Silver Lake residents, business owners ask police to crack down on neighborhood crime
About three dozen Silver Lake residents and business owners met with police Tuesday night for what organizers touted as a town hall meeting “to discuss the escalating gunfire, violent crime, burglary and physical violence in our neighborhood.”
The gathering was prompted by a string of recent incidents in the Sunset Junction neighborhood, said business owner Jeff Castelaz, including an armed robbery at a 7-Eleven convenience store, an attempted robbery that left a man dead on Manzanita Street and a shooting Monday afternoon outside of Castelaz's record label, Dangerbird Records.
No one was injured in Monday's shooting, which police believe was gang-related. But Castelaz said bullets struck his building and an employee’s car and almost hit a member of one of the bands signed to his label.
"We’ll do the best we can to piece this together,” said LAPD Capt. William Murphy, commanding officer of the Northeast Division, which claims much of Silver Lake as its territory.
Murphy said crime is down in the area this year with the exception of rape and burglary. There have been 35 burglaries so far in 2010, which is 48% higher than last year, he said.
“I do think that crime is going up in the area,” said Irma Gonzalez, the owner of Tacos Delta.
She complained that police were unresponsive after a recent attempted break-in at her taco stand. The fact that Silver Lake is patrolled by two LAPD divisions, Northeast and Rampart, contributes to the problem, residents and business owners said.
“On our end it’s confusing and frustrating to be in the middle of these borderlands,” said resident Thaddeus Herrick, who has lived in the area for 10 years. "I've always felt safe. But I'm really concerned about these escalations and spikes in crime.”
-- Kate Linthicum
Map: The Silver Lake Mapping L.A. Neighborhoods page. Click to learn more about this neighborhood.