Burbank Fire Department responded to a reported structure fire in the 500 blk of N Parish Place at 3:10 am, the first engine company on the scene was greeted by a well involved detached garage fire.
They pulled hose lines and started to make an attack as additional crews arrived on the scene to assist. Battalion Chief Tray White arrived on the scene and took command of the incident and directed crews to the roof and to the interior of the nearby house. While crews were fighting the fire they reported hearing several live rounds of ammunition going off inside the garage. The coordinated attack of the fire resulted in the blaze being kept to the garage only.
The fire was knocked down at 3:42 am and during a search of the destroyed garage firefighters came across a deceased adult male. Burbank Police then closed off the area and established a crime scene.
(Photo by Ross A Benson)
Fire Investigators from Burbank Fire Department and Glendale Fire Department were summoned to the scene along with Burbank Police Detectives and a Forensic Specialist. The Los Angeles County Coroner was notified to respond along with a Coroner’s Investigator.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation and the identity of the person located inside the garage has not been determined at the time of this report.
The Glendale Fire Departments Air Utility was called to the scene to refill empty breathing apparatus.
The fire was so intense a Spectrum Digital Fiber Optic line was damaged above the garage causing a major interruption to many customers in the western part of Burbank.
Most Burbank residents had their lights flicker and some internet connections go down around 7:30 pm on Tuesday evening after a Fire Hydrant was sheared off and the water geyser went some 100 feet high into powerlines on Victory Blvd. near Chandler.
Burbank Police responded and contacted witnesses who reported they saw a dark vehicle strike the hydrant and flee southbound Victory Blvd. those witnesses also supplied the officers with a license plate.
(Photo by Ross A Benson)
Burbank Police responded to the 200 Blk of West Tujunga where they located the vehicle that had damage to its front bumper and the alleged driver according to Burbank Police Sgt. Derek Green the driver identified as Daniel Ramirez a 45- year old resident of Burbank was placed under arrest on suspicion of driving under the influence and hit and run.
(Photo by Ross A Benson)
While Burbank Police were doing the investigation part of the accident the Burbank Fire Department had responded for the sheared fire hydrant, once the water flow was stopped they discovered the water had landed on the rooftop of several businesses and the weight of the water caused the roof to collapse. The amount of water that collected inside the Production Studio was nearly 8 inches deep in areas. The Fire Department brought in two truck companies and 2 engine companies to pump, squiggly, and help remove the water.
Because of the amount of visual damage, the Fire Department requested an official from the Burbank Building Department to respond and they RED TAGGED the building that it is unsafe to occupy. The dollar amount caused by the flooding is still being tabulated.
Los Angeles Police recovered a Chevrolet Pickup Truck that had been stolen from Vista Ridge in the Starlight Estates on the morning of June 30.
This man was sen walking in the area after being dropped off by a red vehicle just prior to the truck being stolen Photo provided by victim)
The resident awoke to find his car missing and after checking with a neighbor who had a camera, found that a man had been walking in the area at approximately 6 am, and checked the door of the neighbor’s Lexus to try and gain entry.
He then moved over to the victim’s home where he was able to steal the vehicle with a red car that he had been a passenger in when he arrived and was dropped off, then followed him out of the area.
Burbank police were called around 8 am for a report with the victim calling his car dealership who told them that they had a tracker on the vehicle and that it was currently parked in Los Angeles.
LAPD found the truck at noon in the 200 block of Alvarado in a parking structured and recovered the vehicle. They contacted the residents who went to pick it up and found the backseat of the truck already was loaded with stolen items and clothes. The only thing missing from the vehicle that belonged to the owner was the dashcam. LAPD confiscated all the other items as evidence.
The victim supplied us with photos of the man who they believed stole the vehicle and a look at the belongings that were left in it at the time they picked it up.
These items were left in the truck after it was found a few hours later Photo supplied by victim)
This all comes at a time for Starlight Estate residents who have been overrun for the past few months at night of people coming out and hanging out in the area. Police have made numerous attempts to stop the swarms of people, who are mostly not Burbank residents, from stopping in the area with new restrictions voted on by the Burbank City Council. No word if this person had been seen up there on one of those nights and had been possibly casing the area for vehicles.
Sgt. Derek Green of the Burbank Police Department had nothing to add stating in an email, “We have no other details at this time.”
The Fourth of July arrived early this year—nearly a month and a half early – and Burbank residents are not enjoying the fireworks.
