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Crime & Safety

WeHo Public Safety Meeting with Sheriff, Advice on Self Protection

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WEST HOLLYWOOD – A recent Public Safety meeting with the Sheriff and Block by Block, residents shared experiences and safety tips.

They included theft prevention, especially in cars. Captain Edward Ramirez said that although crime is down in our city, car break ins continue to be a major concern on the West Side.

Captain Ramirez stressed that residents should never leave anything of value, including coins and empty bags, visible inside parked and unattended cars.

He noted that rhieves work in pairs or groups and mostly go after easy targets where valuables are visible or car doors are left unlocked. He said it only takes five seconds for them to break a window and take your property.

Lighting is important. Ramirez said that motion activated lights and security cameras can function as a deterrent. Video images are very good on some devices have provided the evidence that has contributed to the arrest of suspects.

Although West Hollywood has better restrictions and laws against tent encampments than the City of Los Angeles, loitering and unruly homeless individuals was a concern of residents.

You will never see an encampment or a tent in this city said Captain Ramirez. The introduction of Block by Block Security Ambassadors was found to be very useful.

We need to stay vigilant, he reminds us, by keeping our property secured from opportunistic crime and report any incidents or suspicious activity to the Sheriff.

Contacts to have at the ready:

Weho Sheriff Station (Crime reporting and time sensitive matters)
310-855-8850

Block by Block Security Ambassadors (Non-emergency)
323-821-8604

COPPS Team
Community Oriented Policing and Problem Solving (Non-Emergency)
Lt Moulder: 310-358-4012, Sgt Klaus: 310-386-8078

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Crime & Safety

Pottery Barn Boards Up Beverly Hills Windows on Looting Fears

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L.A. Pottery Barn Boards Up Its Windows, Fears of Break-Ins & Looting

BEVERLY HILLS (TMZ) — The fear is real near the ritzy Rodeo Drive in L.A. — shops are not only clearing their shelves of high-end merch … they’re also boarding up their stores, as you can see here.

Check out these shots TMZ got of the Pottery Barn in Beverly Hills — off of Beverly Dr. and Dayton Way, right near Rodeo — with construction workers putting up giants slabs of plywood and other material to completely cover their storefront windows facing the street.

It’s kinda eerie and pretty clear — it’s being done to protect the store from would-be looters crazy enough to break in. The workers told us it was a temporary measure this specific PB was taking in anticipation of bad actors. Also, because it looks like they’re going to be closed for a good long while here amid the outbreak.

Pottery Barn isn’t the only shop out in that neighborhood that seems to be worried about robberies and the like — several other luxury brand boutiques and retail stores have taken similar precautions of late as soon as city-wide and state-wide shutdown orders were placed.

Take Chanel, Prada, Balenciaga, Dior, Valentino and other designer brands along the strip … photos of their store shelves being completely empty have been floating around online for a few days now. The whole area is an essential ghost town, and after Trump’s announcement that these quarantine measures will be in place until April 30, it sounds like some businesses are getting ahead of a potential panic that could hit the streets.

Scary times, indeed.

Tune in to TMZ on TV weekdays Monday through Friday (check syndicated/local listings)

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Prosecutions

D.A. Trying to Reduce Jail Population During Pandemic

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District Attorney Jackie Lacey

LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey announced today that she has directed her deputy district attorneys to take steps to reduce the number of people both in local jails and courthouses as part of her office’s response to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.

“I have asked my attorneys to consider the health risks in every decision they make,” District Attorney Lacey said. “I have directed them to consider ways to keep nonviolent felony and misdemeanor offenders out of our jails and courthouses during this pandemic.”

District Attorney Lacey instructed her managers during a March 16 video chat to delay the filing of new cases and re-evaluate pretrial cases to allow nonviolent offenders who do not pose a danger to the community to remain outside the criminal justice system during this national emergency. She urged them to look at both the pending charges and the defendant’s criminal history to determine their risk to the community at this time.

In keeping with that directive, District Attorney Lacey is working with Sheriff Alex Villanueva, Public Defender Ricardo Garcia and Alternate Public Defender Erika Anzoategui to review approximately 2,000 cases involving in-custody defendants using the same standards to determine if they are a risk to public safety or can be safely returned to the community on their own recognizance while awaiting trial. If they cannot reach an agreement on a particular defendant, the court will review the case and make a determination.

Earlier, in a March 14 email to all employees, District Attorney Lacey directed her deputy district attorneys to consider whether a defendant is considered by health officials to be at a high risk of exposure to coronavirus as a factor in either setting bail or agreeing to a defendant’s release on his or her own recognizance.

To help further reduce the jail population, District Attorney Lacey has instructed her deputy district attorneys to not request that defendants be remanded on probation or parole violations on nonviolent and non-serious crimes unless the defendant has demonstrated that he or she is a danger to the community.

