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News Release

Tuesday, March 28, 2000

Media Relations

Murder Suspect Caught After Tip From Informant

Tuesday, March 28, 2000

"Murder Suspect Caught after Tip from Informant"

Los Angeles - On March 28, 2000, at approximately 12:30 a.m., Robert Smith, a "Menlo Crip" gang member and an outstanding murder suspect from a 1996 incident in Van Nuys, was arrested based on information received from an informant. Since the information given placed the suspect within LAPD, 77th Community Police Station jurisdiction, they were notified. Smith, a 27-year-old Lynwood resident, was a wanted murder suspect and could possibly be armed so Los Angeles Police Department's SWAT team was requested. SWAT made entry and took the suspect into custody without incident. Robert Smith was arrested and was booked on an outstanding Murder Warrant and transported to Van Nuys Community Police Station for further investigation.

This arrest stems from an incident which occurred on December 27, 1996 at 11:55 p.m. in the Van Nuys area. The victim, David Sutton, a 17-year-old Panorama City resident and a group of other "Front Street" gang members were standing in front of a liquor store located at 13773 Roscoe Bl. A group of about five "Menlo Crip" Gang Members arrived in two vehicles and after an exchange of words, a physical altercation ensued. During the altercation, Sutton was shot and stabbed. He died at the scene. On June 2, 1999, Van Nuys Community Police Station Detectives obtained Search and Arrest warrants for five "Menlo Crip" suspects involved in the altercation and four of the five suspects were located and arrested. Suspect Robert Smith was not located until additional information was obtained which ultimately led to his arrest this morning.

For Release 1:00 pm PST
March 28, 2000