Terrorized, tortured, and just plain scared are adjectives people are using to describing the nightly barrage of illegal fireworks assaulting their communities since May. Residents are at their breaking point, and they want the city to do something to stop the nightly explosions keeping them up at night, sometimes until the early morning, and harassing their pets.
Complaints of legal and illegal fireworks have exploded countywide and have extended to big cities across the nation. CNN recently reported that in the first part of June, Boston had a 2,300% increase in the number of complaints over the same time last year. While leaders in the legal fireworks industry have never seen sales shoot up so early in the year.
Despite all fireworks being illegal in Burbank, complaints of fireworks noise have doubled in Burbank, and city officials are not sure where the abundance of fireworks is coming from. Speculation is that they were purchased in other counties, other states, or in Mexico, where all types of fireworks are for sale to the public. Theories as to why firework usage is so much more intense this year include COVID-19 stay-at-home cabin fever or there is more availability of the fireworks. The LA Times reported fireworks seizures have been made throughout the state, last year the California Fire Marshals took in 30,000 pounds of illegal fireworks, with Irwindale police hauling in 2,000 pounds of illegal fireworks from an Irwindale home last week.
Fireworks are not unusual this time of the year, but there has been a heavier use of them this year. Finding the people setting off fireworks is very difficult. The police have to witness the person in the act of shooting off the fireworks, and pinpointing where explosions are coming from is very hard to do by the sound alone, said Sergeant Derek Green of the Burbank Police Department. Using fireworks in Burbank is a misdemeanor. If a resident can identify the person using fireworks, they should call the BPD and ask them to come out. The resident can then sign a citizen’s arrest, and the fireworks user will be sited.
Fireworks are dangerous. They can cause serious injuries and fires, said the BPD. On June 18, the fire department put out a small brush fire that was believed to have been started by fireworks. Perpetrators and parents of children who cause damage with fireworks can be held liable and responsible for the cost of fire and police services responding to fireworks-related calls.
Burbank resident, Robin Randall started a group on NextDoor, a social media site, where residents of their own neighborhood can communicate with their neighbors, the Neighbors Against Illegal Fireworks. She formed the group after reading active threads on NextDoor complaining about the noise from fireworks. Comments like: “My two young kids jump out of their beds/cribs after every blast,” “My dogs and even my cat are traumatized,” and “I couldn’t take it anymore.…I called the cops for the first time in my life!” were common.
Randall has heard from a blind couple whose service dog was so afraid of the noise it stopped guiding them, a veteran with PTSD who couldn’t take explosions and parents with children having anxiety problems from the noise. She has even recorded videos of the explosions at night. Burbank resident Steven Reese wrote in an e-mail that his dog spends most evenings cowering in the shower from fear of the nightly explosions. Some nights they last into the early morning.
Many believe much of the noise is coming from North Hollywood on the border with Burbank. In a letter to the Burbank City Council, Randall explained the situation and suggested Burbank partner with North Hollywood to solve this mutual problem.
“Staff is reaching out to LA Councilmember David Ryu for collaboration on this. My theory is that since municipal fireworks events are canceled, there’s an abundant supply of fireworks for sale,” responded Mayor Springer.
As the mayor works to coordinate a plan of action with North Hollywood, distressed neighbors are organizing volunteers to pinpoint the firework explosions using the app Compass in an effort to catch the amateur pyrotechnicians.
Parking enforcement citations will be issued starting July 13th for street sweeping as well as overtime parking restrictions in residential neighborhoods. For more information about street sweeping services, call (818) 238-3800, and for questions about parking enforcement call, (818) 238-3000
Package deliveries to Burbank homes increased because of the COVID-19 stay-at-home order, but despite more customers at home to receive their items, package thefts still persist.
Online orders in America surged immediately after the COVID-19 stay-at-home order and non-essential stores closed. Consumers preferred delivery of essential products and ordered non-essential items. The spike in online orders led to a large increase of package deliveries. What followed was a large spike in package thefts. According to Security.org, a security research site, 25 million households have been victimized by package thieves in the past three months. That is one in five Americans have had a package stolen. This number is extremely high considering more residents are home and can bring in their packages sooner than usual.
“Thieves stealing packages has been a problem for quite some time,” wrote Lieutenant Claudio Losacco, from the Burbank Police Department’s public information office, in an email to myBurbank.com. “We’ve been warning the public about it for several years.”
