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Current Press Releases

Press Release

Downey, CA - September 17, 2018

DUI/Driver’s License Checkpoint Planned this Weekend

The Downey Police Department Traffic Unit will be conducting a DUI/Driver’s License Checkpoint on September 21, 2018, at an undisclosed location within the city limits between the hours of 8:00 p.m. to 2:30 a.m.   

In recent years, California has seen a disturbing increase in drug-impaired driving crashes.  The Downey Police Department supports the new effort from the Office of Traffic Safety that aims to educate all drivers that “DUI Doesn’t Just Mean Booze.”  If you take prescription drugs, particularly those with a driving or operating machinery warning on the label, you might be impaired enough to get a DUI.  Marijuana can also be impairing, especially in combination with alcohol or other drugs, and can result in a DUI.

The deterrent effect of High Visibility Enforcement using both DUI checkpoints and DUI Saturation Patrols has proven to lower the number of persons killed and injured in alcohol or drug impaired crashes.  Research shows that crashes involving an impaired driver can be reduced by up to 20 percent when well-publicized proactive DUI operations are conducted routinely. 

DUI Checkpoints like this one are placed in locations based on collision statistics and frequency of DUI arrests, affording the greatest opportunity for achieving drunk and drugged driving deterrence. Locations are chosen with safety considerations for the officers and the public.   

In California, alcohol involved collisions led to 1,155 deaths and nearly 24,000 serious injuries in 2014 because someone failed to designate a sober driver.  Over the course of the past three years Downey PD officers have investigated approximately 186 DUI collisions which have claimed 3 lives and resulted in approximately 270 injuries.

Officers will be looking for signs of alcohol and/or drug impairment, with officers checking drivers for proper licensing, delaying motorists only momentarily.  When possible, specially trained officers will be available to evaluate those suspected of drug-impaired driving, which now accounts for a growing number of impaired driving crashes.  

Studies of California drivers have shown that 30 percent of drivers in fatal crashes had one or more drugs in their systems.  A study of active drivers showed more tested positive for drugs that may impair driving (14 percent) than did for alcohol (7.3 percent).  Of the drugs, marijuana was most prevalent, at 7.4 percent, slightly more than alcohol. Everyone should be mindful that if you’re taking medication – whether prescription or over-the-counter – drinking even small amounts of alcohol can greatly intensify the impairment affects.  

Drivers are encouraged to download the Designated Driver VIP, or “DDVIP,” free mobile app for Android or iPhone.  The DDVIP app helps find nearby bars and restaurants that feature free incentives for the designated sober driver, from free non-alcoholic drinks to free appetizers and more.  The feature-packed app even has social media tie-ins and even a tab for the non-DD to call Uber, Lyft or Curb.

Drivers caught driving impaired can expect the impact of a DUI arrest to include jail time, fines, fees, DUI classes, license suspensions and other expenses that can exceed $10,000 not to mention the embarrassment when friends and family find out.

Funding for this checkpoint is provided to the Downey Police Department by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, reminding everyone to ‘Report Drunk Driver – Call 9-1-1’. 


PDF Version


Press Release

Downey, CA - September 1, 2018

September is California Pedestrian Safety Month

The Downey Police Department reminds public that “Pedestrians Don’t Have Armor” 
 
September is Pedestrian Safety Month and the Downey Police Department will be joining the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), along with other law enforcement agencies, transportation agencies and pedestrian advocates to promote public awareness aimed at pedestrian safety.

Both in California and nationally, the number of pedestrians killed or injured on roadways is rising at alarming rates. In 2016, 867 pedestrians were killed and more than 14,000 injured in California alone, a nearly 33 percent increase from 2012.  The Downey Police Department investigated 3 pedestrian fatal collisions and another 41 injury collisions in 2016.

Traffic officers working overtime and others on routine patrol will be focusing enforcement both on drivers as well as pedestrians who violate traffic laws, such as speeding, making illegal turns, driving distracted, failing to stop for signs and signals, or failing to yield to drivers or pedestrians.
  
The Downey Police Department supports efforts by OTS to educate drivers that “Pedestrians Don’t Have Armor.”  This campaign highlights the importance of pedestrian safety awareness, regardless of whether one is on foot or behind the wheel.

Pedestrians should always use crosswalks or intersections with a stop sign or light, make eye contact with drivers and look before stepping into a crosswalk. Drivers should be alert for pedestrians, use caution when backing up and be courteous and patient, waiting for pedestrians with right of way to safely cross street. Both drivers and pedestrians should avoid distractions by not using cell phones and focusing on the task at hand.

Safety goes both ways, and drivers and pedestrians must work together to exhibit safe behaviors that protect themselves and those around them, reducing injuries and saving lives. Funding for this enforcement campaign is provided to the Downey Police Department by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety.

PDF Version


Press Release

Downey, CA - August 15, 2018

 Parents and Caretakers Encouraged to Exercise Caution Around Schools

August is Back to School Safety Month

As the summer vacation comes to an end and children get ready to head back to school, the Downey Police Department is joining the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) and local school districts to remind parents and caretakers to exercise caution around schools.

