Sunland-Tujunga Neighborhood Council
Neighborhood Watch Meeting Notes of 15 November 2022Posted on 11/17/22
Sunland-Tujunga & Nearby Areas
Neighborhood Watch Meeting Notes
of 15 November 2022
As 23 residents arrived by Zoom, Sgt Jesse Ojeda, head of Foothill Community Relations and supervisor of its Senior Lead Officers (SLOs), began the meeting shortly after 9:00AM. Both our SLOs, Diana Figueroa (Sunland) and Gloria Caloca (Tujunga), were out for medical reasons. Neighborhood Watch meetings will continue under Sgt. Ojeda if SLOs can't attend.
We were pleased to hear from several guests!
Officer Steve Smith works burglary. Based on reasons he sees why people get robbed, he emphatically advised attendees to "Lock vehicle and home doors and windows, and keep valuables out of sight!"
Evidence points to the same small group of people doing break-ins. Holidays ramp up porch pirates. Leave lights or TV on when you leave. Most burglaries are from vehicles, sheds, porches and garages. Home entry is mostly through open/unlocked windows or doors, but smash-in burglaries of homes are uncommon.
Purse snatchers and the like are locals, but burglary crews aren't. Business thefts can be done by either. Shopping center thefts are common and easy to accomplish. Thieves know they'll serve no time, will be home by day's end. It's a job.
There are still knock-knock break ins, so do not answer your door for any stranger. Talk through the door; don't open it. Crooks don't want a confrontation and will go away.
Stay on good terms with your neighbors and mutually agree to report prowlers. Officer Smith is often told of neighbors who heard something but failed to look or act!
Tujunga (termed "59" as an LAPD area) has 2 fewer burglaries than last year and the largest decrease in crime in the Division! Nearly all crime stats are down; the only uptick is robberies.
Sunland (termed "35" in LAPD parlance) has 2 more than last year, up from 12 to 14. Down 4% in thefts from motor vehicles.
Repeated advice: Stay alert—not on your cell phone—at gas stations, ATMs. Shop early in the day and keep your head on a swivel. Don't invite problems by walking alone at night.
Mt. Gleason Middle School lockdown began with pursuit of a stolen motorcycle; suspect was just running from police, not seeking to harm any student. He was captured in a house next door.
Traffic Officer Joel Flores Spoke!
The bad news for S-T is that Officer Flores will be retiring 28 February next year. He has been a mainstay of traffic control in our area of the San Fernando Valley, and we wish him well deserved joy in all future endeavors!
He reminded us we are all Valley Traffic's eyes and ears. If he hears no complaints, there will be less police activity.
Reach Officer Flores at 818-644 8142 or email him photos/videos of traffic events at [email protected]
. It's vital
to include location and time of day! He can't write a ticket just from your photo, but he will prowl the area or do a "knock 'n talk" if he gets an ID from a license plate.
Traffic Stats Improving! In 2021, Foothill led San Fernando Valley with 21 fatalities. In 2022 we are down to 9! North Hollywood also has 9, Devonshire 20.
Foothill has had 152 traffic collisions (termed "TCs"). 57 were severe injuries. 86 were DUIs.
Valley Traffic remains "at minimum force" due
to lack of officers and slow output of graduates from the Academy. Traffic officers still respond to accidents but, if minor and no injuries, please report all info online at https://www.lapdonline.org/file-a-police-report/
An odd and growing issue is unruly riders on tiny "mini-bikes." They're so low to the ground they can't be seen. They drive crazily and evade police, ignore traffic lights and signs. Flores has seen 8-10 of them in hoodies swarming near Pacoima mall.
A resident told Flores about drivers using La Tuna Canyon Blvd's middle lane to pass other traffic. Flores had just closed one complaint there, but will check the area.
Mark Ross, Foothill Neighborhood Prosecutor, works in City Attorney's office with situations that have evaded traditional solutions.
A resident told Ross that the old Denny's at 7577 Foothill Blvd., though now demolished, remains a nuisance as its owner doesn't maintain fencing. A young man jumped the fence, knocked on a nearby back door, and was met by a resident with a firearm. Fence-jumper insisted he was being chased and was directed off-property. The resident said LA Building & Safety already has 21 complaints about this address. Ross will pursue the matter.
LA Municipal Code 41.18 was amended this year to strengthen keeping public rights of way clear of transients and encampments. 41.18 gives officers new tools when someone is "sitting, lying, sleeping, or storing personal property" (but not vehicles) within 500' of sensitive areas, e.g., a school, library, hospital, day care, fire hydrant, etc.
LAPD won't normally arrest, even though they could. Goal is to get transients into housing, but IF they continually refuse, officers can now employ 41.18 to encourage cooperation. Anecdotally, enforcement differs greatly in different parts of LA.
When homeless spread junk over a sidewalk, even though living in a legally parked RV, 41.18 might apply. And they must leave 36" for walking, wheelchairs, etc. If you see 41.18 violated, call your Council office and SLOs.
Officer Wil Godoy
will be our temporary Tujunga SLO during Officer Caloca's absence. We have good reports on Officer Godoy! Reach him at [email protected]
. He just removed the burnt RV on Big Tujunga Canyon Rd. near Mt. Gleason. Welcome, Officer Godoy!
Sunland SLO Figueroa is getting better, back soon.
A human body was found inside a burnt-out car, also on Big Tujunga Canyon Rd. but near Tujunga Little League. That homicide is NOT the same incident as the burnt-out RV (above) on Big Tujunga Canyon Rd.
A resident reports she threatened transient Patrick with her stun gun when he came too close. She also reported that SLO Caloca seems to have patrol cars cruising Foothill Bl. A high percentage of crimes occur within two blocks of Foothill, so they cruise.
►► Useful Contacts:
In any emergency, always call 9-1-1!
To get a non-emergency police car, call Dispatch: 1-877-ASK-LAPD
► TUJUNGA Temporary SLO Wil Godoy, [email protected]
► TUJUNGA Senior Lead Officer Gloria Caloca is on LOA.
Cell: 818-634-0754 | Off.: 818-756-8866 | [email protected]
► SUNLAND Senior Lead Officer Diana Figueroa:
► EMAILS are the best way to contact them. Send photos if possible, or come into Foothill Station at 12760 Osborne St., Pacoima | 818-756-8861.
THANK YOU for being part of S-T and our Nearby Areas' anti-crime solution!
Very best to you and yours! Stay alert and safe!
Jon von Gunten, Sunland-Tujunga Neighborhood Council, Region 3 Rep