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Olympic Detectives Seek Public’s Help in Korea Town Robbery

Suspects Steal High-End Rolexes

Los Angeles: Los Angeles: Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Olympic Division detectives are asking for the public’s help in identifying and apprehending two armed robbery suspects responsible for robbing a Rolex watch dealership.

On May 18, 2011, at 10:50 a.m., two male Black suspects entered a jewelry store in a shopping mall and robbed the store.  The store is located in the Korea town area of Los Angeles.  The suspects ran inside the store pointing a handgun at the store employee and a customer.  The suspects then broke open the display rack and took 26 high-end “Rolex” watches, valued at $800,000.  The suspects exited through the rear door and fled in an awaiting vehicle.

The suspects drove away in a newer model gray Ford Escape, which was being driven by an unknown third suspect.

***Videos of the crime can be seen at LAPDTV.org **

Suspect-1: male Black, black hair, brown eyes, 5 feet 11 inches, 160 pounds, and between the ages of 30-35 years old.

Suspect-2: male Black, unknown colored hair and eyes, 5 feet 11 inches, 150-160 pounds, and between the ages of 25-30 years old.

Anyone with information on this crime is urged to call Olympic Area Robbery Detectives at 213-382-9460/9463. 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 May 28, 2011

VIOLENT CRIMES                  2011**           2010**          % Chg

Homicide                              120*                131           -8.4%
Rape                                     257                 318         -19.2%
Robbery                              3991                4524         -11.8%
Agg Assaults **                    3547                3809          -6.9%
Total Violent Crimes            7915                8782          -9.9%


Burglary                                 6565             6949          -5.5%
BTFV                                    10302           11954         -13.8%
Personal/Other Theft            10323           10921           -5.5%
Auto Theft                             6064             7065         -14.2%
Total Property Crimes       33,254         36,889          -9.9%
Total Part I Crimes            41,169         45,671          -9.9%

* 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

Officer-Involved Shooting in Newton Area

Los Angeles:  On May 25, 2011, around 5:57 p.m., plainclothes undercover Newton Area Vice officers were driving eastbound on 41st Place from Main Street, in a plain unmarked vehicle.  

As the officers proceeded eastbound toward 230 East 41st Place, two male Hispanics crossed the street walking northbound in front of the officers with one of the males yelling, “This is HOB Hood” (Hang Out Boys).  

As the officers’ vehicle proceeded eastbound, numerous gunshots were fired at the officers’ vehicle with one bullet striking the unmarked police vehicle.  One of the vice officers looked back and observed one of the two males that he initially observed in the street pointing a handgun at the police vehicle.  This officer immediately drew his duty weapon and returned fire to stop the assailant’s assault.  

The officers requested additional units. Responding Newton patrol units in addition to Metropolitan Division K-9 and SWAT units conducted a search resulting in the three suspects being initially detained.  All three suspects are HOB gang members.  Additionally, three weapons, an assault rifle, bolt action rifle, and a fully loaded 22 caliber revolver were recovered in connection with this investigation.  The investigation is on-going.  Force Investigation Division responded and is investigating the OIS.

The investigation will ultimately be reviewed by the Chief of Police, the Office of the Inspector General and Board of Police Commissioners for compliance with the Department’s use-of-force policy which states that an officer’s use-of-force actions must be objectively reasonable.  Additionally, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Justice System Integrity Division will conduct a comprehensive review of the facts of the officer-involved shooting.

Anyone with information about this incident is urged to call FID Detective Gregory McKnight at 213-202-5670.  During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247).  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.    

Burglar Caught on Video Kicking Door Open

Los Angeles:  Burglary suspects were captured on surveillance video “casing” a residence before one suspect is seen kicking the front door open.  Mission Area detectives are asking for the public’s help in identifying the suspects.

On April 12, 2011, at around 4:30 p.m., a burglary occurred in the 9200 block of Canterbury Avenue. Surveillance video at the residence clearly shows two suspects driving back and forth in front of the residence, taking turns getting out of the car and walking up to the front door and knocking.  

After driving past the home on one occasion a suspect is seen being dropped off just south of the home. He can be seen walking up to the front door and knocking before turning his back to the door and “mule kicking” it open.  The suspect briefly goes inside, but leaves without taking anything.

