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Two Women Arrested after Thelma and Louise-Type Crime Spree Police Encourage Any Other Victims to Come Forward

Los Angeles.  The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) has released the photographs of two women who were charged last week in a six-day-long spree of robberies, burglaries, and assorted other crimes, which spread from downtown Los Angeles to Venice Beach.

Myra Lopez, who is 34, and 25-year-old Latascha Bulmer met at the Chowchilla Women's prison.  In mid-August this year, both women were paroled to finish their sentences at the Walden House in El Monte, Calif.  Lopez was doing time for robbery and Bulmer for auto theft.

"Apparently the duo walked away from Walden House over the Labor Day weekend," said Captain
Blake Chow, commanding officer of the LAPD Central Division station.  "We now know their crime spree apparently started with stealing a Cadillac Escalade from a man on September 8, but the first crime reported to our detectives was September 12, 2009."

That victim was a woman who stopped for lunch at a McDonald's restaurant at 7th and Alameda Streets, south of downtown Los Angeles.  Using their signature mode of operation, Bulmer walked up to the victim in her Mazda minivan and asked for money.  Now distracted, the victim didn't notice Lopez, who shoved a hard object against her side as Bulmer pulled the victim from the van.  LAPD Officers Tony Gutierrez and Chelsea Krawczyk (pronounced: Kraw-check) completed the carjacking report, describing the two tattooed women.  

Then at 3p.m. the same day, two women knocked down another woman to take her purse near a carwash at Olympic Boulevard and Figueroa Street.  Only the intervention of a good Samaritan kept the suspects from getting away with the stolen money.  Another person also saw the getaway car, a silver minivan,  and sent a text tip into LAPD.  Officers Gutierrez and Krawczyk realized the connection and made it their personal goal to capture the Thelma-and-Louise duo.

"We encourage officers to do more than just take crime reports," Captain Chow said.  "Gutierrez and Krawczyk recognized the crime spree quickly.  Maybe one in 100 crimes involve women as perpetrators.  So the officers knew this pair would really stand out."

Over the next two days, the officers drove a SMART car, a high-tech police car equipped with a license plate scanner, and looked for the silver minivan in-between answering radio calls.  Detectives brought in victims and prepared a composite sketch of what turned out to be Myra Lopez, and contacted neighboring police stations.

Two days later, around 10 a.m., Gutierrez and Krawczyk noticed a silver minivan near 6th Street and Towne Avenue in Skid Row.  The driver resembled a man at first, then the police car's license plate reader reported the plate on the van was stolen, matching a GMC van.  The officers stopped the van only to discover the driver was actually a woman, Myra Lopez, and the minivan was the one officers had hoped to find.

"The minivan was a treasure chest of stolen loot," said Lt. Paul Vernon, head of LAPD Central Division Detectives.  "We found identification and stolen property that implicated Lopez and her partner in robberies in Venice and Northeast, but the biggest haul was only one hour old."

Officers found computers and a jewelry box filled with Mexican silver, and Lopez was wearing diamond earrings, all taken one hour before in a burglary two miles away in Angelino Heights.  "The home owner was amazed at how efficient the police department was at solving burglaries," said Lt. Vernon.

The van's contents also revealed the extent of Lopez' and Bulmer's activities:  a Costco card from a women robbed in Venice on September 8; the stolen license plate that was taken September 13 from a van in Venice; and Hebrew-language CDs from a woman robbed on Berkeley Avenue in Silverlake on September 14.

"The woman had her 4-year-old with her when Lopez held a box cutter to the mother's throat and demanded her car keys,"  Lt. Vernon added.  "We found a box cutter on Lopez when she was arrested."

While Lopez was not talking, detectives were able to identify her partner in crime through the parole agent assigned to Walden House in El Monte.  "The parole agent knew right away when we mentioned Lopez that we were also looking for Latascha Bulmer," Lt. Vernon confirmed.

