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a couple is shopping online, they are sitting on a couch both using a computer. the camera is looking at the computer and keyboard, the wife is holding the credit card and the husband is navigating on the keyboard.
Holiday Shopping Safety Tips 900 900 SIB Staff

Holiday Shopping Safety Tips

This Thanksgiving weekend is the start of the holiday shopping season. Black Friday and Cyber Monday provide an opportunity for consumers to find a great deal. In order to help the public have a crime-free shopping season, LASD periodically informs & continues to warn the public through social media about holiday safety

Holiday Shopping Safety Tips

  • Neighbors watch out for neighbors! If you will be staying home or traveling, help keep an eye out for suspicious activity and report it to your local law enforcement. This makes communities safer.
  • Let someone you trust know when you’re traveling. Have them watch your house and retrieve any newspapers and collect your mail. If you are going to be gone long, contact your United States Postal Service and put your mail on hold.
  • When out shopping, stay vigilant! Park in a well-lit area.
  • Avoid shopping alone! Consider shopping with friends or relatives so everyone looks out for each other.
  • If you are shopping with children, coach them on what to do if they become separated. Make sure they know their first and last name, have contact phone numbers memorized and teach them about 911.
  • Do not leave packages in plain view in your vehicle. Lock your vehicle and place all your merchandise in the trunk.
  • If you place packages in your vehicle and plan to go back inside for more shopping, please consider driving away from your current parking spot and park somewhere new, so no one knows what valuable items you just left unattended.
  • Remember where you parked and be sure to locate your keys prior to going to your car. Prior to getting into your vehicle take a look inside and around before entering.
  • Be cautious of strangers approaching you for any reason. Many thieves will use different methods to distract you with the intention of taking your money or merchandise. Consider Instead, volunteering or donating to a charity.
  • Keep a secure hold on your purse. When approaching or leaving your vehicle, be aware of your surroundings.
  • Keep your home safe! Set lights on timers, giving the impression the house is not alone. Make sure to close all blinds and lock all entry points such as windows, sliders, and all your doors.
  • Celebrate responsibly by planning ahead. Even if you’ve had only one drink, play it safe and designate a sober driver or use a ride-share service to get home. If you plan on drinking, don’t plan on driving.
  • Don’t use a debit card. Many people like using a debit card due to convenience or as a budgeting tool, but debit cards lack the same consumer protections that credit cards do. Should your account be compromised, you can be responsible for a greater share of the loss than if you had used a credit card
  • Be wary of online deals that are too good to be true. Do your research on whoever you are buying from.
  • If an online seller asks you to wire payment, be suspicious. Many times fraudsters will advertise a great deal on a high dollar item, but will only accept a money wire transfer. Once the money is wired to an account, it is very difficult to recover it if later on it turns out you were the victim of fraud.
  • Only do business with vendors who use secure websites.
  • Keep an eye on your credit cards at all times. A common tactic of fraudsters employed by a legitimate company is to take the card you present as payment, swipe it through the legitimate payment system, and then swipe it again through their own collection device. Your credit card information can then be used by the crook for their own purpose or sold to other crooks.
  • Guard your identity the same as you would your pocketbook. Criminals not only want your money, they want your identity. With it, they can use it to get credit and make purchases while sticking you with the bill. Your information is valuable and can be sold to other criminals as well.
  • Be suspicious of people claiming to be from your credit card company who need to “verify” information. If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from your credit card company asking you to verify Personally Identifiable Information be careful.
  • The caller could be a scammer who is gathering information that will later on help him steal your identity. If you feel there is some legitimacy to the callers questions, terminate the call and call back the company using a phone number you know is legitimate. You can find these numbers on your credit card statement or the company’s website.
  • Monitor bank statements for suspicious activity. With increased activity during the shopping season, it is easy for a bad guy to slip in a few unauthorized transactions without you knowing it. Monitor bank and credit cards regularly for suspicious transactions and question anything that does not look legitimate regardless of the amount. Most financial companies offer online access to your account and you can monitor transactions in real time.
  • Limit use of free Wi-Fi. Don’t use free wireless networks, such as those in coffee shops, when you shop online. Fraudulent Wi-Fi hotspots are too easy to set up and are often disguised to look like legitimate services offered by reputable companies. Bad guys use these fraudulent sights to capture your data or install malware on your device. Waiting until you have a secure connection at home or using data from your own personal cellular plan is a good way to eliminate this type of operation.
  • Stay informed by following the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Headquarters social media pages and your designated patrol station to help keep you up-to-date on crime trends and safety tips.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department wishes everyone a safe, productive crime free shopping season.

