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False Alarm Reduction Program Is A Success At LAPD

Los Angeles: There has been a dramatic drop in officers being called out to burglar alarm activations which turn out to be false. In 2003, before a new City Ordinance was in place, LAPD officers responded to 102,532 false alarm calls. In 2011, LAPD officers responded to 41,848 false alarm calls, representing a 59.2% decrease in nine years. With each call representing an average consumption of 45 minutes of valuable public safety resources, this decrease represents approximately 45,500 hours annually of officer and dispatcher time for more immediate public safety needs.

“We are very pleased with the consistently decreasing number of false alarm calls,” stated Richard Tefank, Executive Director of the Los Angeles Police Commission, where the Alarm Section for the LAPD is housed. “This has resulted in a significant savings of time officers spend responding to false alarms, which leaves them available to respond in a more timely manner to other calls for service.”

How was this success achieved? In 2009, “CryWolf” was installed. “CryWolf” is a computer tracking system which integrates all City functions related to burglar alarms including permits, dispatch of calls for service, and tracking of those calls through the billing process. “CryWolf” even allows the alarm subscriber the opportunity to attend virtual Alarm School on the internet to have one false alarm fee waived per 365-day period. The “CryWolf” system fully enabled the goal of the Los Angeles City Ordinance change of 2004, which was to reduce false alarms in the City.

The success of false alarms reduction can be seen in the attached table. Not only are the number of actual alarm incidents down, but the percentage of those calls being false alarms is down as well.

In the City of Los Angeles, all alarm subscribers are required to maintain an Alarm Permit. The Los Angeles City Ordinance allows alarm subscribers two unverified alarm calls per 365-day period, however all responses to false alarm calls by officers are billed to the alarm subscriber. There are no “free” responses to a false alarm. Upon the third alarm call after two false alarms, verification will be required before a patrol unit is dispatched. Absent verification, the alarm call will be subject to “broadcast and file,” which means the 911 operator will broadcast the call and officers will respond, if available.  The cost of an alarm permit and the fees associated with false alarms are analyzed each year to recover the actual cost to the City of Los Angeles to provide this service.  

Questions regarding the responsibilities of maintaining an alarm system in the City of Los Angeles may be directed to the Los Angeles Police Commission, Alarm Section, at 213-996-1200. Additional information may also be found on LAPDOnline.org.

Click here to view Alarm statistics


Traffic Collision Leaves One Dead

Los Angeles: The Los Angeles Police Department’s Valley Traffic Division is investigating a fatal traffic collision that left one dead and another injured.

On June 25, 2012, around 9:37 p.m., a traffic collision occurred on Parthenia Street west of Corbin Avenue.  In the first vehicle, an 18-year-old driver and his 25-year-old sister, both from Northridge, were traveling west on Parthenia Street west of Corbin Avenue when a second vehicle traveling east on Parthenia Street veered into the westbound lane and collided with their car.

The Los Angeles City Fire Department responded to the scene and transported the drivers of both cars to a local hospital where they were treated and released for minor injuries.  The passenger in the first vehicle, identified as Griselda Sandoval, suffered fatal injuries and died at the scene.

Investigators have determined that the driver of the second vehicle, identified as 50-year-old Valerie Stewart of Van Nuys, was driving under the influence of alcohol.  Stewart was booked for vehicular manslaughter, and her bail set at $50,000.  

Anyone with information or may have witnessed the traffic collision is asked to contact Valley Traffic Division Detective Stephanie Krajchir at 818-644-8034.   During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (1-877-527-3247).  Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477).  Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers 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 www.lapdonline.org, and click on "Anonymous Web Tips.”


Man Missing from Mission Area

Los Angeles:  The Los Angeles Police Department and the family of 59-year-old James Zepeda, are asking for the public’s help to find him.

On June 25, 2012, around 2 p.m., Zepeda left his residence in the 13800 block of Straton Avenue to go to a local market.  He was driving a white 1989 Chevrolet Silverado pick-up truck, license number 5S82901.

