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Someone Tipped Off The Palos Verdes Surf Gang About An Undercover Police Operation

Lunada Bay on the Palos Verdes Peninsula (Photo by Sergi Gussev via the Creative Commons)
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Palos Verdes' notorious surf gang's reign of terror may soon be coming to an end. They stuck around for quite a while, however, and now it has been revealed that they had a little inside help to do so.Documents filed last Thursday by attorneys suing the city of Palos Verdes Estates and the Lunada Bay Boys revealed that the Bay Boys were tipped off to a sting operation that was planned for February of 2016, reports the Los Angeles Daily News. According to a deposition taken for the lawsuit, Palos Verdes Estates Police Chief Jeff Kepley said an undercover sting against the Bay Boys was canceled at the last minute because someone had tipped off the surfers. In the months leading up to the planned sting, Kepley had asked other local police chiefs for help in the operation.

"It could have been in my department, anyone in Santa Monica Police Department, or any other agency in L.A. County who was at the chief's meeting when I asked for help," Kepley said in the deposition.

The filings are part of a lawsuit originally filed in March, and attorneys are now seeking to make it a class-action lawsuit. A judge will rule on the matter next month.

The city of Palos Verdes Estates and its police department have long been criticized for turning a blind eye to the alleged harassment of outsiders by the Bay Boys, who have surfed at Lunada Bay for decades. Their antics received widespread attention in 2015 after the British paper The Guardian published an undercover video of them, prompting Kepley, who was appointed chief of police in 2014, to vow a crackdown on the surf gang.

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In fact, several of the accused Bay Boys have admitted to being close with local officers, and one even owns a city-issued phone as a member of the Community Emergency Response Team, the court documents reveal. And when victims of the alleged harassment and attacks turned to police, many have said they were met with little more than a shrug.

For 2017, rangers from the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy will be patrolling Lunada Bay, and surveillance cameras will be installed in order to keep an eye on the surf spot. A makeshift hangout/fort constructed by the Bay Boys has since been torn down.