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April 1st, 2009 by Temple City Tribune
At about 5:45 am in the K-Mart parking lot there were over 3 dozen LA County Sheriffs vehicles both marked and unmarked to carry out a county wide probation compliance check . Three teams covered Temple City in hitting 11 residences of those on probation for violations related to graffiti. One of the teams, including seven patrol cars followed by the probation officer and canine, unit arrived at the first residence at 6:05 am was that was slated searched. The probation officer led the deputies in knocking on each door, what they call a “soft knock” and firmly stating “Sheriff Department, Probation, Open the Door”. It’s routine for all suspects on probation to be detained and handcuffed during the sweep. The sweep consisted of a search of the common areas and living quarters of the suspect. The Sergeants in command conduct a pre and post video of the location. While the residence is searched, officers ask the suspects and all those at the residences their names, dates of births and if there are any personal valuables in the residence. At the conclusion of the sweep if anything is found, it is up to the probation officer if an arrest will be made at the time or not. Only one arrest was made in Temple City. The K-9 narcotics unit was used at least 2 locations. At one of the locations one of the suspects was found with a marijuana plant and drug paraphernalia but the suspect produced a legal medical marijuana license and not arrested. This was a soft search The Operations deputy for one of the 3 temple city teams was Deputy Steve Cabrerra, he lead the team in briefing before heading to the next location . This particular team hit 4 locations with throughout the city. The charges of those on probation for the team varied from Felony charges of vandalism to sales of marijuana, assault with a deadly weapon and burglary & grand theft. The probation deputy leading was Burrell.
Three divisions of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department along with Pasadena, Burbank, and Glendale Police Departments as well as other law enforcement agencies conducted this sweep in relation to gang, vandalism and graffiti. A total of 164 locations were targeted in over 88 cities conducted by 12 units totaling over 300 personnel were involved. 42 suspects were arrested, 30 of them had felony counts and 12 with misdemeanors. 23 were in violation of probation terms and 1 in state parole violation. 15 weapons were recovered, including several different types of rifles, knives, hand guns, mace, an assault rifle and a couple single ball battle bace. There were also narcotic seizures mainly methamphetamine and marijuana. 4 investigations were initiated by the Department of Children and Family services from the sweep. The highlight of the morning was in the arrest of Richard Perez also known as “Asko” or “Sloter” who has vandalized over 88 MTA buses with damages totaling over $7,000. Sheriff Lee Baca had this message to convey to those who graffiti, “…For those who like to tag with their logo. If you don’t think for one minute that we’re not going to be able to find out who you are…we will eventually find out who you are… Stop destroying people’s property”
*Interesting fact was brought up by one of the Sergeants; it is reported that there are over 6,000 parolees that are in the LA County area with outstanding warrants.
Story by Andrea Olivas
Photos by Terry Miller