Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Chief Michel Moore reported Sept. 20 a “troubling” 52 percent increase in robberies with a firearm compared to 2019. Robberies overall are up 17 percent compared to the same time last year, according to the LAPD.
“Robberies are consistently a challenge” for the department, Moore said in a meeting with the Los Angeles Police Commission.
Earlier this month, LAPD encountered two separate incidents involving a suspect with a firearm, Moore said.
On Sept. 20, officers attempted to stop a suspect who they believed was driving a stolen vehicle when the suspect purposely drove off Harbor Freeway and into a homeless encampment. The suspect fired in the direction of officers before being detained successfully without officers firing back.
Moore said officers are now searching the area to recover the firearm used by the suspect.
The day before, he said, officers came upon a shooting incident in progress between Broadway Street and Olympic Boulevard. Four individuals were arrested and one handgun was recovered.
“The incidences of officers rolling into or coming upon instances of gun violence have increased. … [T]here are many more guns in the streets today than in years past,” Moore said.
Homicide rates have remained consistent with that of 2021, according to the LAPD. In August, 35 homicides were recorded, compared to 34 last September.
The number of shooting victims has decreased slightly, according to Moore. There have been 106 shooting victims within the past four weeks, from late August to mid-September. The same time last year had 118.
On Sept. 12, rapper PnB Rock was gunned down during a robbery at a restaurant in South Los Angeles. The suspect is still at large, officials said.
Before his death, the rapper said during a podcast interview that robberies in Los Angeles had become “so common” that it’s essentially become acceptable. The Philadelphia native also revealed he had never been robbed before.