The student news site of California State University - Los Angeles

University Times

The student news site of California State University - Los Angeles

University Times

The student news site of California State University - Los Angeles

University Times

    Crime concerns in East Los Angeles

    Edward Nelson
    L.A. County Sheriff’s Deputy Daniel Padilla is at a station in the city of Industry, preparing for a 10-hour shift.

    East Los Angeles residents are concerned for their well-being with the recent uptick in crime in the neighborhood. 

    In 2022, the neighborhood had 18 robberies and 65 violent crimes each month, on average. In 2023, that average rose to 19 robberies and 68 violent crimes a month, according to data from an email from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

    This past summer, a series of related assaults struck the neighborhood. 

    On the early morning of July 15, 21-year-old Sergio Andrew Garcia allegedly beat and attempted to sexually assault 67-year-old Rosalina Martinez while she was gardening in her front-lawn on the 1000 block of Fraser Avenue, according to a CBS Los Angeles story.

    Later that same day, Garcia allegedly assaulted and robbed a different woman on the 5200 block of Via Corona Street, according to the Sheriff’s department.. On July 16, the suspect allegedly came back to steal the same woman’s vehicle. The department also reported that a third victim came forward and said Garcia had allegedly sexually assaulted her. Authorities said they later learned of what they believe is a fourth victim who had been carjacked on July 15. 

    East L.A. resident Kenny Chew shared his thoughts on the series of crimes: “I’ve lived in East L.A. for 10 going on 11 years,” Chew said. “When I heard about the elderly woman getting attacked, it surprised me since it was in my neighborhood, and I did not think that it would be so close, which is concerning for my safety.” 

    East L.A. resident Adam Franco, a grocery store employee, said the incident worried him, too: “I’ve lived in East Los Angeles my whole life, and that day I heard sirens, and it was scary knowing about the robberies and attacks that were going on.”

    More police patrols are needed, residents say.

     “I don’t see police around that often unless it’s really late…at midnight, but they are always contacted immediately, as soon as something happens,”  Franco added.

    Sheriff’s department officials said in an email that they are taking the necessary steps to solve the case and patrol the area: “The Sheriff’s station has taken numerous proactive steps to identify additional victims involved in this case of the elderly woman. Our patrol stations provide services to all areas 24/7 for crime prevention and apprehension.”  

    On July 25, Mexican authorities apparently located and apprehended the suspect in Tijuana, Mexico. Garcia was transported to Los Angeles County and booked at the East L.A. station, through collaborative work with the U.S. Marshals Mexico Foreign Field office and Pacific Southwest Regional Fugitive Task Force, according to a press release from the Sheriff’s office.

    Authorities are still on the hunt for a second suspect in the case and ask any victims or those with information to contact the East Los Angeles Sheriff’s Station. 


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