Roll Call

Roll Call: The Mexican Restaurant Robbers and Sarge

By Mikey, Retired LAPD
The LAPD has many specialized units that do some pretty spectacular things. With few exceptions, the officers who work these units all started in patrol, the back bone of the department. Wilshire Division is in the mid-city part of Los Angeles and I had the opportunity to work patrol as a police officer and as a supervisor. During that time as patrol officer, my rank was Senior Lead Officer. These officers have two stripes and a star and are responsible for the running of a basic car. They can choose their watch (shift) to work. My basic car was 7A33, and it goes like this:
7= Wilshire, each division has their own number, A=two officer patrol unit, 33= the patrol beat.
Located near 7A33 on Western Avenue was a very good Mexican Restaurant that was well visited and always crowded. Reports started to come in that folks who parked on the streets were being robbed at their vehicles after their stay at the restaurant. It didn’t take long to figure out that someone inside the restaurant was sizing up “victims” for the robbery suspects outside. Those who flashed cash, bright jewelry or just looked like they were worth something got a visit at their cars.
It got so bad that even “extra patrol” did not deter the crimes. So, the specialized units were called in to supplement Wilshire’s patrol units. Try as they might, the robbers alluded the department’s efforts to capture them and the robberies continued. One evening, Wilshire units received a call that a victim had been shot and killed on a street near the restaurant. The victim was laying on his back, his pants pockets pulled out as if he had been showing the robbers that he had nothing to offer them. The weapon used was a shot gun. If these were the Mexican restaurant robbers, their MO had just changed.
I mentioned this to the homicide detectives and that would have been all had my watch commander not followed up with a phone call to my home. It was a Saturday and I was off when at about 11am he called me and asked if I had been drinking. I said, “It’s 11 o’clock in the morning Sarge.”
He asked the question again and I told him no. He said he wanted me to come in and work the restaurant robbery problem. Seriously? He was serious so I asked that he call my partner and I would be at the station at 1700. In the locker room, Nick, my partner and I were talking about the sergeant’s phone call. Nick asked if Sarge had asked me the “drinking” question. In the cruiser, without any real plan, we began cruising the area of the restaurant. At about 1830, communications instructed us to call the Watch Commander so we stopped at the nearest call box and phoned the station.
Sarge answered the phone and asked what we were doing.
I said, “Looking for the 211 suspects.”
“Then why am I talking to two robbery victims from the restaurant?” Oh crap!
The victims told us the suspects were last seen in a late model black Mustang or Cougar and the suspects had used a shot gun. It was summer and we still had some daylight left so Nick and I went out again this time with suspect and vehicle description. If there is a patrol patron saint, the saint was riding with Nick and me this day. We were west bound Pico Boulevard at Saint Andrews Place when I looked south on St. Andrews and saw a black Mustang or Cougar northbound approaching Pico.
They saw us. I made a U-turn, waiting for the vehicle to arrive at Pico. At the time I felt the vehicle should have arrived, nothing happened! I drove to St. Andrews and saw the vehicle heading south, away from us at a high rate of speed. I lit the roof up and saw the vehicle turn west onto 15th Street. Turning west onto 15th Street, we saw the vehicle come to rest in a front yard on the south side of the street. The doors stood open—the occupants had bailed before the car came to rest on the lawn. Looking around for any evidence of where the suspects had fled, we observed an elderly couple sitting on their porch.  Rocking back and forth in his chair, the man “gently” pointed at a house and shook his head up and down.  Additional units arrived and after several minutes, we located one suspect. With the assistance of a K-9, the second suspect was located a short distance away.
So, on the way back to the station I’m thinking, “How the heck did Sarge know, think, feel, this was gonna happen. HOW?”
After securing the suspects on the holding bench, I went into the watch commander’s office. There was Sarge, feet on his desk, smoking his pipe. Before I could say anything, he said, “I was right there and heard it. What took you so long?”
I asked him the how and why questions and all he did was shrug his shoulders. Go figure.
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K-9 Bruno comes home

Here’s an ABC story about Anaheim PD’s heroic K-9 Bruno released May 2 from the vet hospital. Click on Bruno.

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Video: Injured K-9 Officer Bruno eats on his own; receives blood from K-9 colleague

Police captain: ‘He’s a tough dog who did his job well yesterday. He’s a hero’

After being shot in the face, Anaheim police K-9 officer Bruno returned to his handler, whimpered once and wanted to return to the action.

Photo by Capt. Mark Cyprien


Even as his handler raced him to the hospital, Bruno’s ears were up and he didn’t want to lie down, police officials said.

“He saved at least one life yesterday,” said Police Capt. Ben Hittesdorf Friday morning during a briefing of the Chief’s Advisory Board.

Police identified the man who shot the dog as Robert Andrew Moreno, 21, an Orange gang member who was released from prison 10 days ago.

His rap sheet includes auto theft, narcotics violations and assault on a custodial officer, officials said.

He was killed Thursday when officers returned fire.

The action began to unfold about 2 p.m. near the intersection of La Palma Avenue and Citron Street when two probation officers approached three men.

Two fled.

At least one of them fired at the probation officer who chased him – and then the other who had detained the suspect who didn’t flee, police said.

