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Arrests made in Lakers victory riots

August 13, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Police have arrested three suspects they believe were involved in the vandalism and rioting following the Lakers championship victory.It was a time of celebration after the Lakers clinched the NBA championship. But jubilation turned to violence. Police were pelted with rocks and bottles, and six MTA buses were damaged.

Three people were arrested during several morning raids targeting a gang believed to have been involved in the violence. The reputed members of a South Los Angeles gang were picked up for parole violations unrelated to the June melee. Investigators believe their gang vandalized buses, rail cars, and other MTA property.

Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies served warrants at a number of locations from Rancho Cucamonga to South L.A.

Investigators used security video and news footage to identify 12 suspects primarily involved in damage to MTA property.

Six MTA bus and Blue Line rail cars were damaged after vandals pummeled them with rocks and bricks. The MTA estimates the damage at about $70,000.

People say that type of behavior needs to be punished.

"That's horrible that adults did that. Our children need to know that violence doesn't care of anything," said Michelle Brewster, an L.A. resident.

"Well I think that anybody that does damage to private property or public property should pay for what they do so I think it's great that they arrested them," said Stewart Reyes, an L.A. resident.

It is unclear if the suspects will also face charges connected to other property damage during the Lakers victory celebration. Vandals busted out windows, looted stores, damaged cars, and set fires in the street.

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