Daily Local & Regional NewsWatch
LA Police Protective League


Los Angeles
Police Protective League
the union that represents the
rank and file LAPD officers

  Daily Local & Regional NewsWatch

Daily News Digest
from LA Police Protective League

November 9, 2021
Law Enforcement News

‘Ongoing Crime Trend': LAPD Issues Warning Over Follow-Home Robberies Amid Uptick In Violent Incidents
A wave of follow-home robberies in and around the city prompted the Los Angeles Police Department on Monday to warn residents and visitors alike about what officials describe as an “ongoing crime trend.” The LAPD's elite Robbery-Homicide Division became aware of the trend amid a spike in violent street robberies, according to a safety alert from police. Victims have been found and followed by robbers from places like Melrose Avenue, downtown's Jewelry District, nightclubs and high-end restaurants. The robbers are also looking for expensive items, like jewelry, watches and purses. After identifying their potential victim, the assailants typically follow that person to home or work, where they rob them upon arrival, the police bulletin stated. Arrests have been made in connection with the crimes, LAPD added, without giving a specific number. KTLA 5

Fatal Shooting in Harvard Park; Shooter on the Run
A woman is dead and a man is in the hospital after a Tuesday morning shooting in the South LA neighborhood of Harvard Park. The 77th division of the Los Angeles Police Department was investigating the incident as a double shooting. The shooting occurred around 3:30 a.m. on Tuesday, at the intersection of Western Avenue and Slauson Avenue. NBC 4

Man Wounded In Sun Valley Shooting
A man was wounded Sunday when he was shot by an unknown suspect on a Sun Valley street. The shooting occurred about 5:15 p.m. in the 12300 block of Sheldon Street, according to a dispatcher at the LAPD's Operations Center. The 30-year-old man did not provide officers with information about the attack or his attacker, she said. He was taken by paramedics to a hospital for treatment and was released later, she said.

Search Underway For Suspect Involved In Shots-Fired Incident
In Sylmar Investigators with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department are looking for the man who is accused of being involved in a confrontation with San Fernando police that led to a shots-fired incident overnight, authorities said. The shooting was reported Monday at 3:40 a.m. in the 13300 block of Little Tujunga Canyon Road in Sylmar. Police said that once the shots were fired, the suspect left the scene and hid in the nearby terrain. It is unknown if he was struck by gunfire. The officer was not injured in the incident. No further information was immediately released. Anyone with information is asked to contact LASD's Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500.  FOX 11

Hearing Held In Fraud Case Of LA Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas, Ex-USC Dean Marilyn Flynn
A short hearing took place Monday in federal court in the bribery and corruption case of Los Angeles City Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas and the ex-dean of the USC School of Social Work, Marilyn Flynn. During the 10-minute hearing, in which the 67-year-old Ridley-Thomas and the 83-year-old Flynn appeared via Zoom, the judge heard a summary of the prosecution's case and requested that both sides stipulate that a previously set December trial date be canceled. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ruth C. Pinkel told the court that her office has produced 35,000 pages of evidentiary material, with more to come. She said the prosecution's case at trial would last about two weeks. The defense did not offer a time estimate. The defendants were charged last month in a bombshell 20-count indictment alleging a secret deal whereby Ridley-Thomas — when he was a member of the L.A. County Board of Supervisors — agreed to steer county money to the university in return for admitting his son Sebastian Ridley-Thomas into graduate school with a full- tuition scholarship and a paid professorship. CBS 2

Dem Pols Profit From Forcing COVID Tests on Cops, Firefighters
Granted, when measured for municipal corruption, Los Angeles cannot yet compete with Chicago, where it is practiced with a great and longstanding pride. But a new controversy in L.A., in which local pols not only plan to enrich a friend (and by extension themselves) but do so at the expense of their foes, looks to be a corruption two-fer even the crooks in Chicago can envy. The city has awarded a  $3 million contract  for COVID-19 testing to a company called Bluestone, which is partly owned by Pedram Salimpour, a Los Angeles doctor. By the most remarkable of coincidences, he also sits on the commission that oversees the city's fire and police pension plan. And, by another of the most unlikely of coincidences, Salimpour is one of those deep-pocket players who donate lavishly to Democratic candidates, including former city councilman Mitch Englander, who earlier this year was  sentenced  to 14 months in federal prison, and the above-mentioned Mark Ridley-Thomas, who may soon be Englander's cellmate . PJ Media

