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Parolee is Wanted for Questioning on Numerous Westside Burglaries

Los Angeles:  A man, who is currently on parole for burglary, is wanted for questioning in multiple residential burglaries by the Los Angeles Police Department’s (LAPD) West Los Angeles Area detectives.  

In the month of October 2009, near the Santa Monica border, LAPD’s West Los Angeles area has seen a spike in daytime residential burglaries.

In one of the burglaries that occurred on October 16, 2009 at around 10 a.m., in the 800 block of Gretna Green Way, LAPD detectives recovered a cell phone a suspect dropped that had been taken during a burglary in Santa Monica in the 400 block of San Vicente Boulevard one hour earlier.  Santa Monica Police detective’s investigation discovered a fingerprint that revealed that Daniel Perez was involved.  Further investigation by LAPD detectives revealed that Perez is tied to another West Los Angeles burglary that occurred later that evening at around 7:20 p.m. in the 11900 block of Rochester Avenue.  

Daniel Perez is described as twenty-eight year old male Hispanic, with black hair and brown eyes.  He stands at five feet nine inches tall and weighs one hundred and eighty-five pounds.  

Anyone with information about this investigation is asked to contact West Los Angeles Burglary Detective Robert Guervara at 310-444-1523.  After-hours and on weekends, 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.

Chief's Message - Nov. 2009

Each morning when I wake up and put on this uniform, I am proud to be a member of the LAPD family, and now I’m honored to have been selected as the leader of this extraordinary family, its 56th Chief of Police.

To be a part of the history of this great organization in the capacity of Chief is humbling and I can honestly say, a bit overwhelming.  But I would not have even considered applying for and pursuing the position had I not felt deep in my heart that I am truly the right person at the right time for this organization.  I have been entrusted with the critical job of continuing to ingrain the many changes we have experienced over the past 7 years into the very DNA of this organization.

Change does not only take place at the top levels of any organization, but must also be embraced from the roots up, and in this Department, that means by the boots on the ground.  I want to take the culture change that has occurred in the upper echelons of the Department and make it the core of our rank and file.  I also believe that the only way an organization truly changes is by giving people the resources they need to do their jobs and then hold them accountable.  That means putting more officers into the Areas.  I want to give the Area Captains their own ability to manage their resources, put the authority where the accountability is.       

The progress and transparency that has taken place over the past several years must be maintained and expanded.  Although the leader is important to the LAPD, it takes a team of people to do the job.  It is much too complicated for just one person.  Chief Bratton did a tremendous job of building a team, but that doesn’t mean we can’t build something better.  Think of it in these terms; expect an evolution, not a revolution.  The selection of the Chief of Police is just that, a selection, it’s not an election.  The other candidates have not gone away and I intend to continue to utilize their talents and energies.

I will also work hard to convince our many diverse communities that their talents and energies are also critical to our success.  The recent Harvard and LA Times polls make it clear, the people of Los Angeles like their Police Department and think you are doing a great job.  That’s the way it should be.  The people of this City should be proud of and feel as if this is their Department.  As your Chief, I will have an open line of communication with the different communities of this City to gain a better understanding of the views and opinions of how we protect and serve.  I will also continue the cause of increasing the size of this Department.  We can never go back to the way we used to police, that thin blue line that focused only on response and enforcement.  This needs to be the way we do business:  collaboration and transparency.  We must work with all of our communities and address their problems.  I believe it starts at the patrol level, that is the primary service delivery vehicle and that is who shows up first.   

I also care about your views and opinions.  I want each and every one of you to do well, to feel the same pride that I do to be a member of this policing family.  I have 32 years of working the streets of this City and have learned that by visiting each of the stations, and talking to officers one on one; I can gauge your thinking about the future of the organization and your place in it.  I don’t want you to have to go through an extended learning curve like I did.  I want each of you to progress and develop your careers through compressed evolution.  I want to create and maintain a common framework and shared vision that will include every Department employee, both sworn and civilian.

I know the ghosts of this Police Department’s past, I lived them.  In the 90’s we did not always rise up to our abilities. We did not do what we should have done in some instances.  Feeling the mixture of the pain and pride of our past, I want to convert former Chief Bratton’s legacy into our Department’s destiny.  As an organization we are the bridge between our own past and our future. 

