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Police Search Sounded 'Like the Apocalypse'

An early-morning search for a possible burglar along the Esplanade wakes up residents in South Redondo Beach.

The sounds of a helicopter and booming loudspeaker woke up many South Redondo Beach residents early Wednesday morning as police searched for a possible burglar on the Esplanade.

The Daily Breeze reported that a security guard reported spotting a possible burglar at an apartment complex undergoing renovations in the 600 block of the Esplanade.

Construction workers at the scene said the security guard told them that the person was climbing around the scaffolding at the 105-unit building "like Spiderman."

According to Patch readers, the helicopter first arrived at about 12:30 a.m., stayed for awhile and left before coming back at about 2:30 a.m.

"We woke to the … helicopter circling around outside our bedroom window, announcing over a loudspeaker for the suspect to come out of the building and that the building was surrounded," reader Karen Schermerhorn told Patch. "This went on for (five) minutes or more with continuing announcements."

Alison Clay-Duboff offered a similar account.

"It was so loud, so incredible," she said. "They kept shouting, 'We're sending in the dogs—the building is surrounded!'

"It was like the apocalypse."

Redondo Beach Police Department Sgt. Shawn Freeman told the Breeze in a later article that the loudspeaker was used because officers were using a police dog to search.

"It's not our intent to wake up all the neighbors on The Esplanade," Freeman told the Breeze. "If someone is in this complex stealing who-knows-what, it's our job to go in and arrest him. And we have to do it safely."

More than a dozen police units responded to the scene, according to Patch readers.

No arrest was made.

Mark James September 06, 2012 at 03:53 PM
I'm not an expert on police procedure, so I don't know if it is standard practice to give information to the public during a police search like this- but after being awoken by a helicopter right above our apartment shouting things we could not understand over a loud speaker we called the Redondo Beach police department who told us "we have received calls from other residents and we do not know what is going on or have any information about the helicopter, we advise you to close your windows and lock your doors". LAPD told us this was not their jurisdiction and they had no information on a helicopter either. So, given this information, there was an unidentified non-police helicopter flying around Redondo Beach shouting things over a loudspeaker and we should shut our windows and lock our doors. It was a bit more disconcerting than the search for a possible burglary suspect.
bev September 06, 2012 at 06:23 PM
who's paying for that copter's gas? and no, from our viewpoint, we saw NO flashing red lights nor did we hear any sirens. absurd.

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