Stop, Thief!


Yesterday, around Noon, I went to meet my brother for lunch near his office at LaBrea and Wilshire.

I was early. We weren’t meeting until 1pm so I took a walk along the south side of Wilshire heading west, passing Detroit, Cloverdale and S. Cochran.

On the north side of Wilshire, I saw a middle-aged Asian woman in a green apron chasing a red-haired, plaid shirted male east towards Detroit. She was screaming, “Stop him! Stop him!” He kept looking back and outran her, eventually boarding a bus parked at Wilshire and LaBrea.

I ran too, crossing the street, breathlessly getting on the bus and telling the driver, “You have a man who just robbed a store on your bus. He is in back. I am calling LAPD!”

The driver waited. I called LAPD and reported a “hold-up” of a store on Wilshire and that the suspect was aboard a Metro bus. The police operator made me repeat the description of the suspect several times (“red hair, plaid shirt, middle-aged, white”).

I stood next to the bus, on the sidewalk and waited. The bus and its passengers, including the suspect, waited.

Then after about ten minutes, cops arrived.

Two police cars, including one unmarked, pulled behind the bus, shoved the rear engine cover up and crouched down, drawing their guns. Another car of cops went in front of the bus, and the police told us to all get out of the way.

I ran to the corner with others, and we watched, behind building at LaBrea, as the cops worked.

Then the driver got off and pointed at me, and a cop, his silver gun drawn, rushed at me and told me to put my hands up, to face the wall, to get down on the ground. His partner also ran at me, and I yelled, “I’m the one who called the police!” My hands up in the air, guns aimed at me, I was suddenly endangered and suspected of something. I don’t know what.

I was told to hand over my wallet and ID. And then I was allowed to put my hands down. The officer asked if my current address was the same as the one on my driver’s license.

“Yes, sir. Yes, sir. Yes, sir…”

The suspect was removed from the bus, laid down on the sidewalk, handcuffed, and the other passengers got off and ran to another bus, parked down the street.

My brother came out of his office in the Samsung Tower, crossed the street, and asked me what happened.

Sweat poured down my face. We walked over to a restaurant for lunch. I ordered an iced tea, sat down at a table, wiped my face with a napkin and told him the true crime story.

Later, after lunch, I walked down Wilshire to find the lady who had been chasing the robber. I found her inside a little Korean convenience store. The cops had already visited her. Speaking not much English, she thanked me for my apprehension of the suspect, an action that might have ended my own life.

She gave me a cold iced tea.

Oh, and she said the thief had stolen three packs of cigarettes.

The Barbara Jean Jepsen Murder: January 31, 1956.


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15050 Victory

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On January 31, 1956, Barbara Jean Jepsen, an 18-year-old married woman, was found stabbed to death by her husband Joe Earl Jepsen inside their unit at 15050 Victory in Van Nuys.

 

The murder of the young woman shocked the city.

 

Photos of the crime scene exteriors are kept in the USC Digital Archives and offer a glimpse of detectives, in long coats and hats, gathering evidence and questioning blond, leather jacketed Mr. Jepsen.

 

As the investigation proceeded, other women in Los Angeles were also mysteriously knifed to death, and the killer or killers remained at large.

 

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One of the suspects was Liberace’s younger brother Rudolph, 24, whose strange (?) behavior in Granada Hills caused neighbors to call police. Rudolph was later released and not charged with any crime.

 

The cottages where Mrs. Jepsen and her husband lived, and she died, have been torn down but are remarkably similar to ones still standing near Lido Pizza on Victory.

 

As far as I can ascertain, the murder of Barbara Jean Jepsen is still unsolved 58 years later.

 

 

Some Morning Excitement.


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Just some normal Saturday morning excitement of leaving to go to the gym at 8am
and witnessing three Latinos running from a home they had just burglarized.

LAPD showed up within minutes, along with helicopters.

The suspect(s) were caught near Van Nuys Boulevard.

