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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

Canals Get Vandalized and Burglarized

If you see this man, call 911.

By Darryl DuFay

In the past month, the Venice Canals around the 2600 block of Grand Canal and Strongs Drive have experienced Burglaries and Vandalism. 

Two of the incidents involved what the police call a Hot Prowl where the residents are home but unaware that a crime is taking place – the most dangerous kind.

Police reports and investigations are proceeding.  LAPD Detective Robyn Salazar has been assigned the case.  Our LAPD Senior Lead Officer Jennifer Muther is involved, as is Security Services Systems, who provide the Venice Canals Bike patrol.

1-23-19  LAST SEEN IN THE CANALS by Security Services System

Yesterday, Wednesday afternoon around 1:55 PM, the burglary suspect who broke into homes on Grand Canal and Strongs Drive, was seen in the community. SSS Officer Ramirez observed the suspect at Eastern Canal and Carroll Canal wearing the same clothes except his hat was green.  We called LAPD immediately and notified Det. Robyn Salazar that the suspect was in the area. The suspect began walking down Eastern Court and turned going west bound on Sherman Canal.  The suspect got into a white sedan at 28th and Del Ave and fled the area.  We were unable to get a license plate.


12-20-18  2601 Grand Canal  8:30 p.m. Burglary  (Hot Prowl)

My home was robbed around 8 p.m. while my family was inside.  Perp broke and entered through a small window and removed a computer, wallet, and some other items. We caught him – sadly – after the fact on camera and reported it. Police responded, took a report (and later partial fingerprints). Detective Salazar is investigating. The same suspect robbed the home across canal less than an hour later, also with people inside.

12-20-18  2606 Grand Canal  9:30 p.m. Burglary  (Hot Prowl)

My house was robbed last night at around 9 pm or so.  I was out, but 3 children (two of mine and my son’s friend) were here at my house with my trusted nanny, and no one suspected a thing.  The perpetrator let himself in through the side door that enters our garage. He came up the back stairs and into my teen-aged daughter’s room. After deftly emptying a jewelry tray, he swiped her laptop and went into my son’s room. My 14-year-old, lights out, was so engulfed in a video game that he didn’t even look up, but spotted only a pair of black shoes, said hello to them, assuming they belonged to his older brother.  The shoes disappeared into the hallway, back down the stairs and into the alley behind our home where a get-away truck was later revealed to have been seen waiting by a neighbor.   It is time to install a Ring Doorbell system, which my brother will do for me. 

01-14-19  2610 Grand Canal 4:20 p.m. Vandalism – Rock through Glass Door.

Owner saw a buff fellow, olive skin legs with white shorts, white socks and soft tennis shoes. She saw and felt the violence when he hurled the large stone…hitting floor and walls until it landed at the other side of the house. Hiding in the bathroom she called the police who came and interviewed her. She said, “I could have been hurt or dead if I had been downstairs at my dinning table or just walking down.  Please try to catch him…. so I can have my life back and not come home trembling every day and our neighborhood can relax again.”

01-14-19  25XX Strongs Drive 5:20 p.m. Burglary – Police Report made.


Update Receives Crime Statistics Comparing Venice with LA, CA, Nation

Interesting crime statistics comparing Venice with Los Angeles, California, and Nation.  This was sent to the Update.

Year Crime Report for 3rd Ave Area

Venetians contend that crime happens around homeless encampments.  Rick Swinger, activist on 3rd Ave area, was asked to accumulate incidents of crimes that have happened in his area.   He accumulated such for  this year.

Crime for the Oxford Triangle 7 to 10 days was reported in September.  If you have had consistent crime incidents or a crime spree in your area, please report it to the Venice Update at VeniceUpdate@gmail.com.   The Nextdoor app has been good for recording and alerting people to incidents.

Many of these crimes have gone unreported because calling the local, non-emergency phone number is a hold to report crime.  People just do not have the time to stay on hold all day.  People do not have the time to go down to the police station at Culver and Centinela and wait to make a report.  There was suppose to be an on-line app that one could report a crime available.

These are the crimes that Rick Swinger accumulated for his 3rd Ave area.

1. Alix Gucovsky.  One of our car’s hood was pried open, battery removed, damage to car.

2.  Victoria Nissen.   A friend of mine had a catalytic converter stolen from her car, parked in her Venice driveway.  Crime happened April, Cost:  $500.   

3. Wendy Kaysing.   My car was parked on Innes Street perpendicular to Westminster (down from the dog park). Driver side mirror & housing smashed.  June 2017, Cost:  $50 +.