It is a busy time for a lot of families who are handling back-to-school preparations, but that should not overtake the importance of ensuring the upcoming school year is safe for everyone. August is Back to School Safety month and the Downey Police Department urges the parents, caretakers and the community to remember these important safety tips to kick off the new school year:
 

Parents

  • Plan your route ahead of time.
  • Always keep an eye out for children, especially during pick-up and drop-off times.
  • Avoid distractions such as texting, talking on the phone, grooming or eating while behind the wheel.
  • If your child is biking or walking to school, map out the safest route (safety spots to ask for help, best places to cross, and most direct path where the child won’t get lost). Teach them about traffic signals and signs, urge them to not wear earbuds and to stop and look both ways before using crosswalks.
  • If your child takes the bus, remind them to line up five steps away from the curb and to always look out for cars before getting on or off the bus.
  • Always buckle up. Practicing proper seat belt safety instills good habits that protect yourself and those you love.
  • Look for school buses and know what to do when around them. Overhead flashing yellow lights mean you should prepare to stop, overhead lights flashing yellow means drive with caution and overhead lights flashing red means stop.

Everyone

  • Always use the crosswalk at an intersection with a stop light or sign.
  • Turn down the volume on your earbuds and don’t text while walking.
  • Stop, look, listen, and then cross.
  • Obey all traffic laws, including following the posted speed limit, which is usually 25 MPH in school zones but may be as low as 15 MPG. 


No matter how children go to school, it is important that everyone pays attention, looks out for one another and takes these necessary safety precautions.


 

Press Release

Downey, CA - August 9, 2018

This Labor Day, and Every Day: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over

As we enter the final stretch of summer spending time at the pool or barbequing with friends and family, the Downey Police Department is driving home the importance of celebrating responsibly by not driving, or riding a motorcycle, impaired.

From Aug. 17 through Sept. 3, the Downey Police Department is participating in a high-visibility national enforcement campaign, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over. During this period, Police and Sheriff’s Departments statewide, along with the California Highway Patrol, will increase the number of officers on the road to stop suspected drunk or drug impaired drivers and motorcyclists. If you are caught driving or riding impaired, you will be pulled over and arrested.

The Downey Police Department will have a special emphasis during this 18-day mobilization to enforce all traffic violations by deploying DUI Saturation Patrols on the following date(s): August 17th, August 24th and August 31st of 2018. The Downey Police Department Traffic Unit will also be conducting a DUI/Driver’s License Checkpoint on August 24th at an undisclosed location within the city limits between the hours of 8:00 p.m. to 2:30 a.m.

The enforcement campaign runs through the Labor Day holiday weekend, which is one of the deadliest times of year in terms of alcohol-involved traffic deaths. Sadly, one-third of all traffic deaths involve drunk drivers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 10,497 people were killed in alcohol-involved crashes or one person every 50 minutes.

“It’s up to drivers to make the smart decision and drive sober not just for this enforcement period, but every day”, said Chief Carl Charles of the Downey Police Department. “This isn’t about ticketing. This is a campaign to get the message out that driving impaired is illegal and takes lives.” 

The Downey Police Department will show zero tolerance for impaired driving or riding and joins efforts by the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) to educate drivers that “DUI Doesn’t Just Mean Booze.” If you take prescription drugs, particularly those with a driving or operating machinery warning label, you may be impaired enough to get a DUI. Marijuana can also be impairing and result in a DUI, especially in combination with alcohol or other drugs.

In the ten years from 2005-2015, the percentage of drivers in fatal crashes with an impairing drug other than alcohol in their system has risen from 26.2 percent to 42.6 percent.  As far back as 2012, a roadside survey in California showed more drivers tested positive for drugs that may impair driving (14 percent) than did for alcohol (7.3 percent).  


During this national enforcement campaign, there will also be increased state and national messages about the dangers of riding impaired, which combined with enforcement, aims to drastically reduce drunk or drug impaired riding on our nation’s roadways.

Motorcycles require specific training and skill. When a rider adds alcohol, marijuana or impairing prescription medication to the mix, it is not only illegal, but increases the risky nature of riding a motorcycle.

There are so many options out there to get home safely. There is no excuse for getting behind the wheel when you are impaired.

To avoid a DUI and putting others, and yourself, at risk, the Downey Police Department has a few tips to stay safe on the roads:
Always designate a sober driver. 
Use public transportation or a ride sharing service to get home. 
Have a friend or family member who is about to drive buzzed or impaired? Take the keys away and make arrangements to get them home safely.
Report drunk drivers - call 911.

Funding for this DUI operation is provided to the Downey Police Department by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 

 

PDF Version

 


 

Press Release

Downey, CA, June 30, 2018

Homicide

On Saturday, June 30, 2018, at approximately 11:28 a.m., Officers responded to reports of shots fired at Rick’s Motel located at 9415 Firestone Blvd, City of Downey. Upon arrival, Officers found two male subjects down in the parking lot of the location. Both subjects were pronounced deceased at the scene from gunshot wounds. It appears that the suspect was involved in a dispute with both victims prior to the shooting and it does not appear to be a random act.

Through investigative means Raymond Joseph Penland was identified as the suspect in the homicides. Penland fled the location after committing the crimes and was last seen in the City of Santa Fe Springs.

Two additional subjects are being sought as persons of interest; Catarina Frances Barajas, 25 years of age, and Vanessa Teresa Cardenas, 32 years of age.

The investigation is on-going. Anyone with information relating to this crime is encouraged to contact Detective Richard Garcia at (562) 904-2330. If you prefer to provide information anonymously, you may call "Crime Stoppers" by dialing (800) 222- TIPS (8477), use your smartphone by downloading the “P3 Tips” Mobile APP on Google play or the Apple App Store or by using the website http://lacrimestoppers.org.

Press inquiries may be directed to Sergeant Maria Villegas at (562) 904-2340 or front desk at (562) 904-2308. Reference Case Number 18-44523. 

