A look back at ABC7's top stories and videos of 2023

As the year draws to a close, here's a look back at the moments that captivated SoCal.

Dorian Padilla stands at his car as he waits for a tow after it got stuck in the mud on a street following Tropical Storm Hilary Monday, Aug. 21, 2023, in Cathedral City, Calif.
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Thursday, December 14, 2023

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- From extreme weather to bizarre moments caught on video, it's been a year full of headlines in Southern California.

ABC7's most read story of 2023 was: Police warn drivers of 'pump switching' scam at gas stations. The story spotlights a scam that targets drivers who use credit cards to pay at the pump.

Below are our top visited stories and most watched videos of the year.

Most read stories

1. Police warn drivers of 'pump switching' scam at gas stations

2. California woman kidnapped in Mexico last year has been found, FBI says

3. Teen faces charge after emergency dash to hospital interrupted by Arkansas State Police PIT maneuver

4. California couple loses homeowners' insurance after draining their swimming pool to save water

5. California insurance company drops customer after 'drone' took aerial images of yard

Most watched videos

1. American Airlines reviewing video showing baggage handler releasing wheelchair down jet bridge chute

American Airlines said it is reviewing a video posted on TikTok that shows a baggage handler releasing a passenger's wheelchair to slide down a jet bridge chute, where it crashed into a metal barrier, flipped over and tumbled onto an airport tarmac.

2. UFO mystery in Las Vegas? How officers responded to bizarre 911 call

A family claims they saw an object from out of this world fall out of the sky and land in their backyard. ABC News' Andrew Dymburt has the reaction from responding officers.

3. Scientists unveil pair of 'mummified alien' corpses to Mexico Congress

Scientists in Mexico are pulling back the curtain on what they believe are aliens, and they put two corpses on display.

4. California insurance company drops customer after 'drone' took aerial images of yard

The homeowner was shocked when his insurance dropped him, despite 15 years of being a customer without any claims, for a home not in a fire zone.

5. Here's what Hurricane Hilary's spaghetti model means

As forecasters track Hurricane Hilary's path toward Southern California, you'll see them use colorful lines drawn along maps called spaghetti models. Here's what it means.

Top videos on social media

1. This homeowner wasn't fooled by the intruders (91 million views on YouTube)

2. Suspect waving gun struck by police car in New York (51 million views on YouTube)

3. Plane appears to pause in midair in optical illusion (19.5 million views on TikTok)

4. Parents run to grab sleeping babies during 5.1 earthquake in Ventura County (33 million views on YouTube)

5. Bridge patrol officer returns iPhone dropped on Golden Gate Bridge ledge (31 million views on YouTube)

Most visited weather stories

Hilary, the first tropical storm to hit Southern California in 84 years, created very unusual sites. In a region accustomed to dry and sunny weather, this year also brought a record-setting blizzard and tornadoes.

1. Tropical Storm Hilary drenches Southern California

2. EF-1 tornado rips the roofs off buildings in Montebello, 11 buildings red-tagged and 1 person hurt

3. Light dusting of snow falls near Hollywood sign

4. Powerful winter storm reaches SoCal, with LA region's 1st blizzard warning since 1989

5. Large 'HELP US!!' message written in snow spotted in Crestline as some residents grow desperate

Most watched police chases

Southern California is known for high-speed police chases. ABC7's most viewed local pursuit this year involved a carjacking suspect who was in a rolling shootout with authorities.

1. Carjacking suspect ID'd after shootout with police during wild chase through several SoCal counties

A suspect was identified after being wounded in a rolling shootout with authorities during a high-speed chase that made its way through multiple Southern California counties.

2. Suspect killed after leading chase in stolen CHP vehicle, jumping from speeding car on 138 Freeway

A suspect stole a CHP cruiser and led police on a high-speed chase through the Antelope Valley before fatally jumping out of the moving vehicle onto the 138 Freeway.

3. LAPD chases attempted-murder suspect for 2 hours, in 2 different vehicles through Los Angeles

An attempted murder suspect and several accomplices fled LAPD officers at high speeds for nearly two hours and in two different vehicles.

4. Suspect in custody after lengthy standoff, chase through Compton

A reckless driving suspect was in custody after a wild chase and a standoff with sheriff's deputies in Compton that lasted for hours.

5. Chase suspect rams police cars, runs across 91 Freeway in Corona before arrest at Denny's

In one of the more wild Southern California chases - a driver dangerously tried to get away from police, even running onto oncoming freeway traffic before ending up at a Denny's.

Most visited animal stories

The year has been tough in many ways, but there have been some lighter moments, including amazing animal stories.

1. Dog runs away from home, sneaks into Metallica concert at SoFi Stadium

2. Drone captures rare moment moose sheds antlers in forest | VIDEO

3. Big Bear bald eagles seen nearly covered in snow; take turns keeping their eggs warm

4. Video captures gray whale giving birth to calf off coast of Dana Point

5. Bear hangs from 2nd-floor window, climbs into home and then eats family's pork chops