Erika Aguilar Orange County Reporter

Erika Aguilar
Contact Erika Aguilar

Erika Aguilar covers Orange County for KPCC. Prior to that she was the station's crime, courts and public safety reporter.

Erika joined KPCC in 2012 after four years reporting on environmental issues for public radio station KUT in Austin, Texas, where she earned recognition for her work covering the 2009 shootings at the Fort Hood Army post in Killeen, the 2011 Texas wildfires and the state’s ongoing drought. Some of her reporting has been featured on NPR and American Public Media’s "Marketplace."

Before joining KUT, Aguilar worked in TV news as an assignment editor and assistant producer for the CBS affiliate in Austin. She’s a journalism and history graduate of Texas State University.

Any tips or story ideas can be sent to Erika by email at

Stories by Erika Aguilar

What's it like to fly on an LAPD helicopter patrol?

A ride-along on an LAPD helicopter patrol is largely uneventful, as are many patrols. But the department insists the choppers play a valuable role.

How effective are police helicopters at fighting crime?

The data show that police helicopters often are first on scene, provide backup, and deploy officers to surround crime scenes. But measuring their effectiveness is tricky.

Family: Downey agrees to pay $4.5 million for police shooting

The city of Downey has settled a lawsuit with the family of an unarmed man shot and killed by an officer. Read the city's reaction and a report into the shooting.

Man arrested at LAX with alleged smoke grenade released on lesser charges

The 27-year-old was arrested at LAX for allegedly bringing a smoke grenade into the U.S. He was released Monday after accepting a plea bargain for making false statements on a customs declaration forms.

Witness testifies about molestation by ex- Los Angeles elementary teacher

The minor said Robert Pimentel touched her inappropriately. She testified during a preliminary hearing to determine if there is enough evidence for the case to proceed to trial. Pimentel has pleaded not guilty.

Cabin where Dorner died becomes a 'must see' attraction, memorial

Visitors to Big Bear stop to see the ruins of the cabin Dorner died in. For some, it's an attraction. For others, a memorial. The property's future remains unclear.

Can LA's gang reduction strategy be exported to Latin America?

The LAPD and the mayor’s office estimate that since 2005, gang-related crime has fallen by 55 percent in L.A. But will the policies credited with the drop work elsewhere?

Judge dismisses lawsuit in LAPD police shooting

A federal judge rules that there's not enough evidence to move ahead with a wrongful death lawsuit in last year's fatal shooting of Abdul Arian.

Torrance, man shot at during Dorner manhunt set for mediation

The man's lawyer said a $4.2 million settlement by LAPD for mistakenly shooting at two delivery workers is low. One Torrance officer is back at work, while the other isn’t ready yet.

LA deputies accuse jail officials of working with gang members

In a lawsuit, they say jail officials didn't act to stop deputies who partnered with inmate white supremacist gang members.

Arraignment continued to May for Northridge kidnapping suspect (video)

The primary suspect in the Northridge kidnapping case didn't enter a plea. His arraignment is now set for May 2; bail was set at $19 million.

LA reaches $4.2 million settlement with women fired on in Dorner manhunt

L.A. has reached a $4.2 million settlement on injury claims by women injured when police mistakenly opened fire on them during the manhunt for disgruntled ex-cop Christopher Dorner.

Man who found Dorner's burning truck applies for reward

His attorney says the report about the ex-cop's abandoned truck directed the Dorner search to the Big Bear area and the eventual end of the search.

2 LAPD motor cops cleared of perjury charges in DUI case

They testified they'd witnessed a drunk driving offense when they hadn't. One officer has been dismissed from the force; the other faces a departmental hearing.

$5 million grant for SoCal earthquake warning system

Scientists say an early warning could be flashed when shaking starts on the San Andreas fault, giving Southern Californians precious seconds to find a safe place.