 

 Raymond Joseph Penland

DOB: 11/20/88 

 

PDF Version


 

Press Release

June 28, 2018

Attempt to Identify Grand Theft Suspect

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 The Downey Police Department is asking for the public’s assistance in identifying the individual depicted in the above photograph.  On June 26, 2018, at approximately 6p.m., two individuals entered the T-Mobile Store located at 9400 Firestone Blvd, Downey.  They selected several phones and fled the location on foot without paying for the merchandise.  It is believed that the same individual(s) may be responsible for similar thefts in the City of South Gate and the City of Huntington Park. 

 Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Downey Police Department at (562) 904-2308 or Detective Whinkler Zamora at (562) 904-2324.

 To provide information ANONYMOUSLY, call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS or by texting the letters TIPLA, plus, to CRIMES (274637) or by using the website.

 Press inquiries may be directed to Lieutenant Alex Irizabal at (562) 904-2369 or Sergeant Tim Lau (562) 904-2304.

PDF Version


 

 Press Release

June 4, 2018

DUI/Driver’s License Checkpoint Planned this Weekend

Downey, CA – The Downey Police Department Traffic Unit will be conducting a DUI/Driver’s License Checkpoint on June 8, 2018, at an undisclosed location within the city limits between the hours of 8:00 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. In recent years, California has seen a disturbing increase in drug-impaired driving crashes. The Downey Police Department supports the new effort from the Office of Traffic Safety that aims to educate all drivers that “DUI Doesn’t Just Mean Booze.” If you take prescription drugs, particularly those with a driving or operating machinery warning on the label, you might be impaired enough to get a DUI. Marijuana can also be impairing, especially in combination with alcohol or other drugs, and can result in a DUI. The deterrent effect of High Visibility Enforcement using both DUI checkpoints and DUI Saturation Patrols has proven to lower the number of persons killed and injured in alcohol or drug impaired crashes. Research shows that crashes involving an impaired driver can be reduced by up to 20 percent when well-publicized proactive DUI operations are conducted routinely. DUI Checkpoints like this one are placed in locations based on collision statistics and frequency of DUI arrests, affording the greatest opportunity for achieving drunk and drugged driving deterrence. Locations are chosen with safety considerations for the officers and the public. In California, alcohol involved collisions led to 1,155 deaths and nearly 24,000 serious injuries in 2014 because someone failed to designate a sober driver. Over the course of the past three years Downey PD officers have investigated approximately 386 DUI collisions which have claimed 2 lives and resulted in approximately 110 injuries. Officers will be looking for signs of alcohol and/or drug impairment, with officers checking drivers for proper licensing, delaying motorists only momentarily. When possible, specially trained officers will be available to evaluate those suspected of drugimpaired driving, which now accounts for a growing number of impaired driving crashes. Studies of California drivers have shown that 30 percent of drivers in fatal crashes had one or more drugs in their systems. A study of active drivers showed more tested positive for drugs that may impair driving (14 percent) than did for alcohol (7.3 percent). Of the drugs, marijuana was most prevalent, at 7.4 percent, slightly more than alcohol. Everyone should be mindful that if you’re taking medication – whether prescription or over-the-counter – drinking even small amounts of alcohol can greatly intensify the impairment affects. Drivers are encouraged to download the Designated Driver VIP, or “DDVIP,” free mobile app for Android or iPhone. The DDVIP app helps find nearby bars and restaurants that feature free incentives for the designated sober driver, from free non-alcoholic drinks to free appetizers and more. The feature-packed app even has social media tie-ins and even a tab for the non-DD to call Uber, Lyft or Curb. Drivers caught driving impaired can expect the impact of a DUI arrest to include jail time, fines, fees, DUI classes, license suspensions and other expenses that can exceed $10,000 not to mention the embarrassment when friends and family find out. Funding for this checkpoint is provided to the Downey Police Department by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, reminding everyone to ‘Report Drunk Driver – Call 9-1-1’. 

PDF Version

 

 


 

 Press Release

May 3, 2018

Downey Police Collect over 500 Pounds of Prescription Drugs at Take-Back Event 

Downey, CA, May 3, 2018: On Saturday, April 28th, 2018, the Downey Police Department and members of the Drug Enforcement Administration (D.E.A.) participated in the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Initiative. As a result, community members disposed of 590 pounds of potentially dangerous, expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs. All of the collected items were turned over to the D.E.A. for disposal.

This initiative addresses vital public safety and health issues. According to a national survey on drug use and health, rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high. More Americans currently abuse prescription drugs than those who abuse cocaine, hallucinogens and heroin combined. Studies show the majority ofabused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends.

For more information regarding proper methods of disposing your medicine, please visit the D.E.A.’s Diversion Control Website at http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov.

Questions and comments may be directed to Jenny Aguirre at jaguirre@downeyca.org or (562) 904-2374.

PDF Version


 

Press Release

 April 18, 2018

DUI/Driver’s License Checkpoint Planned this Weekend 

Downey, CA – The Downey Police Department Traffic Unit will be conducting a DUI/Driver’s License Checkpoint on April 20, 2018, at an undisclosed location within the city limits between the hours of 8:00 p.m. to 2:30 a.m.   

In recent years, California has seen a disturbing increase in drug-impaired driving crashes.  The Downey Police Department supports the new effort from the Office of Traffic Safety that aims to educate all drivers that “DUI Doesn’t Just Mean Booze.”  If you take prescription drugs, particularly those with a driving or operating machinery warning on the label, you might be impaired enough to get a DUI.  Marijuana can also be impairing, especially in combination with alcohol or other drugs, and can result in a DUI.

The deterrent effect of High Visibility Enforcement using both DUI checkpoints and DUI Saturation Patrols has proven to lower the number of persons killed and injured in alcohol or drug impaired crashes.  Research shows that crashes involving an impaired driver can be reduced by up to 20 percent when well-publicized proactive DUI operations are conducted routinely. 

