Several police helicopters could be heard hovering over Fremont Place and Windsor Village around 9 p.m. on the 4th of July, over the sounds of booming fireworks echoing around the city.
According to LAPD, the commotion was due to a crime suppression action undertaken by LAPD’s Metro Division elsewhere in the city, which prompted a suspect to take off on foot to avoid capture. Police helicopters responded by creating a perimeter to search for the suspect, cordoning off Lucerne Blvd. between Wilshire and Olympic, as well as locking down Fremont Place and prohibiting residents from entering or exiting. These actions prevented several residents from returning home after watching local fireworks displays.
Residents in Fremont Place were told that police were searching for an armed gunman in the neighborhood. After about an hour, the action ended with the capture of the suspect.
Buzz inquires to local Senior Lead Officers provided little information, since all three officers were off duty at the time of the incident. However, Sargent A.J. Kirby, who heads up the Community Policing department at Wilshire Division, was able to recount generally what happened and why initial inquiries found no records of an incident, despite clear presence of police in the neighborhood. Kirby said that because the pursuit was conducted out of the Metro Division, local LAPD divisions did not immediately have access to the reports. Details on where the suspect was caught or his exact whereabouts during the search are still not available.
LAPD Air Support Division advised the Buzz that residents can call for information during a pursuit, while helicopters are in the air. But once the incident is over, Air Support officers can no longer communicate with police helicopter pilots for information.
Also on the 4th of July, around 2 a.m., thieves attempted to break into Salt & Straw on Larchmont Blvd. The would-be burglars drilled through the back door of the store then used a crow bar to pry open the lock…but they apparently left without taking anything once the alarm was activated.
“We were quite lucky that no one was onsite or hurt and there wasn’t any damage,” said Jessica Younghans, Los Angeles District Manager for Salt & Straw. “Our alarm system was paramount to deterring them!”
The Buzz has been reporting an increasing number of property crimes in the neighborhood in the last few weeks, and we’ve seen numerous postings on NextDoor from residents whose cars have been broken into, bicycles stolen, etc. Sadly, it’s not just property crimes. One resident passed along a report from NextDoor of an attempted rape in the Beverly Grove/Fairfax Village area. Fortunately, a quick thinking, observant neighbor came to aide of the young women in that case, and they escaped without harm.
LAPD does its best to respond quickly but advises residents to take simple measures, whenever they can, to reduce their vulnerability to crime by locking doors and windows, removing property from vehicles, installing alarms and using them, turning on lights, removing over-height hedges that offer hiding places for bad guys, and keeping an eye out for suspicious activity. LAPD online offers information on how neighbors can work together to prevent crime as well as tips on how to protect your family and your property. Be vigilant and stay safe.