4. Gloria Romero.  I had three car tires slashed when parked on Brooks Avenue at Pacific–had to be towed by AAA when I discovered it after my Mother’s Day brunch late afternoon.  I tried calling Venice police to file a police report but was on hold for almost an hour, finally hung up and was unable to file the vandalism report.  Date of the incident:  Sunday, May 13th–Mother’s Day!!  Cost to replace tires:  $527.12, plus I had to take off work on Monday as the garage couldn’t fix until the next day.

5. Jenny Karl.  Someone opened my yard gate, walked into my yard, and unscrewed my brand new and quite large 9 foot yard umbrella out of the base and left with it on foot. My dog woke me and I heard the commotion and saw a shadow but could not give a description of the person, unfortunately. This was a brand new 9-foot yard umbrella stolen in yard invasion, while I was sleeping. Date September COST: $100.  Additional Cost:  Therapy+ anti-anxiety meds + purchase of more motion lights + possible security camera.

6. Rick Swinger. (multiple crimes reported) 

 a.  The Hampton side of the Church on Rose Ave).   A car back window busted out, while camper camped next to it blocking sidewalk.  DATE:  June 

b. Church at Rose and Hampton.  Physical attack.  Arm broken   Homeless caught and released days after; the attacker (homeless individual) still casing alley as of yesterday  COST:  Thousands of dollars (still recovering)

c. Church break in and items stolen. Date: June 2017

d. Church on Rose and Hampton.  Van window broken of Rabbi Peretz. Also my backyard umbrella was stolen,  later found on 3rd– too dirty to take back   Date: August.

 7.  Elissa Della Rocca.  Market umbrella taken from private fenced and gated garden.  Date: About a year ago. Cost:  $80

 8.   Carol Reynes.  I was verbally threatened with bodily harm while running on the west end of the Penmar Golf Course. Date:July.  Cost: peace of mind + the loss of my running course, which I’ve been using for past 20+ years.

 9.  Carol Reynes.  My neighbor’s house adjacent to Penmar Golf Course was broken into and a computer, iPad, and money stolen. iPad was recovered but the police would not say where it was recovered.  Date: September.  Cost:  Approx. $2,000

10. Travis Binen.  My friends car was broken into while parked in my garage.  The thief/thieves smashed the car window and stole my friend’s purse.   In addition, the thief/thieves broke into my storage unit and stole many items. Date:  A little over 2 years ago. 

11. Jenny Karl.  My umbrella! I’m so fuming mad! I want to try to go over there tomorrow and see if police will show. I have police report/my receipt/ the tags/and the packaging with picture with me at all times! How dare the police not do something??? These bikes and umbrella’s and lawn chairs, etc. are all stolen from neighbors homes! As of Sept. 21st, my umbrella was shading some thieves in Santa Monica in the park in front of the sea colony!!!!!!!  (taken from yard) Date: September. Cost: Replacement cost –broken when found.  

 12.  Jody Landers.  Girl about 40 yrs old,  90 pounds,  wearing black leggings and black crop top with paint on her face and shaved head broke into the patio and stole crystals and wind chime. definitely homeless, definitely mentally ill and/or on something. Was told she hangs out at the end of Dudley. Just want to give neighbors a heads up. She moved too fast to get her picture. I’m almost sure she’ll return for more things on the patio Does she sound familiar to anyone reading this? |

13. Rick Swinger.  CVS Major Vandalism–store closed to tomorrow (Monday).  Date:  September.  Cost: Unknown.

14. Cd Devine.  Thief jumped 8 foot fence and took locked bike. Date:  October.  Cost: ?

15. Mari Snyder.   Assault in Venice @Erewhon Food Store.  Cliff, a neighbor, while walking his small white dog (Daisy) early Wednesday morning, was assaulted by a shirtless man whom he described as a skin-head. The skin- head was very hyper, told Cliff that he was going to take Daisy, his dog. When Cliff reached down to pick up Daisy, the skin head punched and kicked him several times. Cliff carrying Daisy ran towards Abbot Kinney Blvd and was helped by two men he knew, who saw he was in distress. 911 was called. LAPD arrived 20 minutes later. The skin head was ranting, stopping cars and threatening drivers in the middle of Abbot Kinney Boulevard. The police assured Cliff they would take care of the matter. They didn’t arrest the skin head. Description of person involved – Hair: close cropped shaved, Top: shirtless, Age: 25-30, Build: muscular, Race: white, Sex: male ( the photo posted on the thread is NOT the man who attacked Cliff) Date of Occurance: ? Cost: ? 

16. Cheryl Scaccio.  Someone jumped my tall fence in the middle of the night, went into back yard and stole my bike and locks. Value: $500+. Have never been a victim of crime in more than 20 years here. Date of Occurance:  ?  