This is not just a job to me, this is who I am.  My father joined the LAPD in 1950 and retired as a Deputy Chief.  I joined the Department in 1977.  My sister was one of the greatest detective’s I have ever worked with.  My wife was a narcotics canine handler for the LA County Sheriff Department.  My daughter is currently a patrol officer in Hollywood and my son will graduate from the Academy on December 4, that graduation will be the first time that I will preside over a ceremony as the Chief of Police of this City.  I can’t argue when people say my blood runs LAPD blue.  That is why I do this job.

Together, we will continue our commitment to reduce crime and the fear of crime, and making this City the safest in America.  Through your continued exemplary hard work and commitment, we will achieve great things as we move forward.  My message to you and what I always want you to remember is this, cops count - character counts; do the right thing and you can be the difference. 

One last thing before you go to work tonight or today. For now on, when you’re in a class C assignment, you can wear long sleeves with no tie.

Thank You

Man Found Beaten to Death

Los Angeles:  A Los Angeles man was found beaten to death in Los Angeles Police Department’s (LAPD) Olympic Area.

On November 25, 2009, at around 6:35 a.m., a citizen called 911 to report a dead body found on the sidewalk on Orchard Avenue, south of Pico Boulevard.  LAPD Olympic Area patrol officers responded and discovered the body.  The victim was identified as 49-year-old Humberto Rodriguez.  Paramedics responded and pronounced him dead at the scene.

Anyone with information about this crime is asked to contact Detectives Herman Frettlohr and Matthew Gares at 213-382-9470 or the LAPD Olympic Area Watch Commander at (213) 382-9102.  After-hours and on weekends, 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.

Lady Beware: He’s not a Photographer

Los Angeles:  Los Angeles detectives have released the photograph and name of a wanted 22-year-old man from South Los Angeles, who is suspected in at least four sexual battery assaults against young women while posing as a Vibe Magazine photographer.

“Keith Nichols is not a photographer,” said Captain Blake Chow, commanding officer of Central Police Station.  “All young women, especially those riding local trains, need to know Nichols is a fraud and potentially dangerous.”

Since early October, four women have reported meeting Nichols and submitting to a personal examination by him to “measure” their most intimate body parts for “custom-fitted underwear.”  Allegedly, Nichols told each woman that if their measurements were good enough, they could get a modeling job for Vibe Magazine.  The measuring sessions often occurred spontaneously in secluded, public places, where Nichols used a measuring tape as a prop.  While none of the woman recalled him taking photographs, Nichols did touch the women’s bare breasts and groins with his hands.

“These crimes amount only to a misdemeanor at this point,” Chow added, “but the potential for a more serious crime is there.  We don’t know how many women Nichols has approached, how many have submitted, or if he has committed more serious crimes.  Our goal today is to educate, warn, and stop this activity before it becomes more aggravated.”

In two separate cases, Nichols met his victims on the light-rail line between Long Beach and Los Angeles.  Each of these women referred a roommate to Nichols.  All the women hoped to score a modeling job.  Each realized she had been duped when Nichols never returned phone calls.

“The lure of Hollywood and a big career in modeling blinded these girls from reality,” Chow said.  “That’s what con-artists rely on.”

Keith Nichols may be working as a security guard.  He has lived in Compton, Hawthorne and South Los Angeles.  He is 5’11 and weighs 140 pounds. 

Anyone with information is asked to call LAPD Central Division detectives at 213-972-1235.   Callers can also phone the 24-hour number at 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (527-3247).  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.

COMPSTAT Citywide Profile

Crime Statistics November 21, 2009

VIOLENT CRIMES                2009**           2008**          % Chg

Homicide                              272*             341            -20.2%
Rape                                    695               761             -8.7%
Robbery                            10886            11803            -7.8%
Agg Assaults **                    9610            10835           -11.3%
Total Violent Crimes       21,463           23,740           -9.6%


Burglary                             16,097          17,322            -7.1%
BTFV                                 25,360           26,738           -5.2%
Personal/Other Theft         24,314           24,932           -2.5%
Auto Theft                         16,151           19,932         -19.0%
Total Property Crimes     81,922          88,924           -7.9%
Total Part I Crimes        103,385        112,664          -8.2%

* 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

17-Year-Old Teenager Killed on the Street

Los Angeles: In the late-night hours of November 22, 2009, two gunman shot and killed 17-year-old Geissler Michael Alfaro in the Harbor Area of Los Angeles.

