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LAPD Urges City Council to Set Up Tow-Away Zone Behind Trader Joe’s

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It’s not just an eyesore. It’s an ongoing crime scene.

The stretch of Clarendon Street north of Ventura Blvd. between Peralta and Comercio has been identified by LAPD as a site that needs more than just “No Overnight Parking” signs.

The street is off the main boulevard, tucked between Trader Joe’s and the 101 freeway. The RV’s and encampments set up along Clarendon are clearly visible to anyone exiting Trader Joe’s or the commercial buildings that front Ventura Blvd.

This current encampment contains some homeless that moved from Woodlake to Target and then to Clarendon.

 According to a letter from Captain Todd Hankel of the LAPD Topanga Station to Councilmember Bob Blumenfield,  “the specific reason this location has caused the proliferation of criminal and/or nuisance activities is due to the street being poorly lit, the anonymity of being on the backside of numerous properties and running parallel to the 101 Freeway.”

The letter detailed over 20 crimes and arrests that have occurred on the street in the past year, including possession of fentanyl, stolen vehicles, burglary from vehicles, tampering with electric utilities and numerous narcotics charges.

LAPD Senior Lead Officer Sean Dinse told the Woodland Hills Homeowners Organization that there have been “No Overnight Parking” signs there for 10 years, but that hasn’t stopped those who live in their RV’s.

THE LAPD letter, dated January 26, specifically requests the issuance of “No Overnight Parking/Tow Away 11 pm – 5 am” restricted parking signs that must come from the City of Los Angeles.

Dinse reported that there have indeed, been multiple city clean-ups of the streets, but said that the owners of the vehicles simply move their trash to another street when the clean-up signs are posted; then bring it back after the city has come and gone.

But the ones that are there now have trash and even feces blocking the sidewalks. That alone is not a reason to tow them. But if it can be established a vehicle or motorhome has been involved in criminal activity, that is a reason to impound the vehicle.

But putting up the tow-away signs would give the city another  – and easier – reason. 

Hankel’s letter requested that the Department of Transportation authorize and install the requested restrictive signs.

Dinse said he has been working with this particular encampment for over a year and a half to get them to move. Keith Banks from Blumenfield’s office is indeed, working on placing some of them into permanent housing.

“With all city resources working together we have been able  to assist some of them,” said Dinse.

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