The Detective: A fight among roommates gets messy

A rundown of recent criminal activity in Los Angeles

Illustration of the exterior of an apartment building


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, Taylor Mills. This period covers Oct. 11-17, 2021. 


🔎 Roommate conflicts happen, but an Oct. 14 incident in North Hollywood makes fights over who should do the dishes seem petty. What sparked the dispute remains unclear, but the LAPD reported that one resident urinated on a shared property and inflicted unspecified damage.


Most of the 23 calls the LAPD has responded to since 2010 regarding roommates have involved physical confrontations. This is one of two vandalism incidents in that time. Overall urination as a form of vandalism has been reported four times in the last decade, according to publicly accessible Los Angeles Police Department data


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🔎 It looks like the Halloween spirit found its way a couple weeks early into a Valley Glen courtroom. On Oct. 17, the Los Angeles Police Department reported a contempt of court incident. Details are slim, but the happening involved a victim, not a suspect, who was dressed in an unspecified costume.


According to LAPD data, this is the second violation of a court order where the victim was a costumed character. Yes, it actually happened before, with the previous incident taking place in June 2020. 


🔎 The operator of an Elysian Park Catholic church discovered something troubling on the property on Oct. 11. According to police, someone scrawled anti-Catholic graffiti on the house of worship. Multiple media outlets reported that St. Peter’s Italian Catholic Church was hit with red paint and messages protesting “colonization.” It appeared to be timed to the holiday known to many as Columbus Day, though in Los Angeles it is observed as Indigenous People’s Day. The church reported more than $25,000 in damage.


Only three crimes designated by the LAPD as Anti-Catholic bias have been reported since 2010, though all three have occurred within the past two years. The most recent previous incident was on April 9 at an Eagle Rock church. 


🔎 A 36-year-old jewelry saleswoman had a frightening encounter, though it occurred after she had locked up the shop. On Oct. 11, the woman was walking to her car in a parking structure in Westlake. Suddenly, a vehicle approached and an individual stepped out and demanded the jewelry she was wearing.


Jewelry sales people have been the victim of 130 crimes since 2010. Robberies count as 27 of those incidents. This marks the first time in 2021 that a store employee had personal property taken while being threatened. 


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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