In a bid to prevent kids returning to school from being approached by recruiting gang members,, a specialized team of detectives intervened Tuesday, detaining three suspected gang members and seizing one handgun.
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station detectives with the Career Offenders, Robbery, Burglary Assault team, or COBRA, carried out a mission on the first day of school, to identify kids involved in or associated with gangs and to hold them accountable for any engagement in criminal activity, Shirley Miller, spokeswoman for the SCV Sheriff’s Station, said Thursday night.
The COBRA team also planned to identify adults who might be “preying on children and encouraging their criminal behavior,” she said.
COBRA detectives zeroed in on a business complex parking lot on the 24800 block of Railroad Avenue, in Newhall, and made contact with three people suspected of being gang members, a man and two boys.
They soon found gang graffiti and a loaded firearm in the vicinity near the two boys, who were then detained on suspicion of unlawful possession of a firearm, Miller said. A man who was with them was arrested on an alleged parole violation.
Mission accomplished, the COBRA team is planning more patrol deployments for the near future.
In a post on social media about the arrests, Miller included a list of steps parents can take to discourage the gang culture in youth today, and put a stop to gang crime and violence.
– Meet your children’s friends. Find out who they are, and how they and your children spend their free time.
– Help occupy children’s free time. Give them responsibilities at home. Encourage them to be involved in after-school sports or city recreational activities.
– Develop good communication and spend time with your children.
– Don’t allow your children to stay out late or spend a lot of unsupervised time on the streets.
“Please continue to keep an eye out for any suspicious activity, and report it to our station,” Miller said in her post. “If you see suspected gang activity in your neighborhood, you can call our station at 661-255-1121 and ask for a patrol check.”
Anonymous tips about suspected gang members in your neighborhood can also be submitted through www.LACrimeStoppers.org or by calling 1-800-222-8477.
All tips are reviewed and disseminated to one of SCV Sheriff’s Station’s specialized teams.
Note that if a crime is in progress, or you need an immediate deputy response, call 911 for emergencies or the sheriff’s non-emergency line at 661-255-1121.
On Twitter @jamesarthurholt