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

July 13, 2022
Law Enforcement News

Starbucks Closing 6 Stores in LA Area Due to Safety Concerns
"Crime and the aggressiveness of the crime continues to escalate and is only made worse by our District Attorney George Gascon, who hands out get out of jail free cards faster than Starbucks serves up lattes," said Jerretta Sandoz, Vice President of the Los Angeles Police Protective League. NBC 4 Video

Homicides in Los Angeles reach highest level in 15 years during 1st half of 2022
In the first half of the year, homicides recorded by the Los Angeles Police Department hit the highest level in over a decade. "181 murder victims. We're on pace for a 15 year high. This is very, very scary for our city and it's scary for the residents that we are supposed to protect," said Sgt. Jerretta Sandoz with the Los Angeles Police Protective League. ABC 7

LAPD Investigating String Of Convenience Store Robberies In North Hills
The Los Angeles Police Department released information about several robberies in the Panorama City area Tuesday, and say the same man is responsible for all of them. The department says it is also working to determine whether the suspect in those robberies is the same man who police say is responsible for at least five armed robberies and several shootings at 7-Eleven locations across San Bernardino, Los Angeles and Orange counties overnight Monday. According to LAPD, four robberies happened in the early morning hours of July 9th, two at convenience stores and two at donut shops. Police didn't provide any info about what stores were robbed but said the spree began just before 4 a.m. on July 9 at a store in the 16000 block of Parthenia Street in North Hills. Just half an hour later, police say that same suspect held up a store in the 16000 block of Nordhoff Street, according to LAPD. From there, the suspect went to a store in the 16000 block of Devonshire Street in Granada Hills just before 5 a.m. The final store, in the 16000 block of San Fernando Mission Boulevard in Granada Hills, was hit around 5:30 a.m., according to LAPD. In a press conference Tuesday, LAPD Deputy Chief Alan Hamilton said that because all four robberies happened in close proximity, they believe that the suspect is local and that they may even be a local transient. In each of the robberies, police say the suspect used a gun to demand money from store cashiers, and that no one was hurt. FOX 11

LAPD Chief Decries Ghost Guns Amid Increase In Crime
The increasing prevalence of so-called “ghost guns” is among the Los Angeles Police Department's most pressing challenges in confronting a rise in crime, Chief Michel Moore told the Police Commission Tuesday. Meanwhile, in a wide-ranging presentation to commissioners, Moore also reported an overall 7% increase in violent crime compared to this time last year — and a 13% spike over the last two years. Overall, he told commissioners, the homicide rate so far this year is flat compared to last year, with 199 homicides in 2022 as of last Saturday, compared to 198 at the same time last year. That includes 35 homicides during the last four weeks, a drop from 47 during the same period last year. Still, Moore said, he takes “no solace” in the year-to-year homicide numbers remaining even — because shooting violence in 2021 was at a 15-year high. Seventy-two percent of shootings involving officers this year included subjects who also had a firearm, the highest percentage since 2011, he said. But ghost guns — privately assembled weapons that are untraceable and unregistered — are among his department's biggest concerns, Moore stressed.

Arraignment Delayed For Beverly Hills Man Charged In Overdose Deaths Of Model, Her Friend
Arraignment was delayed Monday for a Beverly Hills man facing murder charges stemming from the overdose deaths of a model and her friend, who were dumped outside Southland hospitals in November. David Brian Pearce, 40, was arrested in December, but was not immediately charged in the deaths of Christy Giles, a 24-year-old model and aspiring actress, and her friend Hilda Marcela Cabrales-Arzola, 26. But he was charged in connection with a series of unrelated alleged sexual assaults involving seven women between 2007 and 2020. Pearce was subsequently charged with the two murder counts, along with two felony counts of sale/transportation/offer to sell a controlled substance -- fentanyl. On Monday, Pearce's arraignment on the new charges was delayed until Aug. 29. The judge on that day will also hear arguments on the prosecution's motion to increase Pearce's bail from $3.4 million to $8.4 million given the new charges against him. Giles' parents were in the downtown Los Angeles courtroom for Pearce's latest court appearance, with Deputy District Attorney Catherine Mariano telling reporters outside court that they are "sad about the circumstances of the death of their daughter.'' ABC 7

