LAPD detectives believe there may a crew of scam artists targeting drivers in West LA, including Brentwood. It happens like this…
An unsuspecting driver leaves a parking lot after shopping at a commercial establishment, most recently, a shopper leaving the Ralph’s market at Bundy and Wilshire. After a minute or so, the suspect’s car will drive up behind them or pull alongside them and begin honking frantically and yelling for the victim to pull over. When the victim does, the suspect then approaches the victim usually while the bewildered victim is still sitting in their parked car. The suspect then insists that the victim just hit their car in and claims that the victim is now trying to leave the site of the traffic accident, essentially, accusing the victim of a Hit & Run.
The suspect typically will use flailing arms and loud accusations intimidating the victim and claiming that he’s going to call the police. This intimidation serves to get the victim to ultimately comply with his demand for money to ‘cover the deductible’. There may even be a bit of paint transfer as part of the scam to further convince the victim that they unwittingly hit the suspect’s car. Or, while the victim is dealing with the suspect’s accusations, a second suspect will come up alongside the passenger side of the victim’s car and remove their purse from the front seat. This is actually an old modus operandi in which they often, but not always, target elderly or lone drivers.
If you suspect that you are being followed or if you find yourself being directed to pull over by a total stranger, please take a deep breath and continue to drive to a well-lit location: ideally, a police station, or a gas station, populated strip mall, or any well-lit, busy, location where there will be many eyes. Do not drive to your home. If or when you do decide to stop make sure your doors are locked and have your phone in your hand ready to push 911. Do not worry about their accusation of ‘Hit & Run’. If you can articulate that you were seeking to find a safe place to pull over, it will likely be considered as reasonable and understandable to police. In fact, if you believe that you’re dealing with one of these scammers, calmly tell the suspect that you are calling police, and then do so. This may make them leave you alone. Let them go, but try to be a good witness while you wait for police to arrive: physical description, license plate, vehicle description, etc.
3. LAPD Report – Senior Lead Officer Maria Gray; Officer Basaker of West LA Traffic
4. CD 11 Report – Lisa Cahill, Field Deputy for Councilmember Mike Bonin
5. Treasurer’s Report
6. Board discussion regarding trial members
7. Coral Tree Fund donation
8. License plate readers
9. July Board meeting?
10. Barrington Park
11. Luxe Hotel Sign in Violation of CUP – July 17 Hearing
12. Mount Saint Mary’s DEIR – Comments due June 13, 4:00pm;
13. New Business
14. Member Comment – Each speaker will be limited to 2 minutes and all comments limited to 10 minutes unless decided
otherwise by the Chair
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