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LA Gangs Are Robbing Hollywood, For Real ($300K Watches)

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Los Angeles gangs have figured out it’s profitable to rob from the wealthiest residents in Hollywood.

According to the Los Angeles Times, there’s been a surge in “follow home” or “follow off robbers”, which are crimes perpetrated soon after victims leave luxury boutiques and hotels, ritzy restaurants, trendy nightclubs, and other locations where the gangs are monitoring for targets.

LAPD Capt. Jonathan Tippet leads a task force tracking the criminal activity.  The Times reports:

In some cases, police determined that gang members inside high-end venues served as “spotters” for those outside, Tippet said, alerting them when wealthy targets were heading out.

Shots have been fired in 23 cases, and two victims have been killed, said Tippet, who also heads the LAPD’s Robbery-Homicide Division, which investigates high-profile crimes.

“In my 34 years on the job, I’ve never seen anything like this,” he said.

The trend, in a city known for opulence as well as extreme poverty, comes at a time when crime overall is under a microscope — with homicides, shootings and armed robberies all at elevated levels since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and candidates in the city’s ongoing mayoral race denouncing those increases as they vie for voters and wealthy donors.

Capt. Tippet is frustrated.  According to the Times,  the “same suspects keep getting released from jail and reoffending while awaiting trial.”

The Times cites the case of 18-year old Matthew Adams as an example.

[Adams] was involved in eight separate follow-off robberies over a sixth-month period starting last fall, including one in which two UCLA students were robbed of two watches worth nearly $145,000 after leaving a club, a second in which two foreign tourists were robbed of watches worth $73,000, and a third in which $51,000 in property was stolen.

During the course of the eight robberies, which occurred between September and February, Adams was arrested three times. The first time was on Jan. 9, when Moore said Adams was found in a car that had been used in one of the robberies and where a gun was also found. Online court records show no charges were ever filed against Adams in that case, suggesting prosecutors were unconvinced they could win a conviction.

Adams was arrested again on Jan. 27 and a third time on Feb. 21, and in both cases charged with illegal gun possession. Court records show he was ordered released each time without having to pay bail. The reason was a pandemic-related rule, aimed at reducing the jail population, that requires L.A. County defendants to be released without posting bail for certain offenses.

Adams could not be reached for comment, but “has since been arrested a fourth time”, according to The Times.

I don’t know what’s more shocking–that two UCLA students have two watches worth nearly $145,000 or that Adams can keep that busy pace.

CBS reports that as “many as five carloads of people have followed home some targets, swarming them to steal watches, handbags, or cars before they have much of a chance to resist…  In one case, a man was arrested this month on suspicion of robbing a victim of two watches worth an estimated $600,000.”

The gangs show no regard for their victims or the law.  CBS goes on to report,

Video of two recent holdups supplied by the LAPD show an “outrageous display of arrogance on the part of these criminals, to think that they can just run amok in our city and terrorize our citizens,” Police Commission President William Briggs said.

Gangs aren’t stupid.  Maybe, just maybe, that outrageous display of arrogance has something to do with defund the police or other “reform” efforts that have undermined law enforcement.  LA County Sherriff has a pretty good idea about what is happening in his jurisdiction.

Do you think the victims of these crimes saw their attackers as victims in need of better social programs?

Perhaps Hollywood elites will get relief with Democrat Sen. Nancy Skinner’s proposed bill (SB 960).  If passed in California, the bill would remove a state requirement that an individual must be a citizen or permanent resident of the United Stated in order to become a police officer.  The poorly crafted legislation makes no distinction between legal and illegal immigrants, FOX Los Angeles reported.

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