DUI Checkpoints like this one are placed in locations based on collision statistics and frequency of DUI arrests, affording the greatest opportunity for achieving drunk and drugged driving deterrence. Locations are chosen with safety considerations for the officers and the public.   

In California, alcohol involved collisions led to 1,155 deaths and nearly 24,000 serious injuries in 2014 because someone failed to designate a sober driver.  Over the course of the past three years Downey PD officers have investigated approximately 392 DUI collisions which have claimed 2 lives and resulted in approximately 112 injuries.

Officers will be looking for signs of alcohol and/or drug impairment, with officers checking drivers for proper licensing, delaying motorists only momentarily.  When possible, specially trained officers will be available to evaluate those suspected of drug-impaired driving, which now accounts for a growing number of impaired driving crashes.  

Studies of California drivers have shown that 30 percent of drivers in fatal crashes had one or more drugs in their systems.  A study of active drivers showed more tested positive for drugs that may impair driving (14 percent) than did for alcohol (7.3 percent).  Of the drugs, marijuana was most prevalent, at 7.4 percent, slightly more than alcohol. Everyone should be mindful that if you’re taking medication – whether prescription or over-the-counter – drinking even small amounts of alcohol can greatly intensify the impairment affects.  

Drivers are encouraged to download the Designated Driver VIP, or “DDVIP,” free mobile app for Android or iPhone.  The DDVIP app helps find nearby bars and restaurants that feature free incentives for the designated sober driver, from free non-alcoholic drinks to free appetizers and more.  The feature-packed app even has social media tie-ins and even a tab for the non-DD to call Uber, Lyft or Curb.

Drivers caught driving impaired can expect the impact of a DUI arrest to include jail time, fines, fees, DUI classes, license suspensions and other expenses that can exceed $10,000 not to mention the embarrassment when friends and family find out.

Funding for this checkpoint is provided to the Downey Police Department by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, reminding everyone to ‘Report Drunk Driver – Call 9-1-1’. 

 

 

PDF Version


 

Press Release

 April 5, 2018

IRS Phone Scams

IRS warns of phone scams targeting taxpayers around the country. DON’T BE A VICTIM.
Scammers prey on victims by saying they owe the IRS money. They insist the victims pay immediately through a pre-loaded credit card or wire transfer to avoid arrest, deportation or suspension of driver’s or business license.
Remember:
1. The IRS never asks for a credit card number over the phone or requests a specific form of payment. For instance, the uses of a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer.
2. The IRS never initiates contact with taxpayers by email, text message, or social media to request personal or financial information. The IRS will first send a bill in the mail.
3. The IRS never asks for PIN numbers, passwords or similar confidential access information for credit card, bank or other financial accounts.
4. The IRS never discusses the possibility of arrest from the police department, any license revocation or deportation because that is not under its authority.
If you don’t owe taxes, or have no reason to think that you do:
• Do not give out any information. Hang up immediately.
• Report it to the Federal Trade Commission. Use the “FTC Complaint Assistant” on FTC.gov. Please add “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes.
If you know you owe, or think you may owe tax:
• Call the IRS at (800) 829-1040. IRS workers can help you.
If you believe you may have been a victim of an IRS scam, contact the Downey Police Department immediately at (562) 861-7771
Any questions can be directed to Sergeant Tim Lau at tlau@downeyca.org or 562-904-2304.

PDF Version


 

Press Release

April 2, 2018

TEN YEARS OF HANDS-FREE LAW:  CHALLENGES REMAIN

Downey CA. – Drivers are using their cell phones less often while driving, 10 years after “hands-free” became the law, but distracted driving remains a serious safety challenge in California.  Observing April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month and the first week in April as California Teen Safe Driving Week, safety advocates will focus on education and enforcement efforts statewide. 

The Downey Police Department will join law enforcement throughout the state to step up enforcement along with awareness efforts by the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) to discourage distracted driving.  Officers will have a special emphasis this month on enforcing all cell phone and distracted driving laws. The goal is to increase voluntary compliance by drivers, but sometimes citations are necessary for motorists to better understand the importance of driving distractions.  

April 5th and 13th have been designated as the two statewide enforcement dates when law enforcement agencies will step up distracted driving enforcement activities.  The California Department of Transportation will put distracted driving messages on the changeable message signs on freeways during April. 
 
Traffic officers have issued hundreds of thousands of citations over the past three years to those texting or calling on a hand-held cell phone. Recent legislation now makes it illegal to use your smartphone’s apps while driving.  Still, everyone has seen other drivers on a device driving in a dangerous manner next to them during a commute or a trip around town.

Since 2011, OTS has conducted an observational study of handheld cell phone use every year.  “This year’s study on the use of handheld cell phones and texting shows a decrease over past years; however, more work needs to be done to target those who were observed to still be breaking the law,” said OTS Director Rhonda Craft.  “The best way to put an end to distracted driving is to educate all Californians about the danger it poses. We will do this through enforcement and education efforts like our new advertising campaign “Just Drive”, reminding drivers to put down their phones and focus on the road.”

"California’s distracted driving laws have been saving lives for a decade now,” said former State Senator Joe Simitian, who authored the state’s hands-free and no-texting laws.  “Every day, somewhere in California, someone is sitting down to dinner with their family who wouldn't have made it through the day without these laws on the books.  That’s tremendously gratifying.”

Preliminary 2017 data also shows nearly 22,000 drivers were involved in distracted driving collisions in California, a decline from the more than 33,000 drivers involved in distracted driving collisions in 2007, the last full year before the hands-free law went into effect.