Image of a taped off street. Yellow tape reads: Sheriff's line do not cross. end of a police car is in the front and in the distance a congregation of sheriff's Deputies.
Arrests made in a series of armed robberies 580 424 SIB Staff

Arrests made in a series of armed robberies

Six cities in the County of Los Angeles have been impacted by a series of armed robberies in recent days. Hard working deputies from several of our patrol stations along with detectives from Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Major Crimes Bureau – Major Detail finally made a breakthrough and arrested three juvenile suspects in connection with those robberies. On December 14, 2021, Metro Detail investigators responded to armed robberies occurring in the city of Norwalk and in the city of Industry.

During their investigation, detectives discovered that they were looking for one to two suspects described as male Blacks and armed with a handgun. Additionally, detectives were also able to identify the suspects’ vehicle and a license plate. The license plate was entered as a “Felony Vehicle – Armed and Dangerous,” which alerted all LASD patrol stations in the County of Los Angeles. Shortly after, the suspects committed another armed robbery in the city of Bellflower.

A Lakewood Sheriff’s Station patrol deputy, patrolling his area, spotted the suspect vehicle and conducted a high-risk traffic stop. During the traffic stop deputies recovered over $1000 USD, and evidence linking the juvenile suspects to multiple robberies. The handgun used in these multiple incidents, is still outstanding. Several victims and witnesses positively identified the juvenile suspects as the ones who committed these armed robberies at the various locations.

Major Crimes Bureau – Metro Detail arrested three juvenile suspects responsible for a series of armed robberies that occurred between December 12 to December 14, 2021 at multiple gas stations, and convenience stores in the cities of Bellflower, Industry, Norwalk, Pico Rivera, Whittier, and Downey. The juvenile suspects are currently detained, and the criminal case will be presented to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office for filing consideration.

Anyone with information about these incidents is encouraged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Major Crimes Bureau – Major Detail at 562-946-7150. If you prefer to provide information anonymously, you may call “Crime Stoppers” by dialing (800) 222-TIPS (8477), use your smartphone by downloading the “P3 Tips” Mobile APP on Google play or the Apple App Store or by using the website

Victims Matter text, on a picture of yellow plice tape that reads "crime scene do not cross"
Lancaster Homicide Update 1024 514 SIB Staff

Lancaster Homicide Update

Lancaster Children and Mother-in-Law Murdered by their Father/Son-in-Law  Will Not Get the Justice They Deserve, #VictimsMatter #LASD

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau investigators responded to a shooting death investigation of multiple individuals in the 3500 block of Garnet Lane in the city of Lancaster. Investigators determined the suspect murdered his four children and mother-in-law on Sunday, November 28, 2021, at approximately 10:27 p.m.

This heinous murders took the lives of the following victims: Erica England, 51-year-old female, Namyiah D., 11-year-old female, Germarcus D., Jr, 7-year-old male, Kayden D., 2-year-old male and the youngest Noah D., 18-month-old male. 

Homicide investigators arrested Germarcus Lamar David, male Black 29 years old, for the five murders. 

Germarcus David of Lancaster was charged with five counts of murder and three counts of assault on a child, causing death. He is expected to be arraigned January 12, 2022, in Department A01 of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Antelope Valley Branch. His bail was set at $10,000,000.

