The Detective: troubling incidents

Anomalous crime reports Aug. 26 - Sep. 4, 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.


? Sometimes, crime reports can be amusing. Other times, they can be quite disturbing. 


This week, the Detective caught rare MO Code 502: Fecal Fetish.


Though Fecal Fetish isn’t a crime, it’s still notable. But instances of fecal fetish are rare –– the code has been used only three times in 2019 and four in 2018, with 38 instances in total since 2010. When it’s used, it’s mostly in crimes described as sexual battery, which is what this instance happened to be.


At 9:30 p.m. on Aug. 27, a 34-year-old white female was sexually assaulted on the cross street of Tesla Ave and West Silver Lake Drive in Silver Lake. According to publicly available LAPD data, the victim was attacked from the rear, grabbed and fondled. 


The data do not describe how fecal fetish was involved in this case, which we are grateful for.



? At 12:10 p.m. on Aug. 28, the Detective noticed an instance of human trafficking on public transit on Broadway in Downtown.


According to publicly available LAPD data, a 60-year-old black male was involved in a traffic collision, in which a moving vehicle ran into a parked vehicle that belonged to the city (presumably a parked bus or train, since the crime reportedly took place on public transit). 


The human trafficking aspect of this traffic collision is unclear, but human trafficking has actually decreased slightly this year, with 14 cases so far in 2019.


Also, be careful on public transit.