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Gun Control Declared Success In Calif (My Title) Valley killings up 80%
L.A. Daily News ^ | June 1, 2002 | Jason Kandel

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

Staff Writer

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.

TOPICS: Crime/Corruption
KEYWORDS: banglist

1 posted on 06/03/2002 1:26:24 PM PDT by Boonie Rat
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To: Boonie Rat
Pathetic, that's all I can say! Blackbird.
2 posted on 06/03/2002 1:35:48 PM PDT by BlackbirdSST
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To: bang_list
LA is beginning to sound like London.
3 posted on 06/03/2002 1:41:20 PM PDT by coloradan
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To: coloradan
I was in the Valley the other day. Its still safe enough to go to during the day. Although I suspect people will stop going there if it ever becomes as crime ridden and dangerous as the reputation that attaches to South Central L.A.
4 posted on 06/03/2002 1:44:54 PM PDT by goldstategop
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To: Boonie Rat
They should have been more careful of what they asked for. They got it.
5 posted on 06/03/2002 1:51:28 PM PDT by concerned about politics
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To: goldstategop
The Valley's a big place - these are mostly gangstas killing gangstas in the homies' main turf in the north central Valley. Of course, the demoralization of the LAPD, already spread thin and further pummelled into impotence since the so-called Rampart Division scandal, has rendered anti-gang enforcement a virtual dead letter. Crime is up generally because, let's face it, in an un-policed city it pays, and you can get away with it.

Viva Secession.

6 posted on 06/03/2002 1:53:12 PM PDT by Argus
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To: BlackbirdSST
Does anyone know the relationship of this (in time) to the closing of the Rampart Division? In addition, does anyone have numbers on the crime rate in New York sine Mayor Guliani left? What about the crime rate in Cincinnati since an agreement was made between the Community and the police. I am clearly biased in favor of a strong police presence - I believe the less there is tough police enforcement, the more crime. I would like to know some numbers if anyone has any.
7 posted on 06/03/2002 1:54:08 PM PDT by AZFolks
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Comment #8 Removed by Moderator

Comment #9 Removed by Moderator

To: Argus
...the so-called Rampart Division scandal,

I thought that was real police WOD corruption.

10 posted on 06/03/2002 9:30:06 PM PDT by MileHi
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To: MileHi
The underpolicing and rampant crime is another reason for the Valley to give Kenneth Hahn and the downtown liberals the finger.
11 posted on 06/03/2002 9:32:40 PM PDT by goldstategop
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