The Detective: Don’t pick up hitchhikers

Anomalous crime reports Oct. 7 - 13, 2019

Here are a couple of recent anomalies in LAPD data found by the Detective, our data-crawling robot, and aggregated by the robot’s human assistant, Kate Lý Johnston.


?We’ve all had bad bosses. But most of us haven’t pulled a gun on them over a scheduling conflict, hopefully.


At 11:25 a.m. on Oct. 11, a suspect threatened their employer with a semi-automatic pistol over a labor dispute, according to LAPD data. It is unclear what kind of business the suspect was employed at, but the incident took place on the 6800 block of La Tijera Blvd. in Westchester.


According to the LAPD the suspect got angry with their boss about scheduling them for a day they requested not to work, leading them both to go into the work parking lot, where the suspect brandished a gun.


The MO Code for “Labor Troubles” has been used in crime reports only twice this year. The other time was for a crime that occurred on an MTA Bus back in February. It’s been used only 19 times in total since 2010. Know your rights, but don’t incite violence.


?  If there’s one takeaway from Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, it’s that picking up hitchhikers can be dangerous. And if you’re not Brad Pitt, you may not be able to fight off possible threats of violence.


At 1:50 a.m. on Oct. 12, a male hitchhiker sexually assaulted a 31-year-old white man on the 8800 block of Alcott St. in Pico-Robertson.


The hitchhiker forcefully pushed, kissed and masturbated on the victim, then engaged in sodomy.


While alarming, hitchhikers are not commonly seen in LAPD data. The MO Code for “Suspect was a Hitchhiker” has been used only twice this year and only 33 times in total since 2010.


How we did it: 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 publicly available 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.