Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Stolen Car Torched on the Red Car Property, Insurance Scam or July 3rd Ritual?

Photo: Diane Edwardson July 8, 2008. A car fire singed the Eucalyptus tree
with 20' high flames. (Click on photos to enlarge.)

July 3, 2008, around 2 A.M., a neighbor awoke to a loud explosion and fire on the Red Car Property between India and the Silver Lake Ave. staircase. A new white Mercedes was fully engulfed in flames. The neighbor immediately called 911 and the LAFD put out the fire before it could spread to other trees or homes. No homes or other private property were damaged. Thankfully, the brush clearance had been done a few months ago by Aztecs Fire Crew.

Perhaps it's just a 3rd of July ritual to torch a brand new car. The photo below from is last year.

Photo: Diane Edwardson, July 4, 2007. Brand new and stolen SUV torched on
July 3, 2007 under the 2 Freeway on Rosebud Ave.

In 18 years, I have never seen an such an incident the Red Car Property. Thieves usually torch stolen cars under the 2 Freeway on Rosebud Ave., where there are no homes nearby. Although, in the past few years, it does not happen too often. It comes in cycles. Our LAPD Senior Lead Officer, Al Polehonki suggests these are usually insurance scams. You can track reported crime in the neighborhood on crime maps on the LAPD website.

If you live adjacent to the Red Car Property and call 911 for fire or criminal activity, be aware that you may have to give directions to emergency services. While Fire Station 56 knows how to get there, they may not be the station responding to the call.