L.A.'S gang wars MIGHT be taking a frightening new turn: Gangs arming themselves with fake cop cars.
Court documents show that: one of L.A.'s oldest and deadliest gangs, El Sereno Rifa, has been stealing LAPD police cars. Cars are stripped of their computers, communications equipment, handcuffs, bullet-proof vests, tactical gear and … weapons. The gang's goal: building its own "replica" police car to "attack gang enemies" and "kill them."
Police are tight-lipped about the evidence – refusing to even talk about the facts we've gathered.
But it is clear from court cases we've attended, court documents and other sources that there is a potentially serious problem here.
One court document called it a threat to public safety – and police.
Police have arrested one man in the case, Christopher Kish. Kish is charged with two counts of Grand Theft Auto and one count of running a "chop shop." Kish has pleaded not guilty to all charges in the case.
The plan, according to documents, was to use these pieces of police equipment to build a "replica" police car – though it's not clear if we're talking about a marked, black-and-white unit or unmarked unit.
Though Kish has denied involvement, one of his social media sites is full of troubling photos – pictures of him in a mask, with guns, and LAPD cop cars – even "suspects" in a spot light with their hands raised, apparently being arrested. One ominous note says one of the suspects is going "in the trunk."
We should be very clear that there is NO EVIDENCE that the gang has actually built a fake cop car. So as far we know, all the police cars on the street to day are genuine police cars.
In our next report we explore the gang turn war that may of lead El Sereno gangsters to escalate the gang arms race.