Man Pleads Not Guilty In Alleged Hate-Motivated Attack At NoHo Drive-Thru
A Sylmar man accused of rear-ending a Filipino family at a North Hollywood drive-thru and then uttering racial slurs and physically assaulting the victims pleaded not guilty on Monday to two battery charges. Nicholas Weber, 31, is charged with one felony count of battery with serious bodily injury and a misdemeanor count of battery, along with a hate-crime allegation. The charges stem from a May 13 confrontation in the drive-thru line of a McDonald's restaurant, where Weber allegedly rear-ended a car occupied by Nerissa Roque, 47, and Patricia Roque, 19. In a confrontation largely caught on cell phone video, the driver -- uttering anti-Asian slurs -- got out of his vehicle and approached the women, threatening to ``kill'' them, according to the family. The women called police, and while waiting for them to arrive, Nerissa Roque's husband, Gabriel Roque, arrived at the scene. Weber then allegedly attacked Nerissa and Gabriel in a physical altercation that left the 62-year-old man with injuries including a broken rib, according to the family. That confrontation was also caught on cell phone video.  NBC 4

Missing 11-Year-Old Girl From Panorama City Found
An 11-year-old girl who went missing after leaving her home in Panorama City has been safely located. Nataly Arrellano, who went missing last Tuesday, was found and reunited with her family on Monday, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. She was previously last seen near the 14400 block of Nordhoff Street. No details were provided about where Arrellano was located or how authorities managed to find her whereabouts. CBS 2

Search Underway For Missing Woman In West Hollywood
Sheriff's detectives Saturday asked the public for help locating a 26-year-old woman last seen in West Hollywood. Anna Nadya Pushkin was last seen at 5 p.m. Thursday in the 1000 block of Stanley Avenue, according to Deputy David Yoo of the Sheriff's Information Bureau. Pushkin is white, 5 feet, 5 inches tall, 130 pounds with red hair, green eyes and a couple of tattoos, including a circular one, on a lower arm. Anyone with information on Pushkin's whereabouts was asked to call detectives at 323-890-5500 or Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

2 Pickpockets Arrested, 17 Stolen Cell Phones Recovered In West Hollywood
A man and a woman have been arrested on suspicion of stealing more than a dozen cell phones from people enjoying West Hollywood's bars and clubs. Authorities say deputies patrolling the area around West Hollywood's bars made the arrests Friday night, and recovered 17 stolen phones from them. Deputies were approaching Santa Monica and Robertson boulevards when they recognized a man authorities resembled a pickpocket suspect from past incidents, according to sheriff's officials. They were startled when the deputies contacted them, and authorities say the woman was seen throwing a cell phone behind a dumpster. They were detained, and after an investigation, the team recovered 17 stolen phones. Five of the phones were returned to their owners. The two pickpockets, who were not identified, were arrested on suspicion of grand theft. Investigators say they have increased patrols around West Hollywood's bars and clubs, and have turned to an unlikely source for help -- club bouncers, who have been taking photos of pickpocketing suspects. Deputies have received pictures of a group of about a dozen suspects, and six have been arrested so far. CBS 2

Rapper Pleads Guilty In COVID-19 Jobless Relief Fraud Case
A rapper who boasted in a YouTube music video about getting rich from committing unemployment benefits fraud pleaded guilty Monday in Los Angeles to federal fraud and firearms charges. The rapper known as Nuke Bizzle — whose real name is Fontrell Baines — entered his plea to one count each of mail fraud and unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon. Baines, who's from Memphis, Tennessee, but recently lived in the Hollywood Hills, will face a sentence of up to 20 years in federal prison for the mail fraud count and up to 10 years for the firearm count at sentencing on Oct. 5. He also agreed to forfeit funds totaling $56,750 that were previously seized by law enforcement, according to his plea agreement. The 33-year-old rapper exploited the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance provision of the CARES Act, which is designed to expand access to unemployment benefits to self-employed workers, independent contractors and others who would not otherwise be eligible.

