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Shoplifting cases soar in Los Angeles

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Shoplifting cases soar in Los Angeles

Shoplifting reports in Los Angeles surged by 81% in 2023 over the prior year, according to police data compiled by a nonprofit news organization.

Crosstown looked at crime statistics that the L.A. Police Department posted publicly on a city website last week.

It shows retailers reported 11,945 shoplifting cases in 2023, more than five thousand cases higher than in 2022 (6,585), which was a more typical year, pre-pandemic.

Overall, retail crime, which includes shoplifting and felony smash-and-grabs, climbed 15% in 2023, according to Crosstown.

  • Authorities arrested 41 suspects and recovered over $10,000 worth of stolen merchandise during a retail theft bust in L.A. (Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department)
  • Authorities arrested 41 suspects and recovered over $10,000 worth of stolen merchandise during a retail theft bust in L.A. (Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department)
  • Authorities arrested 41 suspects and recovered over $10,000 worth of stolen merchandise during a retail theft bust in L.A. (Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department)
  • Authorities arrested 41 suspects and recovered over $10,000 worth of stolen merchandise during a retail theft bust in L.A. (Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department)
  • Authorities arrested 41 suspects and recovered over $10,000 worth of stolen merchandise during a retail theft bust in L.A. (Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department)

Some shoppers say the surge in retail theft has shattered their sense of safety.

“I think it’s become an epidemic,” Patricia Hernandez told KTLA’s Jennifer McGraw on Monday while shopping with her daughters in Arcadia. “I won’t come out without my husband. I won’t take the girls by myself. I usually don’t go shopping after dark.”

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Midway through 2023, local leaders announced a task force to combat the rising number of smash-and-grab cases that were occurring almost daily in the Los Angeles metro area – many during broad daylight in crowded stores.

Last month, Mayor Karen Bass and Police Chief Michel Moore announced the crackdown had resulted in 128 arrests and “contributed to a 33% reduction in flash robberies.”

Also, a bill in the California State Assembly would hold repeat thieves more accountable by making it a felony for anyone who has two or more theft-related convictions and is arrested again.

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Los Angeles, Ca

Stolen big rig burst into flames after pursuit in Southern California

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Stolen big rig burst into flames after pursuit in Southern California

Authorities with the California Highway Patrol were in pursuit of a driver in a suspected stolen tractor-trailer big-rig truck out of Bakersfield Wednesday night.  

The suspect led CHP in pursuit on the southbound 5 Freeway, near the 405 Freeway interchange shortly after the pursuit was initiated. The driver later transitioned onto the eastbound 134 Freeway.  

Hitting speeds of around 70 miles per hour, the big rig was seen swerving from side to side on the freeway.  

  • Stolen big-rig burst into flames after pursuit in Southern California
  • Stolen big-rig burst into flames after pursuit in Southern California
  • Stolen big-rig burst into flames after pursuit in Southern California
  • Stolen big-rig burst into flames after pursuit in Southern California

The suspect later made his way to the eastbound 210 Freeway toward San Bernardino County where officers successfully deployed a spike strip in the Claremont area, blowing out the front tires on the big rig.  

In Rancho Cucamonga, the big rig caught fire. The driver exited the vehicle and fled.

He was taken into custody not long after.  

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The big rig was fully engulfed in flames as the fire department was responding and traffic on the freeway was at a complete standstill.

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Los Angeles, Ca

Minnesota man arrested in slaying of model in DTLA

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Minnesota man arrested in slaying of model in DTLA

A Minnesota man has been arrested in the killing of a woman in downtown Los Angeles last year.

Maleesa Mooney, 31, was found dead in an apartment in the 200 block of Figueroa Street on Sept. 12, 2023, the Los Angeles Police Department said in a news release.

The model’s body was found in her refrigerator.

Now, almost half a year later, the LAPD believes they’ve found her killer: 41-year-old Magnus Daniel Humphrey of Hopkins, Minnesota, who was arrested on an “unrelated federal warrant” and is on federal probation for drug offenses, police said.

  • Maleesa Mooney, a 31-year-old aspiring model and real estate agent was found dead in her downtown Los Angeles apartment on Sept. 12, 2023. (Jourdin Pauline)
  • Maleesa Mooney, a 31-year-old aspiring model and real estate agent was found dead in her downtown Los Angeles apartment on Sept. 12, 2023. (Jourdin Pauline)
  • Maleesa Mooney, a 31-year-old aspiring model and real estate agent was found dead in her downtown Los Angeles apartment on Sept. 12, 2023. (Jourdin Pauline)

He will soon be brought to L.A. to face a murder charge.

Anyone with additional information regarding this case can call Detective Pierce or Detective Marcinek at 213-486-8700.

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During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (1-877-527-3247).

Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or go directly to lacrimestoppers.org.

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Los Angeles, Ca

Self-driving taxis suspended in L.A., NorCal

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Self-driving taxis suspended in L.A., NorCal

Self-driving car company Waymo may no longer offer rides in its robotaxis after the California Public Utilities Commission suspended their ability to transport members of the public.

According to KTVU, the CPUC suspended Waymo for up to 120 days after the company sought to expand its services in Los Angeles and Silicon Valley, prompting protests from some local officials.

San Mateo County Board of Supervisors Vice President David J. Canepa said in a statement to KTVU that Waymo has “stalled any meaningful discussions on its expansion plans,” so the company won’t be able to “test robotaxi service virtually unfettered both in San Mateo and Los Angeles counties.”

“This will provide the opportunity to fully engage the autonomous vehicle maker on our very real public safety concerns that have caused all kinds of dangerous situations for firefighters and police in neighboring San Francisco,” Canepa said.

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In a letter to CPUC President Alice Busching Reynolds, L.A. Mayor Karen Bass highlighted incidents in San Francisco such as Waymo vehicles blocking firehouse driveways and parking on top of fire hoses.

Locally, a Waymo robotaxi intially failed to stop for a traffic officer in 2023, though no injuries were reported.

The company began offering rides late last year in parts of L.A. County, including Santa Monica, Century City, West Hollywood, Mid-City Koreatown and downtown L.A., according to the Los Angeles Times.

At that time, Bass asked the CPUC to authorize local regulation of self-driving vehicles.

“To date, local jurisdictions like Los Angeles have had little to no input in [autonomous vehicle] deployment and are already seeing significant harm and disruption,” she wrote.

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A Waymo spokesperson told the Times that before expanding its service area, the company “reached out to stakeholders including county officials, local first responders, cities, bike coalitions and others,” the newspaper reported

“Our briefings included information on Waymo’s mission, experience and how our technology works,” the spokesperson said.

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