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LASD - Transit Services Bureau
Monday November 9th, 2015 :: 04:33 p.m. PST
Advisory

LA Sheriff’s Crime Impact Team targets graffiti vandals with big results #LASD

LA Sheriff’s Crime Impact Team targets graffiti vandals with big results #LASD

On Thursday, November 5th, 2015, The LA Sheriff’s Transit Policing Division (TPD), Crime Impact Team (CIT), targeted a graffiti tagging group or crew by the name of “PUNKS” (People You Know Killing S—T). The CIT team had discovered through investigation that members of the crew had been targeting Metro buses, trains, and properties, among committing other crimes throughout LA County. The TPD CIT team obtained an eleven location search warrant for specific members of the crew that investigators had positively identified as committing crimes aboard Metro.

At 7:00 AM, over ninety deputies from around the county and from units such as Community Oriented Policing, Emergency Operations Bureau, Parks Bureau, TPD’s Threat Interdiction Unit, K9 Unit, and Detective Bureau, and LA County Probation, participated in the service of the warrants.  

Seven male, Hispanic suspects, and one female, Hispanic, ranging in age between 19-21 years, were arrested for 594(b)(1) PC - felony vandalism. Additionally a 26 year old male, Hispanic, was arrested at one of the warrant locations for an outstanding warrant for 273(a)(b) PC – Child Abuse. The arrests were made in the cities of Bell, Downey, Huntington Park, Los Angeles, South Gate, and Walnut Park. All of the suspects were booked at the Sheriff’s Century Regional Detention Facility, in Lynwood, CA.

Sheriff’s TPD CIT Team lead investigator on this case Deputy Mark Marriott-Lodge, summed it up by saying, “If criminal vandals want to gain “fame and notoriety” by tagging and damaging businesses and public transportation, they need to understand that law enforcement is going to extraordinary lengths to ensure it now costs them significant jail time and restitution (having to pay to repair the damage). Each act of tagging adds jail time and monies they will have to repay. Suspects unable to pay restitution, are commonly held on formal probation subject to “search and seizure” by law enforcement for years.” 

CIT Team Sergeant Henry Saenz noted that, “Although graffiti on Metro is not a prolific problem, when you consider how many buses and trains are out at any given time, it still presents a problem that Metro has to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to clean and/or repair. We in turn have to devote time to investigate these crimes and bring those responsible to justice. We currently use several different technologies, including social media, to help us identify those responsible.”

Today, the Los Angeles County District Attorney filed 26 counts of Felony Vandalism against the suspects arrested on 11/05/15. There may also be gang enchantments attached to the indictments based on the manner in which the "PUNKS" tagging crew used intimidation and fear against innocents and rivals.

 
If you see graffiti or any crime being committed on Metro, please call LASD Transit Policing at (888) 950-SAFE(7233), or if you wish to remain anonymous, you can call “LA Crime Stoppers” by dialing 800-222-TIPS (8477). You also can text the letters “TIPLA” plus your tip to CRIMES (274637), or use the website http://lacrimestoppers.org

Please remember, if you SEE SOMETHING that you believe is suspicious or doesn’t look right to you, SAY SOMETHING by calling: (888) 950-SAFE (7233), or your local police department. You can also use the LA Metro Transit Watch App, to report crime or advise of something/someone suspicious on the transit system. The App can be downloaded at the Apple App Store, or on Google Play for Android Devices. http://transitwatchla.org/ (remember though, calling is always best!!)

To receive detailed, up-to-date information directly from the LASD via e-mail, register for "Nixle" alerts at www.Nixle.com and register for "LASD-Transit Services Bureau HQ, Los Angeles County Sheriff" and also register for your local LASD station area. Or, text “LASD Transit HQ” to 888777 to receive text alerts only. Standard text messaging rates may apply, depending on your calling plan.

Written by / Media Inquiries:

Ramon Montenegro, L.E.T.

Transit Policing Division – Unit Public Information Officer

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department

(213) 922-3649

24 Hr. : (888) 950-SAFE (7233)

Email: tpdpio@lasd.org

Transit Watch LA website:  http://www.transitwatchla.org/

LASD website: www.lasd.org

Twitter: @TransitLASD http://twitter.com/TransitLASD

Facebook LASD Metro Transit Services: http://www.facebook.com/LASDMetroTransitServices

Instagram LASD Transit Photos: http://www.instagram.com/LASDTransitPIO

Periscope LASD Transit PIO: http://www.periscope.com/LASDTransitPIO

 

Address/Location

LASD - Transit Policing Division, Los Angeles County Sheriff

One Gateway Plaza, Mail Stop: 99-PL-15

Los Angeles, CA 90012

Contact

Emergency: 9-1-1

 

Non-Emergency: (888) 950-SAFE (7233)

 

Jim McDonnell, Sheriff

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department

 

Address/Location
LASD - Transit Services Bureau
1 Gateway Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Contact
Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 323-563-5000

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