The Detective: Boo!

Anomalous crime reports Sept. 22 - 29, 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.


? Spooky season is upon us.


At 10:40 p.m. on Sep. 26, a stranger wearing a Halloween mask approached a 20-year-old black male and assaulted him with a folding knife. The assault took place in a park at the intersection of Balboa Blvd. and Ventura Blvd. in Encino, which is may be Encino Park


Suspects wearing a Halloween mask is not a common occurrence. There have been only three reports of Halloween mask-bearing suspects so far in 2019: a burglary, a robbery and this week’s assault. 


Last year had more reported crimes labeled with “Suspect Wore Halloween mask,” with 15 total. Out of those 15, only three incidents actually took place on Halloween, all three incidents being robberies. Robbery is the most common crime by far for suspects with Halloween masks –– out of 71 total incidents since 2010, 40 of those were classified as robberies.


But whether it’s robbery or assault, pay attention to your surroundings this October, because Halloween is LA’s most dangerous holiday.