Violent crime spike has L.A. police chief concerned

US

While there appears to have been a reduction in all categories of violent crime in Los Angeles, Police Chief Michel Moore expressed serious concern earlier this week about the number of recent shootings and homicides.

Moore’s comments came during the Dec. 5 meeting of the L.A. Board of Police Commissioners, the civilian-run body that oversees the department.  

“After some eight-plus months of being in the negative on both [shootings and homicides], we saw that trend begin to change in September, October and November,” the police chief said, adding that both of those categories of violent crime were higher this November compared to the same time in 2022. 

Moore referenced some of the recent violent crime that has occurred, specifically calling out a Granda Hills home invasion on Dec. 2 where the homeowner shot and killed one of four suspects who broke into his family’s house at gunpoint.  

The other three suspects fled the scene, though police believe at least one of them was injured during the incident due to a trail of blood located during the investigation.

The homeowner was detained during the preliminary investigation, though it is unclear if he will face any charges.

In addition to that, Moore referenced an ammunition-fueled fire on Dec. 3 that began with what investigators think was a murder-suicide in Sylmar.  

“A man in his 50s appears to have shot and killed his aunt,” he told the board. “She was found in a rear swimming pool area, again in the San Fernando Valley…as well as him setting the house on fire after what appears to have been him committing suicide.”  

A deceased dog was also found inside the home.  

Finally, the 42-year-old law enforcement veteran brought up the fatal shooting at L.A. Live on Nov. 28. That shooting occurred at Fixins Soul Kitchen, a restaurant inside the sprawling and popular downtown entertainment complex.  

“A gunman [went] into a restaurant at the L.A. Live area and brutally assassinated, for lack of a better term…walked right up to an individual who sat alone at the bar area and without any provocation or exchange, shot and killed this man and then fled,” he explained.  

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While Moore highlighted the three violent incidents, he also noted homicide investigators will continue to focus on individuals who commit these types of crimes, saying that LAPD’s homicide clearance rate is 70% year to date.  

Where property crimes are concerned, Moore pointed to the Organized Retail Theft Task Force, saying the task force has made more than 346 arrests, recovered some 20 firearms, executed 86 search warrants and recovered more than $1.2 million in stolen property.  

The task force was launched in August and is a cooperative effort between LAPD, the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department, the California Highway Patrol and Beverly Hills, Burbank, Glendale and Santa Monica police departments.  

“Our investigative efforts are identifying and bringing these individuals before the criminal justice system,” the chief added. “We are seeing the district attorney’s office, as well as the state attorney general, filing felony counts and holding these individuals responsible.”  

Chief Moore also noted that investigators on the task force monitor smash-and-grab style robberies that occur outside of Los Angeles and are working with those partner agencies to identify individuals who detectives believe are traveling across Southern California committing these crimes.  

L.A. Mayor Karen Bass and L.A. police officials have touted data that shows violent crime is down citywide in 2023. However, many victims KTLA has spoken to said they disagree.

A crime mapping website shows that over the past eight days in Granada Hills alone, 547 crimes were reported in the community and surrounding areas.

The incidents include everything from car thefts and assaults to home burglaries and more.

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