At around 11:30 p.m., a patrol unit was dispatched to a radio call in the 1800 block of Cabrillo Avenue.  Alfaro and two suspects were involved in an argument when one of the suspects fired a shotgun round striking Alfaro.  While wounded, Alfaro managed to run away from the suspects who were chasing after him.  One of the suspects, later identified as 21-year-old Albert Tomas Ortega fired a second round striking Alfaro.  The suspects then ran away from the location and left Alfaro on the ground suffering from several shotgun wounds.  Alfaro was transported to a local hospital where he died from his injuries.  

The two suspects were arrested a short time later in a nearby apartment.  The shotgun and other evidence were also recovered nearby in the area.   Detectives have not determined what prompted the argument and shooting.  

Anyone with information about the incident is encouraged to contact Los Angeles Police Department Harbor Homicide Detectives I. Rodriguez and A. Batres at 310-726-7881.  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.

Devonshire Division Formal Inspection

November 19, 2009- On a sunny but breezy morning Devonshire Division had its formal inspection. The ceremony commenced with the rendition of the National Anthem performed by Officer Rosalyn Curry, followed by the marching of the LAPD color guard. The Officers looked impeccable as they displayed shimmering badges, spit shine boots, and properly tailored uniforms. Newly appointed Chief Charlie Beck joined by Police Commissioner Alan Skobin, Devonshire Area Captain Sean Kane and Command Staff, attentively inspected the officers, and particularly praised individual officers for their outstanding appearance.

This being Chief's Beck first formal inspection he expressed he was overwhelmed by the work and effort that the officers had done in preparing for their inspection. "You made me very proud today, proud to have been selected as your chief," Chief Beck stated. He told the officers he believed in his core they are the primary delivery system of the LAPD. Officers are the entity that makes the biggest difference in the community.

He expressed his pride in the officers by mentioning that they had set the bar high for other divisional inspections, which he will be attending. 

 Chief Beck Dev insp


Woman Arrested for Fatal Shooting on Skid Row

Los Angeles.  Los Angeles police arrested Michelle Cato, 26, for murder after witnesses chased Cato into the arms of a motorcycle officer, across the street from the LAPD Central police station.  The victim, a 38-year-old woman, died at the Los Angeles County – USC Medical Center about one hour after the shooting.

"This appears to be a cold-blooded shooting," said Lt. Paul Vernon, who heads up the Central Detective Division.  "The suspect shot this woman in full view of the victim's 23-year-old son and dozens of bystanders."

The shooting occurred around 3:35 PM in front of the Marshal House, 523 South San Julian Street.  The motive for the shooting is not known.  Witnesses, including the woman's son, chased Cato south on San Julian Street, then west on 6th Street, toward the police station.  A motorcycle officer grabbed Cato and held her.  Witnesses directed detectives to a small-caliber gun, which was lying on the sidewalk along Cato's escape route.  Detectives will see if the gun matches other evidence at the crime scene. 

Neither Cato, the victim, nor her son lived on skid row.  Current residences showed South Los Angeles addresses.

Michelle Cato was booked for murder with no bail as she is on parole for a prior narcotics conviction. 

This shooting is the fifth murder downtown this year.  The last fatal shooting was the double murder on Easter Sunday at the Lamp Lodge.  "This is a tragic, senseless murder, but thankfully we see far fewer shootings on skid row than we used to," Vernon added.  "Clearly, this suspect had no compunction for life or getting caught; there's no street with more cops or more cameras per square foot than
San Julian Street."

Over the last 20 years, murders in downtown have dropped dramatically.  The high-water year was 1990 with 46 murders.  By 1999, murders were cut by half, and last year ended with six.  Likewise, major crime has dropped from a high in 1989 of 19,504 crimes, to under than 4,000 crimes per year downtown.