Unfortunately, there were no special circumstances, such as multiple murders, filed by the DA’s Office, resulting in the offender not being eligible for Life without Parole. However, this means if convicted, and the suspect could possibly be eligible for elderly parole at 50 years of age.


image of a person in an orange jumpsuit in hand cuffs, being lead down a dark hall, Text reads, "Make the Right call, dont drink and drive.
Drugged and Drunk Driving Prevention Month 1024 576 SIB Staff

Drugged and Drunk Driving Prevention Month

National Drunk & Drugged Driving Prevention Month

Millions of us will be traveling to visit friends and family over the holidays. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department encourages everyone to have a holiday game plan that includes a designated sober driver.

During the pre-Christmas and New Year’s holiday season Nov. 30 till well past the New Year, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department will have additional deputies on patrol looking for drivers suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

Tragically, there is an uptick in impaired drivers during the holidays. During the 2019 Christmas (Dec. 24-Dec. 26) and New Year’s Day (Dec. 28, 2018-Jan. 2, 2019) holiday periods, there were more drunk-driving related deaths (210) throughout the country than during any other holiday period in 2019.

“We want everyone to enjoy the holidays and be safe,” Sergeant Robert Hill said. “The more people who plan ahead and find a safe, sober ride home from holiday parties and get togethers, the merrier.”

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department reminds drivers that a “DUI Doesn’t Just Mean Booze.” Prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs and marijuana can also impair, especially in combination with alcohol and other drugs. Driving under the influence (DUI) can have serious consequences. Call a friend, call a cab, or use a ride share app but make the right call. Don’t Drink & Drive!

text reads, "Crime trend update: Retail theft mobs". image of a store front with well lit shelves and designer clothes are on maniquins and folded neatly on shelves.
Retail Theft Mobs 1024 1024 SIB Staff

Retail Theft Mobs

There has been a recent trend in retail thefts

Incidents are occurring at high end retail businesses, primarily in the West side of Los Angeles and San Fernando Valley. Suspects are primarily concealing themselves with hoods and masks, and most are wearing gloves. Also, vehicles primarily used are either with paper plates or no plates. Many of our suspects are from the South Los Angeles area and some are linked to criminal street gangs.

In one incident, bear spray was used against security.  We did recover the bear spray and it is being tested for any potential DNA recovery.

Arrests and Investigative Efforts:

There have been 9 arrests over the past few days through traffic stops, probation rollback searches, and warrant services resulting from investigative leads. Large quantities of recovered merchandise have been seized during follow-up investigations. 

We have been leveraging our partnerships with the FBI Task Force to locate potential suspects. And aggressive filing strategy has been made to present for filing consideration. 

Enforcement and Preventive Strategies:

  • Agencies are working closely with neighboring jurisdictions (LA County Sheriffs, Santa Monica, and Beverly Hills) to pre-identify potential suspect crews and vehicles.
  • Monitoring of social media for suspects posting planned crimes or bragging about recent seizures.
  • Police vehicles parked strategically at businesses.
  • High visibility patrols require police vehicles to have emergency lights on while driving.
  • California Highway Patrol is assisting with extra patrols.
  • Uniform foot beats at shopping locations.
  • Overtime funding approved to augment uniform presence. 
  • Aviation:  One dedicated helicopter to primary areas of occurrence has proven effective over the past few days as a deterrent.
  • Mounted Unit Deployment:  Officers on horseback are assigned to high risk retail locations as a visible deterrent.

Business Strategies:

  • It is encouraged to increased lighting and expanding security cameras. 
  • Retail and business owners should work closely with law enforcement by providing updates via in-person or virtual meetings. 

If you see something, say something, report crime by calling 911 if it is an emergency, or contact your local Sheriff’s Station or police department, or remain anonymous by calling Los Angeles-Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS or by visiting

Image of Search and rescue heliocoptor on a runway. The heliocoptor is green and gold, is very large with a slideing door on the side where Search and Rescue personnel operate a wench. The markings on the heliocoptor are the Sheriff's star, and the words "Rescue 5".
hiking tips 1024 384 SIB Staff

hiking tips

Here are some of the tips we regularly tell people:

  • Hike with someone! (Most of our searches are for people who went hiking alone).
  • Have a plan of where you’re going and when you expect to return.(LA Sheriff Hiking Plan – PDF). Fill out this form and leave a printed copy on the dashboard of your car.