The BPD reports there have been 25 package thefts and one theft arrest in Burbank this year. In 2019 there were 76 package thefts and one theft arrest. No type of residence is safe from “porch pirates” a euphemism given to thieves who steal packages from the doorsteps of homes. They usually follow behind delivery trucks to capture packages after they are delivered. Apartment, townhome, and condominium residents can be victims of theft, but 40% of those living in a house have had a package stolen.
If you suspect your package has been stolen, there are a couple of things you should do before you contact the police. Check your package’s tracking information to see if it has been delivered and check with your neighbors to see if it has been mistakenly delivered to the wrong address.
Lt. Losacco advises when a package is stolen, the victim should report the crime to the police and provide any witness accounts and surveillance footage if available. Sharing these items with the police can be helpful in solving the crime especially if the thief commits more than one theft.
Delivery services have their own policies regarding package thefts. The USPS advises to report the theft to them immediately through their website or you can call them, UPS recommends the customer file a police report and contact the shipper for a replacement, and Amazon’s customer service is available online and through their Amazon app to report package thefts.
How do you avoid becoming a porch pirate victim? The BPD says to try and be home to accept your package or have it delivered at a time you will be home. Consider having someone you trust to accept the package for you, or set up e-mail or text alerts for your delivery and require a signature for packages containing valuables. Installing a camera surveillance system around your house is also a good idea.
The various delivery services have several free ways to ensure you, and not pirates, get your mail. USPS can redeliver a package at a time the customer is home to accept it, or a customer can have the package delivered to a specified location to be accepted there. Informed Delivery is USPS’s free digital feature that sends preview images of mail to the customer and allows them to manage their incoming packages.
UPS My Choice will text or email an alert when a package is on its way or allow the package to be redirected to one of UPS’ many access points which are locations, such as a store, where the package may be picked up.
Amazon also has several delivery options including Amazon Map Tracking which allows customers to view the delivery driver’s progress on a map in real-time. Amazon Photo-On-Delivery provides visual confirmation by showing the package was delivered safely and where the driver placed it. Amazon Counter is a new service that allows customers to pick up their package at one of Amazons’ partnered delivery sites such as Rite Aid. All of these mail services offer mail tracking. For further delivery options look on the carrier’s websites.
With the loosening of stay-at-home restrictions and more people going out, fewer people will be home to accept their packages. Consumers should make arrangements with their shippers to insure their package’s safe delivery and avoid being raided by porch pirates.
Burbank’s City Council on Tuesday passed a ‘request (for) the Police Commission to meet once a month through the end of the year and direct the Police Department to develop a roadmap for community engagement with input from Council and the Commission at their Joint meeting on July 14, 2020.’
This was asked for the week prior by Council Member Gabel Luddy who requested a report to discuss convening monthly Police Commission meetings in light of the current tension in the country.
Burbank’s Police Commission has been watered down through the years since its inception in the early 1950’s when it was formed because of a wave of corruption of both the police department and elected officials. While the commission restored the department and the city, which gave the citizens stability and accountability, it started to lose its authority over the years and has been watered down.
In 2019, the Burbank Police Commission, which had seven members and met monthly, was scaled back to five members, and meetings were cut to quarterly by the Burbank City Council. Over the years the Commission has asked the Council for a greater role and increased power. Those members are no longer serving on the Commission.
All the Commission does at this point is receives reports from the Police Department and may ask questions. They have no decision making authority about personal, training, or equipment. They may only present recommendations.
On July 14, the Council and the Police Commission were already scheduled to have a joint meeting. One of the topics was going to be a report by the OIL Group, headed by Michael Gennaco, is an independent audit company that was brought in by Police Chief Scott LaChasse as part of the reforms he instituted in the department during his 10 years at the helm. The OIL Group is one of the most respected in the country. Ther most recent report can be seen HERE.
Under Chief LaChasse, the Burbank Police Department has worked hard to maintain accountability and full transparency to the public. Every aspect of the department’s training, its manual, and Strategic Plan can all be seen HERE.
According to a Staff Report presented to Council Members, it was suggested:
…a detailed review and discussion of the Department’s Use of Force Policy; the Department’s training curriculum specific to high risk incidents; the Department Discipline procedure/processes; review of departmental contemporary policies established over the past 10 years; community engagement, including town hall meetings and reaching out to different populations such as high school students, to help focus the dialogue, to suggest a few. Depending on the topics to be discussed, a representative from the City Attorney’s Office will be present. Following the meetings and outreach, the Commission could present a report with recommendations to the Council for review and consideration.
