investigating select homicides, bank robberies, serial robberies, extortions, sexual assaults, human trafficking, kidnapping, incidents that result in injury or death to an officer, and threats against officers

Robbery-Homicide Division

Commanding Officer - Captain Jonathan Tippet

Police Administration Building
100 West First Street, 5th floor
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Telephone Numbers (Monday through Friday from 6 AM to 6 PM)

Commanding Officer 213-486-6850
Robbery Special Section 213-486-6840
Homicide Special Section 213-486-6890
Gang Homicide Unit 213-486-6860
Special Investigation Section 213-486-6880
Cold Case Homicide Special Section 213-486-6810
Hate Crimes Coordinator 213-486-6840

Established in 1969 by combining the once separate Robbery Division and Homicide Division, today’s Robbery-Homicide Division is comprised of approximately 60 sworn personnel, 10 civilian support staff, and 20 reserve officers under the command of Captain Jonathan L. Tippet. RHD is comprised of four sections (Robbery, Homicide, Gang Homicide, and Special Investigation Sections), each tasked with investigating or providing surveillance support for a wide variety of select crimes that are often high profile in nature. The sections also serve as liaisons between other law enforcement agencies regarding cases of mutual interest and, when required, orchestrate multi-divisional and/or multi-agency task force investigations.

Noteworthy investigations that RHD has completed or participated in include: The Tate-LaBianca murders (1969), the Symbionese Liberation Army Shootout (1974) and the S.L.A. Bomb Planting Spree (1975), the “Hillside Strangler” (1977-1978), the “Skid Row Stabber” (1978-1979), the “Sunset Strip Killer” (1980), the Murder of Secret Service Agent Julie Cross (1980), the “Bob’s Big Boy Massacre” (1980), the “Night Stalker” (1984-1985), the Murder of LASD Deputy George Arthur (1985), the Murder of LAPD Detective Thomas Williams (1985), the Murder of Sherri Rae Rasmussen (1986), the Murder of LAPD Detective Russell Kuster (1990), the O.J. Simpson Investigation (1994), the Murder of Actor Haing Ngor (1996), the Murder of Ennis Cosby (1997), the “North Hollywood Shootout” (1997), the Sante and Kenny Kimes Investigation (1998), Serial Killer Chester Turner (1987-1998), the Robert Blake Investigation (2001), the “Indian Motel” Murders (2002), Golay and Rutterschmidt (1999 and 2005), the “Grim Sleeper” Task Force (2005-Present), LAFD Captain David Del Toro Investigation (2006), the Killing of Michael Jackson (2009), the Murder of LASD Deputy Juan Escalante (2009), the Bryan Stow Beating Investigation (2011), and the Hollywood Arson Series (2011).

The following is a list of the RHD sections and their investigative responsibilities:

 

ROBBERY SPECIAL SECTION (RSS)

The RSS is responsible for investigating the following on a citywide basis:

Robberies when:

· A prolonged investigation is required, or the investigative personnel required exceed geographic Area detective divisions resources;
· Robbery involves a bank, bank employees, bank messengers, credit unions, savings and loan institutions, or armored car facility;
· Any series of robberies that involves multiple divisions within the Department and/or outside jurisdictions;
· Any high profile/ media driven robbery investigation.

Extortions or Threats of Extortion when:

· A prolonged investigation with threats of unlawful injury to the victim;
· Directed against a bank, bank employee, bank messenger, federally insured credit union, savings and loan institution, or armored car facility;
· Extortions determined to be virtual kidnaps which require liaison with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for investigation.

Kidnappings when:

· A ransom demand is anticipated or has been made;
· There is the potential for serious bodily injury or death;
· The facts indicate a connection to a major citywide problem;
· A prolonged investigation is required which exceeds the geographic Area detective division resources;
· Incident involves smuggled, undocumented persons when kidnaps and extortions are involved.

In addition to the above investigations, Robbery Special Section has the following ancillary duties:

· Coordinates all live line-ups for the Department;
· Provides instruction at the Department Detective School in the areas of robbery investigation and identification procedure;
· Provides subject matter expertise to Legal Affairs Division in the field of robbery investigation and identification procedure;
· Investigative and technical support for the Los Angeles Regional Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force.

