Monday, August 31, 2009

Small fire breaks out near Echo Park stairway

Firefighters extinguished a small grass fire in Echo Park that broke out at about 7 PM alongside a public stairway on Grafton Street. The fire broke out next to 1644 Grafton Street near Lemoyne Street. It's not clear what triggered the fire, a fire department captain said at the scene. No injuries were reported.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Police looking for man with gun in Echo Park-Silver Lake

Update @ 9:39 PM: Two suspects were arrested but a third man remains at large, said LAPD spokeswoman Rosario Herrera.

Police are searching for a man
with a gun tonight on the border of Echo Park and Silver Lake. Aaron and Branden streets west of Glendale Boulevard have been blocked off as officers armed with rifles search the area with the help of the canine unit.

Police searching for man suspected of assaulting Echo Park girls

The man is suspected of grabbing and possibly trying to kidnap three young girls in recent months as they walked near bridges crossing the 101 Freeway in Echo Park, LAPD Detective Jon Hurd said today. At least two of the girls were alone and walking to school when the attacks occurred.

The attacks have taken place in March, July and, most recently, about a week ago when the suspect grabbed the arm of a 12 year-old girl as she and her mother walked near the Bonne Brae Street bridge over the 101 Freeway. The girls, who were all grabbed from behind and had their breasts groped, were able to get away, Hurd said.

Police are scheduled to hold a press conference on the assaults Tuesday at the Rampart Division station. They have released a community alert with more details of the suspect, who is believed to hang out on the bluffs west of Echo Park Lake.

LAPD Notices:
Community Alert
Alerta a la communidad

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Trouble on Park Drive

The police helicopter hovering over Echo Park shortly before 7 pm is apparently in response to a report of battery and a person making threats on the 1800 block of Park Drive, an officer at the LAPD Northeast Division said.

Eastside Crime Watch

A murder in Glassell Park and rapes in Boyle Heights and Echo Park were among the most serious crimes reported between Aug. 17 - 23. Angeleno Heights and Eagle Rock also saw a lot of vehicle break-ins and thefts. EveryBlock has been very slow to reflect crimes found on the LAPD crime map. So, some of their maps include a lot of the crimes described below.

Echo Park & Silver Lake (90026)
Police arrested a suspect in connection with a rape reported on Aug. 23 on Morton Street. Three rapes have been reported in Echo Park in recent weeks but police interviewed said they are not connected. Angeleno Heights vehicle owners were happy to hear of the arrest a few weeks ago of a person suspected of being responsible for numerous vehicle break ins and thefts. Well, apparently someone has stepped in to fill the void because five thefts from vehicles were reported in and near Angeleno Heights. There were also a trio of car thefts along Scott Avenue and three violent robberies reported.

Lincoln Heights & Montecito Heights (90031)
Three personal thefts in Lincoln Heights were among the crimes reported.

El Sereno & Monterey Hills (90032)
The crimes in El Sereno included three stolen vehicles and two aggravated assaults.

Boyle Heights (90033)
A rape was reported Sunday on State Street near County USC Medical Center. Six burglaries were reported in the south end of Boyle Heights below Fourth Street and two violent robberies occurred near Whittier Boulevard and Fickett Street. More than 10 vehicles were stolen across the neighborhood.

Atwater Village & Silver Lake (90039)
Two burglaries were reported in Atwater along with two stolen vehicles south of Los Feliz Boulevard.

Eagle Rock (90041)
Car thieves were busy, with reports of eight stolen vehicles filed with police. Two occurred across the street from the Eagle Rock Plaza.

Highland Park (90042)
Crimes included two aggravated assaults near York Boulevard on Saturday and seven reports of theft from autos.

Cypress Park, Glassell Park & Mt. Washington (90065)
Crime returned to Drew Street in Glassell Park, where a murder, two aggravated assaults and violent robbery were reported.

