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News

9 Street Robberies in Silver Lake-Echo Park Concerns Community

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Photo by CarbonNYCvia Flickr


Photo by CarbonNYCvia Flickr
UPDATE, Feb. 4: More detailed information and the community meeting info can be found on this new article.


An e-mail has been floating around the Silver Lake-Echo Park area talking about a recent series of robberies over the past month:

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This past Friday January 30, a friend of mine was brutally assaulted walking from Blair’s near Hyperion to Edendale Bar and Grill on Rowena. It was maybe between 11:30 PM or 12:30 AM near the West Silver Lake Street entrance on Rowena. He was pulled into the back of a dark driveway, had a gun pressed against his temple and then savagely thrown to the ground and beaten, crushing his left cheek; he blacked out and doesn’t remember what happened next. He couldn’t see both suspects but got a look at one who he describes as a tall, young Hispanic male.

The e-mail, which has the community questioning why the police have been silent on the issue until now, continues to state that police officers at the hospital mentioned this was one of nine robberies of a similar nature (the full text of the e-mail is posted below).

According to Captain Lance Smith of the LAPD's Northeast Division, there were nine violent robberies in Silver Lake and Echo Park in January. Four of them were centered around Rowena and Hyperion and another four happened near Sunset and Alvarado. "We don't think there's association between all nine," he said over the phone. The ninth incident happened at an ATM in another part of the division.

"Violent crime is up slightly and property crime is down significantly" Chief William Bratton said at today's LA Police Commission meeting. He noted that the increase is unusual in the current economic climate noting that property crimes--which tends to go up when the economy is sour--are down.

Citywide, robberies are up 8.1%, he said. Other statistics shows that rapes are up by 13.1% and aggravated assaults have increased 1.5%. In total, there was a 5.5% increase in crime last month, but property crime was down 8.6% overall.

Captain Smith wanted to emphasize that these crimes are not hate crime related, as some rumors state. However, he said that the division has experienced six hate crimes in the last six months towards blacks, gays and a church.

Councilman Tom LaBonge, who represents parts of Silver Lake and is possibly planning a community meeting for later this week said he was looking into the incidents. "Walk tall and walk smart wherever you go," he wisely recommended.

The LAPD is planning a press conference for 5 p.m. today to disclose more details.

UPDATE: In an e-mail from Tom Labonge's office, the number is now up to 10 street robberies. More details are forthcoming.

The e-mail being sent around the community:

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Dear neighbors,
This past Friday January 30, a friend of mine was brutally assaulted walking from Blair’s near Hyperion to Edendale Bar and Grill on Rowena. It was maybe between 11:30 PM or 12:30 AM near the West Silver Lake Street entrance on Rowena. He was pulled into the back of a dark driveway, had a gun pressed against his temple and then savagely thrown to the ground and beaten, crushing his left cheek; he blacked out and doesn’t remember what happened next. He couldn’t see both suspects but got a look at one who he describes as a tall, young Hispanic male.

Larry was rushed to Kaiser on Sunset and when the police came, one exclaimed that this was the 9th such assault by the same suspects in 2 weeks in the Silver Lake area, almost one assault a day!!! The police also said they were just there the night before with another victim who had his face sliced from the corner of his eye to the the corner of his mouth by the same SOB, they also said they (the police) were on it.

I think if they were truly “on it” we SL residents would have been warned somehow, either by fliers or a news blurb. My friend is puzzled by the attack and thinks it’s a hate crime since they didn’t take his wallet nor his watch but isn’t quite sure. I am scared but really really pissed at the police for keeping the 9 assaults, one after the other, on the down-low, so I’m going to spread the word somehow and someway.

A friend and I are making fliers and going to some of the neighborhood bars, cafes and stores and posting warnings. If you have any ideas- contacting the news, email blasts etc., let me know or just help spread the warning any way you know how.

PS. Another female dog-owner/friend on Michelterona and Sunset was sexually assaulted 3 weeks ago at 7:30 PM by a tall white male with shoulder length hair. He didn’t care if she had her 140 lbs dog with her, he grabbed her from behind, pushed her up against a wall and began to fondle her and only let go when he saw a family walking towards them down the hill from Micheltorena.

I apologize for all the somber news but I’m sure you’d rather be safe than sorry.