Zepeda suffered a brain injury that resulted in his sometimes becoming lost, disoriented and confused.  His family is very concerned for his wellbeing and is asking anyone with information on his whereabouts to contact the police department.  

Zepeda is a Hispanic man, 6 feet tall, 180 pounds, with a medium complexion.  He was wearing a blue baseball cap, a dark gray shirt, and dark jeans.  Zepeda is the man in the middle of this picture, wearing a red hat, red shirt, blue pants, and white shoes.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Mission Area watch commander at 818-838-9800. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (584-3247).   Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477).  Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers 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.


School Employee Arrested for Child Endangerment

Los Angeles: An assistant baseball coach from Kennedy High School has been arrested for Child Endangerment.

On June 25, 2012, around 11:20 a.m., Devonshire Area Detectives arrested 24-year-old Pedro Cruz Trujillo of Los Angeles after conducting an investigation that began May 25, 2012.  

Investigators discovered that on May 18, 2012, Trujillo took a group of six students, who ranged in age from 14 to 16-years, on an outing to a Dodgers game at Dodgers Stadium.   It is alleged that Trujillo and some of the students in his car smoked marijuana on the way to and from the event.

The incident came to light when a staff member at the high school overheard students talking about the incident.  He subsequently reported the findings of his investigation to the police on May 25, 2012.  Detectives have been working closely with the school to confirm the allegations and to determine if there have been other similar incidents.  

Trujillo was booked on six counts of Child Endangering and is being held on $100,000 bail.  Additional charges are pending for Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor.  

Detectives are asking anyone who may have been a victim, knows of other victims or has any information about this crime to contact Devonshire Area Detectives, Detective Ray Webb at 818-832-0537.   During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (584-3247).   Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477).  Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers 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.


Near Drownings in Arleta

A Strong Reminder for Swimming Pool and Water Safety


Los Angeles:  Within a period of about 70 minutes on Saturday, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) and the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) responded to two separate incidents of near drowning.

The first incident occurred in the 13400 block of Truesdale Street at about 5:30 p.m., when a 10 year-old male child, who did not know how to swim, entered a gated pool area and fell in an unattended swimming pool.  When discovered at the bottom of the pool and pulled from the water, the child was unconscious and not breathing.  LAFD medical personnel responded and resuscitated the child who was then transported to an area hospital where he was listed in critical condition.

Just over an hour later, a second incident occurred in the 14500 block of Tupper Street in Arleta.  In this incident, a six year old child was in a swimming pool with friends at a pool party when he was discovered face down at the bottom of the pool.  Swimmers pulled the child from the water and began a lifesaving effort.  LAFD personnel responded, continued the resuscitation effort and transported the child to another area hospital where he was listed in stable condition.
 
Two incidents about 70 minutes apart should be a strong reminder that a fun day in the sun can suddenly turn tragic.  Even a near-drowning incident can cause permanent injuries.  Drowning and near-drowning incidents are preventable.  Follow these simple tips:

Provide constant supervision
Ensure there is proper fencing around all pool areas
When not in use, cover pools and spas with Safety Covers
Equip doors, gates, and pools with audible alarms
Drain should be covered with safety covers
Enroll your children in swimming lessons as early as possible
Be certified in CPR

A YouTube video about these seven tips and more information is available from the LAFD at http://lafd.blogspot.com/2011/05/firefighters-remind-you-to-pool-safely.html.

Captain John Romero, Commanding Officer, Mission Patrol Division and Lieutenant Mario Munoz, Commanding Officer, Mission Detective Division, are available to media personnel at 818-838-9980 and 818-838-9941.


Woman Missing From South Los Angeles

Los Angeles:  The family of missing person Bo An, and the Los Angeles Police Department, are asking for the public’s help in finding her.

On June 13, 2012, around 12 noon, An was last seen in the 2500 Block of Longwood Avenue.   An is originally from South Korea and has never gone missing before. She speaks primarily Korean.  Her family is very concerned that she has not returned home and there has been no contact with her in over a week.

An  is a 67-year-old female Asian, black hair, brown eyes, 5 feet tall, and weighs 110 pounds.

