The Detective: An attempted robbery outside a bank

A rundown of recent criminal activity in Los Angeles

Illustration of red and blue masked individuals


Here are a couple of recent anomalies in Los Angeles Police Department data found by the Detective, our data-crawling robot, and aggregated by the robot’s human assistant, Catherine Orihuela. This period covers Dec. 14-Dec. 20, 2020. 


?  Police were called to investigate a report of intimate partner violence in North Hollywood on Dec. 1. That in itself is not unusual, but in this case a 28-year-old woman was struck and knocked to the ground by her partner, who was identified as a police officer (it is unclear what police department the suspect works for). According to the report, the officer proceeded to hit the victim and pull her hair. No arrest was made. Since the LAPD made its data publicly available in 2010, the code identifying the suspect as a “jailer/police officer” has been used only 37 times. 


?  A 57-year-old man was the victim of an attempted robbery outside of a bank in Northridge on Dec. 17. As he was leaving the bank, a stranger wearing a mask and hoodie approached the victim, pistol-whipped him with a handgun and demanded money. The LAPD code for a victim leaving a bank has been used 102 times in the last decade. 


The phrase “career criminal” is more often used in news stories and police procedurals than in actual crime reports. But the LAPD employed the term on Dec. 19, when describing a 37-year-old man who was the victim of a violent car-jacking in a Westchester parking lot. The suspect, who was experiencing homelessness, struck the victim and stole his vehicle, and was later arrested. Since 2010, the code for crime committed by a “career criminal” has been used 58 times. 


?  A public storage facility in the Harbor Gateway neighborhood was broken into on Dec. 18. Details are thin, but according to police, an unidentified individual cut the locks on four storage units and removed various items before fleeing the scene. 


How we did it: At Crosstown, we examine publicly available crime 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. 


Questions about our data? Write to us at