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Tow Truck Complaint Hotline Launched

Los Angeles:  In an effort to combat bandit towing companies, the Los Angeles Police Commission has set up a towing company complaint hotline where individuals who have a complaint against a towing company can call.  The hotline number is:

323-680-4-TOW (4869)

Individuals who feel they have been victimized by tow companies that demonstrate unethical and illegal business practices may call this number at any time.  The individual will be asked to state their name, phone number, name of the towing company and nature of the complaint.  An investigator from Commission Investigation Division, the arm of the Police Commission that regulates permits throughout Los Angeles, will be assigned to look into the complaint.

This hotline is designed to help crackdown on “bandit” tow operators, however complaints will be accepted on all towing companies, as they are all required to be permitted within the City of Los Angeles by the Police Commission Investigation Division.

“Bandit” tow operators are differentiated from law-abiding tow operators by their illegal practice of monitoring police and fire department radio frequencies and unlawfully responding to the scene of traffic collisions, most often times in working in cahoots with unscrupulous repair shops, attorneys and medical practitioners, or staking out private parking lots in order to tow away vehicles whose owners are not patrons of the businesses associated with that lot. Often, the “bandit” tow operators dismiss the fact that the car owner does patronize a business associated with the lot before going elsewhere.  Other practices include issues related to hours of operation, the demanding of cash, and excessive charges.

One of the common complaints the Commission Investigation Division receives is that a person’s vehicle was towed away after having been parked on commercial or industrial private property for only 5 or 10 minutes. It is the property owner's, or their legal representative's, responsibility to wait one hour (with exceptions for residential properties) before having an illegally parked vehicle removed.

 “The Police Commission is hopeful that the towing company complaint hotline, in conjunction with our ongoing efforts to aggressively address towing complaints though “sting” operations and other methods, will send the clear message that we are committed to using all resources available to deter unscrupulous towing operations from engaging in illegal activity,” concluded Lt. Phil Hearn, Commanding Officer, Commission Investigation Division.

For more information regarding the tow company complaint hotline and towing issues within the City of Los Angeles, please call Detective III Ben Jones, Commission Investigation Division, at 213-996-1230.

Los Angeles Police Department Seeks Help in Finding a 24-Year-Old College Graduate

UPDATE
A joint news conference was held today in Las Vegas, Nevada with the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department (LASD) and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, asking for the public’s help in locating Mitrice Richardson.

Between September, 2009 and January 2010, the LAPD and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) have worked together in attempting to locate Mitrice, including using search and rescue efforts in the Malibu and Calabasas area.

LAPD and LASD investigators have conducted numerous interviews of close friends, family members, co-workers and other witnesses in attempts to located Mitrice.  Investigators continue to follow-up on numerous clues and sightings. 

Detectives have received reports that Mitrice has been seen in Las Vegas, Nevada as recently as June, 2010.  LAPD and LASD investigators have been in Las Vegas, Nevada since the sightings to concentrate their efforts to locate Mitrice. 

Mitrice is not the subject of a criminal investigation, and is not subject to arrest.  Investigators wish to make contact with Mitrice and ensure her safety and well-being.  Mitrice’s family is very concerned about her welfare.

The Las Vegas contact number for anyone having information regarding the whereabouts of Mitrice Richardson is asked to call 702-750-4338.

For Additional information from LASD please contact Steve Whitmor at 323-267-4805


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

Miltrice Richardson was last seen on September 17th, 2009, at approximately 1:25 .a.m., leaving the 27000 block of Agoura Road in Malibu (Lost Hills area) with no known destination.  Her last contact with family members was on September 16, 2009, at her home in the Southeast Area of Los Angeles.  Richardson is a graduate of California State University Fullerton.   

Miltrice Richardson is described as a 24-year-old female African American with brown hair and hazel eyes.  She is five feet five to five feet six inches tall and weighs about 135 pounds.  She was last seen wearing a dark shirt and blue jeans.

Richardson’s family is very concerned about her welfare and wants her to return home safely.