Video is available on LAPDTV.org

The video is very clear and investigators are hoping that anyone with information about these suspects will contact Mission Area Burglary Detectives, Detective Samer Issa at 818-838-9977.  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.


2011 Medal of Valor Recipients

Click here to view flyer

To be awarded the Medal of Valor, an officer shall have performed an act displaying extreme courage while consciously facing imminent peril.

It is awarded by the Police Commissioners and is presented by the Chief of Police, in the name of the Los Angeles Police Department at the annual Medal of Valor awards ceremony.

In the early morning hours of November 7, 2008, Officers Owen Berger and Thorsten  Timmermans were working Southeast Area patrol.  The officers received a radio call of a man with a gun and two hostages inside the location.  While responding to the call, they requested further information asking for a better description of the suspect and how the caller knew there were hostages.  The officers arrived at the location prior to obtaining the requested information.  They exited their vehicle and observed that the front of the residence was completely dark.  The officers met with Sergeant Dan Gardner and all three approached the dwelling.  The officers made their way down the side of the house to the rear yard.  They observed the rear door standing open as three women exited the location.  The officers identified themselves and approached the women. In a hushed tone, one woman told the officers that the suspect was gone and that everything was fine.  The officers explained to them that they would still have to check the residence.

Suddenly, one of the women turned and ran back inside while another became extremely agitated and said that her baby was in the house.   Officer Owen Berger, fearing for the safety of the women and disregarding his own safety, entered the residence.  Sergeant Dan Gardner followed Officer Berger inside.  Officer Thorsten Timmermans followed after preventing another woman from entering.  Berger saw the woman he followed into the house go through a bedroom and into a hallway.  As he cleared the bedroom and entered the hallway, he observed the woman now standing in an adjoining doorway with a man forcefully holding her.  Berger ordered him to put his hands up.  As he confronted the man, Berger noticed movement down the darkened hallway.  Suddenly, he came under gunfire from a suspect who was hiding in the hallway.  The suspect fired two rounds at Berger.  One round struck him in the right arm, his gun hand, just above his wrist and went through into his bullet-proof vest.  He redeployed into a bathroom while transitioning his weapon to his left hand and fired toward the suspect.

Gardner heard the shots fired and observed muzzle flash.  He stepped back into the bedroom and fired several rounds toward the suspect.  Timmermans heard the gunfire; however, he could not see the suspect because of a wall separating the bedroom and hallway.  Timmermans then observed a muzzle flash at the corner of the doorway from the bedroom and hallway.  He immediately realized that the suspect had moved forward and now had a barricaded shooting position.  The suspect was firing toward the area where Berger had redeployed.  Fearing for his partner’s life, Timmermans fired several rounds through the wall in an attempt to stop the suspect or force his retreat from this barricaded position.  The suspect retreated and began firing through the wall back at Timmermans.  At that time he heard his partner, Berger, yell out that he was hit.  Despite numerous rounds being fired through the wall by the suspect, Timmermans heard a noise at the front of the residence and thought the suspect was leaving.  Timmermans then left the house and proceeded to the rear yard.  Berger, who had made his way out of the bathroom, was guided outside by Gardner who left the house last.  Once the officers safely redeployed outside the dwelling, a help call was broadcast and a perimeter was established.  The suspect was subsequently arrested by Metropolitan Division SWAT officers inside the residence.

The heroism that these officers displayed exemplified the highest traditions of the Los Angeles Police Department.

For their selfless courage and bravery, the Medal
of Valor is awarded to:

Officer Owen Berger
Retired Sergeant Dan Gardner
Officer Thorsten Timmermans
Officer Timmermans1

On February 1, 1996, in the darkness of an early morning, Officer Custodio Ponce and his partner were assigned to the Hollenbeck CRASH Unit on patrol for gang suppression. While driving through the Ramona Gardens Housing Project, home to one of the city’s well-established and deadliest gangs, the officers came across a suspected gang member who was standing in the middle of the street drinking a bottle of beer.  The concerned officers began to approach the suspect with their squad car when the suspect dropped the bottle and started to walk away.  

The suspect, now running, headed toward the area of a recreation center, church and preschool. Before turning a corner, the suspect briefly turned back to locate the officers when Officer Ponce observed a gun in the suspect’s hand. The suspect then turned the corner and disappeared out of sight.  With no time to waste, Ponce flipped on his squad car lights and siren, reversed his vehicle and began the chase.  