“Smart phones are part of everyone’s lives now.  Texting, phone calls and posting on social media are nearly addicting,” said Chief Carl Charles of the Downey PD.  “But doing these things can have deadly consequences while driving on our city’s street.  Changing these dangerous habits will help make our roadways safer for everyone.” 

The Downey Police Department has the following Safety Tips:

 
- If you receive a text message or need to send one, pull over and park your car in a safe location, but ‘never’ on a freeway.  Once you are safely off the road, it is safe to text.
- Designate your passenger as your “designated texter.”  Allow them access to your phone to respond to calls or messages.
- Do not engage in social media scrolling or messaging while driving. 
- Cell phone use can be habit-forming.  Struggling to not text and drive?  Put the cell phone in the trunk or back seat of your vehicle until you arrive at your final destination.
 
The Downey Police Department is deploying extra traffic officers with grant-funded resources during the month of April in city locations with higher numbers of traffic collisions. Violators will be stopped and cited with fines set at $162 for first time offenders.  This campaign is funded by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

PDF Version


 

Press Release

July 24, 2017

Homicide Investigation

On Monday, July 24th, at approximately 5:30 p.m., a homicide was discovered at a home in the 12200 block of Horley Avenue.  This is a residential property with a front and back house.  The woman who lives in the front house returned home this afternoon at approximately 5:30 p.m. and found her boyfriend deceased in the backyard of the home.  The victim appears to have been stabbed and possibly shot.  No further specifics regarding the injuries to the victim will be released due to the pending investigation.  The victim’s identity will not be released at this time in order to give the family of the deceased time to notify their other family members. 

 

The rear house is occupied by a woman and her boyfriend.  This woman is the sister of the woman who resides in the front house.  Based on evidence at the scene and witness statements, detectives believe the boyfriend who resides in the rear house is responsible for this homicide.  Though the victim and suspect knew each other, the motive for this killing is still being investigated. 

 

The suspect, who has been identified as Robert Joseph Benitez Jr., 31 years old, was located outside his girlfriend’s parent’s home in the City of Whittier and was arrested without incident.  He is being booked for murder. 

 

The investigation is on-going.  Anyone with information relating to this crime is encouraged to contact Detective Ron Gee at (562) 904-2331.  If you prefer to provide information anonymously, you may call "Crime Stoppers" by dialing (800) 222-TIPS (8477), use your smartphone by downloading the “P3 Tips” Mobile APP on Google play or the Apple App Store or by using the website http://lacrimestoppers.org.

 

Press inquiries may be directed to Sergeant Leigh Lacy at (562) 904-2340.

 

Reference Case Number 17-54463.

 PDF Version

 Press Release

June 23, 2017

Arrest in Illegal Firework Sales

Detectives recently received a tip informing them that illegal fireworks were being advertised for sale in Downey on Craigslist.  Following up on this information, undercover detectives arranged to meet with seller Jose Zepeda at a local restaurant parking lot and purchased illegal fireworks from him on Wednesday.  A second purchase of illegal fireworks was arranged today and Jose’s brother, Juan Zepeda, arrived at the location and was taken into custody for selling illegal fireworks to undercover detectives.  Illegal fireworks were immediately seized from inside Juan’s vehicle. 

 

Detectives served a search warrant at Jose Zepeda’s home in the 7300 block of Dinwiddie in the City of Downey and seized numerous boxes of illegal fireworks weighing in excess of 3000 pounds.  

 

37-year-old Jose Angel Zepeda of Downey was arrested for possession of illegal fireworks in excess of 100 pounds, a felony, and will appear in court at a later date to face charges.  36-year-old Juan Zepeda of Downey was arrested for selling illegal fireworks, a misdemeanor, and will appear in court at a later date to face charges. 

 

The Downey Police Department has a “zero tolerance” policy towards the possession and use of illegal fireworks.  Anyone with information relating to the possession or use of illegal fireworks is encouraged to contact the Downey Police Department at (562) 861-0771.  If you prefer to provide information anonymously, you may call "Crime Stoppers" by dialing (800) 222-TIPS (8477), use your smartphone by downloading the “P3 Tips” Mobile APP on Google play or the Apple App Store or by using the website http://lacrimestoppers.org.

 

Press inquiries may be directed to Lieutenant Alex Irizabal at (562) 904-2369.

 

Reference Case Number 17-44852

 PDF Version

 

Press Release

June 13, 2017

Shooting - Update

On Monday, June 12th, 2017, at approximately 8:15 p.m. the Downey Police Department responded to reports of a shooting in the 8800 block of Rosecrans. When officers arrived they discovered two men deceased inside First Class Car Audio at 8856 Rosecrans. Detectives have determined three armed men entered the business and attempted to rob the business owner. Gunfire was exchanged during which the business owner shot all three suspects, two of whom died at the scene. The third suspect sought medical treatment for his gunshot wounds at a local hospital and is receiving medical care. Detectives are still questioning him. The deceased men have not yet been identified.

 

Detectives are investigating all leads.

 

Anyone with information relating to this crime is encouraged to contact Detective Carlos Bejines at (562) 904-2334. If you prefer to provide information anonymously, you may call "Crime Stoppers" by dialing (800) 222-TIPS (8477), use your smartphone by downloading the “P3 Tips” Mobile APP on Google play or the Apple App Store or by using the website http://lacrimestoppers.org.

 

Press inquiries may be directed to Sergeant Leigh Lacy at (562) 904-2340. Reference Case Number 17-42416.

