LAPD Warns People Not to Visit Due to Out of Control Crime

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LAPD police officers stand at the corner of Fairfax Avenue and Sunset Boulevard where a body covered in a white sheet lies on the pavement in Los Angeles on April 24, 2021 in what appears to be an officer-involved shooting. - On the evening of the shooting the LAPD official twitter account read: There has been an Officer-Involved Shooting on Sunset Blvd. near Fairfax in Hollywood Division. Around 2:35 p.m. officers were heading to a radio call with their lights and sirens on when a car pulled in front of them, stopped suddenly and reversed into the police car. The driver of the car exited, was wearing body armor, and had his right hand concealed behind him. He moved toward the officers who had exited their patrol car. He counted "3, 2, 1" and began to move his arm to the front of his body, at which time there was an officer involved shooting. The man was struck by gunfire and pronounced deceased at scene. Force Investigation Division detectives are on scene conducting interviews and gathering evidence.The man who was shot and killed by the Los Angeles Police Department has been identified as 34-year-old Richard Solitro. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP) (Photo by VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images)

Many people feel that Southern California is suffering a violent crime wave. Even the head of the Los Angeles Police Department union was forced to warn tourists away. LAPD Chief Michel Moore attempted to assure the public that crime is under control in the city.

“My message to anyone thinking about coming to Los Angeles, especially during the holiday season, is don’t,” Jamie McBride, the head of the LA Police Protective League, the union representing LAPD officers, said in a television interview.

McBride’s message is a warning to residents and businesses about a wave of crime that has decimated the city and its surrounding areas.

“We can’t guarantee your safety. It is really, really out of control. I said it to people before, it’s like that movie ‘Purge,’ you know, instead of 24 hours to commit your crime, these people have 365 days days to commit whatever they want,” McBride said.

Some residents seem to have heeded his warning.

“It’s pretty scary walking at night,” said Sarah Veenstra, who moved to LA from Wisconsin about six months ago. She said she didn’t realize crime and safety would be such an issue.

“I genuinely thought it would be a safe area. It turned out not be as safe as I thought. I’m definitely, like, carrying something on me every time I leave the house when it’s dark out,” she said.

Rampant crime continues. The latest victims were at the downtown Intercontinental Hotel where armed burglars took an estimated $100,000 worth of jewelry on Tuesday morning.

This robbery follows a string of smash-and-grab, followed home, and home invasion robberies. Chief Moore tried to reassure the public on Tuesday.

“It’s not out of control. It’s not a spiral that we’ve lost control over. It is important that we not have a sense of acquiescing or just a lackadaisical approach to this. We’re calling out the severity of it,” the police chief stated.

Moore noted that robberies have increased by nearly 5% over last year, but are about 13% lower in 2019 than it was before the pandemic.

Recent arrests of 14 people for smash-and grabs led to their release.

“Eleven were released on zero bail and we need the criminal justice system to look at those offenses and recognize how to keep the most dangerous individuals off the street,” Moore said.

During the pandemic, zero-bail policies were put in place for some crimes, like burglary. Chief Moore said he and LA County District Attorney George Gascón are in close communication.

“Gascón and I spoke as recently as Friday,” Moore said, “and he assured me he will hold criminal offenders, violent criminal offenders, accountable.”

While acknowledging the reality of what’s been going on, Chief Moore said the city is relatively safe and he is welcoming tourists.

“I believe tourists coming to Los Angeles are safe. Certainly, as safe here as any other portion of the country.”

However, some tourists have realized that the headlines don’t lie.

“We just take Ubers everywhere and don’t walk from place to place. So, that’s about it,” a tourist told CBSLA.

Hollywood residents or visitors said that they just keep an extra eye on the area.

In a Tuesday press release, DA George Gascon stated that a Wednesday press conference would be held to highlight the achievements of the past year.