TELL SOMEONE YOUR PLAN and have an agreed time when someone should consider you missing and call for help.

Take the ten essentials:

  • Navigation:  Map, compass, GPS device and/or emergency beacon.
  • Headlamp and flashlight with extra batteries.
  • Sun protection.
  • First aid.
  • Knife.
  • Fire starter.
  • Shelter (can be a tent or simply an emergency blanket).
  • Extra food.
  • Extra water and purification tablets. (1 liter per hour while hiking).
  • If you are hiking with your hiking K-9 partner, consider bringing more water.
  • Extra clothes. (Layers with NO cotton).

Regarding the use of cell phones:

  • When going into the mountains either turn off the phone or put it in airplane mode.
  • DO NOT HESITATE to call 9-1-1. Calling 9-1-1 automatically sends your current position.
  • IF YOU BECOME LOST: STAY WHERE YOU ARE!  Search teams will be looking for you based on your plan.
  • Create a shelter.  Either what you brought, or use natural resources (branches leaves, etc).
  • Make yourself visible from the air. Helicopters will be looking for you.
  • Use brightly colored fabric.
  • Create a large “X” with rocks or tree limbs.
  • Ration your food and water.
Sheriff alex villanueva graphic. portrait of sheriff in tan shirt black tie. Sheriff's uniform, on greeen background with the hall of justice building behind him faded in the back ground.
Lawsuit claiming Deputy Gangs is thrown out of court 1024 249 SIB Staff

Lawsuit claiming Deputy Gangs is thrown out of court


November 5, 2021

On November 4, 2021, Judge William F. Fahey dismissed with prejudice the case brought against the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department by Deputy Austreberto Gonzalez due to lack of evidence and absence of triable facts.  The Court also highlighted Mr. Gonzalez “may not contradict his deposition testimony by proffering different testimony in a later declaration.” 

The unproven allegations in this case alleging “deputy gangs” by Mr. Gonzalez have been used as the primary basis for attacks on the Department by some members of the Board of Supervisors, a former member of the Board of Supervisors (who has been indicted for public corruption), the Office of the Inspector General, the Civilian Oversight Commission, other elected officials, and the media.  Their statements have been presented as “facts” in reports by RAND, the Center for Juvenile Law & Policy, and Knock LA.  The LA Times alone has referenced these unsubstantiated allegations in at least a dozen articles.  These writings have served to attack and undermine the perceived credibility and legitimacy of our organization, even though they were based on what we now know to be an uncredible source.  I predict not one of these entities will amend or correct their work, but as John Adams once stated, “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.” 

In addition to having his case thrown out of court for lack of evidence, absence of triable facts, and impeaching his own testimony, Mr. Gonzalez and his attorneys were additionally sanctioned monetarily by the Court for their failure to comply with orders of the Court.   

At this time, the Department is unable to provide any further information on Mr. Gonzalez, other than he remains on paid leave.  As Sheriff, I have remained focused on providing our communities with transparent and truthful information.  I am deeply concerned to hear that after all of the facts in this case were uncovered, Mr. Gonzalez, as one of my deputies, may have supplied incomplete or misleading information to the legal system, as noted in the Court’s ruling, and appropriate measures will be taken so that we continue to assure our communities deputy sheriffs can, and must, be trusted. (see full Court Order)

I remain committed to transparency and accountability and almost two-years ago I became the first Los Angeles County Sheriff in history to successfully implement a policy banning “deputy cliques.”  Recently, AB 958 was signed into law, a bill I sponsored based on the current LASD policy, which will now be the model policy for all law enforcement in our state.

Sheriff Alex Villanueva

Sheriff Announces Special Alert form and presents Check to Autism Society of LA 1024 682 SIB Staff

Sheriff Announces Special Alert form and presents Check to Autism Society of LA

Sheriff Alex Villanueva announces special alert form and presents check to Autism Society of Los Angeles

On Monday, November 1st, 2021, Sheriff Alex Villanueva announced the Special Alert program during a press conference at the Hall of Justice. This program will assist deputies when responding to calls that involve those who are suspected of having or have been diagnosed with an intellectual, mental, or physical disability. During this same press conference, Sheriff Villanueva also presented a check from the sale of Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department autism lapel pins, to the Autism Society of Los Angeles.

In an effort to better serve and understand the needs of community members suspected of having or diagnosed with a disability, the Department developed a program to allow caregivers or family members to voluntarily provide information about a person living in their home who is suspected of having or has been diagnosed with an intellectual, mental, or physical disability.

If caregivers would like to participate in the program, all they need to do is fill out the Special Alert form that can be accessed on under resources and take it to their nearest Sheriff’s Station. The Department will then enter a “Special Alert” in its computer dispatch system, and deputies will receive certain information when responding. By providing this information in advance, people are alerting deputies about the needs of the person at home who is suspected of having or has been diagnosed with an intellectual, mental, or physical disability. This important information may help them decide how to best approach the situation and what resources to bring with them.

“Thank you Sheriff Villanueva. Just thrilled to hear about the steps that the Sheriff’s Department is taking to improve the safety of encounters between law enforcement and those on the spectrum,” said Andy Kopito, President of the Autism Society of Los Angeles.    

“Having this information really gives everybody a leg up, so we know how to de-escalate it properly, who are the responsible people or what issues might be useful in communicating successfully with this individual,” said Sheriff Villanueva.   Those interested in filling out the Special Alert form, may download it by clicking and take it to their nearest Sheriff’s station.  

text in an orange yellow gradient that reads, "Celebrate Halloween safely and responsibly. image of three people walking down a street. the three people are pictured from the waist down, wearing a witch costume with black shoes, a ghost with white shoes.
Halloween Safety 900 900 SIB Staff

Halloween Safety

Halloween is a fun night for kids and adults alike. It is a time when thousands of trick-or-treaters dress up in their favorite costumes and venture out to fill their bag and buckets with all the candy they can carry. Adults dress up in their best costumes to head to parties, local bars and restaurants to celebrate as well.

As with every Halloween, we urge you to be safe and watch out for one another. 

If you follow these safety tips, everyone will have a great night!  

Parents & Children:  

  • Parents should plan their trick-or-treat route ahead of time and avoid busy streets.
  • Drive extra safely on Halloween. Drive below the posted speed-limit, especially in residential areas. Children are excited and may not be paying attention to vehicles when crossing the street. Do not pass another vehicle that has stopped in the roadway. They could be dropping off children.

  • Children under the age of 12 years-old should trick-or-treat with an adult.
  • Explain to your child the importance of looking both ways twice and listening to your surroundings before crossing the street. Remind them to continue to watch for cars even when they are crossing the street. Remind them not to cross mid-block.
  • Trick or treat with a group and stay together.  
  • Parents or responsible adults should accompany the children while trick or treating.  
  • Children should wear visible costumes that are easy to walk in and see. Light-colored costumes are best. Use retro-reflective tape. 
  • If you wear a mask, make sure you can see. Consider using non-toxic make up instead. Carry a flashlight so drivers can see you. 
  • This is a night of heavy foot traffic, use a crosswalk when available or cross at intersections. Look both ways before crossing the street!
  • Only approach well-lit homes that have their porch lights on.  
  • Set up a meeting place in case you get separated from your group.
  • Talk to your children about the 9-1-1 system and how to dial the number in the event of an emergency.
  • Parents, after you are done collecting candy, please inspect the candy before allowing the children to eat it. If you find opened candy, discard it.
  • Discard any type of treat that looks suspicious.  
  • As you may have noticed, Fentanyl pills are being produced in different colors, and some dealers have attempted to smuggle these pills in candy packaging.
  • Although we don’t believe children are the target of these smugglers, we want you to remain diligent to ensure these illicit products have not accidently been mixed in with your children’s candy.

Adults Planning to Party / Drivers  

  • Decide before going out whether you plan to drink or drive. You can’t do both. 
  • If you plan to drink, designate a sober driver, take a cab, ride-share or use public transit. Anything that doesn’t involve you getting behind the wheel.  
  • Party hosts: Offer non-alcoholic drinks to designated drivers and don’t allow anyone who may be impaired to leave. 
  • There will be many kids out and about dressed up in costumes. This is another reason to slow down and be extra cautious. Obey all traffic signs and signals!  
  • Avoid driving through residential areas where trick-or-treaters are likely to be. 
  • Watch for children in costumes that may be harder to see at night. Look out for trick-or-treaters who may cross the street mid-block, or from behind parked cars. 

Halloween is a night child predators are looking for victims. Prior to going out, talk to your children about strangers. Instruct them to NEVER get into a stranger’s vehicle under any circumstance. If someone stops and asks your child for help or tries to lure your child into their vehicle, tell them to scream as loud as they can and run.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department wants everyone to have a fun, safe and most importantly, have a Happy Halloween! 

help solve the murder of Diego Ortega-Reza 1024 682 SIB Staff

help solve the murder of Diego Ortega-Reza

Sheriff Alex Villanueva, Homicide Detectives and Family Members Plea to the Public for Information that will Help Solve the Murder of Diego Ortega-Reza

On Wednesday, October 20, 2021, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva and Homicide Bureau detectives held a press conference near the area where Diego Ortega-Reza was shot back in July of 2021.  Lieutenant Charles Calderaro announced a $15,000 reward in exchange for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for taking Diego’s life. The reward is sponsored by Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis.

Diego was a shy, yet enthusiastic teenager who had just graduated from high school and was looking forward to going to college. Like most teenagers, he enjoyed gatherings with friends and family. His sweet nature and effervescence were obvious, and were characteristics which endeared him to his siblings and friends.

On July 5, 2021, at approximately 12:45 a.m., 18-year-old Diego was in the front passenger seat of a gray Toyota Sienna minivan. Diego, along with his younger brother and a friend were returning home from a 4th of July party. They were driving westbound on Cesar Chavez Avenue. As they approached the intersection of Cesar Chavez Avenue and Lorena Street, an unknown person fired gunshots at their vehicle. Tragically, Diego was struck by gunfire and sustained a fatal gunshot to the head. The driver of the vehicle, immediately drove to a nearby hospital and Diego was then transferred to a trauma center where he unfortunately succumbed to his injuries. Diego died on July 10, 2021.

“I know somebody saw something. It was a very special day in this country. Somebody had to be outside, they saw, they heard something. Please help us. The entire family is devastated. My other son was a passenger and he is doing badly. He wanted to be here but he couldn’t. He can’t, he has taken it badly. Whoever did this has caused an immeasurable pain to us. My son was not a bad person, he had no tattoos, nothing,” said in Spanish Diego’s mom, Socorro Ortega. “Do not defund the police that help us, investigators, please do not take away funds. They’re crucial, there is not enough police on the streets,” she added.   

Sheriff Villanueva thanked the Board of Supervisors for approving the reward but noted that more is needed. “It takes investigators to solve these crimes, it takes patrol deputies to prevent them from happening, and it takes a lot of work in between. From 2019 to now, there has been an 87% increase in homicides while we’re being defunded, while we’re losing homicide investigators and we’re seeing a reduction in patrol deputies,” said Sheriff Villanueva.   

“I was moved to put forward this reward in an effort to call on residents to help us bring accountability to the murder of Diego,” shared Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair Hilda L. Solis, Supervisor to the First District. “I encourage members of the public with information pertaining to this heinous crime to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Bureau. What happened to Diego was tragic. The County will continue to make investments in community prevention strategies to address community trauma and violence. By working together across community and local government agencies, we can enhance the public safety of our communities,” said Supervisor Hilda Solis.

If you have information about Diego’s senseless murder, please contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500, or if you prefer to provide information anonymously, call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS (8477), use your smartphone by downloading the “P3 Tips” Mobile App on Google Play or the Apple App Store, or use the website