked to call Robbery Homicide Detectives Brian Carr or Orlando Martinez, at 213-485-2129, during normal business hours. After hours and on weekends, phone the 24-hour Detective Information Desk at 1-877-LAW-FULL (1-877-529-3855). Callers may reamain anonymous.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Again With The Burning

Playa Del Rey, CA

A woman's burning body was discovered in the 8100 block of Tuscany Avenue Friday by a construction worker.

The woman was nude except for a camouflage jacket. The upper part of her body was on fire.

We get a rash of burnings every once in a while. At least enough to make it to the evening news.

What makes this one interesting is where and when it happened. The body was discovered during the day on Friday. Early enough that there were no witnesses. The fire's spread led the discoverer of the body to believe that the fire had been recently set.

For those of you who don't know, Playa Del Rey is a fairly affluent community close to the beach. Especially that particular spot in Playa. You can't tell from the map, but those are million dollar+ homes on a bluff overlooking the Ballona Wetlands (what's left of them) and Marina Del Rey.

Needless to say it's not something that goes on very often there. No identity released, yet, and residents don't believe she's from the area.

So somebody had the balls to dump her in an expensive neighborhood that doesn't exactly have easy access in or out, light her on fire and take off.

Or maybe not. Could be a local did it. Panicked killers do stupid things, after all.

Friday, January 26, 2007

A Game of Numbers. And Bullets. Don't Forget The Bullets.

Los Angeles, CA

Been talking about gangs, lately, here and over at L.A Voice.

Yesterday, Newsweek published an interview with Chief Willie about his anti-gang plans for the LAPD.

There are more than 400 gangs in Los Angeles, with about 39,000 members. Trying to take them all down is simply an impossible task. So, instead, they're going to go for something they call the 10 percent solution.
Ten percent of the criminal population commits about 50 percent of the crime, and 10 percent of the locations are where 50 percent of the crime occurs.
In essence the LAPD is going to go after the top 10 offenders based on three major criteria: those who commit the most violent crimes, interracial and hate-crime violence and going after police.

This is my favorite bit from the interview. In response to the comments on the 204th Street Gang:
What makes them different? Why did they focus on black victims?

Who the hell could understand gang members?

I was hoping you could.

They’re all crazy. Anybody that’s sane and has a sense of values can’t understand them. Most of them are sociopaths. Most of them are semi-literate. And almost none of them have graduated from high school.
Have I mentioned that I like Bratton?

And then there's this:
How will you know when you’ve won against a given gang and can move on?

You won’t be able to eradicate them. This isn’t a war on them, though you hear that term a lot. What we are engaged in is a suppression strategy. I want them to basically climb back into their holes and reduce the violence. They are going to still congregate and hang out, if you will. But what I’m concerned about is the behavior. I could care less if you are in a gang. But I don’t want you shooting, stabbing, raping and robbing.
I loves me a pragmatic approach. Now if he'd loosen up on medical marijuana I'd like him even more.

The only part of this that I have a problem with is this note about gang injunctions:
They’re in force against about 40 of the worst gangs. Those are very effective tools, but enforcement of them has been pretty much given over to the approximately 400 full-time gang officers. We are going to seek to give over to all of our 4,500 patrol officers. That’s a multiplication by 10 of the number of personnel who are going after those several thousand gangbangers named in those injunctions.
Okay, wait a minute. You're saying that the standard patrol officer, in his particular division, in his Basic Car doesn't already know who's named in an injunction?

I'm not buying it. This smacks of spin and playing with his numbers, something Bratton seems to do a lot of.

But that's really the only problem I see with this strategy. Granted, there's a big difference between strategy and tactics, the intent and the delivery. But it feels to me as though there might be some actual movement on this problem.

Hat tip to My Better Half for the heads up on the interview.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Sign of The Apocalypse - LAPD Plays Nice With Others

Torrance, CA

Back in December, 14-year-old Cheryl Green, was shot for being black in the Latino neighborhood around 204th street, which is run by, you guessed it, the 204th Street Gang. The men responsible are being charged with murder with the special circumstances of a hate crime.