This weekly report is based on the LAPD's online crime maps and police department reports filtered through

Photo by lobraumeister via Flickr

Monday, August 24, 2009

Additional charges filed against suspect in Echo Park gang shooting

The Los Angeles County District Attorney has filed a second murder charge against Andre Upshaw in the March 1 shooting spree that left Echo Park gang leader Eric Zamarripa dead in front of his home and another man wounded nearby. The additional charges filed earlier this month against Upshaw, 33, include a second count of murder for the killing of Carlos Gonzalez of Glassell Park and a count of shooting from a motor vehicle.

Police claim that Upshaw shot and killed Gonzalez in Glassell Park shortly after killing Zamarripa, a 38-year-old carpet installer, and wounding William Vargas in Echo Park The Sunday afternoon shooting was triggered by an internal gang feud, police have said. Upshaw was arrested while appearing in court on an unrelated drug charge.

Upshaw, who had already been charged in March with murder and attempted murder, is now scheduled to be arraigned Sept. 9 on the amended felony complaint, said district attorney spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons. The Pasadena resident faces multiple life sentences.

Photo of memorial to Eric Zamarripa aka Chopper.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Friday night fire on Mt. Washington

A small broke out last night on Mt. Washington in a clearing where W. Andalusia turns into W Avenue 37, reports resident Michele Ryan. The fire was apparently sparked by people lighting fireworks, Ryan said.

"This is generally a problem area as we constantly have people parked up at the clearing drinking, tagging and now lighting off fireworks," Ryan said via email. " It's really disheartening to see the blatant disregard for the land or the people who live on/near it. Luckily LAFD was quick to respond and nobody was hurt and there was no property damage. I turned in at about 1:00am and they pretty much had it all under control by then."

The Los Angeles Fire Department reports that about an acre was burned but did not provide any information about possible causes.

Photos by Michele Ryan

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Police raid Elysian Valley pot dispensary

LAPD officers were on the scene to take control of the Royal Temple of Zion, a medical marijuana dispensary in Elysian Valley, said a police officer on the scene. The reason for the raid on Eads Street facility near the Los Angeles River was not immediately known. But posts on a medical marijuana news group said that officers with search warrants had arrested four people at the dispensary.

An ad for the Royal Temple of Zion in KUSH LA magazine describes it as 4,000-square feet of "Reggae by the river" with pool tables, ping pong and chess tournaments. A free gram is offered for new patients.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Eastside Crime Watch: Murder in Boyle Heights

The Eastside Crime Watch for Aug. 10 - 16 includes a killing in Boyle Heights and more trouble along the Figueroa Street Corridor between Cypress Park and Highland Park:

Echo Park & Silver Lake (90026)
There were four violent robberies south of the 101 freeway. Most of the crimes north of the freeway was auto related, including eight reports of stolen vehicles - two of them on Waterloo Street.

Lincoln Heights & Montecito Heights (90031)
Two of the three crimes reported on EveryBlock were personal thefts. The LAPD crime map also shows a violent robbery near Avenue 26 and Pasadena Avenue.

El Sereno & Monterey Hills (90032)
Five vehicles were stolen in El Sereno and two aggravated assaults were reported near Huntington Drive and Tampico.

Boyle Heights (90033)
One man was murdered in the 3000 block of Ganahl Street on Saturday, according to LAPD crime map. There were also three violent robberies reported, according to EveryBlock.

Atwater Village & Silver Lake (90039)
Three stolen cars in Atwater were among the crimes reported this week.

Eagle Rock (90041)
Crimes included a violent robbery in the 7300 block of Figueroa Street and an aggravated assault on the 1700 block of Yosemite Drive.

Highland Park (90042)
Much of the crime was centered on or near Figueroa, with six crimes ranging from grand theft auto to burglary reported along the strip, according to EveryBlock and LAPD crime maps info.

