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Silver Lake crowd edgy over recent violent robbery spate


Badges, Labonge, Garcetti at Ivanhoe, Silver Lake

A crowd of over 200 Silver Lake residents gathered at Ivanhoe Elementary School tonight to listen to a defensive LAPD and two Councilmembers, President Eric Garcetti and Tom Labonge, attempt to reassure residents that a recent spate of robberies clustered near a popular Hyperion Avenue gay bar were not hate crimes.



PHOTOS: JM

Some of the crimes were violent. One included a knife-wound and another a pistol-whipping.

Many community residents expressed skepticism that the LAPD could determine with certitude that the nine robberies were not hate crimes. The LAPD did confirm for the community that all of the robberies appeared to be gang related, even while admitting that it’s harder than ever before to tell who belongs to a gang.

The community had passed around email and links highlighting two crime clusters from January, one near Sunset and Alvarado, and the other around Hyperion and Rowena. The LAPD admitted that they were behind the community in adopting electronic communication strategies, and occasionally were not familiar with details about some other crimes that the community already knew well.

Following the lead of the Mayor’s office, the LAPD presented stats demonstrating that overall crime is down in 2009. All suspects in the January robberies remain at large.

UPDATE: Jesus Sanchez attends Echo Park meeting, posts crime map.