Posts Tagged ‘ investigation ’

Masked Robbers Steal Money from Church Employees NR12555rf

December 6, 2012
Masked Robbers Steal Money from Church Employees NR12555rf

Los Angeles Police Department Van Nuys Area detectives are asking for the public’s help to apprehend two men who robbed two employees of a local church who were transporting money. On Dec. 3, 2012, at about 3:30 pm, three suspects drove a compact vehicle into a parking lot at Church on the Way on Sherman Way in Van Nuys, got out of their car and confronted the employees as they transported money for the church. The masked robbers also hit one employee on the head as they removed cash from the employees’ vehicle. The suspects then returned to their car driven by the third suspect. After the robbery, the suspects drove south from the location. The only description of their vehicle is a grey, four-door compact with a dealer paper plate on the rear. The suspects are described as 25- to 30-year-old males of unknown ethnicity standing about 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighing about 130 pounds. All were wearing dark clothing. Detectives have few leads on the investigation and urge anyone with information to call Detective O’Shea at 818-374-0087 or Detective Flores 818-374-0079.During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (1-877-527-3247). Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477). Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (CRIMES on most keypads) with a cell phone. All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.” Tipsters may also go to www …

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Robbery Committed with Handgun and Facsimile Explosive Device NR12135kr

May 18, 2012
Robbery Committed with Handgun and Facsimile Explosive Device NR12135kr

Los Angeles: A suspect used a handgun and an object resembling an explosive device to hold up a wholesale store along a busy street in the western part of Los Angeles. On March 16, 2012, around 8:40 pm, a suspect walked into a warehouse store in the 10100 block of Venice Boulevard holding a handgun and what appeared to be an explosive device. The suspect used the weapons to intimidate two store employees, forcing one to open a safe. After retrieving an undisclosed amount of money the suspect ran from the store. During the investigation Detectives discovered the stores surveillance camera had captured the suspects’ image when he entered the store on March 12 and March 15, 2012. He is described as a 50-year to 60-year-old male Black, 5 feet 10 inches to 6 feet tall, 180 to 200 pounds. Detectives are asking for the public’s help to identify him. Anyone with information about this incident, or the suspect, is asked to contact Major Crimes Division, Criminal Conspiracy Section, Detective E. Sun at 213-486-7260.During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247). Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477). Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (CRIMES on most keypads) with a cell phone. All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.” Tipsters may also go to LAPDOnline.org, click on “webtips” and follow the prompts.

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Entire Staff At L.A. School To Be Removed During Scandal Probe

February 7, 2012

LOS ANGELES — The entire staff at an elementary school where two teachers were arrested on suspicion of lewd conduct will be removed while the school district investigates, the Los Angeles school superintendent said Monday night. Superintendent John Deasy told parents and media that 88 teachers and 40 support staff at Miramonte Elementary School are being replaced because a full investigation of allegations is disruptive and staffers will require support to get through the scandal. An entire staff has been trained to come into Miramonte’s classrooms to take over teaching for the time being, and there will be a psychiatric social worker in every classroom to help students and staff cope with any issues. “The last thing I’m worried about is a budget issue,” Deasy said. “The No. 1 thing I’m worried about is the students.” All employees will be paid during the investigation, district spokesman Tom Waldman said. Officials didn’t know how long the investigation will take. School officials canceled classes at the school on Tuesday and Wednesday as a cooling-off period, Waldman said. All current staff members will report to another location, where they will be interviewed, he said. Deasy emphasized that all staff members being brought into the classroom went through a “very rigorous screening process.” Deasy told reporters after the meeting that he was trying “to govern emotion, because that’s important.” United Teachers Los Angeles said in a statement that union leaders and staff have met with instructors at Miramonte. “We support a thorough, vigorous and fair investigation of all allegations,” the statement said. “It’s everyone’s responsibility to ensure that any and all allegations are thoughtfully and carefully investigated.” Maria Jimenez, 51, said the parents of children enrolled at Miramonte are divided over the move. “Some are in favor. Others are against it because they did this without advising us or consulting us,” she said. The move follows the arrest of two Miramonte teachers: Mark Berndt was charged last week with committing lewd acts on 23 children; Martin Springer was arrested Friday on suspicion of fondling two girls in his classroom. More than a quarter of the students at Miramonte were absent from school Monday while parents demanded more protection at the school, with attendance reaching just 72 percent, according to figures from the Los Angeles Unified School District. About three dozen parents and supporters protested in front of the main doors of the school earlier Monday, some carrying a banner that read, “We the parents demand our children be protected from lewd teacher acts.” The protest was an unusual event in the poor, overwhelmingly Latino neighborhood, where many parents and students struggle with the English language. Many people finally gathered around former state senator-turned-lawyer Martha Escutia, who lectured them in Spanish about how to organize for the media and suggested a catchy name for their fledgling movement: Mothers of Miramonte. As night fell, about 100 angry parents marched from the elementary school to the nearby meeting with administrators. School police watched and sheriff’s deputies were on hand, but there was no violence. Berndt, who worked at the school for 32 years, was charged with committing lewd acts on 23 children, ages 6 to 10, between 2005 and 2010. The acts cited by authorities include blindfolding children and feeding them his own semen in his classroom in what children were allegedly told was a tasting game. Berndt, 61, remains jailed on $23 million bail and could face life in prison if convicted. Springer, 49, was arrested on suspicion of fondling two girls in his classroom. He was being held on $2 million bail. Springer taught at Miramonte for his entire career, which started in 1986, the district said. He taught second grade. The school board is scheduled to discuss firing him in a closed-door meeting Tuesday. Investigators said they know of no connection between the Miramonte cases. Berndt and Springer know each other and took their classes on at least two joint field trips in the past decade, according to the Los Angeles Times. The district set up a toll-free hotline on Monday to receive reports of suspected abuse at Miramonte, said school board President Monica Garcia in a statement. Garcia added that the district would step up efforts to ensure students and staff realized the importance of reporting misconduct. In the same school district, a janitor at a San Fernando Valley elementary school was arrested on suspicion of committing a lewd act with a child on a campus. Paul Adame, 37, was taken into custody after a mother told police on Sunday that he had inappropriate contact with her child during school hours Friday at Germain Elementary School in the Chatsworth area north of Los Angeles, police Capt. Kris Pitcher said at a news conference. The captain declined to provide details but urged anyone who might know of other possible victims to contact police. Adame was booked and released on $100,000 bail Monday. It could not be immediately determined if he had an attorney. There was no immediate connection between the arrest of the janitor and the cases at Miramonte, which is 15 miles away in an unincorporated county area of South Los Angeles. ____ Associated Press writer Raquel Maria Dillon contributed to this report. Read the original here: Entire Staff At L.A. School To Be Removed During Scandal Probe