After distributing a wanted poster, officers found Bulmer walking on Skid Row.  When they arrested her, she had more credit cards in her sock belonging to another woman robbed on September 13 in the 4000 block of Washington Boulevard, just one hour after the botched robbery at the carwash.

"As best we can tell, the spree began with the taking of a black Escalade on September 8," said Lt. Vernon.  "We know that SUV was used in the crimes committed in Venice, but somehow the owner got his SUV back and has yet to make a theft report.  We've released the women's booking photos expecting there may be other victims or even a more serious crime."

"This crime spree ended quickly thanks to the officers, detectives and parole agent's tenacious work, and the help of new technology like the SMART cars and text tips," said Captain Chow.  "Such efforts have kept crime declining, already down nearly eight percent in downtown this year."

Lopez and Bulmer are being held without bail, both charged with four counts of robbery and one of carjacking.  Lopez was also charged with residential burglary.

Anyone with information is asked to call LAPD Central Division robbery detectives at 213-972-1248.   After-hours or on weekends, calls may be directed to a 24-hour, toll free number at 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (527-3247).  Callers may also text "crimes" with a cell phone or log on to www.lapdonline.org and click on web tips.  When using a cell phone, all messages should begin with "LAPD."  Tipsters may remain anonymous.

Photographs of Lopez and Bulmer are available from media relations and being disseminated with this release.


Man Arrested for Lakers Final Looting

Los Angeles:  Los Angeles police and Councilmember Jan Perry announced the arrest of 24-year-old Michael Rivas of Hawaiian Gardens for looting during the June-14 melee that followed the Lakers championship game.  The arrest is the twentieth made related to the melee and the first since June 15 when two persons were arrested for receiving stolen property.

"In the pictures, Mr. Rivas is laughing as he loads cases of soft drinks into a car," said Lt. Paul Vernon, head of detectives downtown.  "He wasn't laughing when we showed up at his job to arrest him last Friday."

Detectives used video footage from the Shell gas station, located at 504 West Olympic Boulevard, as well as well public-domain stills and video posted on Flickr and Youtube, to identify Rivas as the man seen loading cases of soft drinks into a car.  "It's nearly impossible to stay anonymous in this age of cell phones, video, and social websites; and that's a good thing, if it holds people more accountable for their behavior," Lt. Vernon added.

"We hope this arrest will be a deterrent to irresponsible, impulsive behavior during large gatherings downtown," said Captain Blake Chow, who commands the downtown Central Police Station.  "We have a state-of-the-art entertainment district surrounded by burgeoning business and residential communities.  We cannot allow bad behavior to impose on others' enjoyment and right to live peaceably."

"Conservative loss estimates are $300,000, in broken windows, damaged cars, and stolen property," said Deputy Chief Sergio Diaz, commanding officer of Operations-Central Bureau.  "And that's a loss to all of us as taxpayers, government, private persons, and business.  It isn't right, and it's never justified under any circumstances, so let's do everything we can to deter and discourage it for the future."

City Councilmember Jan Perry, 9th City Council District, thanked the detectives for their good work, and she reminded everyone of the $10,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of persons responsible for the 29 crimes committed, ranging from assault to vandalism.  "There are many more pictures of people acting irresponsibly and illegally.  Please help these officers find them so we can all enjoy our many entertainment outlets downtown without the fear of being hurt."

Rivas is a security guard at a Whittier hospital, where he was arrested Friday morning, September 25.  He was charged with burglary, with a special circumstance for looting.  His bail was set at $20,000.

Anyone with information is asked to call LAPD Central Division burglary detectives at 213-972-1228.   Calls also may be directed to a 24-hour, toll-free number at 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (527-3247).  Callers may text "crimes" with a cell phone or log on to www.lapdonline.org and click on web tips.  When using a cell phone, all messages should begin with "LAPD."  Tipsters may remain anonymous.


Lakers Final Arrests


Sexual Assault Suspect Arrested

Los Angeles: Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) detectives announce the arrest of a sexual assault suspect.

