LAPD Beach patrol police car

Photo courtesy/Facebook (Venice Current)

VENICE-Citing an uptick in crime, the Los Angeles Police Pacific Division brought 34 new officers to the west side. In addition, the Venice Beach Boardwalk will receive 20 [additional] officers on loan plus one new supervisor for the next year.

Violent crimes in Venice have consistently been up for the past year, according to LAPD. Aggravated assaults were up 80 percent from August 23 to September 8 in 2020. Between 50-60 percent of the crimes took place on or near the boardwalk.  

Pacific Division Captain Steven Embrich said the additional officers mean there will be seven more patrol cars per day in the area. 

Street Racing Task Force

LAPD Pacific also has a new street racing task force. Street racing has become a growing concern since the beginning of COVID 19. On Sunday, January 17--a video was recorded of multiple cars racing on Lincoln Blvd and Rose Ave next to Whole Foods. The video, posted on Nextdoor, shows dozens of spectators and race cars spinning out on the corner of Lincoln Blvd. and Rose Ave. The time of the event was around 6:30 p.m., according to a Nextdoor Post.

Street racing is typically an unsanctioned and illegal form of auto racing on public roads. Street racing can either be spontaneous or well planned and coordinated, which many have witnessed in Westchester and now Venice over the past few months.

When asked about street car racing in Venice, LAPD Pacific Division Senior Lead Officer Adrian Acosta said police are aware of the increase in racing in the area and are working to adjust hours to suppress the activity.

Catalytic Converters 

A new trend in pickup truck thefts is also on the rise. The reason, catalytic converters are worth more in trucks than cars. 

Last week, there were seven reports of stolen vehicles --a majority located east of Abbot Kinney and south of Venice Blvd. Three thefts took place near Ocean Front Walk. A number of those thefts were trucks, according to LAPD.

Catalytic converters are targeted due to the value of precious metals inside the casing, according to LAPD. They are sold to metal recyclers or individuals. Catalytic Converters in trucks can be worth as much as $800.