Here are some 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 March 15-21, 2021.
? Sometimes, criminals seek out abundance. Such was the case in Panorama City on March 18. According to the Los Angeles Police Department, a total of 21 burglary reports were filed that day at an office building or office park on the 7900 block of Van Nuys Boulevard; the suspects entered the property by smashing windows. Three days later, on March 21, seven more burglaries were reported at a car dealership on the same block. It is unclear if the two incidents are related.
? On March 17, police responded to a call of a 27-year-old woman who was kidnapped in the Hollywood Hills. According to police, the woman was leaving a medical marijuana facility when she was attacked. An investigation is ongoing. Since the LAPD made its data publicly available in 2010, the code for “victim was at/leaving medical/retail/non-retail cannabis location” has been used 142 times. Prior to the recent report, there were only three other incidents in which a victim was kidnapped.
? The Detective flagged a report of bribery in Hollywood on March 19—while that is already unusual, what makes it even more unique is that it involved an individual attempting to bribe a police officer. The officer knew the suspect, but further details about their relationship and the nature of the bribe were unavailable. Since 2010, the crime code for bribery has been used 35 times. Only three other incidents involved a police officer being a target of the bribe.
? The neighborhood of Los Feliz recorded 11 criminal incidents on March 15. What stands out is that more than half of the calls involved cars. According to the LAPD, the day’s list of crime reports included five car break-ins and one stolen vehicle. The majority of the incidents occurred on residential streets, and in parking lots or garages. In multiple reports a suspect broke a window to gain entry. No arrests have been made.
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.
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