An walked away from her home and it is unclear where she was going, or what she was wearing at the time.

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of An is asked to contact the Los Angeles Police Department, Missing Persons Unit, Detective Kristin Merrill at (213) 996-1800. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (1-877-527-3247).   Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477).  Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers 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 www.lapdonline.org, and click on "Anonymous Web Tips.”


Sexual Assault Suspect Arrested by Foothill Gang Officers

Los Angeles:   A vehicle driving in an erratic manner attracts the attention of LAPD Foothill Gang Officers ultimately resulting in the arrest of sexual assault suspect.

On June 21, 2012, at 11:00 p.m., Foothill Gang officers were in the area of Van Nuys Blvd and Glenoaks Blvd when they observed a vehicle travelling at a high rate of speed.  The vehicle crashed into a wall and a pole moments later at Van Nuys and Defoe Street.  The officers responded immediately and detained the driver, 29-year-old Sergio Serrano of Sylmar.

A short time after Serrano crashed his vehicle, the officers heard a crime broadcast describing the suspect and vehicle of a sexual assault that had just occurred.  The description given in the crime broadcast matched that of Serrano and the vehicle he was driving.  Serrano was detained and ultimately arrested for sexual assault.

The investigation revealed that approximately two hours earlier, Serrano kidnapped a 40-year-old female at knifepoint from a supermarket parking lot in the area of San Fernando and Sunburst Street in Pacoima.  Serrano forced the victim into her own vehicle, and then drove to a nearby parking lot where he sexually assaulted her. The victim was able to escape from Serrano and ran for help.  Serrano then fled in the victim’s vehicle and was ultimately captured by officers when he crashed the victim’s vehicle a few miles away.

Foothill investigators are working to confirm whether of not Serrano may be responsible for two separate assaults that occurred this past weekend.

On June 15th around 11:55 p.m., a 24-year-old victim was walking in the area of San Fernando Road and Van Nuys Blvd, when she was attacked at knifepoint, taken to an area adjacent to the nearby railroad tracks, and then sexually assaulted.

On June 16th, around 4:00 a.m, a 14-year old victim was walking near the 9900 block of San Fernando Road when a suspect initiated a conversation with her.  The suspect then threatened to strike the victim in the head with a large rock which he held in his hand.  The suspect pulled the victim to a nearby alley where she was sexually assaulted.

Foothill Detective personnel were actively working on several leads in these cases and believe that Sergio Serrano is the person responsible for these attacks.

Serrano was arrested and booked for one count of Kidnap/Rape and is being held on a $1,000,000 bail.  The case for which he is under arrest will be presented to the Office of the District Attorney for filing consideration on Monday, June 25th.  If it is confirmed that Serrano is responsible for the earlier attacks, these cases will also be presented to the District Attorney's Office for additional charges against.

Anyone with information about these crimes is asked to contact Detective Al Munoz or Lieutenant Kris Kenney, Foothill Detectives at 818-834-3115. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (584-3247). Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477).  Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers 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.


Person of Interest in Sexual Assault Investigation Sought

Los Angeles:  The Los Angeles Police Department Operations West Bureau Sexual Assault Detail is investigating the sexual assault of a female in her 20s that occurred in the afternoon of May 31, 2012.

On May 31, 2012, around 3:30 p.m., the victim was taking a shower in her residence located in the Mar Vista area of Los Angeles when an unknown male entered her apartment and forcibly sexually assaulted her.

Investigators reviewed the available surveillance video from the apartment building for evidence of the crime and to possibly identify the suspects and /or any witnesses involved.

Investigators are seeking information from a PERSON OF INTEREST/ POSSIBLE WITNESS who was at the location.  Images of that person were captured by surveillance video and are attached to this release.

This appears to be an isolated incident and should not cause the community to be alarmed.

Anyone with information about this crime or recognizing the Person of Interest is asked to contact Operations-West Bureau Sexual Assault Detail, Detective L. Nunez at 213-473-0447. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477).  Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers 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.