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L.A. Arson Suspect Under Investigation in Canada

January 7, 2012

Police in Vancouver, British Columbia, are investigating if alleged Los Angeles arsonist Harry Burkhart is also responsible for a string of arson fires in the Canadian province.  A spokesperson for the Vancouver Police Department told the Los Angeles Times that discussions about Burkhart, 24, a German national living in Hollywood, were underway with L.A. police. The Times report came after several Canadian news outlets linked Burkhart to at least 12 unsolved arson fires in Vancouver. He and his mother reportedly lived there before moving to L.A. But Vancouver police have said nothing more than that they were talking with the Los Angeles Police Department. Burkhart is jailed in L.A. and charged with 28 counts of arson of property and nine counts of arson of an inhabited structure. His bail was set at $2.85 million.  Burkhart was arrested early Monday in connection with the fires that were set beginning last week at some 53 locations around Los Angeles County, including Hollywood, West Hollywood and North Hollywood.  His mother, Dorothee Burkhart , was due in federal court Friday afternoon. Federal prosecutors are seeking to deport her on warrants from Germany, where she is accused of fraud.  Her son’s anger over the expected deportation was what triggered Burkhart’s four-day arson spree over the New Year’s holiday, prosecutors have said. This article was compiled with information from City News Service. Be sure to follow  Beverly Hills  Patch on  Twitter  and “Like” us on  Facebook . See the original post: L.A. Arson Suspect Under Investigation in Canada

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FBI Makes Arrest in Celebrity Hacking Case, Scarlett Johansson Exhales

October 12, 2011
FBI Makes Arrest in Celebrity Hacking Case, Scarlett Johansson Exhales

The FBI has made an arrest in Operation Hackerazzi, the investigation of celebrity phone hacking in Hollywood. Officials have scheduled a news conference later Wednesday morning to release additional information. The break in the case comes several weeks after reports that the cellphone accounts of stars, including the outraged Scarlett Johansson , were hacked more › Read the original here: FBI Makes Arrest in Celebrity Hacking Case, Scarlett Johansson Exhales

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Federal Probe: LA Schools Failed To Provide Equal Education For Minority Students