After I took these photos, I was walking near a neighbor’s home and found a discarded Disney credit card that had been stolen and thrown into the bushes. I called the cc company and they said it had already been reported.

LAPD: Sherman Oaks/Van Nuys Residential Burglaries


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Van Nuys Burglary Detectives are reporting serveral residential burgalries took place over the weekend in the area of RD991 (Mullholland Drive to Beverly Glen to Valley Vista Blvd. to the 405 Freeway.) All of these took place during daytime hours.

Several other burgalaries also occured in RD966 (Woodwan Ave to the 101 Freeway to Fulton Ave to Chandler Blvd.) Suspects are described at four male Hispanics, 20-25 years old driving a 2004-2007 Totota Camry or Nissan Altima metalic gold in color. Suspects were also discribed as wearing LA Dodger apparel.

In many of these burglaries the suspected enetered through open attached garages which gave them access to the residence.

If you have any additional information please call Van Nuys Burglary Detective Robert Kraus at 25895@lapd.lacity.org or 818-374-0031.

The Small Illegalities.


15137 Gilmore St. Van Nuys, CA 91411

15137 Gilmore St. Van Nuys, CA 91411

A ridge is defined as a small, narrow hilltop. It is also one half of Kester Ridge, our growing neighborhood Facebook group that seeks to build a consensus on improving Van Nuys radiating from Victory/Sepulveda.

We gathered, about 20 of us, last night, at my neighbor’s house. The participants are homeowners, of all ages, all white. A few had just moved in, fixed up their houses, told stories of planting grass seed instead of sod, soliciting HGTV for a kitchen remodel.

Quite a few are “looking for work”, “between jobs”, “working from home”, all the tender euphemisms for the unemployed.

At home, all day, in the Valley heat, they bear witness to the pathologies of the area, the small illegalities: discarded food wrappers, pot smoking kids in cars, taggers, barking dogs, dog shit.

A block captain, a longtime resident here, spoke of walking her beat, her conversations with LAPD SLO Rich DeMauro, the calls about prostitution, the whores who walk up and down, the johns who pick them up, the discarded condoms.

The whore talk took up most of the time, an issue as endemic and real to Van Nuys as Botox is to Beverly Hills.

We talked about the slum mall at 14851 Victory at Kester, a commercial property of seven thriving businesses whose trash has piled up on the side of the street for years. A $10 broom would cure this cancer.

The trash pickers, the ones who go through recyclables and rip open bags, they also were decried. It is illegal to steal from the blue recycle bin, but in modern California, tolerance, not statute is law.

We spoke of the wig and costumed prostitutes who go around in their cars and change into new outfits to escape arrest.

A real life crime story too…

A new homeowner had captured, in his driveway, a man in a pick up truck, loading up a stolen whole house air-conditioning condenser. The victim  grabbed onto the driver, holding his neck, but the thief escaped and drove off, was later arrested and is now paying off his theft.

Overall, looking at these respectable, articulate, thoughtful, nice neighbors, so at odds with the image of Van Nuys, one yearns for a real government of real laws, responsive to constituents, a government intolerant of the small illegalities.

All anyone wants is a quiet, peaceful, safe, sane place to live.

Meanwhile in Los Angeles….


Our nation and the world is horrified and sickened by the bloodshed in Aurora, CO.

Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, here are some of the local headlines of what is happening in our neighborhoods over the last four days:

 

  • 15-Year-Old Boy Shot to Death in North Hollywood Identified. The deadly attack occurs on the 11000 block of Tiara Street, according to police.

 

  • Man Shot in Butt at West Hollywood Park

 

  • Second Anaheim officer-involved shooting during weekend kills man

 

  • Man holding knife to baby’s throat shot by Moreno Valley police

 

  • Suspect in L.A. homeless stabbings linked to two other attacks, police say

 

  • Man killed, woman injured in Boyle Heights shooting