 PDF Version

Press Release

October 3, 2016

Downey Police Department Plans to ‘Take-Back’ Unused and Unwanted Prescription Drugs on
Saturday, October 22nd, 2016

The Downey Police Department and community volunteers will be collecting unused, unwanted or out-of-date prescription medications during its semi-annual “Drug Take Back” event. This event offers community members an opportunity to rid their homes of potentially dangerous drugs and minimize the potential for misuse and abuse.

The collection event will take place on Saturday, October 22nd from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM in the west parking lot of the Downey Police Department, located at 10911 Brookshire Ave. The event will be held rain or shine.

Event attendees will have the opportunity to drop their prescription medications off into collection boxes provided by the Federal Drug Enforcement Agency (D.E.A). Over-the-counter medications can also be discarded. Liquids will only be accepted in fully sealed, unopened plastic containers. Needles, sharps and glass containers will not be accepted.

The event is co-sponsored by the Los Angeles Division of the Drug Enforcement Agency (D.E.A.).

Questions or comments may be directed to Jennifer Burkhardt at (562) 904-2374 or jpreda@downeyca.org

 PDF Version

Press Release

September 5, 2016

DUI/Drivers License Checkpoint Planned this Friday

Downey Police Department Traffic Unit will be conducting a DUI/Drivers License Checkpoint on September 09, 2016, at an undisclosed location within the city limits between the hours of 8:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m.  

The deterrent effect of DUI checkpoints is a proven resource in reducing the number of persons killed and injured in alcohol or drug involved crashes.  Research shows that crashes involving an impaired driver can be reduced by up to 20 percent when well-publicized DUI checkpoints and proactive DUI patrols are conducted routinely. DUI Checkpoints are placed in locations based on collision statistics and frequency of DUI arrests, affording the greatest opportunity for achieving drunk and drugged driving deterrence. Locations are chosen with safety considerations for the officers and the public.

In California, this deadly crime led to 867 deaths and over 23,000 serious injuries in 2013 because someone failed to designate a sober driver.  Nationally, the latest data shows over 10,000 were killed by an impaired driver. Over the course of the past three years officers have investigated 406 DUI collisions which have claimed 1 life and resulted in another 157 injuries.

Officers will be looking for signs of alcohol and/or drug impairment with officers checking drivers for proper licensing delaying motorists only momentarily.  When possible, specially trained officers will be available to evaluate those suspected of drug-impaired driving, which now accounts for a growing number of impaired driving crashes. 

Recent statistics reveal that 30 percent of drivers in fatal crashes had one or more drugs in their systems.  A study of active drivers showed more tested positive for drugs that may impair driving (14 percent) than did for alcohol (7.3 percent).  Of the drugs, marijuana was most prevalent, at 7.4 percent, slightly more than alcohol. Everyone should be mindful that if you’re taking medication – whether prescription or over-the-counter – drinking even small amounts of alcohol can greatly intensify the impairment affects. 

Law Enforcement emphasizes the preventable nature of drunk driving reminding everyone that all it takes is a little planning ahead. Designate a sober driver or call a cab. But whatever you do, don’t drink and drive. The California Office of Traffic Safety DDVIP (Designated Driver VIP) mobile app is now available for free download on iOS and Android devices. Launched last year, the new DDVIP app offers enhanced features, allowing users to “Map a Spot” with their current location to find DDVIP partnering establishments in their area or a “List of Spots” to search all participating bars and restaurants throughout California. Users will be offered free incentives at each bar to celebrate their life saving role.  They can stay up-to-date with the latest from DDVIP and see what other users are saying via its social tab. Also through the app, for those who want to imbibe but also make it a point to plan ahead, users can easily order a sober ride from Uber, Lyft or Curb – all from one screen. 

Drivers caught driving impaired can expect the impact of a DUI arrest to include jail time, fines, fees, DUI classes, other expenses that can exceed $10,000 not to mention the embarrassment when friends and family find out.

Funding for this checkpoint is provided to Downey Police Department by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, reminding everyone to ‘Report Drunk Driver – Call 9-1-1’.

 PDF Version

 Press Release

September 5, 2016

Traffic Enforcement Operations Plan for Downey

Downey Police Department will step up Bike & Pedestrian Safety Enforcement Operations at various times during the month of September with focused enforcement on collision causing factors involving motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists.

The department has mapped out locations over the past three (3) years where pedestrian and bike collisions have occurred along, with the violations that led to those crashes.  Extra officers will be on duty patrolling areas where bike and pedestrian traffic and crashes occur in an effort to lower deaths and injuries. 

Officers will be looking for violations made by drivers, bike riders and pedestrians alike that can lead to life changing injuries.  Special attention will be directed toward drivers speeding, making illegal turns, failing to stop for signs and signals, failing to yield to pedestrians in cross walks or any other dangerous violation.

Additionally, enforcement will be taken for observed violations when pedestrians cross the street illegally or fail to yield to drivers who have the right of way.  Bike riders will be stopped and citations issued when they fail to follow the same traffic laws that apply to motorists.  All riders are reminded to always wear a helmet – those under 18 years of age must wear helmets by law.  Pedestrians should cross the street only in marked crosswalks or at corners.

Bicycle and pedestrian fatalities are rising in California as more people use these non-motorized means of transportation.  Locally, Downey Police Department has investigated 276 fatal and injury collisions involving pedestrians and bicyclists during the past three (3) years. In 2013, California witnessed 701 pedestrians and 141 bicyclists killed, accounting for more than 28 percent of all traffic fatalities.

Funding for this program is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

 PDF Version

Press Release

August 2, 2016

Downey Police Department is hosting Coffee with a Cop on August 31, 2016

On Wednesday, August 31st, 2016, officers from the Downey Police Department and community members will come together in an informal, neutral space to discuss community issues, build relationships, and drink coffee.

