CITY ATTORNEY TAKES ON CRIMINAL GANG ACTIVITY AT SOUTH LOS ANGELES STRIP MALL
Hyde Park Shopping Center Allegedly the Epicenter for Drugs, Guns, Assaults, Shootings
Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer announced that his office is taking action against the owner of a South Los Angeles strip mall, and also one of the business owners, in order to curb blatant criminal activity by the Rollin’ 60s Neighborhood Crips. Crimes at the location have increased in number and intensity including last year’s brutal gang homicide of a 19-year old who made the fatal mistake of wearing the wrong colored shoes.
“For too long, residents and business patrons of this community have been held hostage by the rampant gang activity we allege at this shopping center,” said Feuer. “Enough is enough. My office will continue to fight to rid our neighborhoods of illegal guns, drugs and gang conduct that have a devastating impact on our communities.”
The lawsuit names Diamond Property Management, Inc., the owner of a strip mall in the South LA neighborhood of Hyde Park, as well as Mohammad Mansour, the owner of African Tobacco, a tenant business. The property includes a car wash, associated auto businesses, a tobacco shop/convenience store, and a burger stand located at 3312 W. Florence Avenue, near Crenshaw Avenue, and within one mile of four schools, three parks and three churches.
Law enforcement officers have responded to an escalating series of crimes at the property including drive-by shootings, robberies, batteries, and assaults. In the spring of 2015 a teenage boy at the car wash with his mother was confronted and fatally shot multiple times by gang members for allegedly wearing the wrong color shoes. Recent criminal activity includes:
- In May 2016, LAPD Officers recovered a .45 caliber semi-automatic handgun from a backpack near the tobacco shop. One week later, two alleged members of the Rollin’ 60s Crips were arrested after recovering a fully loaded .357 Smith & Wesson revolver from a paper bag near the burger stand.
- In August 2016, Narcotics Enforcement Officers arrested three individuals, including a documented member of the Rollin’ 60s Crips, after selling crack cocaine to a law enforcement informant at the property.
- On Thanksgiving Day 2016, one of the property’s business owners was assaulted in the parking lot of the property resulting in his tooth being knocked out.
The lawsuit seeks an injunction prohibiting gang and criminal activity on the property, physical and managerial improvements to the property including: an internet-connected video monitoring system covering all public areas at the property; improved lighting; secure gating and fencing; improved tenant screening and lease enforcement procedures including earlier closure times for businesses; and armed, licensed security guards.
Since July, 2013, City Attorney Feuer’s Federal and Local Special Abatement Operations Unit has filed 45 actions similar to these and obtained 56 injunctions requiring comprehensive physical and managerial improvements to nuisance properties. In this same time period, the office has also successfully secured the closure of six gang/narcotics locations and recovered over $400,000 in costs and fees.
Feuer also recently established an easy-to-use online method through which residents may report properties with gang and / or narcotics activity in their neighborhoods. He’s asking residents to report these properties by calling his office at (213) 978-8340 or visiting the City Attorney’s website: www.lacityattorney.org. All reports may be made anonymously.