Skip to comments.Gun Control Declared Success In Calif (My Title) Valley killings up 80%
Posted on 06/03/2002 1:26:23 PM PDT by Boonie Rat
Published: Saturday, June 1, 2002
Valley killings up 80%
By Jason Kandel
A two-year surge in serious crime in Los Angeles has sent homicides in the San Fernando Valley soaring by 80 percent in the first five months of this year compared with 2000, figures released Friday show.
Police recorded 54 killings in the Valley through Friday, compared with 36 through May 2001 and 30 during the first five months of 2000.
Citywide, homicides have jumped 47 percent over the two-year-period, going from 180 in 2000, to 188 in 2001 and 265 in the first five months of this year. The Valley, with a third of Los Angeles' population, accounts for just a fifth of the killings.
Detectives, already faced with heavy caseloads, are girding for a bloody summer ahead.
"Certainly gang activity picks up with warm weather," said Los Angeles Police Department Deputy Chief Ronald Bergmann, the top cop in the Valley. "Certainly we've got to be cognizant about that and make sure that doesn't come through."
A total of seven people were killed in the Valley last month, compared with eight in May 2001.
If Memorial Day symbolically kicks off summer, this year it might also signal the start of the killing season -- marked by the shooting deaths of a couple in their Universal City jewelry store.
On the evening of May 25, police found the bodies of Garbis, 52, and Mayda Tarakjian, 45, lying on the gray carpet near the shattered glass door of the store at 4219 Lankershim Blvd.
The husband and wife had been shot several times with a small-caliber handgun in what police believe may have been a failed robbery.
Three detectives from the North Hollywood Division were working the case this week.
Authorities were searching for one couple -- an African-American woman and a white man, both in their 40s, "distinguished looking," with a white husky-type dog named Bach. Police believe they may have been the last customers to have seen the couple alive.
"We'd be interested in talking to them," said lead homicide detective Sgt. Mike Coffey. "We just haven't found them yet."
Across town in the Foothill Division, where more than 60 percent of the homicides have been gang-related this year, police say that tensions between two gangs has escalated, and retaliation shootings have become common.
Pacoima gang members are fighting a gang known as the Vineland Boys based in North Hollywood. The two gangs have been crossing a dividing line at Saticoy Street and entering into enemy territory for more than a year, police said.
Police theorize that the current feud may be retaliation from shootings last year and an ongoing drug war involving the Mexican Mafia.
"We're hearing Vineland Boys have liaisoned with La Eme," said Lt. Gary Nanson, who heads the Valley Bureau's Special Enforcement Unit. "Word is that Eme have chartered Vineland to go and hit those who are not paying taxes. Vineland Boys are heavily financed through narcotics."
Devonshire Division officers are also fighting their own war against gang members in North Hills and Panorama City, which police say is the biggest open air drug market in the city. Half of the 12 homicides this year in Devonshire are gang-related.
Police say they are closing in on the killers in nine of the cases.
"Almost weekly, we're serving search and arrest warrants," said Capt. John Sherman, who oversees Devonshire detectives. "We're developing leads on almost all our homicides."
A significant breakthrough came for police May 23 when Van Nuys police, with assistance from Devonshire, arrested four suspected Blythe Street gangsters in the slaying of 3-year-old Alfredo Cardenas Jr., who was hit by a stray bullet May 10 while out for a walk with his father.
Police are still looking for a fifth suspect, Jesus Delasancha, who they believe is in the Antelope Valley.
Jose Jimenez and Luis Rodriguez, both 18, and Juan Ayala, 20, were being held at a Los Angeles County facility on suspicion of murder, police said. Bail was set at $1 million each. A 17-year-old boy, whose name was withheld, also was in custody.
The motives for other slayings in May were varied, and some still unknown.
Daren Carter, 41, of Van Nuys was killed May 7 during a dispute at an apartment complex in the 8700 block of Canby Avenue. George Meadors, 52, Van Nuys, has been arrested in connection with the killing, but the motive remains unknown.
On May 8, James Meyer, 40, of North Hollywood was found stabbed to death at the Valley Shelter in the 7800 block of Lankershim Blvd. His killer or killers remain at large.
In other gang-related incidents: Jacob Misrachi, 23, Granada Hills was shot to death May 7 in an alley near Balboa Boulevard and San Jose Street, Granada Hills. Victor Mariscal, 26, Sylmar, died in a shootout with a rival gang member May 10 in the 13200 Block Vanowen Street in North Hollywood. And Louis Rodriguez, 20, Canyon Country, was stabbed to death by a group of suspected gang members May 11 as he walked in the 11100 block DeHaven Avenue in Pacoima.
I thought that was real police WOD corruption.
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