Southern California breaking news and trends

Burbank looking for a permanent police chief

Burbank Interim Police Chief Scott LaChasse

Burbank Interim Police Chief Scott LaChasse has led the department for the past two-and-a-half years.

Burbank is looking for a permanent police chief following two-and-a-half years of interim rule. No word on whether Interim Chief Scott LaChasse will seek the job. LaChasse did not immediately return phone calls seeking comment.

Coming from LAPD, where he spent 32 years, LaChasse took the reins of Burbank PD in 2010. 

At the time, the department had just come under investigation by the FBI on allegations of excessive force and other civil rights violations. 

In a statement, City Manager Michael Flad said La Chasse, originally brought in on a six-month contract, helped stabilize "a department in crisis." 


New alias for person of interest in homeless stabbings

David Ben Keyes


Los Angeles police have identified Courtney Anthony Robinson, who also goes by David Ben Keyes as a person of interest in a wave of homeless stabbings.

Police are looking for a man for questioning regarding a rash of stabbings of homeless people across L.A. Originally identified as David Ben Keyes, police now say the man also goes by the name Courtney Anthony Robinson. To their best knowledge, police say Robinson is from Santa Barbara and may be homeless himself. 

The name "David Ben Keyes" was found on "death warrants" police found at all three crime scenes, along with typed "ramblings," according to police.

The victims, all middle-aged and homeless, sustained non-life-threatening injuries. Each was stabbed in the back while sleeping outdoors during the early morning hours. The first stabbing occurred July 3 on Skid Row. The second July 17 in Santa Monica, and the third July 19 in Hollywood. 

LAPD Commander Andrew Smith said those are the victims police know about, though there may be others. "Sometimes folks in our homeless community don't report crimes that happen to them," he said. "They're either scared, or maybe don't want to."


Police looking for person of interest in homeless stabbings

David Ben Keyes


Los Angeles police have identified David Ben Keyes as a person of interest in a wave of homeless stabbings.

A wave of stabbings has hit the Southland's homeless population: in the past two weeks, three middle aged victims have been stabbed in the back as they slept, with the assailant leaving what police called a "death warrant" at the scene.

LAPD is looking for David Ben Keyes, possibly of Santa Barbara, a man they describe as a "person of interest" in the case. Police say Keyes' name was found on typewritten notes left at all three crime scenes — Skid Row on July 3, Santa Monica on July 17, and Hollywood on Thursday morning.

The three victims, one of whom remains in the hospital, survived the stabbings with non-life-threatening injuries. All three knives used in the stabbings were recovered. 

LAPD Commander Andrew Smith cautioned homeless folks to try to stay in shelters at night while police investigate the attacks. 


Shooting in southwest LA leaves one dead, others injured

Rina Palta / KPCC

The scene of a multiple victim shooting in Southwestern L.A. Wednesday night.

A shooting in Southwestern Los Angeles Wednesday night left at least three victims. One victim, who rescue workers tried to recussitate as they loaded the stretcher onto the ambulance, was later pronounced dead.

According to police at the scene, on the 4800 block of 2nd Avenue, a group of Rollin 40s Crips were having a party and shooting fireworks off in the street when a white van rolled by and someone inside the van opened fire. 

Partygoers waited to be questioned, some wearing costumes, like one man, who had on an orange clown wig.

As of yet, there has been no word of arrests.

This story has been updated.


Hit-and-run driver in Marina Del Rey causes police car to crash, injuring two officers


A hit-and-run driver caused this patrol car to crash in Marina Del Rey on Monday, May 28, 2012.

Two officers patrolling Marina Del Rey were sent to the hospital early Monday after another driver clipped their cruiser -- sending it veering out of control and slamming into bus stop benches -- before fleeing the scene.

The hit-and-run happened around 2 a.m. this morning near the intersection of Washington Boulevard and Pacific Avenue, only a block from the water. According to witnesses, the SUV cut off the police cruiser, causing the crash. NBC says the officers were treated and released.

The cruiser hit the benches head-on, causing extensive damage to the vehicle’s front end. No one else was hurt in the crash.

Police have not yet released a description of the SUV or its driver.

Anyone who thinks they may have information on the incident is asked to call LAPD’s Pacific Division at (310) 202-4579.