Last week, a truce was supposedly brokered with the 204th Street Gang to try to curb some of the violence. I have problems with it, but I won't get into it here because I ranted about it at length over at LA Voice.

Anyway, so there's this truce announced, right? Something to maybe keep the guys from 204th from blowing away any more black children who happen to cross on the wrong side of the street. Big sacrifice on their part, apparently.

Only problem is that no one from 204th shows up.

Oh my god! Big fucking shocker there.

Funny thing is that this has gotten a LOT of local press. And if it gets a lot of local press here, it's going to get a lot of local press everywhere else in the nation. So, if you're reading this from Des Moines, Philadelphia or Anchorage, you may have actually heard about this.

And that's bad for 204th Street.

Why? Because of this:
On Thursday Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Chief Bratton, Sheriff Baca, and FBI Director Robert Muller along with other local leaders, vowed to put the 204th Street gang out of business.
In and of itself, that might not be cause to worry. Until there's action it's all just rhetoric.

Thing is, too many people know about this. They've embarassed politicians. They pissed in the Mayor's Cheerios. They upset Chief Bratton. So much so that, and this is the part that's grabbed my attention, the LAPD wants to play nice with others.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies and Torrance police officers working side-by-side with LAPD officers. Los Angeles Unified School District police will share intelligence that they glean from activities in schools. Agents from the FBI, BATF, and the DEA will provide intelligence, electronic and visual surveillance support as well.
The LAPD and LASD have had the kind of long running relationship that usually ends in tears, broken dishes and someone sleeping on the couch. And nobody likes the Feds.

So, yeah, this may end up being more noise. Villaraigo's known for talk. But you don't see the LAPD announcing that they're going to work with other agencies very often.

The city can tolerate a lot of violence, but a 14-year-old black girl shot for just being a 14-year-old black girl is something that destroys political careers. It's Especially if that career has eyes on the Governorship and a Presidential run some day.

I'm looking forward to the fireworks.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

I Don't Think That's What They Meant By "U-Haul"

Los Angeles, CA

Okay, I'll admit that this story turns my blood to ice only because it reminds me so much of an ex of mine.
Officers were sent to investigate a report of a screaming woman in a U-Haul truck...
I can't be the only one who's had dates like that. Right?

Fine. Whatever. You and your well adjusted relationships. Bet nobody's tried to take you out with a household appliance, either. Lightweights.

Anyway, after a grueling 8 minute chase they pulled her over and took her into custody. What is it with women and inappropriate stolen vehicles? What's next? A UPS truck? Tearing through streets in a Papa John's pizza car?

Come on, ladies. The trick here is to be inconspicuous. Trust me, it helps.

I Carry An Extra Set of Teeth For Just Such An Occasion

Tustin, CA

Two teenagers were found burned to death in a Tustin garage early SUnday morning. Though it seems pretty clear that they know who the kids were, a 14-year-old boy of the family who uses the garage and a friend of his in the neighborhood, they're going to have to rely on dental records for a positive ID.
...a 15-year-old friend of the younger boy, told the Orange County Register the he was "a nice kid, but I think he tried to look cool by lighting things on fire."
Ah, firebugs. Where would the world be without our little arsonists?

I'm Betting It Wasn't Something He Ate

Riverside, CA

Male Hispanic. GSW. Golden Ox Burger.
Responding deputies found Carlos Rodriguez, suffering from a bullet wound in the lot.
Is that near the Bread Basket or further down by the Charley Horse?

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Just Cause You Old Don't Mean You Can't Party

Pomona, CA

James Gray and Walter Gray are two brothers who live together in Pomona. Both in their 60's, they're quaint, old men, who tend to their rose bushes and run a homeless kitten shelter.

Oh, wait. No, these guys are the two 60-year-old convicted felons who got busted the other night for 15 grams of rock cocaine, an ounce of marijuana, over $2000.00 cash and 5 guns, one of which is stolen.