On September 28, 2009, at around 1:05 a.m., the female victim was walking in the area of Alta Vista Place and Melrose Avenue.  The suspect walked alongside the victim and engaged her in a conversation. He then pulled the victim into an alley and attempted to sexually assault her.  Nearby residents heard the victim's cries for help.  911 operators received numerous calls.  As responding units were arriving with lights and sirens, the suspect ran from the area and escaped.

Detectives from Operations-West Bureau Sexual Assault Detail began a case with very limited leads.  Detectives developed their case and eventually identified registered sex offender Christopher Webb, 22 years old, as the suspect.

On September 29, 2009 at 10:30 a.m., Detectives arrested Webb and booked him at the Wilshire Area Jail for attempted rape.  Webb is being held on $225,000 bail.

Detectives believe Webb may be responsible for additional assaults on other teenage victims.  Webb has distinctive script lettering tattoos on the top of each hand, "Honey" on his right hand and “Combs” on his left hand.

Anyone with information about this crime or similar assaults by Webb is asked to call Operations-West Bureau Sexual Assault Detail at 213-473-0447.  During off-hours, calls may be directed to a 24-hour, toll-free number at 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (527-3247).  Callers may also text "Crimes" with a cell phone or log on to www.lapdonline.org and click on Web tips.  When using a cell phone, all messages should begin with "LAPD."  Tipsters may remain anonymous.


Help Find Missing 12-year-old Boy

Update

Relatives of Christopher Perez took him to Hollywood Division and told the officers he was found in good health.

Los Angeles.  Local law enforcement is looking for a missing 12-year-old boy, Christopher Perez, who ran away from a Whittier foster home last night, September 28, 2009, around 10 p.m.

At 3 p.m. today, a convenience store clerk reported letting Christopher use a telephone at a store near the intersection of Firestone Boulevard and Compton Avenue of Los Angeles County.  Police think he last spoke to his sister who encouraged him to go to police.  According to the clerk, deputies missed the boy by five minutes.

Christopher was placed in protective care last night by the Department of Children and Family Services after his mother was admitted to a hospital near downtown Los Angeles.  Soon after being placed in the home in Whittier, the boy ran away.  Deputies with the Norwalk Substation, Los Angeles County Sheriff (LASD), used blood hounds to follow Christopher's trail to the Norwalk Green Line Rail Station.  

Los Angeles police officers have been checking two residences downtown since midnight, but have found no one home.  Christopher lives with his mother downtown, and visits two siblings who also live downtown.  Police have also contacted school police officers for the Bancroft Middle School, where Christopher attends school, and have visited a home in Hollywood where a cousin lives.

Christopher Perez is described as a male Hispanic, 4 feet 9 inches tall and weighs 90 pounds.  He has black, shoulder-length hair.  He was last seen wearing a green shirt and green pants.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call LAPD Central watch commander at 213-485-3294.  During off-hours, call may be directed to a 24-hour, toll-free number at 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (527-3247).  Callers may also text "Crimes" with a cell phone or log on to www.lapdonline.org and click on Web Tips.  When using a cell phone, all messages should begin with "LAPD." Tipsters may remain anonymous.

Tipsters can also call the LASD Norwalk Substation desk at 562-863-8711.

Christopher's MySpace photograph is available from Media Relations Section at 213-485-3586.


COMPSTAT Citywide Profile

Crime Statistics September 26, 2009

VIOLENT CRIMES                2009**           2008**          % Chg

Homicide                             236*              279           -15.4%
Rape                                    572               629             -9.1%
Robbery                              9048             9681             -6.5%
Agg Assaults **                    8119            9099            -10.8%
Total Violent Crimes        17,975          19,688            -8.7%

PROPERTY CRIMES

Burglary                            13,260           14,128           -6.1%
BTFV                                 20,939           21,958           -4.6%
Personal/Other Theft         19,993           20,601           -3.0%
Auto Theft                         13,388          16,466          -18.7%
Total Property Crimes     67,580          73,153           -7.6%
Total Part I Crimes          85,555          92,841          -7.8%

* Numbers reflects a change in reclassification for Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) guidelines and numbers are adjusted accordingly.

