251 Arrested by Task Force in Gang Crackdown

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Los Angeles police arrested 251 people, 104 of them suspected gang members, during an anti-gang crackdown in the San Fernando Valley late Saturday and early Sunday, authorities said.

A 200-officer task force, named Operation Hammer, canvassed all five Valley police divisions during the nine-hour sweep, which began at 5 p.m. Saturday, Officer Jerry Sexton said.

Arrests ranged from traffic violations to major crimes of assault and burglary.

Sexton said 53 people were arrested on suspicion of felonies and the rest on suspicion of misdemeanors.

In addition, police impounded 35 cars, confiscated four firearms and seized 34.9 grams of unspecified narcotics, Sexton said.

Coordinators of the sweep, which is conducted periodically throughout Los Angeles, said no one was injured.

A similar operation conducted Friday and Saturday on the Westside led to the arrest of 75 people, 46 of whom were believed to be gang members.

Officers involved in the Valley operation patrolled their own divisions. Police said the officers have identified gang members in their areas and questioned people who fit gang profiles.

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