17. Tom and Yelena Kershaw.  Multiple Amazon packages stolen from the front gate. Two drug addicts smocking meth on our driveway, my 12 year old step-son present. My husband Tom asked them to leave.  They told him he better sleep with one eye opened because they know where he lives and they’ll come and kill him.  We called the police, but didn’t file a report.  They did eventually move, but left a bunch of garbage and debris behind that we had to clean up and sanitize the area.  DATE:  August 2018:

People dedicating and urinating constantly in the back of the house- we’re cleaning it up ourselves. 

House graffitied multiple times.

18. Tori Knight.  (multiple crimes) We had our home graffiti’d, windows broken twice, chair thrown into our front door breaking lamp, garbage thrown over our fence, and most recently had transmission fluid poured all over our sidewalk and fence permanently staining it. Cost: $1300 in damages.

19. Elissa Della Rocca.  Folding garden chair taken from gated and fenced garden, last month.  Cost:  $50.  

Also, last month, a pair of leather boots taken from front porch. Cost:  $100+. 

20. Salman Husain.  Had a bag of groceries taken from our front gate.  Interesting story.  As you know parking is a major issue around these parts.  Came back from the grocery store and double parked in front of our car garage as there was no parking on our street.  Took the groceries out and proceeded to our front gate and noticed two ordinary looking people sitting at the curb. In that moment I noticed a car leave and so I put the groceries down at my front gate to move the car; That took all of 2-3 minutes.  When I returned my $100 worth of groceries vanished along with the two guys sitting on the curb. Date:  ?  Cost: $100 .

21.  Celeste Chada.  My 12 year old daughter was chased by a vagrant through the Whole Foods parking lot. She ran for safety into the store to get away.  Date: ?  

22.  Carol Katona.  My car was stolen from the City parking lot by Rose and Main.  Found 2 weeks later in Santa Monica.  To add insult to injury, I had to pay  an impound fee of $178 to get it back. Clothes to be taken to the cleaners and miscellaneous in trunk were taken.  Date:  2017.  Cost:  $350.

23.  Robin Targon.  Over the summer we had an Amazon delivery stolen.  October 13 a man posing as an Amazon Fresh delivery person climbed over our fence and tried to break in.




80-year-old pushed to ground by homeless person


George Ivanovics, 80 years old, was pushed to the ground by a homeless person at 1 pm Wednesday (12 September) near Speedway and Sunset, according to his wife Agi. He was taken to the emergency room and is resting at home.

This is the second known elder crime in the area. A 70-year-old man was attacked by several homeless youth in the area recently.

LAPD is looking for video  footage of the incident to catch the suspect.

Tips can be submitted at 800-222-8477.

Crime in Oxford Triangle — 7 to 10 Days

Is crime up or is crime down? Up … Down … It doesn’t matter; it is all relative to the crime in one’s immediate area. If one has crime in his neighborhood, crime is up no matter what the statistics have to say.

Oxford Triangle had several incidents within seven to 10 days recently that, of course, made it appear that crime was up. Whether crime statistics say crime is up or not didn’t matter to the neighbors in the Oxford Triangle. Crime was up.


It started with one person trying to break-in a house. People who have cameras have an advantage. Someone in the house let the person know they were at home. The picture one person identified as the man who has been hanging at Walgreens, Lincoln and Washington.


Then there was the lady with the pink Mohawk haircut, pink shirt who set off the alarms in one house, alerted police and the helicopter, only to go into another neighborhood where a door was unlocked and the cleaning lady was pushed aside. She apparently tried to break into several places in the Del Rey gated community. Police were called but commenter said they never arrived.

One person made the following comment: “More crime daily now. Very disturbing. Again, these are not your unfortunate homeless people. These are grifters, druggies, etc.” One wants to add “drifters” to the definition also. They are here today and gone tomorrow.


Early one morning one naked fellow was running thru traffic to cross Lincoln and made it to Walgreens Drug store. He danced around the area before entering Walgreens. Police came and took him in the police car.

Couple days later he was at the corner of Lincoln and Washington playing with a soccer ball, fully clothed.


One lady and her daughter had three young men on bicycles throw rocks and dog feces at them while they were in front of their opened garage. Lady has a photo and will be filing charges.

And this is just what has happened in the Oxford Triangle in the last 7 to 10 days. One cannot believe that other neighborhoods are not burdened with such. The application Nextdoor.com is excellent for reporting incidents and following them.

Amy Says Report Vandalism — Losses Accumulate; Let Police Know

Keyed car.

