The LAPD Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT) was deployed to an abandoned property on the 300 block of N. Plymouth Blvd. Nov. 15 for a six-hour standoff between police and a squatter.
A week later, Nov. 23, the team was deployed again to the same address.
In the first incident, officers were called to the scene by a construction worker who had been attacked with a metal pipe after he entered the property, according to Olympic Division senior lead officer Joe Pelayo.
The suspect was barricaded inside the property when the police arrived, reported Pelayo, who explained that SWAT used a canine unit to take him into custody where he was charged with assault with a deadly weapon.
Eight days later, according to reports, SWAT was back on the property, where tear gas was used to force out a suspect in a standoff that lasted more than five hours.
Speaking to residents at the Nov. 15 Larchmont Village Neighborhood Association (LVNA) semi-annual meeting, Pelayo said abandoned properties represent a major threat to the community.
“Nearly all property crime in [Larchmont] and Windsor Square is associated with someone squatting — either homeless or using drugs — in an abandoned property,” he warned.
Empty houses attract transients who use them as a home base, or “beehive,” to spread criminal activity. And factors such as owners who hold properties as investments as well as elderly owners in nursing homes, said Pelayo, have both contributed to an upsurge in the number of abandoned homes in the LVNA area.
“My message to you tonight: if you see any abandoned properties in the area, let me know,” he stressed.
Pelayo explained that, with intelligence from concerned neighbors, he can use the city attorney and even the local media to encourage dead-beat property owners to secure their properties, thereby discouraging illegal activity.
To contact officer Pelayo, email email@example.com or call 213-793-0709.