Anyone with information is asked to call LAPD Central Division homicide detectives at 213-972-1254.   Callers can also phone the 24-hour number at 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (527-3247).  Tipsters may text "crimes" with a cell phone.  All messages should begin with "LAPD."  Tipsters may remain anonymous.

Chief Beck Names Leadership Team and Unveils Initial Reorganization

Los Angeles:  Today Los Angeles Chief of Police Charlie Beck named his senior leadership team and unveiled his first steps in reorganizing the Police Department to increase efficiency and to improve effectiveness.

Effective January 3, 2010, subject to budgetary review and approval, the Los Angeles Police Department will consist of the Office of Operations, the Office of Support Services, and the Office of Administrative Services, each under the direction of an Assistant Chief.  In addition to the three Assistant Chiefs, three other Senior Staff Officers will report directly to the Chief of Police.

Office of Operations
Assistant Chief Earl Paysinger will remain the Director of the Office of Operations, which will consist of the four geographic bureaus.

Deputy Chief Sergio Diaz, will remain the Commanding Officer, Operations - Central Bureau

Commander Pat Gannon will be promoted to the rank of Deputy Chief and will assume command of Operations - South Bureau

Commander Debbie McCarthy will be promoted to the rank of Deputy Chief and will assume command of Operations - West Bureau

Deputy Chief Kirk Albanese, will assume command of Operations - Valley Bureau

Office of Special Services

Deputy Chief Michel Moore will be upgraded to Assistant Chief and will become the Director of the Office of Special Services.

Deputy Chief Mike Downing will remain the Commanding Officer of Counter Terrorism and Criminal Intelligence Bureau.

Assistant Chief Jim McDonnell will become the Chief of Detectives.
Deputy Chief Rich Roupoli, will remain the Commanding Officer of Special Operations Bureau.

Office of Administrative Services
Deputy Chief Sandy Jo MacArthur will be upgraded to Assistant Chief and will become the Director of the Office of Administrative Services.

Deputy Chief Terry Hara will become the Commanding Officer of Personnel and Training Bureau.

Police Administrator III Rhonda Sims Lewis will become the Commanding Officer of Support Services Bureau.

Police Administrator III Maggie Goodrich will become the Commanding Officer of Information and Technology Bureau.

Chief Information Officer Tim Riley will become the Commanding Officer of Communications and Records Bureau.

Direct Reports
In addition to each of the three Office Directors, the following senior staff-level officer will report directly to the Chief of Police. 

Deputy Chief Mark Perez will remain the Commanding Officer of Professional Standards Bureau.

Police Administrator III Gerald Chaleff will become a Special Assistant to the Chief of Police.

Commander Rick Jacobs will become the Chief of Staff.

The specific entities and functional responsibilities for each command and biographical information for each commanding officer will be released to the media and at LAPDonline.org as it becomes available.  

Questions related to this News Release should be directed to Media Relations Section at 213-486-5910.

Man Murdered in Broad Daylight on Busy City Street

Los Angeles:  A Los Angeles man was shot and killed Sunday afternoon as he walked with a friend near the busy intersection of South La Brea Avenue and Olympic Boulevard.

On November 22, 2009, at around 2:35 p.m., 18-year-old Juan Segura was walking along the sidewalk in the 1000 block of South La Brea Avenue when a car pulled alongside of him and his friend and one of the car occupants opened fire on them.  Segura was hit by the gunfire and collapsed on the sidewalk.  He was transported to a local hospital by Los Angeles City Fire Department personnel and pronounced dead a short time later.  Segura's friend was not injured.

Detectives are still investigating the possible motive for this murder.  They believe that there may have been many witnesses who fled the area after the shooting, but may possess valuable information that could help lead Detectives to the suspects.  La Brea Avenue is a major thoroughfare that runs through the Mid-City area of Los Angeles and was heavily travelled at the time of the shooting. 

Anyone with information about this crime is asked to contact Wilshire Area Homicide Detectives, Detectives Frank Carrillo or Javier Hernandez at 213-473-0446.  After-hours and on weekends, 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.