Who says old age has to slow you down?

Hope The Twenty Minutes Was Worth It

Los Angeles, CA

On August 21, between 9:10 and 9:30 am, the traffic lights in a handful of intersections that get, and this is a technical term, a fuckload of traffic were turned off. Why? Well, that's what the city's asking Gabriel Murillo, 37, and Kartik Patel, 34, city engineers who were on shift at the time and allegedly hacked into the city's Automated Traffic Surveillance Center, shutting off the lights and locking out other managers from turning them back on.
Traffic was affected at Sky Way and World Way at Los Angeles International Airport; Coldwater Canyon and Riverside Drive; Alvarado Street and Glendale Boulevard at Berkeley Avenue; and First and Alameda Streets.
Funny thing, that's the day that members of the Engineers and Architects Association, the union that represents the city's engineers, like Murillo and Patel, were holding a demonstration for an increase in wages.

I wonder if there's a connection.

Here's the thing unions and their members have to understand about Los Angeles. By all means protest. Bring your case to the people. Show us your side and we will be compassionate and caring and listen to your needs. We will stand beside you and call you our brothers and sisters in arms. Yes, you should get more money. Yes, the workers at the DWP got a ridiculously high raise that fucked you and all the rest of the city unions over. But know this-

IF YOU SCREW WITH OUR TRAFFIC WE WILL FUCKING BURY YOU

How you mentally deficient fucktards cannot grasp that ONE simple fact is beyond me. People spend more time in transit here than in almost any other place on the goddamn planet. What the hell makes you think that adding more time to our commute is going to sway us to your cause?

Morons.

Sometimes The Chase Is Its Own Reward

Murietta, CA

Thomas Ray, of Murietta, gets pulled over for a traffic ticket. Cut somebody off in front of the cops. Not a big deal. Maybe, what, a point on your record? So, why he decided to freak out and run, leading the cops on an 11 mile chase, I have no idea.

Neither do the cops.
"Only he would know," Murrieta police Sgt. Sandra O'Donnell said."He just wouldn't say."
Have they tried belly rubs? That's what my dog usually wants when he does that sort of thing.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Anthony Pellicano, You Are The Wind Beneath My Wings

Los Angeles, CA

Oh. Oh, this is beautiful. My entire day has been brightened by this one sentence.
Hollywood private eye Anthony Pellicano is expected to ask a Los Angeles federal judge Friday for permission to represent himself in his upcoming wiretapping trial.
Please, oh please, Court TV. Please cover this.

I don't know 'bout you people, but I'm makin' popcorn.

Shock Therapy

Bermuda Dunes, CA

In my never-ending quest to make fun of Riverside, we have this little gem.
Police Taser Man With Medical Condition
Seems they thought he was drunk, so they shot him with the taser.
An investigation determined the man, whose name was not released, may not have been able to respond to their commands because of a medical condition, sheriff's officials said.
Oops.

Well, at least it was a Taser and not a Glock.

Infamy For Sale, $275.00

Whittier, CA

There's this guy, Eric Guzman, who's been hitting shops in the Whittier area. He grabs a small item, like Tic-Tacs, goes up to the register as if to buy it, and when the cashier opens the drawer the gun comes out.

He's hit 12 stores, earning the name "The Tic-Tac Bandit" because, well, you know. And now the law has him.

The most he's netted from a job has been a whopping $275.00. Which means that, at most, he's netted $3,300.00.

Let's see if we can do the math here. (5-10 for Armed Robbery x 12 robberies) - (time served) +- (time based on first or subsequent arrests / convictions) = ...well, a whole fuckload of time. Which means that he'll serve about a third of his sentence due to prison overcrowding.

Now, how excactly does this work? California has a Three Strikes Law, and each of these is a separate felony. Will he be tried for them all in one shot, or separately? I'm thinking it will be separately. So, does that mean he gets life after the third one? Or will he just be given one mondo chunk of time and, if he gets parole, will that count as a single strike?

See, this is why I don't knock over liquor stores. Too much math.