The officers located the suspect running down a driveway leading into a parking lot when the suspect slipped and fell on the pavement.  Ponce sped into the driveway, exited his squad car, armed himself and took cover behind the left front fender.  The suspect picked himself up off the ground and began shooting at the officers shattering the squad car window.

Ponce returned fire and, while locating additional cover behind a cinder block wall, was struck by two bullets.  At this time, the suspect took the opportunity to take cover in an unknown area. Due to the dim light of early morning, the officers’ visibility was compromised. The only way they were able to locate the suspect was from the bright muzzle flashes coming from behind a corner where the suspect took cover. Wounded, Ponce continued to engage until shooting the suspect causing him to drop his gun and fall to the ground.

The officers radioed for help and approached the suspect.  He was then taken into custody and was transported to the hospital where he passed away from his wounds.  

Officer Ponce sustained gunshot wounds to his left hip and leg and was transported to the hospital.  He was released several days later and returned to full-duty one month after the incident.

Officer Ponce demonstrated a willingness to sacrifice his own safety in order to bring down an armed criminal who had complete disregard for the community. He displayed bravery and courage that was far above and beyond the call of duty.

His selfless and heroic actions embody the highest traditions of the Los Angeles Police Department.

The Medal of Valor is awarded to:

Officer Custodio Ponce

On June 5, 2008, Hollenbeck’s Narcotics Enforcement Detail was conducting surveillance in preparation of serving a search warrant at a heavily fortified and protected location that was suspected of manufacturing and selling illegal narcotics.  The surveillance operation was in its third day. The officers waited for the right combination of suspects from the “Krazy Ass Mexicans” (KAM) criminal street gang to assemble when it was observed that several of the key drug dealers began arriving at the location.

The officers noticed that the front of the house was surrounded by surveillance cameras so they knew they had to use an element of surprise in their approach to serve the search warrant. To throw off the suspects inside the house, the officers, posing as movers, climbed into the rear of a rented moving truck which they placed in an alley behind the target location where no surveillance cameras were positioned.

The team got into tactical mode, climbed out of the truck and went to a back door where they identified themselves as LAPD officers and requested entry to the house. A suspect inside the house refused to let the officers enter so the officers breached the door in a forceful entry.

Detective Daniel Hanabusa was the first officer through the door that opened into a dark kitchen. Immediately and without warning, Hanabusa came under attack by heavy gunfire coming from the end of a hallway. Hanabusa’s ballistic helmet was hit by gunfire just above the right eye and the force of the bullet’s impact propelled him to the ground. While on the floor in a seated position, Hanabusa returned fire, but was struck in the left knee. Hanabusa yelled out, “I’m hit, I’m hit.”  Seeing that Hanabusa was shot and unable to move, Officer Jose Salazar kicked into rescue mode and quickly moved toward Hanabusa somehow managing to avoid getting hit by the steady gunfire coming from down the hallway. Salazar reached down, grabbed Hanabusa by the back of his vest and began to drag him away from the gunfire.  All the while, Salazar continued firing at the suspect with his one free hand.

Officer Salazar managed to reach Detective Ralph Acosta who was providing cover fire for the two officers. Acosta realized Salazar needed assistance to pull Hanabusa out of the narrow kitchen doorway so he stopped shooting momentarily to reach down and pull Hanabusa further from harm’s way and then reengaged the suspect in gunfire.  Salazar to get Hanabusa out of the line of fire and to the medical attention he needed. Officer Benny Aguilera stepped into the kitchen to provide additional cover so that the other two officers could safely exit the residence. After each shot, Aguilera took cover behind the wall next to the kitchen door.

Officer Rudolph Rivera who had a clear line of sight standing outside of the house, observed the suspect walking through the kitchen toward the back door firing his pistol at the officers who were exiting the location. Rivera ran toward the suspect and fired several shots forcing the suspect to take cover and cease firing at the exiting officers. Officer Roy Reza who was assigned to containment outside of the house, immediately placed an “officer needs help” call over the radio when he heard the exchange of gunfire inside the house. Reza then left his position to crawl past the bullets being fired over his head to reach the wounded detective and pull him away from the rear of the residence and into an alley behind the location where the officers quickly began to provide aid to Hanabusa until a rescue ambulance arrived.  