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Miltrice Richardson is asked to call the LAPD Missing Persons Unit, Detective Kristin Merrill at 213-485-5381.  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.


Illegal Cosmetic Operation

UPDATE

Today, LAPD detectives held a press conference in connection with the illegal cosmetic operation described below.  On the morning of July 23, 2010, 22-year-old Pacoima resident Mayra Contreras had a cosmetic procedure during which she received silicone injections. Later that day, she felt ill, was taken to a hospital and died the next day.  Detectives know that Contreras had previously received similar injections from the Viveros sisters, and they believe she received additional injections on the morning of her death.  

The official cause of Contreras’ death has not yet been released, and the sisters haven’t been charged with her death at this time.  However, since they were both arrested last month for practicing medicine without a license and neither showed up in court on July 26 for their arraignment, detectives need to question them and request that anyone whom the sisters treated contact them immediately by calling LAPD’s Mission Division homicide detectives at 818-838-9810 or the Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).    


Los Angeles:  Los Angeles Police Department Foothill detectives have arrested two sisters for medical malpractice.  

Yesterday, at around 10 a.m., 53-year-old Guadalupe Viveros and 50-year-old Alejandra Viveros were arrested in the 13100 block of Mira Mar Drive.  They were charged for unauthorized medical practice without a license, and both are being held in lieu of $20,000 bail.   
 
Investigators of the Foothill Division’s Predator Apprehension Detail conducted an undercover operation and identified Guadalupe Viveros, and her sister, Alejandra Viveros, as individuals running an illegal “Cosmetic Surgery Fillers” operation in the Sylmar area of the San Fernando Valley.

Victims identified have complained of becoming ill as a result of being injected by these fillers.  In some cases, these fillers have hardened into solid plastic and have developed infections in the victims.  The suspects specialize in cosmetic filler injections to the buttocks and facial area.  It is believed that the two suspects have a long list of clientele in the San Fernando Valley and the surrounding area.

Guadalupe Viveros, who claims to be a physician in Mexico, is not licensed to practice medicine in the United States.  Alejandra Viveros obtained the clientele for Guadalupe Viveros.

LAPD Foothill Division Predator Apprehension Detail detectives suspect there might be additional victims and are asking them to come forward.



Anyone with information leading to the identity of additional individuals falling victim to Guadalupe and Alejandra Viveros are urged to contact the Foothill Area Predator Apprehension Detail at 818-834-3115. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7.  Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crimestoppers at 800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477).  Tipsters may also contact Crimestoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone. All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.” Tipsters may also go to LAPDOnline.org, click on "webtips" and follow the prompts.

LAPD Search for Police Impersonator

Update

On August 10, 2010, LAPD and FBI Fugitive Task Force officers arrested 41-year-old George Turegano.  The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office has filed multiple counts of robbery against the suspect.  Investigators are releasing the photo of Turegano and the vehicle which was used during the robbery. Anyone victimized by Turegano is urged to contact LAPD Robbery Homicide Detectives at (213) 486-6840.


Los Angeles:
Detectives from LAPD’s Robbery-Homicide Division are asking for the public’s help in tracking down a man who flashed a badge pretending to be a plainclothes cop and then robbed his victims.  One of the robberies was caught on tape.

Investigators believe the police impersonator is responsible for five robberies in the Los Angeles area.  The suspect had a phony badge hanging from his neck.  When he approached his victims, he identified himself as a police officer then performed a pat-down search on them.  In some incidents, the suspect would handcuff his victims prior to searching them and their vehicle. During the searches, the suspect removed the victim’s money, and then escaped in a 2000-2006 gray or dark blue Chevy Suburban with a luggage rack on top.

The suspect is described as Hispanic in his early 40s with black hair, brown eyes and tattoos of female faces on both arms.  He stood between 5 feet 11 inches and 6 feet tall and weighed between 200 to 250 pounds.  He was last seen wearing blue jeans, a T-shirt and a two-tone baseball cap.