By Amy Alkon

There’s been a horrifying level of vandalism on cars in Venice and Santa Monica — likely causing tens of thousands of dollars in damage on some nights. Cars are being keyed — down to the primer — and tires are being slashed. One lady had her tires slashed 13 times.

Reportedly — per a commenter on Nextdoor — one of the perpetrators is a guy named Lance (white guy, I think) who comes by on a bike. The cops apparently know who he is, but the City Attorney just kicks cases instead of filing them when they are for “petty crimes.” Well, this crime wave is not petty because there’s so much cumulative damage and cost.

In order to get police patrols and attention to this, every one of these cases needs to be reported — even if it happened a few weeks ago or more time ago. The police need to know there’s an epidemic of vandalism, and guess what: They have no idea at the moment (more on that below).

This can’t be allowed to continue. I wrote a letter to Steve Lopez at the LA Times to ask him to cover this. If he doesn’t bite, I’ll send it to David Lazarus. If he doesn’t bite, I’ll figure out who the Metro Editor is and send it to that person. (If you know, please let me know in the comments — though I can figure it out.)

One problem: The City Attorney prefers flashy cases and won’t file on small crimes — but if neighbors show there’s a massive collective amount of financial damage to property going on nightly, either Lopez or somebody with political clout may be able to put some muscle on the City Attorney to file.

Need to be reported to get police support
Another problem that can be solved by each person who has experienced vandalism of their car — whether keying or tire-slashing: Again, per two beat cops I spoke to last night, these incidents need to be reported — and then they will direct cops to patrol areas that are being hit. The good news: Because they are property crimes, you can call in your report to the station. Best time to call is the morning, before crime gets going. If the desk officer does not answer, call back. The number of Pacific Division (and hit zero to get a person on the line): 310-482-6334

You can email photos of the damage to the cop taking the report. Ask for their badge number to do this, which is also their email address. So, it’ll be 555555@lapd.online (no dot.com).

Please, please, everybody start reporting these and tell your friends and neighbors.

We cannot let the vandals take over Venice, and that’s what’s happening now.

Don’t count on Bonin to do anything, or  the VNC to do anything, or anyone to do anything. We neighbors have to fight for our neighborhood to be a safe place to park cars and have nice things. We do that by reporting every crime to the cops.

Car Tire Slashers are Back

Tire slasher is back! Ed Mahan has had his car tires slashed ten times in the last 2-1/2 years while his vehicle was parked on Rialto. The last time was last Friday (6 April).

“Over 20 cars were affected last year on a run from Rialto at the Post Office to Abbot Kinney Blvd, then across to Electric, and up Palms to Oakwood, reported Mahan.

“There were also numerous slashings on Brooks at Lincoln during this same time. It lasted 4 to 6 weeks. Be aware. These are always late night events, after the Brig closes.

If anyone else had car tires slashed last Friday or Saturday (6 or 7 April), please comment.

Man Shot on Windward by Homeless Man Last Week; Another Shooting This Week; Francisco Asks for Separate SLO for Boardwalk Area

Another shooting occurred Thursday afternoon in Surfside Bar and Grill at 23 Windward.  Two men were arguing or fighting and another tried to stop it.  Man trying to stop fight was shot in the arm. 

The two men fighting have not been found.A man was shot and wounded 7 March at 10:30 pm in front of Surfside Bar and Grill,  23 Windward Ave.   The suspect, a homeless man who lived in an encampment on Grand Ave, was apprehended.

The two were talking in the restaurant, and supposedly, one was offended by what the other said.  They both stepped out of the restaurant and multiple gun shots occurred. The victim is in critical condition.

George Francisco, president of the Venice Chamber of Commerce and vice-president of the Venice Neighborhood Council has asked Captain James Roberts of the LAPD for a separate senior lead officer (SLO) for the Venice Boardwalk area.

What is Happening on Washington Blvd Just West of Abbot Kinney?


wash2                                  wssh3

The woman pictured was seen yanking plants out of ground in front of one of the stores on south side of Washington Blvd at about 4 pm, Friday, 17 November.  Storeowner asked  her to stop.  The woman pictured went inside the store and verbally threatened the store keeper. The woman left in car shown. 

Twenty minutes later she returned, went in to shop, and assaulted the business owner and her dog.  Police were called.  Part of the incident was captured on video and a police report was filed.

Four days later on 21 November the glass was broken in the building at 760 Washington Blvd.


Denise Fast’s Office Gets Bullet or Rock


Realtor Denise Fast had her glass window hit with a bullet or rock and her glass door shattered Sunday, 20 August at night.  She is located on Washington blvd at Yale.