Cypress Park, Glassell Park & Mt. Washington (90065)
More crime along Figueroa, with reports of vehicle related crimes and burglary reported in Cypress Park and Mt. Washington.

This weekly report is based on the LAPD's online crime maps and police department reports filtered through

Photo by lobraumeister via Flickr

Friday, August 14, 2009

LAPD Northeast News: Suspects arrested in Echo Park and Highland Park car break-ins

Police made separate arrests that should help depress vehicle-related crimes in Echo Park and Highland Park, according to Northeast Division Capt. Bill Murphy in the Northeast Newsletter for Aug 2-8. The Highland Park suspect is believed responsible for breaking into four cars in the same apartment parking lot within only a few minutes:

"The suspect had previously committed numerous car break ins in the same lot, but at the time we could not ID him. His luck ran out and we arrested him. This should help decrease this type of criminal activity."

Murphy also noted that home burglaries in Los Feliz had decreased dramatically and that overall serious crime was running nearly 10% below last year's level.

Photo by Collin Purrington via Flickr

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Eastside Crime Watch

A rape in Echo Park, burglaries in south Silver Lake and 9 thefts from vehicles in Highland Park were among the crimes reported between Monday, August 3 and Sunday, August 9:

Echo Park & Silver Lake (90026)
A rape was reported on August 5 in the 1500 block of Sunset Boulevard in Echo Park. Burglars were active in the southern section of Silver Lake, striking at five locations between Sunset Boulevard and the 101 Freeway.

Lincoln Heights & Montecito Heights (90031)
Two of the five crimes reported were stolen vehicles in Lincoln Heights.

El Sereno & Monterey Hills (90032)
An aggravated assault and a stolen vehicle in the 5100 block of Lathrop Street were two out of the nine crimes reported.

Boyle Heights (90033)
A trio of violent robberies were reported on Fourth Street between Cummings and Chicago street.

Atwater Village & Silver Lake (90039)
Two out of four stolen vehicles reported were located on Alvarado Street.

Eagle Rock (90041)
A personal theft and an aggravated assault - both on Colorado Boulevard - were among the seven crimes reported.

Highland Park (90042)
Nine theft from vehicles and three burglaries were among the crimes reported this week.

Cypress Park, Glassell Park & Mt. Washington (90065)
Three violent robberies in Glassell Park and Mt. Washington were the most serious of 14 crimes reported

This weekly report is based on the LAPD's online crime maps and police department reports filtered through

Photo by bcmasac1 via Flickr

Friday, August 7, 2009

Think twice about drinking and driving on Saturation Sunday

An increase in DUI-related traffic accidents will prompt the LAPD to send out its "Saturation Patrol" this Sunday, August 9, across the Northeast and Rampart divisions, which include neighborhoods from Silver Lake and Echo Park to Highland Park and Eagle Rock. About 10 additional officers, mostly only motorcycle, will focus on pulling over potential drunk drivers to prevent accidents, said officer Victor Islas with the department's Community Traffic Safety Office. Islas did not have any specific figures available on the increase in drunk-driving related accidents.

"They will look for anything from unusually wide turns ... or if the light changes to green but the driver does not move," said Islas. "We will cite anybody who does not stop for pedestrians."

Why not roll out the Saturation Patrol on busy Friday and Saturday nights? Islas explained that the LAPD already deploys a large number of traffic officers on those days. Additional funding allows the LAPD to field more motorcycle cops on Sunday or other days of the week when there's a spike in accidents and DUI-related problems, he said.

"We don't have as much coverage on Sundays but it's still a busy time for DUIs" he said.

Photo by Miracle Machine via Flickr

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Eastside Crime Watch: A rape in Glassell Park and a surge in vehicle crime across Echo Park and Silver Lake

A rape in Glassell Park and a surge in vehicle crime and aggravated assaults in Echo Park and Silver Lake were among the most serious crimes reported between Monday, July 27 and Sunday, August 2:

Echo Park & Silver Lake (90026)
The last week of July was a bad one for car and truck owners, with 14 thefts from vehicles reported across Echo Park and Silver Lake in addition to six reports of Grand Theft Auto. Also, there were two violent robberies in Echo Park as well as four burglaries and six aggravated assaults in both neighborhoods.