Armed Robberies At 6 Different 7-Eleven Stores Leave 2 Dead, Several Wounded
A string of robberies at 7-Eleven stores across the Southland began early Monday morning after suspects robbed a store in Upland and Ontario, raising the total count of incidents that occurred on Monday to six, CBSLA has learned. The robbery took place at a 7-Eleven convenience store located on the 2410 block of West Arrow Route in Upland. The incident took place just before 1 a.m. on Monday. Fortunately there were no shots fired at this crime scene and there were no injuries reported, CBSLA has learned. The clerk at the Upland store was shaken up but did not suffer any injuries. A 7-Eleven in Ontario was also robbed early Monday morning at a store located at the 600 block of North Vine Avenue, according to the Ontario Police Department. The suspect held up the store with a handgun, but no shots were fired and no one was injured, police said. The suspect is described as a Black male, who weighs about 160 pounds is 5-feet-10-inches tall. He was wearing a mask and dark clothes.  CBS 2

Nevada Man Charged In 1982 Cold Case Murder Of 5-Year-Old California Girl
A 70-year-old Reno, Nevada man has been arrested for murder related to the slaying of a 5-year-old girl more than 40 years ago. Robert Lanoue has been charged with the murder of Anne Pham who disappeared while she was walking to an elementary school in Seaside, Calfornia, KRXI-TV reported. Lanoue was her 29-year-old neighbor at the time in the small town on the former army post of Fort Ord in Monterey Bay, California. Pham was never seen again after she disappeared walking to kindergarten on January 21, 1982. Her remains were found two days later on the former Fort Ord. Police say that Pham had been suffocated and sexually assaulted. Pham's murder went unsolved for decades until investigators reopened the case in 2020 and submitted pieces of evidence in the case for DNA testing. A new type of DNA testing that had not previously been available to investigators was used to identify Lanoue as a suspect. Investigators obtained a warrant for Lanoue's arrest in July and he is currently being held in Nevada pending an extradition to California. FOX 11

Public Safety News

LA Reported 19 Hurt, Two Seriously, In Fireworks Incidents Over July 4 Weekend
LA City officials said Tuesday that 19 people, including a young girl, suffered traumatic injuries as a result of fireworks accidents over the July Fourth holiday. The girl was holding an "M-80" type of firework when it detonated in her hand, and LAPD Chief Michel Moore said the girl suffered very critical injuries. No other details of the incident were immediately available, other city officials said. New data obtained by the I-Team from the LA City Fire Department said approximately 10 fires were ignited by or were related to fireworks between July 1 and July 5. LAPD data that also included the week prior to the holiday weekend showed two brush fires, 23 structure fires, and 32 tree fires that were likely caused by fireworks. Police dispatch records listed 1,232 calls reporting illegal fireworks in recent weeks, down from nearly 2,700 during the same time last year. Chief Moore said another person was seriously injured in a separate incident while holding a bottle rocket firework. Almost all fireworks are illegal to personally possess or use in the City of LA. Moore said officers had confiscated more than two tons of illegal fireworks, made 31 arrests, and issued 19 citations during a special fireworks enforcement period. NBC 4

LA County Could Return To “High" COVID-19 Level By Thursday
Los Angeles County continued to head towards the "high" COVID-19 threshold as early as Thursday, Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer said Tuesday. If the county stays in the "high" level of COVID-19 activity for two consecutive weeks, an indoor mask-wearing mandate will return. Under the current pace, that mandate will take effect by July 29. As of Tuesday, the county was in the "medium" COVID level as defined by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In order to enter the "high" category, the county's rate of daily COVID-positive patients being admitted to area hospitals must reach 10 per 100,000 residents. As of Tuesday, that rate was at 8.8 per 100,000 residents. Ferrer said she expects the county to enter the "high" activity category within days. "Given the continued increase, we do anticipate by this Thursday the county will move into that high level," Ferrer said. CBS 2

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: