2 arrested hours after group breaks into abandoned graffiti-covered high-rise complex in downtown LA

Two people were arrested hours after the property was breached by the group.

Wednesday, February 28, 2024
2 arrested after group breaks into graffiti-covered high-rise in DTLA
Two people were arrested at the site of an abandoned, graffiti-covered high-rise in downtown Los Angeles.

DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Two people were arrested Wednesday morning at the site of an abandoned, graffiti-covered high-rise in downtown Los Angeles, hours after a group broke into the complex that has gained notoriety as an eyesore.

Police officers surrounded a building complex across from L.A. Live in the morning hours following the break-in.

According to the Los Angeles Police Department, up to 8 people, many of them possibly juveniles, broke into the complex near Crypto.com Arena late Tuesday night. They were still believed to be inside several hours later.

Just after 8 a.m., a juvenile was arrested at the scene. An adult was taken into custody shortly afterward. An officer told ABC7 that they will likely be booked, cited and released.

When asked what they were doing on the property overnight, the adult man responded: "We were literally playing Monopoly up there, board games and just doing a hang out, looking at the graffiti... We weren't doing graffiti, we didn't even bring spray paint in, we were just exploring it because it looked cool, you know."

The LAPD says this was the first successful breach of the property over the past two weeks after wild stunts like base-jumping occurred at the site.

"I really think somebody is going to get seriously hurt tagging up this building or jumping off the building for a social media stunt," said Capt. Raul Jovel.

The abandoned and graffitied high-rises in downtown L.A. have become a magnet for taggers. Meanwhile, city officials are preparing to order the owners to clean it all up.

This comes just days after the city installed a new metal fence around the Oceanwide Plaza in effort to deter trespassing. The unfinished towers have become a magnet for taggers after the buildings were abandoned by the developers that went bankrupt.

An LAPD sergeant told Eyewitness News there's no official security in place, but officers have been stationed around the property around the clock for more than two weeks.

"There's a lot of open wires, exposed wires.... exposed rebar, exposed metal sticking out the sides of the building... I won't even send the officers up there right now to even search the building," said Sgt. Gordon Helper. "And there's bathtubs in some of the rooms, and those bathtubs are filled with water from the rain. It's pretty disgusting and it's really dangerous."