Large, violent gangs are targeting wealthy Angelinos on the streets: LAPD

The LAPD has released a report detailing the actions of at least 17 area gangs, who are reportedly using large crews to target, follow, and rob those who visibly appear rich within the city.


The LAPD has released a report detailing the actions of at least 17 area gangs, who are reportedly using large crews to target, follow, and rob those who visibly appear rich within the city.

Captain Jonathan Tippet, the leader of a Los Angeles Police Department task force which convened last year to identity the cause of the sudden surge of follow home robberies, claimed that the gangs operate independently of each other, and have no particular affiliation with any other areas of organized crime.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Tippet also indicated that they mostly operate out of the south of the metropolitan area.

These gangs reportedly organize crews, which sometimes take up three to five cars, follow people home from that are driving high-end vehicles or wearing luxury items, robbing them once they reach their destination.

Tippet said that these groups also placed gang-members inside these high-value places to serve as "spotters" for those outside, identifying those to be followed.

Tippet indicated that these types of incidents occurred some 165 times in 2021, and so far there have been 56 in 2022, including many which have happened just in the past week's time. In 23 of these cases, there have been shots fired, and two victims have died in those shootings so far.

There have been 24 arrests made so far, of people suspected of crimes in connection with 47 of the 165 incidents, Tippet said. He also noted that 16 gun arrests and six attempted murder arrests have been made in connection to the crimes.

"There’s no chance or opportunity for these victims even to comply. They’re just running up to people and attacking them, whether that’s putting a gun in their face or punching them and beating on them," Tippet said. "Pistol whipping them as well."

"In my 34 years on the job, I’ve never seen anything like this," he added.

While Tippets told the Times that these robbery types have been creeping down in recent weeks due to the task force's efforts, driving the number of monthly incident down to 10, these robberies have been ticking up in numbers in recent weeks.

Tippets blamed this resurgence on suspects repeatedly being released from custody once captured.

"I am absolutely frustrated," he said.

One instance was outlined by LAPD Chief Michel Moore last week, in the case of suspect Matthew Adams, 18.

Moore said Adams was involved in eight follow-off robberies over a sixth-month period starting last fall, has been arrested three times, and was released each time.

Adams has since though been arrested for a fourth time, pleading not guilty to charges related to seven robberies, and remains in custody.

Moore said he was "disappointed" that "the full weight of our existing laws" was not brought down on Adams, not only to hold Adams accountable, but to serve as a disincentive for other would-be robbers in the city.


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