All community members are invited to attend. The event begins at 6:00 p.m. on August 31, 2016 at the Starbucks located at, 7954 Imperial Highway.  Please contact Lieutenant Alex Irizabal with questions: (562) 904-2369, airizabal@downeyca.org.

Coffee with a Cop provides a unique opportunity for community members to ask questions and learn more about the department’s work in Downey’s neighborhoods.

The majority of contacts law enforcement has with the public happen during emergencies, or emotional situations. Those situations are not always the most effective times for relationship building with the community, and some community members may feel that officers are unapproachable on the street. Coffee with a Cop breaks down barriers and allows for a relaxed, one-on-one interaction.

“We hope that community members will feel comfortable to ask questions, bring concerns, or simply get to know our officers,” said Chief Carl Charles. “These interactions are the foundation of community partnerships. There has never been a more important time for Coffee with a Cop than right now. This program will bring our community together and help heal out nation and make us stronger.”

“This is a great opportunity for residents to get to know and interact with our Police Department and to have a constructive dialogue about important issues,” said Mayor Alex Saab.

Coffee with a Cop is a national initiative supported by The United States Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services. Similar events are being held across the county, as local police departments strive to make lasting connections with the communities they serve.

The program aims to advance the practice of community policing through improving relationships between police officers and community members one cup of coffee at a time.

 PDF Version

 Press Release

August 2, 2016

Traffic Enforcement Operations Plan for Downey

Downey Police Department will step up Bike & Pedestrian Safety Enforcement Operations at various times during the month of August with focused enforcement on collision causing factors involving motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists.

The department has mapped out locations over the past three (3) years where pedestrian and bike collisions have occurred along, with the violations that led to those crashes.  Extra officers will be on duty patrolling areas where bike and pedestrian traffic and crashes occur in an effort to lower deaths and injuries. 

Officers will be looking for violations made by drivers, bike riders and pedestrians alike that can lead to life changing injuries.  Special attention will be directed toward drivers speeding, making illegal turns, failing to stop for signs and signals, failing to yield to pedestrians in cross walks or any other dangerous violation.

Additionally, enforcement will be taken for observed violations when pedestrians cross the street illegally or fail to yield to drivers who have the right of way.  Bike riders will be stopped and citations issued when they fail to follow the same traffic laws that apply to motorists.  All riders are reminded to always wear a helmet – those under 18 years of age must wear helmets by law.  Pedestrians should cross the street only in marked crosswalks or at corners.

Bicycle and pedestrian fatalities are rising in California as more people use these non-motorized means of transportation.  Locally, Downey Police Department has investigated 276 fatal and injury collisions involving pedestrians and bicyclists during the past three (3) years. In 2013, California witnessed 701 pedestrians and 141 bicyclists killed, accounting for more than 28 percent of all traffic fatalities.

Funding for this program is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

 PDF Version

 Press Release

July 16, 2016

Robbery

On July 16, 2016, at approximately 4:30 p.m., officers were dispatched to Ralphs supermarket located in the 8600 block of Firestone Blvd regarding a robbery which had just occurred. According to store security, a male Hispanic had entered the store, placed numerous items in a shopping cart, and then left the store without paying.

The Loss Prevention Officer from Ralphs followed the suspect into the parking lot and attempted to stop him from fleeing; at which time, the suspect pulled a gun out and told the Loss Prevention Officer to "Get Back." Fearing for his safety, the loss prevention officer returned to the store and called police, as the suspect entered a vehicle and sped off. A short time later, officers received information that the suspect had been involved in a "hit & run" traffic collision while fleeing the supermarket and was observed entering a home in the 8700 block of Cavel Street, Downey.

Downey Police Officers responded to the location and surrounded the home, during which time they made several attempts to make contact with the suspect. Believing the suspect had barricaded himself inside, a few residents in close proximity to the suspect's residence were evacuated as a precaution. The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department’s Special Enforcement Bureau (S.E.B.) responded to assist the Downey Police Department in an attempt to bring the situation to a safe and peaceful conclusion.

At approximately 11:47 p.m., the suspect surrendered to S.E.B. deputies without incident. Taken into custody was, Gerson Acosta-Martinez, a 35 year old Downey resident. He was transported to the Downey Police station where he was booked for armed robbery.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Downey Police Department at (562) 904-2308 or Detectives Ron Gee at (562) 904-2331 or Detective Steve Gilley at (562) 904-2335.

To provide information ANONYMOUSLY, call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS or by texting the letters TIPLA, plus, to CRIMES (274637) or by using the website.

Press inquiries may be directed to Lieutenant Alex Irizabal at (562) 904-2369 or Sergeant Kevin McCaster at (562) 904-2304.

 PDF Version

 Press Release

July 14, 2016

DOWNEY TO HOST 4th ANNUAL NATIONAL NIGHT OUT “AMERICA’S NIGHT OUT AGAINST CRIME”

On Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016, the City of Downey and the Downey Police Department will host the City’s 4th Annual National Night Out celebration from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Downey Civic Center located at 11111 Brookshire Ave.

National Night Out is a unique community event celebrated across the United States the first Tuesday in August every year. It is designed to heighten crime prevention awareness, generate support for and participation in local crime prevention programs, strengthen neighborhood spirit and build police-community partnerships.

Downey’s National Night Out event will promote community awareness by educating the community about crime prevention and community resources. It will also feature free food, drinks, children’s activities, community information booths, and family fun.

Besides the events listed above, other activities include:

·C.E.R.T. – Community Emergency Response Team will be providing information on emergency preparedness.

