Search for suspected car thief triggers major police presence in Echo Park *

A flood of LAPD squad cars and a police helicopter descended on the Elysian Heights section of Echo Park tonight after officers called for back up as they encountered a large street party while in pursuit of a suspect who ran from a stolen car. The search in the blocks west of Echo Park Avenue near Fargo Street was called off at about 10 p.m. after the suspect was not found.  However, police took a passenger in the stolen vehicle – a Mercedes SUV – into custody and recovered a .38 caliber handgun from underneath the driver’s seat, said Sgt. Christopher Gomez. No shots were fired.

The car theft and party on the Fargo Street cul de sac west of Echo Park Avenue were not related, Gomez said. But with a suspect on the loose and the sight of about 100 people in the street, the pair of officers who were first at the scene called in for help, triggering the large police response, said Gomez. One resident who lives nearby said that at least three dozen squad cars were on the scene.

The incident began after officers recognized the Mercedes that had been reported stolen through a Lojack system. The driver fled the vehicle, running into the nearby hills.

Police officers with flash lights combed the streets during the search, said one resident. “There are cops all over the place – up and down the street,” she said. “I got my doors locked.”

*  Update: More police activity to report. A helicopter hovering over Elysian Heights after midnight was part of a “confidential police matter,” according to an officer with the LAPD’s Air Unit. Meanwhile, in another Echo Park crime tonight,  a suspect that been involved in a knife attack near Sunset Boulevard and Sutherland Street was in custody, an officer with the Northeast Division said.

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  1. About 14 cars and counting.

  2. 36 cars. the cops were telling people to turn around because they were looking for someone with a gun. i don’t think those white SUVs are FBI though (wouldn’t make sense). I think they are some sort of tactical thing as there is a huge party going on up there and a few hundred people.

  3. 9:48 pm. They must have resolved it, because the helicopter just stopped circling the neighborhood.

  4. Yes, at least north of Baxter, the copters are gone; however my husband and his bandmate are still stuck at Walgreens; grr

  5. It sounds as if the helicopters are still circling, just not in the same spot.

  6. wow, there was a major chase by my office on glendale in silver lake just a few hours earlier. the chasee ran his car through a front hedge through a yard and hit a house trying to flee. i’m not sure what the cops/fire dept. were after but there were a LOT of them, at least 10 cars.

  7. there was a car chase that ended on Brier with a car crashing into someones porch, there where about 12 cop cars, fire engines and a copter…they arrested some guy in a black volvo

  8. Stuck at Walgreens ?
    Give me a break !
    There are so many shortcuts to get through the neighborhood .

    I guess if you just moved here you would get ” stuck at Walgreens “

  9. kiki’s lived here since before Walgreen’s. Represent!

  10. “Which way did he go George”

  11. White SUVs ate general service police dept.. FYI..

  12. It’s 12:34 a.m. Sat morning – Helicopters have started up again. Earlier cops were all over the place with helicopter hovering over our street with its beam. After the earlier events settled down, we enjoyed watching the Dodger Fireworks show from our porch. Trying to go to sleep – now more copters are circling the hood.

  13. They are back!!!!!!!’

  14. kiki never even got stuck at pioneer market…representz

  15. crazy summer night

    i heart echo park

  16. We counted 44 cop cars and 1 helicopter and with all that manpower they got nothing.

  17. Hopefully that handgun has some fingerprints on it.

    I’m so glad I drive a car that no one wants to steal (knock on wood).

  18. B.E. the peace of mide of driving a junker- I know it well!

  19. Man all the fuzz for a stolen car shit I thought some one got killed or something more major then that… And the helicopter always passes everyday nothing new!

  20. Lapd at it’s best! The whole night was buzzing with helicopters and cop cars and all they got was a gun??? Something stinks here and it ain’t my socks. Oh wait, it’s my tax money going up in flames!!!! Hope they enjoyed there Pow Wow on my dime!! Jesus………

  21. it’s my tax money too and I am happy to see it spent in an attempt to reduce crime. would you rather they just say “f@#k it” and let the criminals do whatever they want? frustrating when the bad guys win, but the battles not over yet.

  22. One word “overkill” with that much man power I would of expected more results! I hope there was no overtime involved!

  23. So does anyone know what kind of “street party” was going on Fargo and EP ave? Was it related at all to the police activity, “the gun”, and the “stolen car” on Fargo?…or were these all seperate intcidents that the cops were crawling over at the same time? lol.

  24. for what it’s worth I spoke to the officer on scene guarding the yellow tape at Echo Park / Ewing. He said he couldn’t let anyone in the area because there was a man with a gun and if anyone got shot LAPD would be liable.

    I found it bizarre. Anyone could have gone around the long way via Allesandro–>Whitman of course. I took some photos:


  25. the party was actually a post funeral gathering. it wasn’t related, although who knows? maybe the guy they were looking for just disappeared into the crowd at the party and slipped away. with that big of a crowd, it would be pretty easy. too bad they didn’t unleash Agent Scully. He would have wrapped the case up in about 3 minutes with no backup and no overtime.

    what I find interesting is the “confidential police matter” in regards to the helicopter later on that night (in the same area). how confidential is a roaring helicopter while you’re trying to sleep?

  26. No overtime involved, if you follow the news officers have not been paid overtime in 2 years and just agreed on a new contract to still not get paid overtime for 3 more years.

  27. I’m glad I was camping in the mountains that night.

  28. @well- your link doesn’t work

  29. any one know about the knife attack??

  30. @Kendra: a Hispanic man with no apparent gang ties robbed a woman of her purse walking at Sunset & Sutherland (in front of El Compadre). Two different men attempted to assist the victim; the first was stabbed in the torso and transported to County hospital, the other received only a superficial laceration to his arm.

    Northeast SPU Sergeant Rakitis was patrolling the area and observed the commotion. He saw the victim holding his stomach, then saw the suspect running northbound. The suspect was taken into custody and arrested for attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, and the robbery.

  31. this SUV was stolen across the street from me! The owner went in the house to get his kids and came out to his car missing. These idiots went to a party three blocks away IN THE CAR! The same DAY! Take them all to jail. They are tagging all over and getting into fights on the sidewalk. I watched a boy no older than 11 get jumped into a gang right outside my window the other night. They think they own Echo Park and the parents just pass it on to their poor children. I wish there was something I could do to help but I am so scared of these gangs.

  32. Thank.you northeast cu =D
    Very helpful

  33. Sounds like EP is reverting back to it’s old ways. Not to condone violence or what sounds like new gang recruitment, but those who are newer to the hood might consider getting to know your Latino counterparts, via relationships. Why? To help establish mutual respect and trust;. Respect and trust can lead to a safer environment, and
    help prevent crime among those who live near eachother. If you build a good trusting relationship with your neighbors…including the
    cholos, you are providing incentive for watching out for each other’s good.

  34. EP is not reverting back to it’s old ways. It used to be kind of rough here, now it’s the same 25 fools pulling the same old crap. I’m cool with all those guys, but they will all end up in prison eventually and won’t be able to afford the neighborhood when they get out. problem solved.

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