October 12, 2011

LOS ANGELES — A 19-month civil rights investigation of the Los Angeles Unified School District found that the district failed to provide an equal education to English-learners and black students, resulting in wide academic disparities, the U.S. Department of Education announced Tuesday. The district, the nation’s second-largest, agreed to remedy the disparities through a variety of measures, including a complete overhaul of its English-learning program and improving resources such as computers and library books to schools with predominantly black student bodies. U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, who unveiled the agreement at a news conference at LAUSD headquarters, said it would help ensure that every student in the nation’s second largest school district would receive the same academic opportunities “regardless of race or national origin.” Noting that these issues are “incredibly complex and politically charged,” Duncan said he was encouraged by the district’s sense of urgency and willingness to voluntarily remedy the disparities without an order. “Though we still have a long way to go before we see that English learner students and African-American students are consistently getting what they need to perform up to their fullest potential, I’m confident today’s agreement will help address the causes of concern that prompted our review,” he said. Duncan stopped short of saying that students’ civil rights were violated and did not reveal detailed results of the investigation, just the terms of the agreement. But the Education Department said in a statement that it will monitor the district’s compliance with the agreement until educational codes are met. The agreement was the result of a “compliance review” by the Education Department’s Office of Civil Rights, which was concerned about wide achievement gaps between the district’s lowest performing student groups and other students. Only 5 percent of high school English language learners ranked as proficient in either English or math; for black students, 32 percent ranked as proficient in English and 9 percent in math, according to the district’s 2009-10 report card. The overall district average was 37 percent proficient in English and 17 percent in math. LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy said the district did not dispute that disparities exist and worked to hammer out a solution with federal officials. The district will be studying how to fund the measures as plans for specific areas are developed. The district’s English-language learning program has long been criticized for allowing non-native speakers to remain in English-learning programs for years, sometimes throughout their school careers, never meeting the criteria to move into mainstream classes. Students often fall behind grade level and end up dropping out. For the 2009-2010 school year, only 14.4 percent of English learners were reclassified as fluent. Under the agreement, the district agreed to completely revamp its nearly 200,000-student English-learning program by next school year, with special emphasis on high school students who have not been deemed proficient in English in order to take courses needed for graduation. The district has the highest number of English-learning students in the nation. English-learners will receive grade-level courses, teachers will be trained to handle multiple English-proficiency levels and special-education teachers will receive English-instructional materials. The program will also include a component aimed at black students aimed at boosting their “academic language proficiency” starting in elementary grades. The investigation also found black students are underrepresented in gifted and talented programs but overrepresented in suspensions and disciplinary actions. Schools with predominantly black populations also lack technology and library resources. The district agreed to remedy those disparities with fairer evaluation of gifted and talented programs and disciplinary actions, and allocating more computers and increasing library book collections. A school-based community pilot program will be launched in an African-American neighborhood to provide health and social services, he said. No details were revealed. Warren Fletcher, president of teachers union United Teachers Los Angeles, praised the Education Department for shining a light on longstanding disparities, but noted that the district has laid off more than 1,200 teachers and closed libraries in many schools. “It’s very general,” he said of the agreement. “We have to see how those services are going to be provided.” Parent Irma Munoz, who has had three children go through the district’s English learner program, said the program needed to be overhauled. Her children were put in classes with English speaking teachers who they could not understand, she said. “It’s a bad program,” she said. See the original post here: Federal Probe: LA Schools Failed To Provide Equal Education For Minority Students

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2 Gigantic Trees Fall In A Forest: Did Anybody Hear It? (PHOTOS)

October 4, 2011

SEQUOIA NATIONAL FOREST, Calif. — The popular Trail of 100 Giants is temporarily closed in Sequoia National Forest after two of the towering trees fell side by side over the trail. The Forest Service said the downed trees were reported Friday and no one was injured. Officials are still working to determine the ages of the trees and why they fell. Some of the giant trees in that area are 245 feet tall and have diameters of 18 feet. Photographs showed the unearthed root wads of the fallen trees were about three times as tall as a firefighter standing at the base. Forest Service officials said tourists can still see giant Sequoias at Freeman Creek Grove along Lloyd Meadow Road and other areas of the park. Here is the original post: 2 Gigantic Trees Fall In A Forest: Did Anybody Hear It? (PHOTOS)

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Rapper Tone Loc Sentenced To One Day For Domestic Violence

October 4, 2011

BURBANK, Calif. — Los Angeles County prosecutors say rapper Tone Loc has pleaded no contest to assault weapon possession and domestic violence charges stemming from an arrest earlier this year. The rapper, whose real name is Anthony Smith, entered the plea Monday in a Burbank, Calif. courthouse. Smith pleaded no contest to one count each of possession of an assault weapon and corporal injury to a spouse. Superior Court Judge Patrick Hegarty sentenced Smith to one day in county jail, three years of probation, 30 days community service and 52 weeks of anger management counseling. Known for the hits “Wild Thing” and “Funky Cold Medina,” Smith was arrested on June 18. During the investigation, authorities found that Smith was in possession of an unregistered firearm, which was not used in the domestic assault. Read the original here: Rapper Tone Loc Sentenced To One Day For Domestic Violence

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Raw Police Video