In California, street violence is continuing to escalate out of control as gangs form teams to target the wealthy elite of Los Angeles.
Some of the city’s wealthiest individuals are being targeted by more than a dozen Los Angeles street gangs with increasingly aggressive methods. Gangs dispatch carloads of people to track, follow, and rob Angelinos who are driving luxury automobiles or wearing costly jewelry.
“In numerous circumstances,” according to SFGate, “gang members are taking designer handbags, diamond-encrusted watches, and other expensive items worth hundreds of dollars — if not more — and then selling them to black-market buyers who are content to look the other way regarding the underlying violence.”
According to the cops, some of these robberies have been solved, with suspects being arrested and quickly released from jail only to commit additional offenses.
These robberies are referred to as “follow-home” or “follow-off” robberies by the police since they typically occur soon after victims have left luxury boutiques, hotels, premium restaurants, nightclubs, or other pricey locations where gang members look for prey.
The Los Angeles Police Department’s Capt. Jonathan Tippet is leading a task force to find and stop the people responsible for these assaults. He has identified at least 17 distinct groups that run their own “follow-home” robbery operations independent of each other. Many of these organizations are based in southern L.A.’s neighborhoods.
In 2021, there were 165 robberies of this sort; 56 have occurred thus far in 2022. The LAPD refers to the area containing the most robberies as its “Hollywood Division.” This division has seen 50 out of more than 200 robberies.
The use of surveillance technologies by the LAPD has resulted in the identification of gang members and crew members who have been involved in robberies “rolling three to five cars deep” in some cases. The perpetrators blindside their target as they approach it.
Tippet stated that the victims are frequently unable to comply with their robbers before being violently assaulted.
“There’s no way or opportunity for them to comply,” he added. “They’re just rushing up to people and attacking them, whether it is punching them or putting a gun in their face and beating them. They also pistol-whipped people.”
Tippet reported that in 23 of the heists, guns have been fired, and two people have died.
“I’ve never seen anything like this in my 34 years on the job,” he said.