She has recommended that deputy district attorneys use the Proposition 115 guidelines that allow law enforcement officers to testify to witness statements at preliminary hearings in an effort to reduce the number of civilian witnesses having to appear in courthouses during the pandemic.

District Attorney Lacey also has directed Head Deputy District Attorneys to expand the use of the existing Pre-filing Diversion Program (PDP). This program diverts people from entering the criminal justice system on specified misdemeanors and felonies by opting for office hearings as opposed to criminal filings.

As for setting future court dates, deputy district attorneys were advised against objecting to continuances unless necessary to prevent a serious case from being dismissed.

Additionally, deputy district attorneys were informed that they should concur with requests for general time waivers and continuances of jury trials for an extended period of time for out-of-custody defendants.

As to community service, including work performed through the California Department of Transportation, deputy district attorneys were directed to temporarily suspend or extend pending due dates for completion and not use these options at this time unless completion dates may be extended beyond the usual due dates. In addition, they are being directed to agree to put progress reports over for several months.

District Attorney Lacey also has released new Fraud Alerts warning consumers about coronavirus-related scams and price gouging and posted a video message addressing the impact of the coronavirus on her office’s operations. They may be viewed at http://da.lacounty.gov.

In an effort to reduce the spread of this disease, District Attorney Lacey has implemented alternate work schedules for all of her 2,200 employees. This includes flexible work schedules and using technology so that attorneys and other staff members may work remotely.

Employees have been encouraged to prepare for trials, interview witnesses, conduct legal research and, in some cases, even file criminal cases remotely, when possible.

No District Attorney employee has been diagnosed with COVID-19. In an abundance of caution, all employees making reports of possible exposure to the coronavirus are assigned to telework until the guidelines provided by the county’s Public Health Department for a safe return to work are followed.

District Attorney Lacey continues to work closely with county and court officials to determine how best we can continue to maintain public safety during this public health crisis.

“We have a constitutional duty to serve the public by keeping the residents of Los Angeles County safe from violent crime, even during national emergencies,” District Attorney Lacey said. “I want to thank the people in my office for their dedication and cooperation during these unprecedented times.”

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Policing

WeHo Sheriff Adjusting Patrols and Services for Coronavirus Reality

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West Hollywood Sheriff's Station Sign (Michael Dorausch/Flickr)

WEST HOLLYWOOD — The West Hollywood Division of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department will be adjusting their patrols as businesses close and residents shelter at home due to the Covid-19 Coronavirus.

The station issued the following statement:

The COVID-19 virus, and the unprecedented statewide call for civilians to create social distance, has created a situation where many retail businesses in West Hollywood are closed. Based on concerns regarding the security of businesses in the City of West Hollywood, we have organized a plan for directed patrol of both high value commercial burglary targets and other retail establishments within the City. These directed patrols will be 24/7 until further notice.

We have identified several areas of the City that have a high density of commercial businesses that are more commonly subjected to burglaries. Our crime analyst and historical crime data supports this conclusion. These directed patrol units sole responsibility will be monitoring their assigned areas of the City.

We will also have dedicated directed patrol units responsible for monitoring our grocery stores and other vital resources. They will also include residential patrolling, as well. These added security enhancements will not affect the station’s normal patrol deployment.

The Sheriff would like to assure the community that police services are continuing.

The Station is fully staffed and as always, will respond to priority and emergent calls for service. In an abundance of caution and in an effort to prevent the unnecessary exposure and spread of the COVID-19 virus, the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station began taking non-emergent, property crime reports over the phone on March 12.

The station lobby is open to the public; however, for non-emergent services, those in need are encouraged to please call the Station business line at (310) 855-8850 ahead of time, and to use services available on LASD.org.

For emergency calls, please dial 9-1-1. Certain police reports can be made online at the station website, WeHoSheriff.

This system allows you to file a specific type of crime or incident report through this website. Once your report is reviewed and accepted, you will be emailed a free copy of the approved report for your records. You can report the following incidents:

– Lost or stolen cell phones valued $950 or less
– Lost or stolen property valued $950 or less
– Vandalism, excluding graffiti, where damage is valued under $400
– Theft from an unlocked vehicle valued $950 or less
– Theft from an open or unsecured area valued $950 or less
– Supplemental Loss Form (Must already have a LASD report number)

As the City continues to adapt to the challenges caused by the COVID-19 virus, deputies have been provided emergency response protocols to assist with community members who may be infected. Safety equipment measures for personnel have also been implemented. Stores and businesses are being monitored frequently where food, health and emergency resources can be obtained.

The Sheriff’s Department is working closely with Public Health and Emergency professionals such as the County Emergency Operations Center (CEOC), The County Department of Public Health (CDP), The Los Angeles County Department of Human Resources (DHR), and The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) through our LASD Department Operations Center (DOC) which is open 24 hours a day/7 days a week.

Contact
Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 310-855-8850

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