 

HOMICIDE SPECIAL SECTION (HSS)

The HSS is responsible for investigating the following on a citywide basis:

· Homicides that involve multiple victims (generally three or more) in one incident;
· Serial murders;
· Homicides that involve intense media coverage or are high profile;
· Arson as the manner of death;
· Assaults against on-duty police officers in the City limits wherein serious bodily injury occurred and resulted in hospitalization or death.

NOTE: California Penal Code §243(d)(4) defines “serious bodily injury” as a “serious impairment of physical condition, including, but not limited to the following: loss of consciousness; concussion; bone fracture; protracted loss of impairment of function of any bodily member or organ; a wound requiring extensive suturing; and serious disfigurement.”

· Incidents in which officers were shot at and did not return fire;
· The criminal aspect of an OIS requiring a prolonged, complex investigation;
· Incidents that involve death or serious injury to a department employee that are;
· Non-traffic-related and officer involved;
· The result of suicide or an attempted suicide.

NOTE: When an incident occurs outside the City Limits, RHD will liaison with and provide administrative assistance to the outside agency who will conduct the death investigation.

· Outside law enforcement agency shootings that occur on and off-duty in the City.

NOTE: The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department (LASD) investigates many smaller agency OIS’s. To identify the agency responsible for investigating an outside agency OIS that occurs, on-duty, inside the City, refer to the LASD Mutual Aid Agreement included in the Officer involved Shooting protocol.

· Solicitation, extortion or conspiracy to commit murder (murder for hire);
· Illegal Abortions;
· Any special investigation assigned by the Chief of Detective Bureau;
· Requests for assistance from Area detectives;
· Requests from outside law enforcement agencies.

In addition to performing directed, periodic audits of divisional Murder Books, reviews of select investigations and/or case-specific habeas corpus issues, this Section reviews all murder Follow-Up Reports submitted for clearance as “Cleared Other.”

 

GANG HOMICIDE UNIT (GHU)

The GHU targets specific gangs and their involvement with certain criminal activity including, but not limited to, murder and other associated gang related crimes. There is also a full-time Crime Intelligence Analyst assigned to the unit to assist with telephone call data analysis, case charting, and link analysis. The GHU has specific knowledge of and experience with federal Racketeering Influence Corrupt Organization (RICO) prosecutions, and a great deal of experience in preparing court orders and search warrants to obtain business and telephone records related to Dialed Number Recorders (DNR), cell site towers, cell phone tracking, text message retrieval, and state and federal wiretap applications.

 

SPECIAL INVESTIGATION SECTION (SIS)

The Special Investigation Section (SIS) is the Department’s tactical surveillance unit. The primary objective of SIS is to determine if a suspect(s) under surveillance is connected to the crime(s) under investigation, and, if probable cause exists to arrest, to locate and arrest the suspect(s). Although assigned to RHD, SIS is available to any Department entity seeking surveillance on active criminals/crimes.

 

ADDITIONAL ROBBERY-HOMICIDE DIVISION FUNCTIONS:

COLD CASE HOMICIDE UNIT (CCHU)

A “cold case” homicide is defined as any unsolved homicide in the City that was committed more than five years ago and has no significant leads and is no longer being actively investigated by Area detectives based on a lack of solvability factors and/or workload. The

CCHU is staffed by 12 Reserve Officers with prior Homicide experience and are supervised by one Detective Supervisor/Homicide Investigator. The CCHU is primarily responsible for the following:

· Investigating cold Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) hit cases Citywide;
· Screening cases for possible Investigative Genetic Genealogy (IGG) or Familial DNA search submission ;
· Screening select cases and identifying solvability factors;
· Submitting requests to FSD for various types of analysis;
· Submitting annual requests for grant funds to the National Institute of Justice (NIJ).

 

HATE CRIME COORDINATOR

· Collects, maintains, and disseminates statistics for all incidents motivated by hate or prejudice throughout the City;
· Analyzes the data for patterns, trends, and modus operandi to assist the Department with the appropriate response;
· Provides hate crime education, prevention and enforcement training to community groups, schools, and Department personnel.