Woodland Hills: Los Angeles police officers arrested the 17-year-old resident of a Woodland Hills apartment after officers determined the minor’s report on an in-progress, hot-prowl burglary was made up.
“This is one of the hottest calls an officer can respond to,” explained Capt. Paul Vernon, commanding officer of the Topanga Patrol Division. “Officers responded with lights and siren and the helicopter was overhead quickly, but there were no suspects.”
Officers found the 17-year-old caller, whose mother was out of town, was safe and home alone around 4:20 PM, February 14, 2018, but his story that three Black men had tried to force their way into his 3rd floor apartment, in the 21000 block of Erwin Street, was made up. The caller’s initial report to 9-1-1 said the suspects had fired one bullet through the door, into the apartment.
Officers were immediately suspicious about the boy’s story when they realized the bullet hole in the door had come from the inside, out, not the outside, in, as the boy had claimed. Detectives obtained a search warrant for the apartment and seized quantities of cannabis and found evidence of a firearm. Officers soon found a .380 Glock handgun in the bushes, below the balcony of the boy’s apartment.
The 17-year-old was arrested for illegal discharge of a firearm, and he was taken to Sylmar Juvenile Hall, pending the return of his mother or legal guardian. The boy’s mother may also face charges of child endangerment for leaving an unsecured firearm in a residence with a minor child. The cannabis seized is considered illicit and not protected under new laws as minors under 21 cannot legally possess nor consume cannabis. The arrestee’s name was not released as he is a minor.
Anyone with information in this case may call Det. Brien Pogue, Topanga Detective Division, at 818-756-3537. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247). Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call the LA Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477) or go directly to www.lacrimestoppers.org. Tipsters may also visit ww.lapdonline.org, and click on “Anonymous Web Tips” under the “Get Involved-Crime Stoppers” menu to submit an onlinetip. Lastly, tipsters may also download the “P3 Tips” mobile application and select the LA Regional Crime Stoppers as their local program.