Dorit Kemsley Robbed: LAPD Releases Surveillance Footage Of Home Invasion Authorities Monday sought the public's assistance to identify three suspects in a home-invasion robbery in Encino that targeted "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" cast member Dorit Kemsley. The break-in occurred about 10:50 p.m. on Oct. 27 in the 17000 block of Adlon Road, according to the LAPD. Police, without identifying Kemsley by name, said two suspects broke a sliding glass door and entered the large home near the Encino Reservoir. "The victim was inside the residence at the time and was confronted by the suspects," according to a police statement. "Both suspects threatened to kill her as she pleaded for her life and the lives of her young children." According to police, the woman complied with their demands to direct them to valuables inside the home and took handbags, jewelry and watches "with a significant monetary loss" and fled the location in a black truck. According to TMZ, Kemsley's husband, Paul, was out of town on a business trip when the robbery occurred. Police described the suspects only as men between 20 and 30 years old, wearing black hoodies and dark pants. Anyone with information on the suspects was asked to call the LAPD Robbery-Homicide Division at 213-486-6840. FOX 11

Man Reported Missing Was Struck And Killed By Hit-and-Run Driver
A man who was reported missing last week was struck by a vehicle and killed, and police Monday sought public help to find the hit-and-run driver responsible for his death. Dev Singh, 22, was last seen in the 1900 block of Beloit Avenue on Wednesday, and the Los Angeles Police Department sought public help to find him. On Thursday about 8 p.m., Singh was hit by a vehicle on Sunset Boulevard and Allenford Avenue, and he died at a hospital, the LAPD reported. No description was available of the hit-and-run vehicle or the driver, police said. A standing reward of up to $50,000 has been offered by the city of Los Angeles for information that helps solve a fatal hit and run. Anyone with information on the case was urged to call the LAPD West Traffic Division at 213-473-0234; 877-LAPD-247; or Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. NBC 4

Man Stabbed Over Alleged Refusal To Wear Mask In Santa Monica Market
A man is hospitalized Tuesday after what witnesses say was a dispute over the victim not wearing a mask in Santa Monica. According to witnesses, a security guard confronted the victim over his refusal to wear a mask inside a Vons supermarket on Monday night, and an argument quickly escalated. “There was a tussle” between the security guard and the victim, witness Andre Berryman told ABC7, and ultimately the security guard pulled out a knife and stabbed the victim, according to Berryman. The man was taken to a hospital in an unknown condition. A mask mandate for Los Angeles went into effect on Monday and Los Angeles County has a mask mandate in place in indoor settings. Los Angeles Daily News

Juan Carlos Vazquez Wanted For Opening Fire On Officer In Angeles National Forest
Authorities have identified a man wanted for opening fire on a San Fernando police officer in the Angeles National Forest early Monday morning following a pursuit. The shooting occurred just before 4 a.m. in the 13000 block of Little Tujunga Canyon Road, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. The suspect has been identified as 38-year-old Juan Carlos Vazquez. He is believed to be armed and dangerous. The incident began when a San Fernando police officer tried to pull over a GMC pickup for a traffic violation. When the suspect refuse to stop, a chase ensued. The officer lost sight of the suspect's truck. However, as she was driving north on Little Tujunga Canyon, she came upon the pickup sitting on the dirt shoulder, the sheriff's department said. When she exited her patrol vehicle, the suspect, believed to be Vazquez, opened fire on her. She also returned fire. Vazquez somehow escaped into the brush and an immediate search of the area was unsuccessful. Investigators believe Vasquez is with his girlfriend, 37-year-old Maria Deboni, the sheriff's department reports. CBS 2

Woman Sought After Driving Away With Furniture She Agreed To Purchase From Agoura Hills Home
A woman who allegedly stole furniture she agreed to purchase from a person in Agoura Hills is being sought, officials announced Monday. The incident occurred about 12:30 p.m. Oct. 28 when the woman contacted the victim about buying furniture for sale. The woman arrived at the location along the 2900 block of Patrick Henry Place and “began to place furniture she planned on purchasing in her dark blue SUV,” Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department officials said in a crime alert. After loading the furniture into her vehicle, authorities said she got in and drove off without paying for the items. She allegedly had two young children in the vehicle during the incident. Authorities provided two images of the woman, who is described as being in her 40s and was wearing a black dress. Anyone with information about the woman can call the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff's station at 818-878-1808. KTLA 5