Suspects Arrested for Attempted Bribery of Housing Authority Employee; Multi-Agency Operation Nets Multiple Arrests

Los Angeles:  The Los Angeles Police Department’s Major Crimes Division Criminal Investigation Section, Rampart Division, Housing Authority Investigators, and the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development partnered in a joint investigation that resulted in the arrest of eight suspects for ‘Bribery of a Housing Authority Section-8 Advisor.’

Section-8 Housing is a program intended to help low-income families, elderly and disabled persons afford housing in the private market.

In March 2012, the primary suspect approached a Section-8 Advisor for the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA) and offered $2,000 for every client the Advisor would bypass and subsequently approve for Section-8 without meeting the required criteria and screening process.  The HACLA immediately notified law enforcement officials, prompting a multi-agency operation.

Multiple undercover operations were conducted to substantiate the suspects’ criminal intent which resulted in the issuance of numerous search warrants to obtain additional evidence. As a result of these efforts, evidence of the crimes were recovered, which included thousands of dollars paid by the suspects to the primary individual in this case as down payment to get the applicants bypassed for the process and approved for Section-8.

It was discovered that some of these applicants and recipients of Section-8 had multiple businesses directly connected to them and again failed to truthfully disclose under penalty of perjury their business and income.

“We are committed to protecting program integrity by cracking down on fraud,” said HACLA President and CEO Doug Guthrie.  “This program is meant to help struggling families with rental assistance and criminal acts that hinder the mission of this agency will not be tolerated.  The agency will pursue legal action against anyone attempting to defraud the agency.”   Chief Charlie Beck was extremely proud of the collaboration between his investigators and the partnering agencies.  “This is the kind of crime that is just deplorable, and the arrests of these seven criminals should serve as a warning to all, that we will continue to actively investigate and arrest anyone who engages ins such illegal behavior” said Chief Beck.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office filed multiple felony counts for bribery and fraud against the primary suspect. Based on the evidence recovered, multiple other suspects were identified working in concert with the primary suspect. Strong probable cause was developed for a multi-seven location search and arrest warrants were then conducted in the areas of Glendale, Hollywood, Northeast Los Angeles and West Valley areas.  Seven suspects were arrested, and over $175,000 was recovered during the arrests.  The primary suspect pled guilty to bribing a public official.

Housing Authority’s Section 8 program has a dedicated fraud investigation unit.  Investigators take all allegations seriously and if any fraud is committed, the participant will be removed from the program.  In cases involving criminal wrongdoing, the case is turned over to the District Attorney’s Office and the HUD Office of Inspector General (OIG).  In 2011, HACLA was recognized by OIG for its effort to reduce fraud in the rental assistance program.

Anyone with more information regarding this crime or other Section 8 fraud is encouraged to contact Detective Carlos Llamas, LAPD Major Crimes Division at 213-486-7220.  During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (1-877-527-3247). Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477).  Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers 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 www.lapdonline.org, and click on "Anonymous Web Tips.”  You may also contact HACLA’s tip line, www.MySafeWorkplace.com/1-800-461-9330.


Pedestrian Struck and Killed by Two Hit and Run Drivers

Los Angeles:  A 66-year-old Los Angeles man was struck and killed by two hit and run drivers.

On June 17, 2012, around 1:50 a.m., the pedestrian was crossing outside the crosswalk on Central Avenue south of 42nd Place.  A silver Pontiac Grand AM with chrome rims traveling northbound Central Avenue struck the victim and left him lying in the roadway.

Minutes later a green Chevrolet Suburban with tinted windows (possible chrome rims), also traveling north on Central Avenue, ran over the victim as he lay in the street.  The victim was dragged nearly 200 feet under the Suburban.  The driver of the Suburban is believed to be a male Hispanic in his 20’s with glasses and spiky hair.  Detectives do not have a description of the Grand AM driver.    

The victim’s name is being withheld until his family can be notified.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact Central Traffic Division Detectives, Detective Jose De Leon or Detective Josephine Mapson at 213-972-1852. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (1-877-527-3247). Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477). Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers 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 www.lapdonline.org, and click on "Anonymous Web Tips.”