** Prior to 2005, Aggravated Assaults included Child/Spousal Simple Assaults


Traffic Fatality Involving a Pedestrian

On September 26, 2009, at approximately 8:10 P.M., a California Highway Patrol (CHP) black and white patrol unit attempted to stop a 2002 Cadillac sedan traveling southbound 101 Fwy at Parkway Calabasas for a vehicle code violation. The driver, and only occupant of the Cadillac, refused to stop resulting in a vehicle pursuit. The violator exited the 101 Fwy at Topanga Canyon Boulevard to eastbound Ventura Boulevard. The violator made a "U" turn on Ventura Boulevard and drove the Cadillac westbound at a high rate of speed while being pursued by the CHP officer.

As the violator continued westbound on Ventura Boulevard and approached Don Pio Drive,a pedestrian was in the process of walking northbound Don Pio Drive, within the marked east crosswalk.  The violator struck the pedestrian with the Cadillac and fled from the location while being pursued by the CHP officer.  The pedestrian died at the scene.

The pursuit continued westbound to the 23600 block of Ventura Boulevard where the violator rear ended a 2008 Mazda Sport Utility Vehicle with four occupants inside.  The violator continued westbound on Ventura Boulevard when he opened fire on the CHP officer causing an officer involved shooting between the violator and the CHP officer.  Neither the violator nor the officer were injured.  

The violator continued driving westbound on Ventura Boulevard where he collided with a chain link fence just east of Valley Circle Boulevard on the south side of the street.  Kelly Keeler  was taken to a local hospital for medical treatment and booked at Van Nuys Jail for 187 (A) PC- Murder and is being held without bail. 

The identification of the deceased is being withheld pending notification of the next of kin.

The investigation is being handled by Robbery Homicide Division and Valley Traffic Division investigators. 

Anyone who may have witnessed, or have information on this incident, is asked to contact the Los Angeles Police Department at 1-877-LAPD 247 (1-877-527-3247).  For further information contact Lt. Tappan, RHD, at 213-485-2531 or Detective III Bustos, VTD Detectives, at 818-644-8021.


4 Month-Old Baby Shot and Killed

***CORRECTION-UPDATE***

The correct phone number to call, for those with information related to this crime, is Van Nuys Homicide Detectives Nuttall and Martinez at 818-374-0040.

Additionally, some questions have been raised pertaining to the party that Baby Andrew Garcia had been attending prior to his murder.  The party had been a family gathering and was not related to his own baptism party.  We apologize for any inconvenience this error may have caused.

Los Angeles: Los Angeles Police detectives are asking for the public's help in locating the suspect(s) responsible for the shooting death of a 4-month-old Andrew Garcia and injuring two others.

On September 27, 2009, at around 1 a.m., baby Garcia was in the company of his mother, father and family friends in the 14300 block of Kittridge Street.  Contreras, a family friend was seated in the passenger seat of a vehicle feeding baby Garcia.  Ramirez, also a family friend was standing outside of the same vehicle when a verbal confrontation ensued between the family group and two suspects walking across the street.  One of the suspects used a shotgun and fired at the group, striking baby Garcia, Contreras and Ramirez.

All three victims were transported to local hospitals.  Ramirez was treated and released, Contreras is in stable condition.  Baby Andrew Garcia failed to respond to medical treatment and later died.

The suspects ran on foot and were last seen running northbound on Sylmar Avenue from Kittridge Street.  Suspect 1 is described as a male Hispanic about 5'8 to 5'10 in height, 18 to 22 years of age with a shaved bald head wearing a white t-shirt.  The second suspect is described as a male Hispanic, 5'5" tall and heavy build, weighing around 200 pounds.  

