Good Morning, Venice: Best Buy Heist in West L.A. Leads to Massive Helicopter, K-9 Pursuit
By any standards, the three-hour LAPD operation to catch a pack of Best Buy heisters on the run in their overstuffed U-Haul this morning was a pursuit scene of Spielberg proportions. (Seriously though. Imagine a leaf blower, swallowed by a 500-pound rottweiler, stuck in a ceiling fan. But windier. Inside your head.)
As the robbers were loading up their U-Haul with electronics from the Best Buy on West Pico, they accidentally set off the alarm around 3:30 a.m.
So they hopped in the moving truck, and -- with West L.A. police officers hot on their tail -- fled down to Venice, much to the dismay of sleeping Venetians. (OK, we'll stop complaining now.)
While helicopters did their leaf blower / rottweiler / ceiling fan thing up above, foot officers with K-9s went door to door in the Milwood and Electric Avenue area, searching for the suspects and warning residents not to come out of their houses. Cops soon nabbed the truckful of booty and one of the alleged robbers, but the other two weren't caught until the migraine set in about 7 a.m. (Sorry. Couldn't help it.)
Lieutenant Gena Brooks at the West L.A. station says that officers from all neighboring divisions -- Pacific, Southwest, 77th, etc. -- wailed over to help the original pursuit cops. Then, "When I came on, I sent my units out... a lot of people passing the baton to the next people." And same deal with the air units.
Trusty local crimewatcher Venice311 Tweeted photos of the goods:
Also, the resident whose yard the suspects were hiding in (much more glamorous rogue neighbors than them RV bums):
The Westside heist comes just a few days after another large-scale looting in South El Monte. That time, though, armed robbers got away with $1 million from an ATM delivery company run by ex-cops. We kid you not. The crew entered through the roof, tied up three employees, locked them in a vault -- then successfully made off with the cash.
Where were all the K-9s and choppers in south county, hmmm Baca?