The Detective: Driver, beware of the bicycle

A rundown of recent criminal activity in Los Angeles

illustration of an LAPD detective


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 Nov. 1-7, 2021. 


🔎 There is always a risk to being on the road late at night, as this is when the majority of drunk-driving incidents happen. For a 26-year-old rideshare driver in Koreatown on Nov. 5, the danger came from elsewhere. At around 1 a.m., someone riding a bicycle ran into the driver’s vehicle. 


Although the amount of damage inflicted on the car is unclear, according to publicly accessible Los Angeles Police Department data, rideshare drivers have been the victim of 126 crimes so far this year. Since 2010, 121 drivers have reported having their vehicle vandalized while working for rideshare companies.  


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🔎 Funerals are usually traumatic and difficult for the friends and family of the person who passed. Yet it was a Lincoln Heights mortuary that suffered most recently. On Nov. 5, the business reported that someone used false credit card information to pay for services. According to the LAPD, the person assumed someone else’s identity.


During the pandemic, there was a spike in crime occurring at Los Angeles mortuaries, according to LAPD data. In 2020, there were 13 incidents, the highest figure since 2014. The Nov. 5 incident marks the second time identity theft has occurred at such a business.


🔎 Everyone knows how poisonous and juvenile social media can be. A recent nasty incident involved actual juveniles. On Nov. 6 the LAPD received a report that a 12-year-old resident of the Green Meadows neighborhood had been threatened by a classmate on a social media platform. Precisely what was said is unknown, but police said the message involved a threat to harm the victim.


Since 2010, Los Angeles police have responded to 220 criminal social media threats. This marks the seventh time a child between the ages of 6 and 13 was the target of a threat made online. 


🔎 A 31-year-old resident of a Mid-Wilshire apartment building recently made an unsettling discovery. On Nov. 3 police responded to a report of hateful language scrawled on the exterior of the edifice. According to the LAPD, the vandalism contained profanity and was Anti-Eastern Orthodox in nature.


This marks the first crime with an Anti-Eastern Orthobox bias reported by the LAPD since at least 2010. So far in 2021, 29 incidents of vandalism have been related to a hate crime. Los Angeles, like many cities across the country, has seen a spike in hate crimes this year.


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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