LOS ANGELES, California — Seventeen gangs are targeting the city’s wealthiest residents, often following them out of stores and restaurants before robbing them, according to a new task force of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD).
The Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday on the results of an investigation into the phenomenon of “follow-home” or “follow-off” robberies, which have been part of a major crime wave experienced by residents over the past few years.
The Times reported:
More than a dozen Los Angeles gangs are targeting some of the city’s wealthiest residents in a new and aggressive manner, sending out crews in multiple cars to find, follow and rob people driving high-end vehicles or wearing expensive jewelry, according to police.
“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,” [Capt. Jonathan] Tippet said. “Pistol whipping them as well.”
The trend, in a city known for opulence as well as extreme poverty, comes at a time when crime overall is under a microscope — with homicides, shootings and armed robberies all at elevated levels since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and candidates in the city’s ongoing mayoral race denouncing those increases as they vie for voters and wealthy donors.
There have also been several robberies and violent crimes during home invasions, including the murder of philanthropist Jacqueline Avant and young designer Brianna Kupfer. Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón blamed Avan’ts murder on the criminal justice “system”; Kupfer’s father blamed politicians who let criminals walk free.
In the current race for L.A. Mayor, businessman Rick Caruso, who has surged to the lead in polls, has backed an effort to recall Gascón.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.