·Child I.D. & Fingerprinting – Members of the Downey Police Explorer Program will be taking photographs and fingerprinting children for I.D cards. CD’s will be provided to parents containing the information. Parents will be able to print out the I.D. card which will feature fingerprints, photo and emergency contact information.

·Kids Bicycle Skills Workshop – Certified cycling instructors, the Downey Police Department’s Bicycle Team & the Downey Kiwanis will teach essential bicycle & pedestrian safety skills. Children are encouraged to bring their bicycles and helmets.

·Sylvan Learning Center – Children will be able to build with Legos by coding and programming robots. 

For additional information, please contact Jennifer Burkhardt at (562)904-2374 or via email at jpreda@downeyca.org

 PDF Version

 Press Release

June 13, 2016

DUI/Drivers License Checkpoint Planned this Friday

Downey Police Department Traffic Unit will be conducting a DUI/Drivers License Checkpoint on June 17, 2016, at an undisclosed location within the city limits between the hours of 8:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m.  

The deterrent effect of DUI checkpoints is a proven resource in reducing the number of persons killed and injured in alcohol or drug involved crashes.  Research shows that crashes involving an impaired driver can be reduced by up to 20 percent when well-publicized DUI checkpoints and proactive DUI patrols are conducted routinely. DUI Checkpoints are placed in locations based on collision statistics and frequency of DUI arrests, affording the greatest opportunity for achieving drunk and drugged driving deterrence. Locations are chosen with safety considerations for the officers and the public.

In California, this deadly crime led to 867 deaths and over 23,000 serious injuries in 2013 because someone failed to designate a sober driver.  Nationally, the latest data shows over 10,000 were killed by an impaired driver. Over the course of the past three years officers have investigated 406 DUI collisions which have claimed 1 life and resulted in another 157 injuries.

Officers will be looking for signs of alcohol and/or drug impairment with officers checking drivers for proper licensing delaying motorists only momentarily.  When possible, specially trained officers will be available to evaluate those suspected of drug-impaired driving, which now accounts for a growing number of impaired driving crashes. 

Recent statistics reveal that 30 percent of drivers in fatal crashes had one or more drugs in their systems.  A study of active drivers showed more tested positive for drugs that may impair driving (14 percent) than did for alcohol (7.3 percent).  Of the drugs, marijuana was most prevalent, at 7.4 percent, slightly more than alcohol. Everyone should be mindful that if you’re taking medication – whether prescription or over-the-counter – drinking even small amounts of alcohol can greatly intensify the impairment affects. 

Law Enforcement emphasizes the preventable nature of drunk driving reminding everyone that all it takes is a little planning ahead. Designate a sober driver or call a cab. But whatever you do, don’t drink and drive. The California Office of Traffic Safety DDVIP (Designated Driver VIP) mobile app is now available for free download on iOS and Android devices. Launched last year, the new DDVIP app offers enhanced features, allowing users to “Map a Spot” with their current location to find DDVIP partnering establishments in their area or a “List of Spots” to search all participating bars and restaurants throughout California. Users will be offered free incentives at each bar to celebrate their life saving role.  They can stay up-to-date with the latest from DDVIP and see what other users are saying via its social tab. Also through the app, for those who want to imbibe but also make it a point to plan ahead, users can easily order a sober ride from Uber, Lyft or Curb – all from one screen. 

Drivers caught driving impaired can expect the impact of a DUI arrest to include jail time, fines, fees, DUI classes, other expenses that can exceed $10,000 not to mention the embarrassment when friends and family find out.

Funding for this checkpoint is provided to Downey Police Department by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, reminding everyone to ‘Report Drunk Driver – Call 9-1-1’.

 PDF Version

 Press Release

June 7, 2016

Vehicle Burglaries

The Downey Police Department is asking the public to remain vigilant of any suspicious activity in their neighborhood. This is important because often times this activity can lead to criminal activity. We are requesting that if you see anything that seems suspicious to you, please call the police immediately. Be prepared to explain why the activity is suspicious or unusual, and to give detailed descriptions of the suspicious persons or vehicles. This information will assist the responding officers as they arrive to investigate. Many crimes thwarted by the police are a direct result of citizen calls. Usually the public is the first to notice something unusual in the neighborhood and is the best source of information for the police. A good partnership between the community and the police department is of paramount importance and essential to curtailing criminal activity within our city.

Vehicle Burglary is one crime that can be greatly affected by citizen participation. These crimes happen everywhere and the city of Downey is not exempt. Vehicle Burglaries typically leave victims feeling violated and fearful, but can be prevented in many cases. Criminals tend to be opportunists and often work in groups of two or more. They may also have a look-out to warn them of police or potential witnesses. It is also common for them to arrive in a vehicle which they may park nearby or in a driveway. Residents can help protect their vehicles by making their vehicles less of a target.

Here are some important tips to help prevent a vehicle burglary:

TIPS:

  • One of the most important things to do is call the police to report a crime or  any suspicious activity. You can remain an anonymous caller.
  • Always lock the doors to your vehicle, even when you are away from the vehicle for a short time.
  • Close all windows and sunroof.
  • Remove all valuables from your vehicle. If you cannot take personal property with you, place the items in your trunk, but do not move these items to the trunk while in public view.
  • Do not leave any mail in your vehicle. These items have your name, address and possibly contain personal financial information.
  • Park in well-lit areas. At home, park your vehicle near porch lights. If you cannot park in a garage, install motion detection lights, which will illuminate your driveway at night.
  • Set any alarm or anti-theft device that is installed on your vehicle.

    To provide information ANONYMOUSLY, call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS or by texting the letters TIPLA, plus, to CRIMES (274637) or http://www.lacrimestoppers.org/.

 PDF Version