Back in the house, the suspect who was firing at the police officers took his own life with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.  The other suspects surrendered to police officers shortly after the shooting ceased.
We honor these six brave and courageous officers for their willingness to put themselves in extreme danger to protect their fellow citizens and their brothers and sisters in law enforcement.
For their courage in action, for their heroism, for their selfless devotion to duty at the risk of their own lives, these officers have earned the gratitude and respect of every officer in the Department.

The Medal of Valor is bestowed upon:

Detective Daniel Hanabusa
Officer Jose Salazar
Detective Ralph Acosta
Officer Benny Aguilera
Officer Rudolph Rivera
Officer Roy Reza

Detective Hanabusa










Notes from the May 24, 2011 Weekly Police Commission Meeting

  • Police Chief Charlie Beck commented on the arrest of Mr. Giovanni Ramirez in the Brian Stow case.  Beck stated “It highlights really good work from the detectives and the men and women who were assigned to the case.”  He commended the Stow family for their public praise for the investigators and their understanding for the difficulties of these types of investigations.  He joins the rest of the City in wishing Brian a full recovery.
  • General Inspector Nicole Bershon from the Inspector General’s Office stated they have completed another five redacted summaries of categorical use of force incidents bringing the total to date to 240.
  • A Presentation from Commanding Officer Captain Ann Young from Detectives Support and Vice Division honored civilian Sasank Reddy who is a registered nurse for the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health.  Reedy is assigned to the Mental Evaluation Unit, SMART team.  Reedy, along with three police officers, were involved in a rescue and intervention of a suicidal male in 2010.  Reedy was honored for his participation in the life saving incident which included his response, assistance and post rescue mental health intervention.
  • The Verbal Presentation and update for Hollywood Division was given by Commanding Officer Captain Beatrice Girmala and co-chair Community Police Advisory Board (C-PAB) member Gary Minzer.  Captain Girmala and Mr. Minzer spoke on the results of their initiated problem solving methods, their crime strategies and their youth programs. When questioned regarding her background in the Hollywood Area, Captain Girmala stated she lived and went to school her whole life in different parts of Hollywood.  She stated she worked as a police officer for almost 12 years and completed a tour as a sergeant. She has worked at Hollywood Division at every rank except Lieutenant.  She has seen the demographic change over the years.  She is very heartened by the positive things that she sees. The diversity that has strengthened that community is something that brings her, the officer’s and the area energy as well.
  • The Department’s report, dated May 16, 2011, relative to Filming-City Council Motion (Council File 08-173-S5), was approved and transmitted to the City Council.
  • The Department’s report, dated May 11, 2011, relative to Home-Garaging Authorities-Fiscal Year 2011/12, was approved.
  • The Department’s report, dated May 11, 2011, relative to GED/CLEAR-Interfering/Resisting Arrest Inspection (IAID No. 10-163), was approved. Police Performance Auditor, Jeff Phillips stated, they conducted a six month inspection audit.  They looked at the primary charges for Interfering/Resisting Arrest and assaulting a Police Officer.  Over a six month inspection 45 arrest reports were turned in.  The inspection consisted of five objectives which three of the five were the Booking Process, the Evaluation and the Interfering and Resisting component. In conclusion he stated their recommendation is the Office of Operations is to reemphasize to watch commanders the requirement to conduct evaluations within the watch commander’s daily reports in these types of arrest.  They have contacted Training Division and requested an hour block for watch commander school to discuss some of the issues that comes up as watch commanders.  The Departments Report was approved.
  • The Department’s report, dated May 11, 2011, relative to Gang Enforcement Intelligence Files Inspections (IAID No.  11-004) was approved.  Detective Ceja conducted an inspection on the cal gang cards.  He stated they took judgmental samples; they looked at five objectives, looking for completion of the gang card and supervisor signature on the gang cards. 

Police Commission News Briefing

At the Police Commission Meeting on May 24, 2011

Commissioner Comments – Vice President Alan Skobin stated that he was honored to attend the 30 Year Pin Ceremony for LAPD employees with 30 or more years with the City of Los Angeles.

Chief’s Report – Chief Charlie Beck commended the Department on the arrest of one of the suspects in the Dodger opening day assault. He reiterated that this investigation is far from over and more work remains be done. Compared to this time last year, total violent crime is down by 10.5%, and gang-related crime is down by 18.9%.

