Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department

A Tradition of Service
Vintage Search Rescue Pic
SEARCH AND RESCUE – TBT 900 900 SIB Staff

SEARCH AND RESCUE – TBT

#ThrowbackThursday #LASD The Search and Rescue teams function as the Sheriff’s Department’s official emergency response unit. The unit provides services to those citizens who become stranded, lost, or injured in the mountainous areas of Los Angeles County.

There are eight individual teams: Altadena Mountain Rescue Team, Sierra Madre Search and Rescue Team, Antelope Valley Search and Rescue, Malibu Search and Rescue Team, Santa Clarita Valley Search and Rescue Team, Montrose Search and Rescue, San Dimas Mountain Rescue Team and Avalon Search and Rescue Team.

Most of the team members are Los Angeles County Sheriff Reserve Deputies, while others are dedicated volunteers from the local communities to assist in search and rescue operations. All teams are under the direction of the local Sheriff’s Stations.

Because team members would go into steep and treacherous terrain, possibly at night or in the rain, it is imperative that all members are well trained. In addition to academy training, Search and Rescue Team members undergo extensive mountaineering training. Also, they must hold a current Emergency Medical Technician license and usually must live within a fifteen or twenty minute response time of the station where they serve. 

Each team member is selected for his or her physical capabilities, maturity, and willingness to respond at a moment’s notice in emergency search and rescue situations. The men and women of the team are highly trained in technical rope rescue, swift water, snow and ice operations search theory and tracking.

As a part of the state of California mutual aid system, the teams also provides support search and rescue efforts throughout California and the United States.

They are ready to respond to emergency 24-hours a day, 365 days a year, to “anywhere in the wilderness that someone needs help”!

**#1951 picture from LASD museum

** Malibu search team picture from their facebook.

Impostor Posed as #LASD to Extort Money; One in Custody 1024 683 SIB Staff

Impostor Posed as #LASD to Extort Money; One in Custody

Between March, 2019 and April, 2019, an imposter posing as a Los Angeles County deputy sheriff stole thousands of dollars from numerous victims.  The imposter called residents, told them he was a deputy sheriff with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) and demanded payment of a fine for failing to respond to a jury duty summons. 

In fear of being arrested, victims paid the fine in the form of gift cards.  The truth was, the imposter lied about the jury summonses, and used a fraudulent sense of emergency and pressure to coerce hard-earned money from unsuspecting people, many of them elderly. 

Several reports with similar characteristics were received and investigation of the crime spree was assigned to detectives from the Fraud and Cyber Crimes Bureau-Emerging Cyber Trends team.  As the investigation proceeded, it became clear the imposter used a sophisticated set of techniques to hide his location and identity, including telephone number spoofs and the use of names of real LASD personnel. 

Detectives identified the suspect as Nicolas Brady Kennedy, 29, of Loganville, Georgia.  They travelled to Georgia, where they worked with investigators from the Loganville Police Department and the U.S. Marshalls Service, to obtain and serve a search warrant at the suspect’s residence.  During service of the warrant, the suspect and additional evidence were located, as well as a second suspect, Ashley Marie Walker, 28, of Loganville, Georgia. 

Kennedy was charged with six counts of Extortion, California Penal Code Section 518, and three counts of Attempted Extortion, California Penal Code Sections 664 and 518, by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.  Kennedy is being held in the Gwinnett County Jail in Georgia on a probation hold, pending extradition to California.

Walker was charged with three counts of Extortion, California Penal Code Section 518, and three counts of Attempted Extortion, Penal Code Sections 664 and 518, by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.  Walker is currently out of custody.  A warrant was issued for her arrest.

During a press conference held Monday, September 16, 2019, Sheriff Alex Villanueva announced the investigation. 

Chief Pat Nelson outlined the investigation and presented methods of preventing falling prey to similar scams.  “The main focus…is to make sure we try to avoid additional victims,” he said.  “It’s much better if we’re able to warn the public of the danger, to begin with.”

If you receive a demand for payment by telephone, email or other means of communication, to be made in any form for any reason, from someone portraying themself as a deputy sheriff or other Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department employee, do not comply.  Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department personnel will never ask for payment over the phone or by email.

If you believe you were a victim of this type of crime, contact your local law enforcement agency and report the incident.  

Here are some tips to identify a potential threat-based impersonation scam and how to prevent yourself from falling prey to this scam or similar scams:

TACTICS:

  • Scammers pretend to be from a government agency.
  • They threaten victims with arrest for outstanding warrants or other legal issue.
  • They pressure victims to purchase various types of gift cards or instruct them how to purchase bitcoin.
  • Once a victim makes the purchase, the scammer instructs them to read the gift card numbers or bitcoin key over the phone.
  • Once the scammer is satisfied they received the necessary information, the line is disconnected.
  • Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department personnel will never ask for any type of payment over the telephone.  Financial transactions with our agency are handled at patrol stations, court houses and custody facilities.

