violence; graffiti cited

The Santa Monica Police Department has issued a community alert regarding possible gang action in the Pico area of the city.

Santa Monica police say they have received information regarding recent alleged gang activity in the Los Angeles area that also identifies an alleged Santa Monica gang as a potential target for retaliation.

The information is described as unconfirmed and uncorroborated.

Santa Monica police said they have recently noticed an increase in gang graffiti in the Pico Neighborhood that is indicative of gang tension.

Such graffiti in the past has been a precursor to gang violence, police said.

However, the Santa Monica Police Department has been in contact with representatives of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) for the surrounding area and has received no recent reports of gang violence attributed to Santa Monica gang members as suspects, police said.

“We are making this information public and are asking for the public’s assistance to report any suspicious activity in your neighborhood,” Santa Monica police Lt. Frank Fabrega said. “Again, we want to emphasize that the information is general and unconfirmed.

“The police department, as always, continues to maintain a high visibility violence prevention presence in the Pico Neighborhood and at Edison Elementary School.”

To report any suspicious activity, the public is asked to call the Santa Monica Police Department at (310) 458-8491.

Callers who wish to remain anonymous, yet still become eligible for a reward, may also call the We-Tip national hotline at (800) 782-7463 (800 78-CRIME).