Review of Strange 2022 Happenings

Steve Propes


On Jan. 25, two men sleeping in a parked car at the 5400 block of Ocean Boulevard heard the unmistakable sound of sawing, indicating catalytic converter thieves. Facing the baddies, one confronter was shot for his efforts. The saw-men fled the scene in a small black car with the loot. No known arrests.

On April 4, as noted in Nextdoor, “some tweaker stole a city maintenance truck at Bixby Park, drove it down Gaviota, crashed it into a tree, and casually walked himself back to Bixby Park. Quite a few of us saw it happen and were able to ID the guy. Dummy took the keys to the truck with him after he crashed, so having them in his pocket probably didn’t help his case.” Then came the responses. “Damn, is that the graffiti truck? Hopefully it’s back on the streets quickly.” Another question. “Why were the keys in the truck. Because it’s a city worker and it would be too much work to take the keys out of the ignition.”

On April 17, at the closed Willow Street Costco gas station, drivers in-the-know continued to pump gas through an unspecified process at 9 p.m. It is unclear who accepted the payment-in-full they no doubt made.


On Feb. 3, a Nextdoor poster asked, what is that “god-awful loudspeaker noise” at 3:55 a.m.?” near Willow Street and Lakewood Boulevard. Opined a music critic, “Sounds like a cross between and trumpet and a whale… or the soundtrack to an alien invasion movie.” A techie asked, “Is someone dragging an empty oil tanker down the freeway?” Combining the above, “Do we think it is a homeless person playing an instrument under the freeway bridge?” Answer: none of the above. Simply scheduled maintenance at Long Beach Airport.

On March 17, metal pipes were stolen from the building that once housed the popular Federal Bar at the 100 block of Pine Ave. One man was detained, no arrests. Said one local, “So now we’re down to stealing parts of the building itself.”

On June 21, at in our local Area 51, the far east end of Atherton Street, “an older man in a white Kia decided to ram the gate open at the end of Atherton at high speed. The chain link gate is utterly destroyed. The Kia is gone with a severely damaged front end apparently. The road is private, the gate is maintained by the county and access includes every agency in the state it seems. Everyone wants to use this entrance but no one wants to maintain it.” One response, “guess they were tired of climbing it.” Used as LADWP access to their transmission line right-of-way originating at their Second St. and Westminster Blvd steam plant, thus the gateless fence.

Animal Antics

At Scherer Park, on March 2, a full grown man was laying atop and attempting to strangle a goose, violating acceptable animal husbandry.

Wrote a Nextdoor poster on May 23. “A man is trapping ducks and pigeons in the back of his truck by the duck pond at Heartwell Park. This is the third time. He is putting a trail of bread crumbs from the ground up to the bed of his truck and then when the birds go in he pulls a rope to shut the cage door.” Amongst responses by the dozens, “If pigeons are wandering and enjoying the park they should be left alone. I have a rescue pigeon and he is the sweetest pet.” Not so, said another. “Pigeons are pests, but ducks should not be trapped.” Lakewood was then evoked. “Still kind of better than the Lakewood residents that shoot animals off the telephone lines.”

Streets and Takeovers.

On March 9, an LAPD pursuit of a reportedly stolen white SUV in Wilmington, wended its way over the new unnamed Gerald Desmond replacement bridge to the area of Stearns and Bellflower Blvd where it drove the wrong way, made several U-turns into a gas station and a mini-mall sidewalk, almost brushing a couple that seemed oblivious to the danger behind them, almost hit a second pedestrian who jumped out of the way, stopped on 23rd St. The driver got out, returned to his car to collect something, began to walk, then run away as the authorities did a live capture at 4 p.m. sharp.

On Aug. 29, according to a Nextdoor poster, while attempting an improvised Johnson Street donut maneuver, the driver of a blue Dodge Magnum lost control and collided with a parked Chevy Avalanche, causing significant damage to both cars. Embarrassed by lack of donut skills, the driver and passenger of the Magnum ran away on 64th Street. Police were called, the Magnum was impounded. A Nextdoor poster responded, “The person that owns the Magnum should have the car confiscated and sold and the money given to the owner of the Chevy. Along with whatever comes out of the insurance settlement.” That is, if the Magnum wasn’t a stolen car.

Private Parts

In a March 18 takeover, a restroom takeover was staged by a naked man and naked woman at Rec Park.

On April 16, a man asked for a haircut at a salon at 2300 block of Bellflower Blvd. Told he needed an appointment, he lingered inside the salon, went outside, sat down on a chair facing the window and exposed his genitals. Employees closed the blinds as the man enjoyed himself after moving his chair in front of the shop’s no-blinds door. Locking the door and calling the cops, employees waited for about 40 minutes, calling the cops twice more, before the man picked up his goods, split. In an interview, an employee said the salon specializes in “extensions.” Not that kind of extensions.

On July 23, a Rainbow Harbor party boat, guests with clothes on, others not very much. An enforcement solution: issuance of parking tickets to many of the guests’ rides, clothed or not. Then, on Sept. 1, reports of a naked female refusing to get off the boat at Rainbow Harbor accompanied by reports of a stolen boat, which may suggest a very unique crime wave.


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