New Funds for L.A. Task Force

July 15, 1999

New Funds for L.A. Task Force

The fight against jewelry robberies in Los Angeles received a big boost with a $50,000 contribution to the Jewelry Theft Task Force during a meeting of the Diamond Club West Coast last week.

James Hahn, Los Angeles city attorney, presented a check to the task force for the purchase of cellular phones and walkie-talkies to assist in faster communication to help apprehend jewel thieves and prevent robberies. Much of the task forces work involves surveillance, and most of the equipment previously used was obsolete. The funds came from the citys asset forfeiture fund, using money confiscated in drug raids and other similar actions.

Hahn, along with Gil Garcetti, Los Angeles County district attorney, and Capt. Kyle Jackson, commander of the Los Angeles Police Department's Burglary/Auto Theft Division, which oversees the task force, discussed the current state of the war against the organized gangs attacking Los Angeles-area jewelers. Garcetti said his department is committed to working with the jewelry industry in combating the rising tide of thefts. Diamond Club West Coast, the Indian Colored Stone Association and the Armenian Jewelers Association have been active in working to get law enforcement agencies to cooperate, and are currently pushing to get the FBI and INS involved in the task force again. Currently, the LAPD and Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department comprise the task force.

- by Jack Heeger