Tag Archive for: police

Picnickers and swap meet vendors

The Eastsider LA is reporting that Rampart Division police officers showed up at the Echo Park Lake swap meet today to “warn and educate the vendors about the law,” Sgt. Joel Miller told the Eastsider. Several vendors were also cited for “soliciting on city property.”

We have written extensively about this issue before, covering the legality vs. illegality issues and more. More recently, the main concern revolves around a small number of individuals who are reportedly selling spaces on the grass to potential vendors. One resident told everyone at the EPIA Town Hall meeting in July about a man offering those spaces for $20 and $40, and was apparently carrying a machete.

Another resident commented on the Eastsider LA article today about their experience, writing: “Well I tried to walk home several Saturdays late in the evening and when I saw the ropes, strings, plastic bags, hangars, yellow tape, and as recently as July 31 brown mailing tape marking the spots. When I approached the obvious markings I was approached by a tall man who asked me ‘Tienes en Lugar?'”

Perhaps these reports from residents, which surprised the Rampart Division officer who was present at the meeting, are the reason why police showed up earlier today to disperse the crowd.

At last night’s Echo Park Improvement Association’s Town Hall meeting, we had a rep from both the Northeast and Rampart Divisions to provide us with an update on crime in the Echo Park area. Some notes worthy of mention are:

  • Officer Hill says the Yankee Game weekend enforcement went well, that they were citing people for public drinking as early as 10:00 am in Elysian Park. Northeast also had a DUI task force in place near stadium exits for drunk drivers.
  • Two significant arrests were made Wednesday in relation to recent burglaries (one on Clifford by the elementary school). Approximately four or five people retrieved their stolen property from that bust.
  • From the Rampart Division, there are no new updates on the robbery at the Higher Path Dispensary last week.
  • July 4th is on Sunday, and we were reminded that fireworks are illegal in Los Angeles. Anyone who has lived in Echo Park during a 4th of July knows the havoc that goes on at the Lake. Officers will be responding to calls if residents notify 311 (or 911 if it’s an emergency) of any illegal activity.
  • Update on the shooting at the Echo a couple of weeks ago: the Rampart officer at the meeting last night says apparently someone had been denied entry into the club, so he came back and shot at a security guard.

And from Captain Bill Murphy, we have some information to share from the Northeast Division E-Policing Newsletter we received yesterday:

National Night Out will take place in Echo Park at the Walgreens on Tuesday, August 3 from 5-8:00 pm. “National Night Out is a fun and informative event with entertainment provided at each site.”

Dodger Night: “On Wednesday July 28, 2010, from 6-9:00 pm at the Dodger Stadium Stadium Club overlooking the right field and first base lines. The Dodgers recently renovation the Stadium Club and it now has an overhang deck with a spectacular view of the ballpark. Everyone is invited to this event and free parking will be provided in lot L. Come hear from your Captains, SLOs, and elected officials regarding the ‘State of Northeast Area.’ Make sure you get there early as last year several hundred people attended this event.”

Neighborhood Crime Update:

Echo Park

Over the last week the crime looks good. Over the past 28 days there are some property crimes occuring along the Sunset corridor mostly from late PM hours through daybreak (a few car break-in and GTAs). We had a bad burglary problem that I spoke about in the last newsletter. This has been cleaned up tremendously with several arrests of burglars over the past four weeks.

Elysian Valley

Very clear over the past week – only a few property crimes over the past 28 days.

You can contact Captain Murphy at 26152@lapd.lacity.org. To sign up for the E-Policing Newsletter, go to lapdonline.org. Then click on E-Policing in the navigation. All you have to do is provide your email address and you’re set!

From Captain Bill Murphy in a Northeast community newsletter sent out this afternoon:

Hello, just wanted to update everyone on a problem that has been occurring in Silver Lake and possibly Franklin Hills. A male Caucasian, in his 20s, has been going door to door asking for donations. He uses different pitches to try and get residents to give him money. One of these is that he is a member of the USC Baseball Team and he is collecting money for the team to attend an upcoming baseball tournament. Another is that he grew up in the area “don’t you know my parents?” then requests a donation to assist him to pay for his schooling. Anyway, whatever the pitch is you should be cautious. He begins by being very charming but when it becomes evident that the residents are not going to give him money – he becomes agitated. To date, we have not heard that any of the incidents have escalated beyond this. There were rumors flying around regarding him pushing residents, etc… but we have no reports that this ever occurred. He appears to simply be a scammer seeking donations door to door.

Also, some residents are worried that his actual purpose is to “case” their home for a future burglary or distract them so another person could steal from them. While it is possible that he is casing – I do not believe that this is the case. Generally, suspects who case an area do not want to bring attention to themselves. They are there to quietly select targets. The last thing they want to do is go door to door getting into arguments with residents – it bring way too much attention on them. And I do not believe he is committing distraction burglaries either. We have no reports of this and all the information I have simply talks about him being by himself trying to solicit donations.

An alert witness wrote down a license plate of a vehicle he may be using. We are working this up and I have placed extra officers in the area. We should be able to find him and find out what he is up to (book him if we can). The acts that he has committed so far (aggressive solicitation with fabrication) amount to low-level misdemeanors.

Here are some strategies to use on people seeking donations at your door:

1. DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR if you do not know who’s there.

2. Do not give any personal information whatsoever during the conversation.

3. Do not become engaged in a long discussion – they are good communicators and want to break you down to get a donation.

4. If the person persists, tell him to leave literature about his cause and you’ll take a look at it – be polite – but tell him you have to go.

5. Call LAPD Northeast Area (213) 485-2563 if you see him or he comes to your door. My officers will be alerted to this problem.

Thanks Bill