Toddler Killed On Oakland Highway Latest Victim In Shootings Spike
A toddler was killed by a stray bullet on an Oakland freeway while he slept in his car seat, the latest victim of a recent spike in shootings on San Francisco Bay Area highways in the last two years, some of them attributed to gangs. The nearly 2-year-old boy was killed Saturday around 2 p.m. while riding in a Lexus sedan on Interstate 880 driven by his mom when the car was struck by gunfire, the California Highway Patrol said. The boy was rushed to the hospital, where he died. "I'm shaking from it, my body is aching from it, only 23 months old," said Serena Morales, who organized a vigil for the boy at 7 p.m. on 7th ad Market Street. "We can find these killers if we work with each other," she said. "Look at your dash cam from that day. Your dash cam videos, if you're a semi truck driver, Uber driver, anything. Just please look at your videos," she said pleading for help to identify a suspect. The evidence suggests the victims were not targeted but got caught in the crossfire between two cars with people exchanging gunfire, officials said. The CHP said it had no other information Monday and urged anyone who may have witnessed the shooting to contact them. NBC Bay Area

California Mother, Boyfriend Guilty Of Murder In Boy's Death
A Northern California mother and her boyfriend have been convicted of murdering a 5-year-old boy after inflicting “extensive abuse” on the child. The boy's mother, Jessica Prater, 37, and her boyfriend, Adam Caldwell, 45, were found guilty on several counts related to the 2016 death of Prater's son, Zachary Prater-Stokes, the Sacramento Bee reported Monday. The mother and child had moved into Caldwell's home in the Sacramento suburb of Orangevale in April 2016, the district attorney's office said in a statement. “Caldwell began to punish and abuse Zachary, both psychologically and physically,” the statement said. “The physical abuse became more frequent and more violent. The abuse was also inflicted by Prater.” Roughly two months after moving in with her boyfriend, Prater called 911 “to report that Zachary had swallowed water in the bathtub and was not responsive.” Fire personnel arrived and found Zachary clothed and dry in a bedroom, and transported him to a hospital, where he never regained consciousness. “Medical evidence confirmed extensive abuse,” the statement said. The autopsy showed Zachary's death was caused by “blunt-force injuries and water submersion.” Los Angeles Times

Florida Man Admits Defrauding California Of $10 Million
A Florida man pleaded guilty Monday to defrauding the state of California out of more than $10 million in tobacco taxes, federal prosecutors said. Akrum Alrahib, 43, a former California resident now living in Miami, admitted conspiring to commit mail fraud. The crime carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine when he is sentenced Dec. 13. He admitted providing untaxed tobacco products like cigars, chewing tobacco and leaf tobacco to multiple people and companies in California between April 2016 and December 2017, prosecutors said, knowing the products would be sold illegally. That deprived the state of the tax it would have collected, which varied during the time he was providing the products tax-free. The tax rate more than doubled during that period from 27.30% to 65.08% of the tobacco products' wholesale cost. Licensed tobacco distributors are required to collect and report the excise tax when they distribute the product within California. "Tax evasion is not a victimless crime," California Department of Tax and Fee Administration Director Nick Maduros said in a statement. "California communities lose critical tax dollars that pay for vital programs, and it isn't fair for those hard-working business owners who play by the rules." NBC 4

Georgia Deputy Dies 3 Days After Shootout
A Georgia sheriff's deputy died in the hospital Monday afternoon, just three days after a domestic call in Jackson County turned into a violent shootout. Lena Nicole Marshall, who joined the sheriff's office in June 2020, died shortly before 4 p.m. after she was shot Friday night by a suspect, Sheriff Janis Mangum confirmed. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation identified the shooter as Jessica Worsham, 43, of Hoschton. Marshall is the sixth Georgia officer killed in the line of duty this year. Of the six, three were shot, including Marshall. Last year, seven Georgia officers were killed while on duty. The sheriff's office said Worsham fired at Marshall and another deputy when they confronted her at a home, striking Marshall. The other deputy returned fire, hitting and killing Worsham, the sheriff's office said. The sheriff did not specify where Marshall was injured. A benefit fund has been set up for Marshall and her children at Northeast Georgia Bank in Jefferson, Mangum said in a post. A GoFundMe campaign has also amassed more than $40,000 for the family to cover funeral expenses. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Public Safety News

City Of LA's Strict COVID Vaccine Proof Mandate For Restaurants, Coffee Shops, Gyms Takes Effect
Under one of the most sweeping new laws in the nation, beginning Monday, anyone who visits the indoor portion of a long list of establishments – including restaurants, coffee shops, gyms, bars and salons – in the city of Los Angeles, will be required to show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19. Although the SafePassLA ordinance takes effect Monday, it won't be fully enforced until Nov. 29. Under the ordinance, which was approved by the L.A. City Council in early October, patrons age 12 and older will have to show either: A physical vaccination card from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A photocopy of a vaccination card or a photograph stored on their phone, A digital vaccination record issued by the state of California or a state, local or foreign jurisdiction, or an approved private company. Documentation of a COVID-19 vaccine from a healthcare provider. Anyone age 18 and over will also have to provide identification. The ordinance also requires people to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to attend outdoor events with 5,000 or more people. CBS 2

No-Burn Order Extended Through Tuesday Night In Many Parts Of Southland
The South Coast Air Quality Management District Monday extended a no-burn order for much of the Southland through Tuesday night due to high air pollution. The residential wood-burning ban will stay in effect through 11:59 p.m. Tuesday for all those in the South Coast Air Basin which includes the non-desert portions of Riverside, San Bernardino and Los Angeles counties and all of Orange County. Monday's extension marked the fifth time the ban was pushed to a different date. The original ban was set to end Thursday at 11:59 p.m. The order does not apply to mountain communities above 3,000 feet, the Coachella Valley or the high desert. Homes that rely on wood as a sole source of heat are exempt from the requirement. Gas and other non-wood burning fireplaces are not restricted, the SCAQMD said. CBS 2

COVID-19 Hospitalizations Rising In Parts Of California, A Potentially Ominous Sign
COVID-19 hospitalizations have risen significantly in the Inland Empire and Central Valley, bringing new concerns about whether the shift represents a precursor to a wider spike in COVID-19 in California as the winter holidays approach. Across the state, both cases and hospitalizations hit a plateau after months of decline. Hospitalizations have remained fairly flat in some areas with relatively high vaccination rates, including the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles County. But in some areas with lower vaccination rates, such as Riverside, San Bernardino and Fresno counties, conditions are deteriorating, with hospitalizations up by more than 20% in recent weeks. And even some places with relatively high vaccination rates are seeing COVID-19 hospitalizations tick upward; in Orange County, COVID-19 hospitalizations are up by 16% since Halloween. Health officials have been warning about a potential new rise in COVID-19 in California as seniors who got their shots last winter — and haven't received a booster shot — may start to see their immunity wane, leaving them exposed to greater risk for infection and hospitalization, and as people gather indoors more as the weather cools and the holidays approach. Los Angeles Times

California Health Officials Urge COVID Booster Shots Ahead Of The Holidays
Hoping to avoid another surge of COVID-19 cases this winter, California public health officials on Monday urged residents to get booster shots and vaccinate their newly eligible younger children. With the combination of people gathering indoors due to colder weather and waning vaccine immunity, the health department said it sees a concerning rise of new cases, hospitalizations and deaths across the state. “With cases ticking up in most parts of the state, we cannot let our guard down and we cannot underestimate this deadly virus,” Dr. Tomás J. Aragón, director of California's public health department, said in a statement. He encouraged families to get their children ages 5 to 11, who became eligible for Pfizer shots as of last week, vaccinated as soon as possible. “Last year at this time our COVID-19 cases increased at a dangerous rate, so we can't underscore enough the importance to vaccinate and boost to protect yourself, your family and all of our communities against this virus,” Aragón said. Daily cases rose from less than 3,000 in October to more than 58,000 in December in 2020, according to state data. Aragón also appeared to endorse booster shots for all who had received their initial doses in the spring or earlier. San Francisco Chronicle

Local Government News

Buscaino Motion Calls to Ban Vehicle Dwelling Near Homes, Parks, Schools
Residents on the Westside are hoping that a motion submitted by Councilmember Joe Buscaino will create some relief when it comes to RV's that line residential streets and are allowed to remain in sensitive areas like schools, parks, and the Ballona Wetlands. "I hear you," said Buscaino, who submitted a motion in October that calls to have the City's Anti-Dwelling ordinance LAMC 85.02 reinstated. "As far as RV's, I've heard you loud and clear just like I did with the bike chop shops." LA passed 85.02, a law that bans vehicle dwellers from spending the night near homes, parks, and schools a few years ago. The law allowed vehicles to dwell on a scattering of streets in industrial and commercial districts only. The ordinance, however, had a sunset date of January 1, 2020, which was not extended, leaving no regulations or restrictions on vehicle dwelling whatsoever on any street in the City. Residents on the Westside say they were counting on the new anti-camping law, LAMC 41.18, to help clear streets lined with RVs--especially those parked outside schools and at parks. However, they learned since that ordinance passed--they needed LAMC 85.02 to be in place to regulate dwelling in vehicles.  WestSide Current

About the LAPPL - Formed in 1923, the Los Angeles Police Protective League (LAPPL) represents the more than 9,900 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. The LAPPL can be found on the Web at: