@THE GUSS REPORT-How soon Los Angeles City Councilmember David Ryu forgets about a rash of burglaries and mail thefts that he and the LAPD ignored this year, all caught on video, in the Sherman Oaks area he represents.
Or was the truth too inconvenient when Ryu made another vacuous presentation at Friday’s City Council meeting where he introduced the LAPD’s Captain Lillian Carranza, stating “When petty crimes and theft was spiking up, she rolled up her sleeves and literally gave out her cell phone number, and spoke to every single resident.”
As documented in my May 15 and June 12 CityWatch articles, there was a harrowing week of brazen burglaries where mail theft was the goal. Those articles contained clear photos-from-security-video showing perpetrators’ faces.
When I asked Carranza about those crimes she said the LAPD doesn’t investigate mail theft because it is a federal crime. But in response to whether the burglaries that were committed first -- in order to commit the mail theft -- she and an LAPD colleague admitted they are felonies, but could not explain why greater police presence was not allocated to the area at that time.
When I called him out on this issue, Ryu, who was preoccupied with munching down on cake from his presentation, suddenly upped and walked briskly past Council President Herb Wesson and exited…which I pointed out to the chuckling attendees. (A more professional evasive move Councilmembers often make is to quickly engage in a sidebar with another Councilmember, as if that makes the viewing audience unable to hear the criticism, too.)
Heather Carbone, who created local Neighborhood Watch Facebook groups called Crime Busters, tells her neighborhood “we are on our own” when it comes to anything preventative because the LAPD is understaffed and can only consistently respond to life and death matters.
Tony Fisch, a community leader in Beachwood Canyon, has criticized the Councilmember for his failures on fire safety and illegal and dangerous tourist behavior near the Hollywood sign. He places the blame squarely on Ryu: “After making bold commitments to supporters during his campaign, David Ryu has broken his word countless times to residents of CD4 as Councilmember. When confronted by many in our community, Ryu disappears and never responds. He is everything bad about politics in this country.”
And the gatekeepers at Ryu’s office follow that bad lead.
In response to a Public Records request I made for whatever documentation Ryu had on crimes at that Sherman Oaks condo, they instead responded with a bland and prepared statement declaring his tireless efforts to fight crime. When I pressed for what efforts he made on the burglaries at this specific Sherman Oaks condo, they acknowledged that none were made, and that they had zero documentation of the crimes, despite repeated complaints made to his office.
Captain Carranza said crime reports will now be taken, which, since U.S. Postal Inspectors are believed to have caught the ringleader and know his accomplices’ identities, would make for very easy prosecutions.
The Sherman Oaks residents on NextDoor.com and Patch eagerly await the results.
(Daniel Guss, MBA, is a member of the Los Angeles Press Club, and has contributed to CityWatch, KFI AM-640, Huffington Post, Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Daily News, Los Angeles Magazine, Movieline Magazine, Emmy Magazine, Los Angeles Business Journal and elsewhere. Follow him on Twitter @TheGussReport. Verifiable tips and story ideas can be sent to him at [email protected]. His opinions are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of CityWatch.) Edited for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.