The robberies occurred at the following locations:
  • -June 14, 5:30 p.m., 1400 block of S. Bonnie Brae Street
  • -June 19, 1:25 p.m., 2900 block of Barranca Street
  • -June 30, 12:20 p.m., 1600 block of 8th Street
  • -July 14, 1:30 p.m., 800 block of S. Bonnie Brae Street
  • -July 18, 12:30 p.m., 1400 block of S. Bonnie Brae Street


Anyone with information regarding these robberies is urged to contact the Robbery-Homicide Division at 213-486-6840.  During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7.  Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477). Tipsters may also contact Crimestoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone.  All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.”  Tipsters may also go to LAPDOnline.org, click on "webtips" and follow the prompts.


COMPSTAT Citywide Profile

Crime Statistics July 24, 2010


VIOLENT CRIMES 
                 2010**           2009**          % Chg

Homicide                              172*                176            -2.3%
Rape                                     407                 496          -17.9%
Robbery                               6242               6889            -9.4%
Agg Assaults **                     5387               6265          -14.0%
Total Violent Crimes           12208             13826         -11.7%

PROPERTY CRIMES


Burglary                                 9389            10202          -8.0%
BTFV                                    15934            16217          -1.7%
Personal/Other Theft            14511            15630          -7.2%
Auto Theft                             9483            10348          -8.4%
Total Property Crimes       49,317         52,397          -5.9%
Total Part I Crimes            61,525         66,223          -7.1%


* 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

Senseless Shooting in South L.A. Leaves One Man Dead

Los Angeles:  The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) 77th Homicide Squad detectives are asking for the public’s help in identifying the suspect who was involved in a shooting in South Los Angeles.

On July 24, 2010, at around 2:00 a.m., 34-year-old Oscar Cornejo was pushing his bicycle to his residence in the 11300 block of Success Avenue in LAPD’s Southeast Area.  There were five male Blacks standing just north of the location, where Cornejo was walking.  The suspect walked away from the group towards Cornejo, pointed a revolver at him and shot Cornejo.

Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics rushed the victim to a local hospital.  Cornejo is in a critical condition and is not expected to recover from his injuries.
 
The motive for the shooting is unknown. The suspect and weapon are outstanding.

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Criminal Gang Homicide Division, 77th Homicide Squad Detectives Stacy Szymkowiak or Roger Fontes at 213-485-4341.  During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7.  Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477).  Tipsters may also contact Crimestoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone. All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.”  Tipsters may also go to LAPDOnline.org, click on "webtips" and follow the prompts.

Los Angeles Man Points Handgun At Officers Resulting In An Officer Involved Shooting.

Los Angeles:  An officer-involved shooting (OIS) occurred after a suspect pointed a handgun at Los Angeles police officers.

On July 24, 2010, around 5:20 a.m., Police Officer II Victor Corral, 11 years, 6 months with the Department, was dispatched along with his partner to investigate a disturbance call at a home in the 4300 block of Jefferson Boulevard.

When the officers arrived at the location, they heard yelling and profanity being directed toward them from an individual inside the location.  A suspect, who was later identified as Graham Mitchell Pereira, 40 years of age, opened the front door and pointed a handgun at the officers resulting in an officer involved shooting.  

The suspect was wounded and was transported by the Los Angeles City Fire Department to a local hospital where he underwent surgery.  The suspect is in stable condition.  The officers were not injured during the incident.

Force Investigation Division responded to the incident and is handling the officer involved shooting investigation.   

Man Shot and Killed After Struggle in His Driveway

Los Angeles:  Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) detectives are searching for suspects who shot and killed a man as he parked his car in Harbor City.

On July 23, 2010, at around 7:20 p.m., 34-year-old Sergio Padilla had just arrived home in the 25600 block of Senator Avenue along with his family.  While he was parking his car in his driveway, Padilla was confronted by two male Hispanic suspects.  During a brief struggle, the suspects shot the victim multiple times.  Paramedics responded and pronounced the victim dead from gunshot wounds.

