WOODLAND HILLS—Officers from the Los Angeles Police Department arrested a 17 year-old resident of a Woodland Hills apartment after officers determined the minor’s report on an in-progress, hot-prowl burglary was made up.
“This is one of the hottest calls an officer can respond to,” explained Capt. Paul Vernon, commanding officer of the Topanga Patrol Division. “Officers responded with lights and siren and the helicopter was overhead quickly, but there were no suspects.”
According to the LAPD, officers found the teen, whose mother was out of town, was safe and home alone around 4:20 p.m., on Wednesday, February 14, but his story that three African-American men tried to force their way into his third floor apartment, in the 21000 block of Erwin Street, was made up. The caller’s initial report to 9-1-1 indicated the suspects fired one bullet through the door, into the apartment.
Officers were suspicious about the teen’s story when they realized the bullet hole in the door came from the inside, out, not the outside, in, as the boy claimed. Detectives obtained a search warrant for the apartment and seized quantities of cannabis and found evidence of a firearm. Officers found a .380 Glock handgun in the bushes, below the balcony of the teen’s apartment.
He was arrested for illegal discharge of a firearm, and taken to Sylmar Juvenile Hall, pending the return of his mother or legal guardian. The teen’s mother may face charges of child endangerment for leaving an unsecured firearm in a residence with a minor. The cannabis seized is considered illicit and not protected under new laws as minors under 21 cannot legally possess nor consume cannabis. The arrestee’s name has not released as he is a minor.
Anyone with information in this case may call Det. Brien Pogue, Topanga Detective Division, at 818-756-3537. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247). Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call the LA Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477) or go directly to www.lacrimestoppers.org.
Tipsters may also visit ww.lapdonline.org, and click on “Anonymous Web Tips” under the “Get Involved-Crime Stoppers” menu to submit an online tip. Lastly, tipsters may also download the “P3 Tips” mobile application and select the LA Regional Crime Stoppers as their local program.