While the Council voted 5-0 to approve the monthly meetings for the remainder of the year, they have still given the Commission no new authority to act except to give the Council recommendations.
The Burbank Police Department shares in the community’s devastation and anger over the events leading to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Foremost, we condemn all unlawful uses of force and violations of due process. Sadly, actions like this reflect poorly on the entire law enforcement profession. I have received many inquiries in the past few days regarding the policies and practices of the Burbank Police Department with respect to preventing such a tragic incident in our own community.
The members of the Burbank Police Department are a racially and ethnically diverse group of people reflective of the community we serve. In fact, the Department’s pursuit of a diversified police force has resulted in greater diversity within the Department than in the demographic makeup of the Community of Burbank itself. Those who serve are part of the very fabric that makes up our tight-knit community. This philosophy makes a difference—we view our mission of safety as a shared responsibility with those we serve versus a philosophy of policing the community. As such, the Burbank Police Department prides itself on providing equal protection under the law and engages in constitutional-based policing practices.
Over the past decade, the Burbank Police Department has embraced progressive law enforcement reform. Along with this, the Department recognizes that reforms cannot be made in a vacuum and that insight from outside the agency is a critical component to moving forward successfully.
The Department is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). This outside organization ensures that the Department conforms to the most contemporary practices in law enforcement. In addition, the City contracts with an outside oversight body, the Office of Independent Review (OIR), which regularly audits use of force, citizen complaints, and personnel investigations for a number of factors, including bias-based policing. The City also has its own Police Commission, which regularly reviews the policies and practices of the Department and makes recommendations to City Council. The Commission has taken great steps to ensure the Department has implemented change in line with President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing.
Overall, I am confident that the Police Department has made significant changes and continues to seek areas of improvement. The list of reforms is extensive; however, here are some significant examples:
Extensive training for personnel including bias-based policing, use of force de-escalation techniques, and managing individuals in crisis
Required utilization of Body Worn Camera and In-Car Camera systems
Use of force continuum that emphasizes de-escalation and warnings
Use of carotid restraint is restricted to those situations justifying deadly force
Mandated intervention and reporting by all employees who witness excessive force
Comprehensive documentation of all use of force incidents that are reviewed internally and externally
Early intervention system to identify employees who require intervention efforts
Documentation of all displays of a Taser or firearm
Accessible citizen complaint process with thorough investigation of complaints
Dedicated Mental Health Evaluation Team to assist individuals in crisis
Policies restricting shooting at or from a moving vehicle
Trust is the most important factor in achieving our mission. I hope that the information provided has assisted in building trust for those in our community who are experiencing distrust in light of recent events. There is a wealth of additional information available on our website including the entire Burbank Police Department policy manual (www.BurbankPD.org). They are among the most contemporary in the nation, as our Community deserves nothing less than the best.
Burbank police arrested two North Hollywood men for being in receipt of stolen property after being notified by Lowes in the Empire Center of a possible theft of spray paint cans.
Henry Rodriguez, 23, and Adrian Padilla, 24, both of North Hollywood, were arrested after a Lowes’s employee was giving chase and flagged down a Burbank police officer patrolling the parking lot.
According to Sgt. Derek Green of the Burbank Police Department, both men were detained by officers and p[laced under arrest for possession of stolen property. Lowe’s was open at the time of the incident around 7:30 pm even though the City was under a Curfew Order.
Burbank police on Tuesday announced they had arrested 14 people overnight during Burbank’s mandatory curfew that was in effect from 5 pm on June 1 until 6 am on June 2.
In a press release Tuesday, police said that of the 14 arrests, most were made up of individuals suspected of looting, with officers recovering items such as facemasks, gloves, tools, and other items used in the connection of burglaries at the time of the arrests.
Officers were said to have collected merchandise that had been suspected of being stolen from different stores in Los Angeles and the vicinity. The items still had store security tags attached. Illegal narcotics and a handgun were also taken by officers during the arrests.
Since the arrests were made during a declared State of Emergency in Los Angeles County, the arrests may be charged as felonies when charged with looting.
There was no report of any burglaries or looting that occurred in the City overnight of if officers cited anyone for curfew violations.
Police did not say if the people arrested were from Burbank or outside of the area and said arrest records will be posted on their website although records from last night’s arrests have still not been posted.
Police encourage anyone who sees suspicious activity or persons in Burbank to immediately call their non-emergency number, 818 238-3000.