Police searching for robbery suspects in Echo Park [updated]

ECHO PARK — Police have sealed off an area near Lake Shore Avenue and Avalon Street tonight as they search for robbery suspects, said Officer Anthony Farias with the LAPD Northeast Division.

The search, which began at about midnight, was preceded by a police pursuit of the suspects who were driving a U-Haul truck, he said.  A police helicopter has been hovering overhead as part of the search. No further details were available from police.

One person posted a photo on Twitter of a U-Haul truck parked on Lobdell Place in the area closed off by police. Twitter users who monitor police scanners said the suspects might be armed.

Update @ 8:29 a.m.: The LAPD Northeast Division says that two suspects, described as male Latinos in their 20s, were apprehended and a firearm recovered at the scene.  One of the suspects suffered minor bites from a police dog and was transported to a hospital.  MyNewsLA reports that the suspects had robbed victims of their cellphones earlier in the evening in the 700 block of Lookout Drive near Dodger Stadium.

Update: One Lobdell resident said that police had a man in handcuffs. The LAPD helicopter had left by about 3:30 a.m. The Eastsider is seeking more details from police.

Screenshot 2015-12-10 at 3.10.51 PM

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  1. How many hundreds of people is the LAPD keeping awake with their helicopter to look for a couple of robbery suspects at 2AM? For how many more hours?

    • They’re doing their job man, I hope they catch them.

      • The police can do their jobs, but it’s not like the use of helicopters for hours throughout the night is a requirement ordained by God. Many other cities in the US get along fine without the nuisance caused by the kind of ubiquitous police helicopter presence that LA has. Do the helicopters really even help much in fighting crime? The LAPD can’t point to much evidence that it does apart from a nearly-50-year-old study by JPL that looked at two neighborhoods:


        The co-author of a more recent study that looked at Miami and Baltimore says the helicopters aren’t effective in deterring crime.

        But even if it did help, is it worth the trade-off in quality of life? It’s great that they caught the guys last night, but was it really necessary to keep hundreds of people awake for several hours over a couple of cell phones? You could have a helicopter positioned above every block in LA 24/7, and it might deter crime and help in pursuits, but would it really be worth it? Can we get the city to commission a modern cost-benefit analysis of police helicopter use that includes quality of life issues?

        • Couple of cell phones, a weapon, and who knows what else? With so many stabbings lately they might also have had knives ready to use.

        • Maybe they could decommission some helicopters and use the money for routine patrol of our streets by beat police–preventative action?

          • LAPD has 17 helicopters. I think it’s great. Patrol cars are limited by our god awful LA traffic. Helicopters are not. And yes they are very effective. I’m a deep sleeper so it doesn’t effect me much though.

        • The city owns and maintains 17 helicopters. Imagine the annual budget for the operation and maintenance of those. Really the best way to spend, what, 5 mil?

    • That sucked.

  2. Thanks LAPD and police dog; also, Eastsider. One firearm was found, another could have been thrown away. If the two guys hadn’t been caught, who knows if someone innocent might have been shot? I agree, however, that the noise of helicopters hovering overhead can really jar the nerves…I also live in Echo Park. When one or more have been overhead for more than about fifteen minutes we know something is up. If there was a way to find out what police are involved in people might have more patience. That helicopter website, though, is useless.

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