Deputy Chief Julian Harvey said the probation officers were shaken up but otherwise okay.

As one of the suspects fled, he confronted a woman who was unloading groceries with her children, ages eight and 10.

The suspect brandished the gun at the children and threatened to kill them if they called police, Hittesdorf said.

About 3:15 p.m., Bruno joined SWAT officers in searching for the suspect. His handler had him on a roughly 20-foot leash when he gave the signal that the suspect was either inside or behind a black trashcan with a lid.

The suspect opened fire.

Anaheim PD K-9 with handler Officer Young
Anaheim PD K-9 with handler Officer Young

Following the unrest of 2012, the police department instituted a policy where it would visit family members following an officer-involved shooting to answer any questions they can and provide them with information about the process that follows, including the District Attorney’s Office investigation.

Early Friday morning, police a counselor, a District Attorney’s Office investigator and a Coroner’s official met with Moreno’s mother and aunt for about an hour.

Police say they plan to have counselors in the neighborhood where the shooting occurred – and also at two schools that were on lockdown Thursday.

At Yorba Linda Regional Animal Hospital, where Bruno was in surgery for three hours, surgeons removed a good part of his lung and worked to reconstruct his shattered jaw, said Capt. Bob Conklin. The round missed his aorta by less than an inch, he said.

A six-year veteran, Bruno is Anaheim’s most senior K-9 officer.

“His vital signs were stable,” Conklin said. “The next 18 hours are crucial. The hospital did an amazing job.”

Police K-9 handlers from Riverside, Los Angeles and elsewhere joined police officials and even community members who visited the hospital to show support for Bruno.

His handler was joined by his wife and young child at the hospital. Police officials said Bruno is a beloved member of the family.

Capt. Mark Cyprien said another K9 officer put on scrubs, was by Bruno’s side during the surgery and gave regular reports to his colleague and his family.

“He’s a tough dog who did his job well yesterday,” Cyprien said. “He’s a hero.”

For more info on Bruno, click the link below:


Video: Injured K-9 Officer Bruno eats on his own; receives blood from K-9 colleague.

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Petaluma K-9 Rico


Petaluma PD K-9 Rico photo by Petaluma 360
Petaluma PD K-9 Rico
photo by Petaluma 360


by Lt. Matt Stapleton, Petaluma PD

As many of you may have read in the newspaper, our award winning K9 Rico was seriously injured in a training accident on April 15th.  Officer Mike Page was leading Rico in a search exercise during a training day in Petaluma that was attended by dog teams throughout the region.  Rico fell from a second story landing and suffered serious neck injuries.  Officer Page rushed Rico to the emergency vet hospital and the following days were touch-and-go for Rico as he endured a variety of tests and scans to identify what was damaged.  Rico ended up requiring surgery and, while his future as a protection dog is probably over; his recovery is impressing the doctors to the extent that they have questioned whether he may return as a drug detection dog.  We are currently monitoring his progress very closely and his potential return to service is yet to be determined.


One of the most remarkable aspects of this horrible situation was the outpouring of support that the Petaluma Police Department has received from our community.  Well over 15,000 dollars poured in during the week following the announcement.  Several members of TEAM 4908 (current and alumni members of PPD) also contributed toward Rico’s treatment.  The treatment was originally estimated by doctors to be in the neighborhood of at least 13,000 dollars and our community has covered it.


Rico and handler Mike Page have contributed substantially to our organization throughout the course of their past 7 years of service as a team.  Rico has brought in hundreds of thousands of dollars in asset seizure money, assisted in numerous suspect apprehensions and has brought joy to citizens during his public presentations.  We wish Rico the best in his recovery and we are very appreciative of everyone’s support.


PETALUMA POLICE K9 RICO  click below for the news article

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FBI K-9 dog Ape killed in line of duty in New York state

FBI K-9 dog Ape killed in line of duty in New York state


by Maren Guse

HERKIMER, New York — A tactical K-9 dog named Ape, who started his career with the FBI just a few weeks ago, was killed in the line of duty during a standoff in Herkimer on Thursday.

Ape was on duty accompanying FBI agents who were attempting to arrest 64-year-old Kurt R. Myers,


of Mohawk, who had been holed up in an abandoned building on North Main Street in Herkimer after a rampage that left four dead and two injured.

Special Agent Ann Todd, with the FBI Office of Public Affairs, says Ape will be returned home to Quantico, Virginia.

Ape was a 2-year-old Czech German Shepherd. He was born on November 17, 2010.

Ape had just started working with the FBI on February 25 after completing training in October.

A memorial will be held for Ape at Quantico, says Todd, and his name will be added to a memorial wall.

“Ape was doing what he was trained to do and made the ultimate sacrifice for his team. His actions were heroic and prevented his teammates from being seriously wounded or killed,” says Todd.

Officials speaking at a news conference on Thursday say police entered the building around 8:00 a.m. They say Myers immediately opened fire on the officers from the doorway of a small room, killing an FBI K-9 search dog. Police returned fire, fatally shooting Myers.

State Police Superintendent Joseph D’Amico said during a press conference on Thursday morning that K-9s are “much more acute than people in locating suspects, especially in certain types of premises. I think that’s what happened here, and as unfortunate as it is that the K-9 lost his life, it could have easily been an officer.”

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