Southern California breaking news and trends

Man shot and killed Friday morning in Boyle Heights


Andres Aguila/KPCC

LAPD was investigating an early morning homicide Friday in Boyle Heights.

Joe David Lobos, 24, was a block from home, on his way back from work, when he was shot and killed Friday morning at about 1:00. Lobos was driving, and police say the shooter was as well, in a different car that pulled up alongside Lobos. Both were headed east on Olympic Blvd. in Boyle Heights. Police say the shooters' vehicle was a black SUV, likely a Ford Explorer. No arrests have been made.

Shootings have been up this year in the Hollenbeck division, particularly in Boyle Heights, which experienced a rash of gang flare-ups earlier this year. Police say this homicide was likely not gang related. 

Lobos died on the scene. He had recently moved in with his girlfriend and her child. 

We'll have more info as it's available. 


Why cars are stolen; other car theft lessons

Honda Accord

Yoder PD

Got one of these? Then get a club, because they're remarkably easy to steal.

Despite otherwise average-to-low crime rates this year, the Hollenbeck division, which includes Boyle Heights, Lincoln Heights, and El Sereno, is in the midst of an inexplicable car theft binge. Compared to this time last year (which had record low car theft rates), grand theft auto is up 43 percent. 

Some weeks have been so bad they left police in the division wondering if every car they passed on the street had been stolen. Why the binge? No one really knows, but police in the area have cracked down, and the numbers seem to be dwindling.

Meanwhile, what's especially interesting is what detectives have found about why cars are stolen. 

Most stolen vehicles turn up again, and usually pretty quickly. Some have been stripped of rims, or sound systems, or parts, but most are pretty much unscathed when they turn up. Which leads police to believe that stealing cars, for some people, is just a form of transportation. 


Why gangs are like both honeybees and lions

Hazard gang

Lisa Newton

A memorial to members of the Big Hazard gang in Los Angeles.

Humans are mysterious animals, even to ourselves. Which is why, it seems, scientists often resort to weird means to understand people's behavior. This trend is especially apparent in the area of crime, where there's currently a sort of scientific, data-based rennaissance underway.

First, there was news that Santa Cruz Police were using an earthquake forecasting algorithm to predict crime waves. Then there's the study that found people who believe in hell are less likely to commit crimes. 

Now, UCLA researchers have come up with a way of plotting street gang territories: a "mathematical model that has been used for more than 80 years to determine the hunting range of animals in the wild." Set in Boyle Heights, this study, published in Criminology, analyzed gang crimes for a three-year period. According to a press release, the equations applied to the data have been in use since the 1930's "to study the relationships between competing groups as diverse as bee colonies, troops of chimpanzees and prides of lions."


Man killed in officer-involved shooting in Boyle Heights

Crime Stock Photo (police caution tape)

Picture Perfect Pose/

Police caution tape

Police officers called to a Boyle Heights neighborhood early this morning shot and killed a man armed with a rifle, authorities said.

LAPD spokesman Richard French told KPCC that at about 5:50 a.m. Friday morning, “Someone called 911 complaining that there was someone shooting a gun in a neighborhood, which ended up being at the 2500 block of Houston Street” in Boyle Heights.

Upon arriving, officers also heard gunshots, French said, and followed them to the back of house where they encountered a man wielding a rifle.

The man, described only as a Hispanic male from 25 to 30 years old, was shot and killed by police. No officers were injured.

At this point, French said, police do not know why the man was firing a gun, or why he failed to drop it when officers arrived.