Gangs have begun systematically targeting wealthy neighborhoods in Southern California.
According to the Los Angeles Police Department, over a dozen organized gangs operate in broad daylight, including tracking and robbing the area’s wealthiest residents. (RELATED: Crime Spikes in Vulnerable Democrats’ Congressional Districts)
In idyllic Santa Monica, the situation is so bad that concerned postal workers have suspended mail delivery in a neighborhood where the median home value approaches $1 million.
CBS Los Angeles reports:
The United States Postal Service has suspended its services for one block of residents in a Santa Monica neighborhood, after several reported assaults took place on carriers delivering mail in the area.
Residents in the area were delivered notices from USPS, disclosing that “delivery service is hereby suspended to all addresses located on the 13-hundred block of 14th street.”
The crime wave continues outside of the region’s wealthier neighborhoods. Daring criminal enterprises have sent crews to rob Los Angelenos driving luxury cars or wearing expensive jewelry as they leave luxury retail stores and trendy nightclubs. (RELATED: NYT Writer Can’t Explain US Crime Wave – So Blames America Instead of BLM)
In many cases, criminals make off with thousands of dollars in stolen goods that they turn around and sell to black market buyers willing to turn a blind eye.
Officials have exacerbated the disturbing phenomenon by releasing some thieves shortly after their arrest, only to see them commit further offenses.
The situation is serious enough that the LAPD has convened a task force to address the high number of robberies.
The Los Angeles Times adds:
According to Capt. Jonathan Tippet, who spearheads the task force, police have identified at least 17 gangs, most based out of South L.A. and operating independently, that are involved. There were 165 such robberies in 2021 and 56 so far this year, he said, including several over the weekend.
The area with the most robberies during that time was the LAPD’s Hollywood Division, with 50, followed by 46 in the Wilshire Division and 40 in the Central Division, which includes downtown. The Pacific Division had 17, West L.A. 15, North Hollywood 14 and Topanga 11.
Tippet noted that gang members in as many as five cars will ambush unsuspecting residents.
“There’s no chance or opportunity for these victims even to comply. They’re just running up to people and attacking them, whether that’s putting a gun in their face or punching them and beating on them,” he lamented.
So far, two victims have been killed. Authorities report that homicides in Los Angeles have fallen over 17% in the first quarter of 2022 compared to last year. However, violent crime increased by 3.7% during the same period. (RELATED: Democrats Nominate a Soft on Crime Person for the Supreme Court)