Local Briefs

Police Prevent PCH Suicide


3.22.22: At about 2 pm PST, the main road leading down from downtown Santa Monica onto Pacific Coast Highway was closed due to a potential "jumper," a person who threatens to kill himself. Police were attempting to talk him out of suicide, and the road was closed in both directions causing a backup.

"Update: The Crisis Negotiations Team is on scene and attempting contact with a distraught individual resulting in the closure of the California Incline. We thank you for your patience and compassion" tweeted the SMPD at 2:38 pm PST.

"The California Incline is closed in both directions (from PCH and Ocean Ace. ) Traffic impact due to police activity. Please avoid the area." tweeted the SMPD at 1:56 pm PST.

The activity was clear by 5 PM PST, and the Pacific Coast Highway reopened.

Currently, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline uses a 10-digit number, 800-273-TALK (8255). Callers are routed to one of 163 crisis centers where counselors answered 2.2 million calls last year.

Mortgage Rates Rise from 4.75% to 4.95% in 4 days

The benchmark 30 year fixed mortgage interest rate has increased by 20 basis points in just 4 days this week.

“In fact, that's quite a steep increase just over the course of, you know, less than three months, and so when interest rates go up then, of course, you know payments people have to make on the mortgages also increase, and that means that it becomes less affordable to enter the market,” UCSD Professor Allan Timmerman said.

The increase in mortgage interest rates is causing some buyers to game plan for future home purchases.

“I have some, some pretty active buyers at the moment that are already anticipating, they’re trying to be more conservative about their budget,” San Diego Realtor Allan Uy said.

As a result of the interest rate hikes, some economists are lowering their home sales forecasts for 2022.

The Federal Reserve signaled that they will be raising the interest rate at each of the remaining meetings for the year.

Victoria’s Secret Thieves Steal $16000 in Underwear

Three “prolific retail thieves” were arrested after allegedly stealing $16,000 worth of merchandise from two Victoria’s Secret locations in Orange County, California Highway Patrol announced Monday.

An investigator from L Brands, which serves stores including Victoria’s Secret and Pink, identified the organized retail theft crew after they repeatedly victimized stores through the West coast, CHP said in a news release.

The organized crime ring is suspected of committing theft of merchandise worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, targeting retail stores throughout California in addition to neighboring states, CHP said.

L Brands reported the thefts to several law enforcement agencies and requested assistance from the CHP’s Organized Retail Crime Task Force.

The three theft suspects rented a car in the Bay Area and headed south Thursday evening to San Diego County for what the CHP called “the sole purpose of committing retail theft.” Within a few hours, they were observed at at least seven malls, including in Orange County, San Diego and Carlsbad.

“The suspects were observed and documented committing thefts at two Victoria’s Secret stores during those trips,” CHP said.

During the thefts, they stole 329 items worth over $16,000, the news release states.

LAPD: Don’t Wear Flashy Jewelry

At the Los Angeles Police Commission meeting, Chief Michel Moore said there is an increase in armed robberies throughout the area, and warned about wearing expensive jewelry.

Moore said the public needs to be “vigilant."

"What we're asking the public to do with these crime increases is if they're going to wear expensive jewelry or drive high-end cars, when leaving restaurants, taverns and other locations, they need to be mindful of their surroundings, and be in well lit areas. [We ask that] they recognize there are opportunists that are willing to take advantage of them and many times, these individuals are armed with firearms," said Moore.

Moore said the LAPD is "tracking the increase in armed robberies." Armed robberies are up 44% since last year, the police department reported.

"We're tracking the increase in armed robberies including looking at various suspect and vehicle descriptions of those responsible," he said.

Moore said there is now a task force along with additional detectives assigned to investigate these cases.

"We're gonna remain vigilant on this increase and we just urge everyone to pay attention to this to ensure that they're doing what they can to prevent these instances from occurring," said Moore.

Smash & Grab in Beverly Hills


Beverly Hills, CA (AP) -- A jewelry store in Beverly Hills was hit by smash-and-grab robbers Tuesday who remain at large, according to police.

It happened at the Luxury Jewels of Beverly Hills on the corner of South Beverly Drive and Charleville Boulevard just before 2 p.m.

According to police, a group of about five suspects armed with what appeared to be sledgehammers broke the front window of the store and got away with several items.

The group arrived in a stolen car but left it behind, police say, they then fled in an unknown vehicle.

Police believe the suspects were all men, though the investigation is in its preliminary stages. Some were seen wearing hooded sweatshirts, sweatpants and "surgical-style masks," according to police.

The jewelry store owners told KABC that the robbers got away with between $3 to $5 million worth of jewelry. They said one necklace alone was worth nearly $500,000.

LA County Loses Population

Los Angeles saw a significant drop in population during the first full year of the pandemic, from mid-2020 to mid-2021, according to the U.S. Census Bureau population estimates released Thursday.

L.A. lost nearly 176,000 residents, the second biggest drop among U.S. metro areas. Only New York City lost more.

As in NYC, in LA births outnumbered deaths.

Both cities experienced an increase in international residents. But this wasn't even close enough to overcome the loss of tens of thousands of residents who moved away. The Los Angeles Anaheim metro area’s population dropped to 13 million residents.

The pandemic intensified population trends of migration to the South and West, as well as a slowdown in growth in the biggest cities in the U.S. Experts say the pandemic and housing costs led to the shifts.

Many residents vacated some of the nation's biggest, most densely-populated and costly metropolitan areas in favor of Sunbelt destinations during the first full year of the pandemic. The exodus from the biggest U.S. metropolitan areas was led by New York, which lost almost 328,000 residents.

Police Seek Suspect In November Hit and Run

Santa Monica Police are looking for the driver of a vehicle that fled the scene after hitting and killing a pedestrian in November 2021.

The fatal collision occurred on Nov. 13, 2021, around 8:05 p.m. near the intersection of 10th Street and Pico Boulevard.

When police arrived on scene they found a 58-year-old man suffering from “massive trauma” after being hit by two cars. The man was declared at the scene.

The first vehicle that hit the man drove off. The driver of the second vehicle remained at the scene, police said.

The suspect vehicle has been identified as a white Ford Mustang, possibly a 2015 model. The vehicle is believed to have sustained a broken right front windshield and damage to the front driver’s side.

Security footage of the deadly hit-and-run was posted on the police department’s Twitter page Wednesday.

The suspected driver is believed to have either lived nearby or visited the area often, police said.

The Santa Monica Police Department is asking anyone with information about the deadly hit-and-run to come forward and contact them at 310-458-8426.


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