4 more Los Angeles youth police cadets arrested in scandal

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said Tuesday that the four additional members of the department's cadet program have been arrested for their alleged involvement in stealing three squad cars. The latest arrests bring the total to seven. "Los Angeles has a police officer recruitment and retention problem and we urge Chief Beck to provide solutions and not band-aids to ensure there are enough officers on patrol to reduce violent crime and emergency response times, and prevent incidents like this in the future". The cadets drove the three cars out of a police station parking lot, and the cadets had one of the vehicles for at least two weeks, the chief said.

Beck says he doesn't care how much money the federal government threatens to withhold from Los Angeles.

One arrested cadet is from Pacific Division; the rest are from 77th Street.

While driving around in the marked police vehicles, the cadets impersonated officers and pulled over at least one driver, though detectives haven't found any evidence they tried to issue any summonses, handcuffed the driver or used any force during the encounter, Beck said. After dozens of interviews were conducted by investigations, Beck on Tuesday told commissioners the cadets had made traffic stops on "a couple of occasions"; he told reporters one or "possibly two" traffic stops occurred.

Investigators believe the cadets used their knowledge of the LAPD's computer inventory system to check the vehicles out under the name of a sergeant who was on vacation, Beck said.

To read this article in one of Houston's most-spoken languages, click on the button below. Beck says teenage police cadets stole three patrol cars and led officers on wild chases through the city.

Charges will be prosecuted in the juvenile justice system, Beck said, though he indicated one of the cadets is 20 years old.

Despite its recent troubles, Beck reiterated his support for the cadet program, which has more than 2,300 active participants.

  • Larry Hoffman