The Detective: Chicken sandwich wars

Anomalous LAPD crime reports Nov. 4 - 10, 2019

chicken sandwich wars


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.


 ? The chicken wars continue. At 12:40 p.m. on Nov. 10, a suspect assaulted a stranger in a drive-through in University Park. Which drive-through was it? Well, LAPD data shows it was at the intersection of Figueroa St. and Adams Blvd. –– right in front of a Popeyes.


According to the data, the suspect punched and hit a 37-year-old white man with a weapon in the drive-through parking lot. They were both in separate cars, and did not know each other.


While it’s not clear whether their incident had to do with chicken sandwiches, Popeyes has had a recent spike in violent incidents related to the popular menu item –– some of the sandwich-related incidents include a fatal stabbing at a location in Maryland, a car wreck at a location in Los Angeles, and a violent food fight at a location in Texas. Ever since the fast food chain got involved in a chicken sandwich war against Chick-fil-A, Twitter users have been fiercely debating whether Popeyes or Chick-fil-A serves the better chicken sandwich. 


Jacob Pettis, a chicken sandwich enthusiast and resident of University Park, said he hasn’t been able to obtain the sandwich at the Popeyes on Figueroa and Adams.


“Last week I went to Popeyes twice to try to get the chicken sandwich,” said the 20-year-old student. “I didn’t get it either time.The second time I tried, the guy right in front of me got the last chicken sandwich. I literally ran to Chick-fil-A that night to get a sandwich because I was like, I can’t do this.”


Drive-through crimes in general are not very common in the City of Los Angeles, as the MO Code for “Drive-through” has been used only 40 times since 2010, and twice in 2019. The other incident this year seemed to take place outside a Taco Bell or McDonalds, though, and not another Popeyes location. Maybe McDonald’s is about to make a Doritos Taco of its own.


? On a more gruesome note, at 12:01 a.m. on Nov. 6, a 23-year-old white woman was sexually assaulted by a stranger inside a vehicle in Hollywood. The crime was tagged with MO Code 0539: “Suspect Puts Hand in Victim’s Rectum.”


The crime, which took place at the intersection of Vine St. and Hollywood Blvd., was described as “sexual penetration with a foreign object.”


MO Code 0539 has been used only 65 times in LAPD data since 2010. This is the first time it’s been used this year. Out of the 65 incidents, 22 have been described as a crime against a child under 13 years old.


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.