PREVENTION METHODS:

  • If you are unsure if a call or email is real, verify the identity of the contact through an independent source, such as a phone book or online search.  Do not use the contact details provided by the caller or in the message they sent.
  • Do not feel pressured by a threatening caller.  Hang up and verify their story.
  • Never send money, or give bank account, credit card or personal information to anyone you do not know or trust.
  • A government agency or trusted business will never ask for payment by unconventional methods, such as gift or store cards, iTunes, cards, wire transfers, or bitcoin.
#throwBackThursday 900 900 SIB Staff

#throwBackThursday

#ThrowbackThursday LASD has a competitive athletic tradition. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Semi Annual “World Serious” & Sgt. Brian Wilson Memorial Softball Tournament is held twice a year to honor Sgt. Brian Wilson.

This year, on September 6-8, 2019, the tournament took place at Cerritos Regional County Park in the city of Cerritos. There were 25 teams that participated in this event.

Congratulations to the Norwalk Station Softball Team for taking the championship!  After 8 games, they had beaten several teams throughout the County over the weekend-long tournament.  It was a great time to watch the good talent on the field, cheer them on, decompress and meet and enjoy each other’s families.  Deputy Travis Jaime was awarded the MVP for his outstanding defense and solid hitting! It’s the 3rd consecutive time that this team won the championship of this game. Well done Norwalk!

It is an honor to continue a tradition that Wilson had such a passion for. The tournament brings unit/station pride, as well as LASD camaraderie. We would like to thank all those who participated in this event, as well as the family and friends who came out to support the players.

*Carson ball team picture from lasdretired.org

*Norwalk picture from Norwalk Station

Graphic For Crime Time Tuesday 091019
#Crime Time Tuesday 960 960 SIB Staff

#Crime Time Tuesday

#CrimeTimeTuesday Investigation by #LASD & Help of Several Law Enforcement Agencies, ends in Prison for Kidnapping Suspect that Lead Police on Motorhome Pursuit

An incident that started last year, ended with a man being sentenced to more than 88 years and four months in state prison for kidnapping his two young children and fleeing from law enforcement in a motorhome.

On Tuesday, May 1, 2018, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) Major Crimes Bureau (MCB) detectives attempted to detain a parolee at large, Suspect Stephen Merle Houk, who was believed to be armed and wanted for evading, child abduction, child endangerment, and weapons violations.

The suspect fled the area in a motorhome and MCB initiated a pursuit. Command of the pursuit was assumed by the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) and then by the California Highway Patrol (CHP). The pursuit came to an end in an Orchard in Bakersfield.

After a two day man hunt with the joint efforts of the US Marshals Service, Kern County Sheriff’s Department, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, Barstow Police Department, and the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad (BNSF Railway) Police the suspect was located in a rail yard on the 200 block of North Avenue H, Barstow.

MCB detectives were able to take the suspect into custody without further incident.

Due to the collaborative efforts between many law enforcement agencies spanning several counties the suspect was successfully prosecuted, by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Child Abduction Section, for failing to register as a sex offender, kidnapping, child abuse, injuring a spouse, child detention, assault with a firearm, criminal threats, fleeing a pursuing peace officer’s motor vehicle, and possession of a firearm by a felon.

Throwback Thursday Image
#Throwbackthursday: lasd band 900 900 SIB Staff

#Throwbackthursday: lasd band

#Throwbackthursday #LASD As early as 1939, Sheriff Biscailuz established the Sheriff’s Boys Band. Today, the band is made up of professional musicians as well as avid amateurs who travel the country to serve our communities through music!  Listen here!

Later in the 1960s, during Sheriff Peter J. Pitchess’ tenure, another band was formed with sworn officers as the musicians. Under the direction of the late Dr. Don Holcomb, and continuing under the baton of Dan Glass, the band has become a premiere concert band, and the pride of Los Angeles County.

As a group, the band has played for presidents, kings and queens. As the role of musical ambassador, they played in venues as far away as Sweden, Italy, Mexico and Washington, D.C., Ohio and Sacramento. The band has played for events such as the dedication ceremony of the California State Police Memorial and the dedication ceremony of the National Police Memorial in Washington, D.C.

LASD Band is made up of professional musicians as well as avid amateurs. The composition is diverse, hailing from all walks and stages of life. The 75 members are formed by active/retired law enforcement officers, accountants, judges and teachers. There is only one common goal —- a desire to serve our communities through music. The band will continue to flourish as it represents the County of Los Angeles and the Sheriff’s Department whenever it is needed, helping to build and improve relations between law enforcement and the public at large.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN

For more, visit: http://lasdband.org/

Great day this weekend at the LACounty Fair 1024 683 SIB Staff

Great day this weekend at the LACounty Fair

#ICYMI Great day this weekend at #LACountyFair!

Good food & Great people!

The parade during the fair featured LASD personnel, including Sheriff Alex Villanueva, and was a very special occasion. #LASD thanks every community member who came out! It wouldn’t have been the same without you. The fair runs until September 22, 2019. for more: https://lacountyfair.com/

#ThrowbackThursday LASD Crime Lab 900 900 SIB Staff

#ThrowbackThursday LASD Crime Lab

#ThrowbackThursday Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Crime Lab

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (#LASD) Scientific Service Bureau operates one of the largest full service crime laboratories in the United States. There are nearly 300 staff members working to provide forensic science support for all law enforcement agencies within Los Angeles County expect for LAPD.