Lincoln Heights & Montecito Heights (90031)
Four out of the nine crimes reported were stolen vehicles in Lincoln Heights.

El Sereno & Monterey Hills (90032)
An aggravated assault and a burglary in El Sereno were among the mostly auto related crimes reported last week.

Boyle Heights (90033)
Grand theft auto was the crime of the week, with 8 stolen vehicles reported, two along Mission Road.

Atwater Village & Silver Lake (90039)
A violent robbery on Avalon Street in the 90039 section of Echo Park and a burglary in Atwater were among the most serious of seven crimes reported.

Eagle Rock (90041)
A quiet week, with only four crimes, including an aggravated assault on the 4300 block of Eagle Rock Boulevard.

Highland Park (90042)
A pair of burglaries and personal thefts were among the mostly auto related crimes reported. An aggravated assaults and a stolen vehicle were reported early in the week on 6100 block of Piedmont Avenue.

Cypress Park, Glassell Park & Mt. Washington (90065)
A rape in the 3400 block of Fletcher Drive in Glassell Park was the most serious of six crimes reported.

This weekly report is based on the LAPD's online crime maps and police department reports filtered through

Photo by bcmasac1 via Flickr

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

LAPD Northeast Newsletter: The weather and crime heated up in July

A spike in robberies, aggravated assaults and stolen vehicles in mid July made for "the worst crime week of the year" for the Northeast Division, according to Capt. Bill Murphy in the Northeast Newsletter for July 19-August 1.

Grand theft auto emerged as a major problem across Highland Park and Cypress Park while a burglar targeted residences in the Franklin Hills and Los Feliz. Highland Park also saw numerous aggravated assaults, with several incidents involving multiple victims. The number of stolen cars dropped after officers arrested some suspects believed responsible for the crimes.

Meanwhile, detectives are still searching for suspects behind the Franklin Hills and Los Feliz home burglaries. "Please do not leave your home windows open during the hot summer months - this just invites them to your house!" said Murphy.

He notes that year-to-date crime statistics through August 1 continue to run below 2008 levels:

YTD Violent Crime: Down 8.2%

YTD Property Crime: Down 19.0%

YTD Part I (total): Down 17.1%

YTD Homicide: Down 47.4% (10 vs. 19 last year)

YTD Robbery: Up 5.8% (up 15 robberies YTD )

Photo by bcmasac1 via Flickr

Monday, August 3, 2009

Crime fighting and fun at National Night Out

Residents, community groups and cops across the country will be holding block parties, parades and other events Tuesday night as part of the 26th annual National Night Out, which is intended to raise awareness and support of crime prevention programs. Eastside events include a peace walk in Boyle Heights, community fairs in Echo Park and Eagle Rock and a movie in Glassell Park, according to an LAPD schedule of events.

Many people seem more interested in the free giveaways, games and community booths than in signing up for neighborhood watch. But the events do offer an opportunity to meet neighborhood police officers in a casual setting and, in the case of the Echo Park gathering, get a free meal and eye exam at the same time.

Photo from the Echo Park Chamber of Commerce web site

Saturday, August 1, 2009

House fire in Silver Lake

A fire broke out at about 11 am at a two-story home at 1618 Benton Way near Berkeley Avenue, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. It took fire fighters a little over an hour to knock down the "stubborn fire in floors/walls hampered by excess storage," according to the fire department. The fire, which was triggered by an electrical problem, caused an estimated $180,000 in damage.

No injuries were reported. But, as one resident noted, the fire-related street closures had "disoriented Priuses driving in circles."

Photo by Tom O'Keeffe