The Detective: Attempted pickpocketing

Anomalous crime reports July 18 - Aug 14, 2019

At Crosstown, we examine publicly available crime report data from multiple Los Angeles County law enforcement agencies. We have a robot on the team called the Detective that scans the LAPD data for anomalies. LAPD officers tag most crime reports in their system with MO codes, for “modus operandi,” Latin for operating method or style. The MO codes are shorthand for describing what happened in a crime incident.


Here are a couple recent examples of what the Detective has found, aggregated by the robot’s human assistant, Kate Lý Johnston.


?Be careful about sleeping on trains. On July 29, the Detective caught an instance of attempted pickpocketing on the MTA Red Line.


A 27-year-old white male was asleep on the train when someone attempted to pickpocket him at the 7th St Metro Center stop in Downtown, according to publicly available LAPD data.


Unsuccessful pickpocketing is rarely reported. This is the third instance of attempted pickpocketing in 2019. In 2018, there were only three cases reported for the entire year.


But while this incident was only an attempt, theft in general is actually the second most common crime on Los Angeles Metro lines. In 2017, there were 88 incidents of theft or robbery on the Red Line alone. So, if you need to sleep on the way to work, maybe take a different line. Or take a Lyft. 


?On Aug. 5, the Detective noticed crime code 762: Lewd Conduct.


According to LAPD data, someone was caught doing “sex-related acts” in a library in Hollywood


The data didn’t say what exactly those acts were, but with all the public restrooms and freely available computers at the library, one can only imagine what went down.