Report of the Executive Director – Mr. Richard Tefank reported that the Commission Investigation Division Activity Report for April, 2011, is included in the Commissioners’ packages for review. He also stated that items 7A and 8K are being pulled from the agenda.

Report of the Inspector General – Nicole Bershon reported that five additional summaries of categorical use of force cases have been completed and posted, bringing the total to 240 reports completed in approximately one year.

A Police Commission Citation was presented to Mr. Sasank Reddy, who works with the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health.  As a member of the SMART team, he responds with LAPD officers to urgent matters requiring the expertise of mental health professionals. Mr. Reedy was honored for his heroic role in saving the life of a suicidal man.

The annual status report from the Hollywood Area Community Police Advisory Board was presented by Co-Chairs Gary Minzer and Captain Bea Girmala. This extremely diverse community poses many challenges and similarly has enjoyed many successes.  Hollywood Area has been very proactive in community outreach and regularly organizes events for emergency preparedness and numerous youth events. The Hollywood CPAB approaches its goals through committees that are focused on specific issues: emergency preparedness, homelessness, nightclubs, youth, and clergy. All committees are very active and have made outstanding progress in each area. Captain Girmala grew up in the Hollywood Area and served at each rank, with the exception of Lieutenant, in the area as well. She has witnessed  the decline of parts of  Hollywood and is pleased to be part of the significant improvements now underway.

The Supplemental Police Account First Quarterly Report (January through March 2011), was approved.

The Second Agreement to Professional Services Agreement Contract No. C-110285 with Marcor Environmental, LP, for Lead Abatement Services, was approved

The Department’s report relative to Filming – City Council Motion (Council File 08-173-S5), was approved.

The Home-Garaging Authorities – Fiscal Year 2011/12, was approved.

The GED/CLEAR – Interfering/Resisting Arrest Inspection (IAID No. 10-163), was approved.

The Gang Enforcement Intelligence Files Inspection (IAID No. 11-004), was approved.

The Department’s report Travel Authorization and Expenditures Reporting Audit, (IAID No. 09-011), was approved.

The Department’s report, dated May 13, 2011, relative to Department-Wide Training Content Inspection (IAID No. 09-018), was approved.

The Department’s report, dated May 18, 2011, relative to Biased Policing Update, Quarterly Report, 1st Quarter 2011, and Supplemental Review of Biased Policing Complaint Investigations Recommendations to the Board of Police Commissioners, was approved.

Easter Stabbing at Venice Beach Victim Stabbed in “Drum Circle”

Los Angeles: Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Pacific Area detectives are asking for the public’s help in providing any information that would lead to the arrest of the suspect who stabbed a man.
On Easter Sunday, April 24, 2011, at approximately 7:40 p.m., a stabbing occurred at Venice Beach, at Ocean Front Walks and Breeze Court, at a location known as the "Drum Circle."

The victim was involved in an argument with an unknown male suspect. The argument escalated into a physical altercation and the victim was stabbed.
The suspect is described as a male Hispanic, dark short cropped hair, brown eyes, 5 feet 4 inches tall, weighing between 130-150 pounds, between the age of 24-30 years old, with a large tattoo on his back and a tribal-looking tattoo on his upper right arm.  The suspect was shirtless, wearing a large gold necklace with a cross, and wearing green camouflage pants at the time of the incident.

 Clip_image001  Clip_image002






The above suspect is a person of interest and is wanted for questioning only at this time.

Anyone with information regarding the crime is encouraged to contact Pacific Homicide Detectives Detective Kim Riemen at 310-482-6343. 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 May 21, 2011

VIOLENT CRIMES                  2011**           2010**          % Chg

Homicide                              110*                125          -12.0%
Rape                                    248                 299          -17.1%
Robbery                              3775               4327          -12.8%
Agg Assaults **                    3370              3636            -7.3%
Total Violent Crimes            7503              8387          -10.5%


Burglary                                 6209             6591          -5.8%
BTFV                                      9801           11442        -14.3%
Personal/Other Theft              9808           10363          -5.4%
Auto Theft                             5712             6780        -15.8%
Total Property Crimes        31,530         35,176       -10.4%
Total Part I Crimes             39,033         43,563       -10.4%

* 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