City Attorney Mike Feuer announced that his office has taken action against the owner of the Vermont Plaza Strip Mall to curb allegedly blatant criminal activity by the Rollin’ 40s Neighborhood Crips, including two shootings in the past year, drug dealing and other criminal conduct.
“For too long, residents and business patrons of this community have been held hostage by the rampant gang activity we allege at this shopping center,” said Feuer. “Enough is enough. My office will continue to fight to rid our neighborhoods of violence, drugs and dangerous gang activity conduct that can have a devastating impact on our communities.”
The lawsuit names S&M Ventures LLC, the owner of the Vermont Square neighborhood strip mall since 1995, as well as Charles Scurich, the company’s Chief Executive Officer. The property includes over a dozen businesses including two restaurants, a donut shop, pet shop, clothing store, nail salon and shoe repair. The property is located in a heavily trafficked intersection of Vermont Avenue and 43rd Street and is one half mile from nine schools, six parks and three churches.
Law enforcement has responded to an escalating series of violent crimes at this shopping center including; murder, drive by shootings, robberies, attempted robberies, batteries and a constant presence of Rollin’ 40s gang members. As recently as November, a man was shot nine times in a drive by in the parking lot near the shoe repair store. Another man was shot five times outside the nail salon earlier in 2017.
The strip mall allegedly is also known as a hub for narcotics activity including 20 documented drug sales in 2017 alone, primarily involving the alleged sale of crack by Rollin’ 40s gang members.
The lawsuit seeks an injunction prohibiting gang and criminal activity at Vermont Plaza, and physical and managerial improvements, including: an internet-connected video monitoring system covering all public areas; improved lighting; secure gating and fencing; improved tenant screening and lease enforcement procedures including earlier closure times for businesses; and armed, licensed security guards.
Feuer has launched an online method through which residents may report properties with gang and/or narcotics activity in their neighborhoods. To report these crimes anonymously, call (213) 978-8340 or visit www.lacityattorney.org/report-problem-properties.