Local Briefs

Suspect Still at Large in Santa Monica Carjacking

One suspect is in custody after armed robbery carjacking outside La Condesa Restaurant

September 10, 2021 - Shortly after midnight this morning, a victim was held up at gunpoint outside La Condesa restaurant at 1519 Wilshire Boulevard, and then driven around the block in their own car while they were robbed. At least two suspects then fled in their own vehicle at high speed, crashing at 26th Street and Wilshire Boulevard. Santa Monica Police arrived on the scene, set up a perimeter, and with the help of dogs and a drone, caught one of the suspects. The Beverly Hills police and Santa Monica College police assisted in the search.

Steve Bryan Brown, 21, of Anaheim was apprehended without incident. A loaded Smith and Wesson handgun was in his possession.

Still at large is a suspect described as a black male, 25-30 years old, between 5'9-6'0" and weighing 150-185 pounds. At the time, he was wearing dark clothing.

LA County Parks Outdoor Sports

Citing a risk to children from the Delta Variant, LA Co. Dept. of Public published a new protocol for organized youth sports on Tuesday, August 23, 2021.

All youth sports activities overseen by LA County Parks will be conducted outdoors. “Although the new protocol allows indoor youth sports, the risk of COVID transmission is far greater indoors than outdoors,” wrote LACDPH in a press release.

Testing everyone for Covid-19 in order to conduct sports indoors would be expensive, notes the County Press Release. “Because of the cost and time-consuming nature of this testing, we believe it will be very difficult for most athletes and coaches to adhere to them.”

The new county protocol, effective September 1, 2021, applies to youth recreation sports leagues, club sports, travel sports and sports sponsored by private and public schools serving students in TK-12 schools. It does not apply to adult sports leagues.

Navy Veteran, 79, Sentenced for Selling Toner

A 79-year-old toner salesman was sentenced to four years in prison for running a decades-long, multimillion-dollar scam that caused tens of thousands of small businesses and charities to pay hugely inflated prices for printer cartridges.

Gilbert Michaels of West Los Angeles was accused of utilizing boiler-room telemarketing businesses to dupe victims into paying as much as 10 times the retail price for toner, federal prosecutors said. He was convicted with six others of conspiracy, mail fraud and money laundering in December 2019.

Michaels’s operation dates back to the 1970s. Prosecutors say he may have defrauded more than 50,000 victims around the country over the years. In one six-year stretch, prosecutors said Michaels sold $126 million worth of toner to unsuspecting victims.

Among the victims were a YMCA, a California country club, a Christian preschool in Alabama, a tow-truck company and a steelworkers union local in Kentucky.

In pre-sentencing court filings, Michaels’s attorneys said their client was a Navy veteran in poor health. They said that the charges against him were rooted in the cutthroat nature of the toner business and that many of the allegations were based on accusations from biased competitors.


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