Details of the murder’s motive are not completely clear but Detectives said Padilla had recently been involved in a dispute with unknown narcotics sellers.

The suspects and weapon remain outstanding and the investigation is ongoing.

Anyone with information on this crime is urged to call the Harbor Homicide Unit at 310-726-7880.  During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7.  Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477). Tipsters may also contact Crimestoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone.  All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.”  Tipsters may also go to LAPDOnline.org, click on "webtips" and follow the prompts.

North Hollywood Detectives Investigate Arson Related Homicide

Update

September 14, 2010

LAPD detectives identified the suspect as Omar Armando Loera, 34-year-old, male Hispanic with black hair and brown eyes. Loera stands about 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighs 170 pounds.  He has Aztec women tattoos on both shoulders. He is a parolee at large.
 

Los Angeles:
Los Angeles Police Department North Hollywood Homicide detectives are asking for the public’s help in providing any information that would help them with a case involving a North Hollywood woman found burned to death inside of her home in Valley Village.

On July 24, 2010, at approximately 7 p.m., Los Angeles City Fire Department personnel responded to a residential fire in the 11500 Block of Riverside Drive.  The Fire Department extinguished the blaze and discovered the body of a woman inside the residence.

North Hollywood Homicide detectives responded to the scene and took over the investigation.  

The investigation revealed that the body discovered was that of 34-year-old Chere Osmanhodzic, who lived at the residence.

Detectives say that Osmanhodzic’s boyfriend, who also lived at the residence, returned from the store and confronted a man inside of the residence.  He chased the man several blocks but was not able to catch him.  Upon returning home, the boyfriend observed that his house was engulfed in flames.

This is an on-going investigation and the cause of death has not been determined.



Anyone with information is asked to contact the LAPD, North Hollywood Station at 818-623-4016 or call Homicide Detectives at 818-623-4075.  During non-business hours or on weekends, calls may be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7.  Anyone wishing to remain anonymous may call Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477).  Tipsters may also contact Crimestoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) using a cell phone.  All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.”  Tipsters can also go to LAPDOnline.org, click on "webtips" and follow the prompts.

Crenshaw Community Helped Capture Murder Suspect

Los Angeles:  Today, Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Chief Charlie Beck, joined by Councilmember Bernard Parks, and members of the LAPD, announced the arrest of 42-year-old Mark Rudolph Reed, a murder suspect on California’s Most Wanted Parolee list.  This arrest was directly attributed to the continued partnerships between the community, business partners and the LAPD.

On Friday, July 9, 2010 members from the Crenshaw and Coliseum Starbucks community contacted LAPD Detective Venus Mason with information regarding the whereabouts of a wanted fugitive.  Detective Mason was contacted instead of the toll free tip line because the community members had a prior working relationship with the detective and were confident that she could be trusted with their identities, which they wished to keep anonymous.

The suspected fugitive was identified by his photo on the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s website.  Mark Rudolph Reed was listed as number 10 on the California’s Most Wanted Parolee list.  

Detective Mason verified that the warrant was active and discovered that Reed was also wanted in connection with a murder out of DeKalb County, Georgia for the 2007 killing of Marlon Greene.  Reed, who used the alias Will Thomas, was a local of the Crenshaw area.

Armed with information from Detective Mason, Southwest Division patrol officers spotted Reed in the 3700 block of Crenshaw Blvd. and took him into custody without incident on Saturday July 10, 2010 at about 11 a.m.  Reed was booked into the LAPD’s 77th Jail Facility for a Fugitive Arrest and is currently being held without bail. A photo of Reed is attached to the release.

The LAPD is proud of the relationships we have fostered in the community that made an arrest like this possible.  It is because of this partnership that the community felt comfortable to reach out, help identify, and ultimately capture one of California’s most wanted parolees.

Anyone wishing to report a crime and remain anonymous should call Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477).  Tipsters may also contact Crimestoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone.  All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.” Tipsters may also go to LAPDOnline.org, click on "webtips" and follow the prompts.