LOS ANGELES (CNS) -- Efforts were continuing Friday to track down participants in a "flash mob" of looters who swarmed a 7-Eleven store in the Harbor Gateway area of Los Angeles as part of a street takeover, while Los Angeles police vow to crack down on anyone participating in such a takeover.
Los Angeles Police Department Detective Ryan Moreno told reporters Thursday the department is stepping up its enforcement against street takeovers, which have seemingly grown in frequency in recent months and were highlighted by repeated incidents on the newly reopened Sixth Street Viaduct in downtown Los Angeles.
"We really want to stop this from becoming a new trend where they think they can show up and take over a street, freeway or any part of the city," Moreno said.
He said police will now be impounding vehicles for up to 30 days of people who take part in such takeovers.
The warning followed a street takeover that occurred around 12:40 a.m. Monday at Figueroa Street and El Segundo Boulevard.
"Motorists flooded the intersection and blocked traffic with their vehicles from all directions to create a pit' in the middle of the intersection," police said in a statement. "During the incident, spectators exited their vehicles and watched as motorists recklessly drove in a maneuver known as doing donuts.'
"The spectators then formed a flash mob' of looters and rushed a nearby 7-Eleven located at the northwest corner of Figueroa Street and El Segundo Boulevard," police said.
"Video surveillance from the store showed the looters fanning out across the store and grabbing all the snacks, drinks, cigarettes, lotto tickets and other merchandise," police said. "Looters also vandalized the store and threw merchandise at employees. The looters then exited the store to the surrounding parking lots and streets, and quickly dispersed before police arrived."
Authorities said the incident occurred about an hour after a shooting during a street takeover in the 13400 block of Mettler Avenue in the Willowbrook area of the county that left a young man dead. The name of the victim has not been released.
Officers urged anyone with information on the case to call LAPD South Traffic Division detectives at 323-421-2500 or email STDdetectives@lapd.online. Tipsters may also call police at 877-LAPD-247, or Crime Stoppers at 800-222- TIPS.
Concern about street takeovers in Compton prompted officials in that city to begin installing "Botts' Dots," or raised yellow bumps in the street designed to discourage speeding and stunts such as "donuts."
Copyright 2022, City News Service, Inc.