Forensic science is any science that can be used in the legal system and crime scene investigation is a combination of science, logic and law.

At the crime scene, all potential evidence is collected. This evidence, including ballistics and firearms, latent prints, trace evidence, biological evidence, footwear and tire track evidence, digital evidence and drug evidence is examined and analyzed at the crime lab.

The firearms unit technicians utilize various resources and methods of firearms and ammunition identification and testing. These technicians are responsible for the analysis of any type of firearm and ammunition evidence by function-testing firearms, comparing bullets and cartridge cases to suspected firearms.

The device used to compare bullets is called a Comparison Microscope. It is essentially two microscopes linked together that allows the examiner to observe two objects side by side in the magnification. This device enables the examiner to compare the bullets striations caused by imperfections in the barrel of a firearm when firing a bullet.

Thanks to the rapid growth of crime TV shows like CSI, the profession of Crime Scene Investigator has been brought into the spotlight. The careers involving crime scene investigation include evidence technicians, crime scene analysts or forensic investigators. The job probably does not look like what you have seen on the TV shows, but it is an incredibly rewarding and gratifying career in the law enforcement world.

** Photo of Sergeant Howard Gavin at Crime Lab in the 1960s from Lasdretired.org.

** Comparison Microscopes photo from LASD crime lab, 2019. 

Sheriff Villanueva Town hall meeting
Lomita Town Hall Meeting 500 500 SIB Staff

Lomita Town Hall Meeting

Residents of the city of #Lomita , come meet Sheriff Alex Villanueva for an evening of information and dialogue regarding your community concerns. Have your voice heard at the Town Hall Meeting on Tuesday, June 25th at 6:30 p.m.

Missing Monday Mary Spears
#MissingMonday: Spears 400 400 SIB Staff

#MissingMonday: Spears

#MissingMonday

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Missing Persons Unit Investigators are asking for the public’s help locating Mary Elsie Spears

She was last seen leaving her home on the 44600 block of Fig Avenue in Lancaster, Friday, May 25, 2019, at approximately 11:00 a.m.

Ms. Spears is a female Hispanic 70 years-old, 5’1” tall, 180lbs, short gray hair, brown eyes, glasses and was wearing a beige dress with black small dots, and carrying a dark blue suitcase.

Mary suffers from dementia. Her loved ones are very worried and asking for your help locating her.

Anyone with information about this missing person is encouraged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Missing Person Unit at (323) 890-5500.

If you prefer to provide information anonymously, you can call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS(8477), or by using your smart phone and downloading the “P3” Tips Mobile App on Google Play or the Apple App Store, or by using the website http://lacrimestoppers.org

Deputies holding blue lights in front of capital at night
SO CAL PEACE OFFICERS’ MEMORIAL. 400 286 SIB Staff

SO CAL PEACE OFFICERS’ MEMORIAL.

#LASD IS PROUD TO ATTEND THE SO CAL CALIFORNIA PEACE OFFICERS’ MEMORIAL.

#LASD is proud to attend the So Cal California Peace Officers’ Memorial 2019 in Sacramento this week, along with many of our SoCal law enforcement partners to honor those who have fallen. Last Night, in Sacramento for the California Peace Officers Memorial, we stood in unison, collectively, to show dedication to the memory of those who have fallen.

The candles in our hands act as symbols; their light reminding us the spirit of our fellow fallen brothers and sisters will always shine bright, even in darkness. The California Peace Officers’ Memorial Ceremonies are held the first week of May on the State Capitol grounds, at the California Peace Officers’ Memorial Monument in Sacramento. They serve to formally enroll peace officers who have died in the line of duty the preceding year, pay tribute to the over 1500 officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice since California became a state in 1850, and to honor the families left behind.

This year’s honorees are: Deputy Steven E. Belanger Los Angeles Co. Sheriff’s Department EOW: Feb 06, 2018 Officer Greggory Casillas Pomona Police Department EOW: Mar 09, 2018 Deputy Sheriff Ryan Zirkle Marin County Sheriff’s Office EOW: Mar 15, 2018 Officer Kirk Griess CHP – Solano Area Office EOW: Aug 10, 2018 Deputy Mark Stasyuk Sacramento Co. Sheriff’s Department EOW: Sep 17, 2018 Sergeant Ron Helus Ventura Co. Sheriff’s Office EOW: Nov 08, 2018 Deputy Tony Hinostroza III Stanislaus Co. Sheriff’s Department EOW: Nov 25, 2018 Corporal Ronil Singh Newman Police Department EOW: Dec 26, 2018

Today, we at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department gather in the state’s Capitol to honor those fallen members of our beloved profession. They have paid the ultimate sacrifice ‘their lives’ in the service of others. We stand together to call their names for the world to hear during the 2019 California Peace Officer’s Memorial Enrollment Ceremony.