UPDATE: Police Hold News Conference After Street Robbery Spree in Hollywood

Police say the area is still safe after recent incidents related to protests in downtown and South Los Angeles over the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the killing of 17- year-old Trayvon Martin.

This story was written by City News Service

Twelve people were behind bars today for allegedly joining with dozens of others in a rolling crime spree on the streets of Hollywood, taking purses, phones, jewelry and other items from pedestrians and stealing items from businesses.

The crime spree began around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday. The initial call indicated that 15 to 17 men and women were robbing people around Hollywood Boulevard and Gower Street, according to Los Angeles police Officer Christopher No.

"They kept moving from location to location,'' No said.

Police said about 30 to 40 people were involved in the crime spree, with the\ perpetrators breaking into smaller groups. At least one of those groups wound up at the popular tourist destination of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue, police said.

There were no reports of weapons being seen during the robberies.

Officers arrested 12 people -- 11 juveniles and one adult, said Lt. Ray Valois of the LAPD's Hollywood Station. Eleven of those arrested were booked on suspicion of robbery and one was booked on suspicion of receiving stolen property, he said.

In addition to robbing individuals' property, the suspects also took items from businesses, leaving a mess behind them as they went, Valois said.

One victim suffered a hand injury while being robbed of her cell phone, but she was not hospitalized, police said.

Police initially indicated the crime spree may have been related to recent protests over the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the killing of Florida teen Trayvon Martin. LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith said at a mid-morning news conference the group was likely just taking advantage of the department's focus on the protests.

"What we're thinking is these youngsters took advantage of our redeployment of officers down to the Crenshaw district last night, and decided this would be a good night to come up to Hollywood and act a little crazy,'' Smith said.

City Councilman Mitch O'Farrell, who represents the area, insisted that the Hollywood area is still a safe area to visit, despite recent violent incidents -- including last night's robberies and last month's fatal stabbing of a woman, allegedly by a transient, near the Hollywood & Highland Center.

O'Farrell said he would be in Hollywood tonight with Mayor Eric Garcetti and LAPD Chief Charlie Beck to send a message that the area is safe.

Meanwhile, Smith said investigators were reviewing surveillance video from the various cameras positioned in the Hollywood area in hopes of identifying additional suspects in the crime spree.

Scott Zwartz July 18, 2013 at 03:52 PM
Safe? Hollywood safe? Ha! I doubt the Wilders will return and they are not what make Hollywood unsafe. In the last 7 years, Hollywood has been getting progressively more dangerous. Each murder and each act of violence is followed by the same lie, "Hwd is safe." After the person was shot and killed at Sunset and Vine in daylight, they proclaimed 'Hwd is safe." A decapitated head is found in Bronson Canyon, "Hwd is safe" rapes around Hollywood-Highland, "Hywd is sfe." A woman is murdered at Franklin and Canyon, "Hywd is safe" People are physically assaulted at Franklin and Western Aves "Hywd is safe." People are shot inside restaurants, "Hywd is safe." People are stabbed in the Subway beneath the W Hotel, "Hywd is safe." There's gang shooting at Hywd Bl and Garfield, "Hywd is safe." There is gang shooting at the top of Saint Andrews, "Hywd is safe." 9 out of the 16 homes on our small street are burglarized within two years, "Hywd is safe." The one shinning light is the Hollywood Division, but the secret is that Garcetti has been underfunding the LAPD for years. The equipment is becoming antiquated, placing officers' lives at risk.
Fran July 18, 2013 at 04:35 PM
We forget about the broad daylight gang rapes that continued for 6 months until a local gadfly (kudos to JW) kept the crime reports in the public eye. Local women have been making other choices for their evening social experiences. NEVER would we congregate for dinner or drinks in Hollywood. Yet elected leaders and their Chamber cheerleaders partner with developers to add even more density to this shaky little Hollywood core. They will find they are safer trapped in the Millennium Twin Towers than taking an evening stroll on Hollywood near Vine, only feet from their front door. I compare these marauding hooligans to the mayor, city council and Chamber. Hollywood is their victim. Each added development is like a rolling robbery, taking while leaving the neighborhood broken. Tourists and residents are NOT safe! But elected leaders, developers and their lobbyists and the Hollywood Chamber are! They don't live here!
bill miller July 18, 2013 at 05:51 PM
Leron Gubler of The Hollywood Chamber, heavily funded, like the politicians, by Millennium, trying to dismantle CEQA laws for his developer buddies, is the accomplice and enabler to these politician's crimes against the PEOPLE here. He has set up battle lines against the very communities that support his members, putting lives in jeopardy with his push for big developments and HIGHER DENSITY. Just what Hollywood needs, HIGHER DENSITY! Garcetti's higher density Hollywood Community Plan..how's that working out? It is already killing Hollywood.. This is just the beginning. Gubler, another callous irresponsible dangerous criminal, pushed for it, pushed for Millennium, while lieing about the low crime in Hollywood at hearings!Wwill push for any developer's massive grotesque projects who forks over money to him.. Chamber Members, do you really want to support HIS candidates? Shame on him, all smiles at the 'Hollywood is Safe' press conference..PEOPLE ARE GETTING KILLED HERE!..MORE DENSITY!!! ..MORE!MORE!MORE! The blood is on his hands too.
gyoung July 20, 2013 at 02:30 PM
I am a homeowner in Hollywood. I feel safe in my home because I live in a doorman building. I don't feel safe anywhere else in Hollywood. You get aggressively panhandled at restaurants, stores, etc everywhere you go. I was panhandled while standing in line inside the bank the other day. When you ask the proprietors why they allow this, they uniformly say, we call the police but they won't come unless they do something violent. The politicians are burying their heads in the sand and pretending that this stuff isn't happening, but we are right back where we were 15 years ago. If the city's "leaders" don't stop cow towing to political correctness, it will get much worse. One wonders if they still hold a grudge against Hollywood for the attempted secession of years ago. Maybe it is time to consider that again. LA sure doesn't seem to want us around.
emma July 21, 2013 at 01:17 PM
'City Councilman Mitch O'Farrell, who represents the area, insisted that the Hollywood area is still a safe area to visit, despite recent violent incidents -- including last night's robberies and last month's fatal stabbing of a woman, allegedly by a transient, near the Hollywood & Highland Center.' PLease read this sentence again. Do these politicos think we are STUPID!? They may be able to fool TOURISTS but those who have to endure the chaos and crime here daily? NO! Sounds like O'Farrell is just another Garcetti re tread. Garcetti lied all through debates about how he saved Hollywood and how safe it is, and has been under his leadership.. O'Farrell is not only the same as Garcetti,receiving funds from Millennium, supported by The Chamber but now spewing Garcetti lies about Hollywood being safe. Spewing what The Hollywood Chamber needs him to say since they supported his candidacy (Chamber PAC)They must all be worried about the UNSAFE HOLLYWOOD being spread around the country and discouraging TOURISM. But what about those with businesses here and that live here and have to worry about the safety every day? It is despicable how CD 13 seat occupiers, Garcetti and now O'Farrell, have traded protecting and serving THE PEOPLE for campaign financing from Millennium, and The Chamber..doing THEIR bidding while women are getting raped, and people are getting murdered here on regular basis.What a way for O'Farrell to begin his term as CD13 occupier. He probably will approve Millennium projects Wednesday.. since they helped him get elected..and he joins in with the phony Hollywood PR,and lies about safety here. Can't that seat ever be occupied by someone with a mind of their own, who has not sold his soul to developers and The Hollywood Chamber to get elected? These councilmembers are criminals. Even worse..one is now a Mayor!


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