Anyone with information about this crime or the suspects is asked to call Van Nuys Area Homicide detective James Nuttall or Marc Martinez at 818-756-8343.  During off-hours, calls may be directed to a 24-hour, toll-free number at 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (527-3247).  Callers may also text "Crimes" with a cell phone or log on to www.lapdonline.org and click on Web tips. When using a cell phone, all messages should begin with "LAPD."  Tipsters may remain anonymous.


Driver Suspected of Leaving Scene in Boyle Heights Hit and Run Surrenders

Los Angeles: 29-year-old Carol Eleana Vega, a resident of Huntington Park, surrendered herself to Whittier Police and was later booked at LAPD's 77th Street Female Jail for the Boyle Heights Hit and Run that killed one and injured two.

On September 25, 2009, at 9:55 p.m., a 1993 Chrysler Concorde, was traveling eastbound on 6th Street approaching Lorena Street when the driver allegedly failed to stop for a red light colliding with three pedestrians in the marked crosswalk.  The suspect left the scene without rendering aid to the victims as required by law.  19-year-old Guadalupe Colmenares, a resident of Los Angeles died at a local hospital, 37-year-old Rita Colmenares was admitted to the hospital in critical condition; and, Rita's 14-year-old daughter suffered laceration to her body and was also hospitalized.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is urged to call Central Traffic Division Detectives Josephine Mapson or Johnny Meneses at 213-927-1825 and Central Traffic Division Watch Commander Sergeant Egon Keil at 213-972-1853.  During off-hours, calls may be directed to a 24-hour, toll-free number at 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (527-3247).  Callers may also text "Crimes" with a cell phone or log on to www.lapdonline.org and click on Web Tips.  When using a cell phone, all messages should begin with "LAPD." Tipsters may remain anonymous.


Los Angeles Police Department Seeks Help in Finding a 69-Year-Old Mother

Los Angeles: Los Angeles Police Detectives and family members are asking for the public's help in finding a missing person.

Cora Jean Monroe was last seen at her home in the 3800 block of Muirfield Road on September 17, 2009, at around 9 a.m.  According to her daughter, Cora's last contact with family members was around September 1, 2009.    

Monroe is described as a 69-year-old female African American with brown hair and brown eyes.  She is five feet five inches tall and weighs about 130 pounds.  Monroe wears glasses and has a gold filling on her left bottom front tooth.  She was last seen wearing a black scarf, two dark colored shirts, and beige or tan shorts.

Monroe's family is very concerned about her welfare and wants her to return home safely.

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Cora Jean Monroe is asked to call the LAPD Southwest Division Major Assault Crimes Section, Detective Sonny Garcia at 213-485-2588.  After-hours or on weekends, calls may be directed to a 24-hour, toll free number at 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (527-3247).  Callers may also text "crimes" with a cell phone or log on to www.lapdonline.org and click on web tips.  When using a cell phone all messages should begin with "LAPD."  Tipsters may remain anonymous


Man Found Dead Inside His Vehicle

Los Angeles: Los Angeles Police are seeking the public's help determining the whereabouts of a gunman who allegedly shot and killed a 47-year-old man on September 24, 2009 in South Los Angeles.

At around 9:50 p.m., officers were dispatched to a death investigation radio call in the 1200 block of West 37th Street.  They found the lifeless body of a man inside his parked black Infinity SUV.  The victim had suffered an apparent gunshot wound and was pronounced dead at the scene. 

The victim's identity is being withheld until family members can be notified.   

The suspect is described only as a Black male.  Detectives have not determined what prompted the shooting. 

Anyone with information about the incident is encouraged to contact Criminal Gang Homicide Group Detectives Jim Yoshida and Mike Applegate at 213-485-1383.  During off-hours, calls may be directed to a 24-hour, toll-free number at1-877-LAPD-24-7 (527-3247).  Callers may also text "Crimes" with a cell phone or log on to www.lapdonline.org and click on Web tips. When using a cell phone, all messages should begin with "LAPD."  Tipsters may remain anonymous