Compton — the ‘mecca of street takeovers’ — vows to take action on illegal car shows

Passengers hang out of a spinning car at an early morning street takeover in East Compton.
Passengers hang out of a spinning car at an early morning street takeover at Compton Boulevard and Atlantic Avenue in East Compton in August.
(Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

Compton is known as the “mecca of street takeovers,” and city officials and residents are fed up with the illegal car shows.

Compton Mayor Emma Sharif and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department are vowing to take action.

Residents descended on Compton City Hall on Tuesday to voice their frustration, anger and heartbreak over street takeovers, the most recent occurring over the weekend. The takeovers led to a chaotic night of burglaries Saturday, according to the Sheriff’s Department.


Sharif condemned the takeovers and thefts, which resulted in thousands of dollars in stolen merchandise.

“These street takeovers have plagued our community for far too long,” Sharif said. “In the past, most of the participants have not been from our city but have come here to take part in these takeovers and other senseless crimes.”

There is a growing backlash in some neighborhoods, with residents demanding authorities do more to crack down on the illegal gatherings that can turn deadly in a flash.

Aug. 22, 2022

The forum also brought to light the death of Raymond Olivares, 27, in February.

Olivares worked as an engineer for the city of Los Angeles and lived on Avalon Street in Compton, according to his sister, Cindi Enamorado, who spoke at the City Council meeting. Olivares was walking with his fiancee when the two were struck by a car careening down the road on Feb. 19 as it fled the scene of a nearby street takeover, according to the Sheriff’s Department.

“There has to be a stop to this. This is organized crime,” Enamorado said as she broke down in tears.

Enamorado spoke of her brother’s gruesome death, how a car speeding at 100 mph struck him, hurling his body across the street.

“He at impact lost some body parts ... was hit by another car,” she said. “People drove by recording him. ... They made a joke out of my brother’s passing.”


Roughly 100 people surged into an Arco and stole snacks, drinks and other merchandise after a street takeover converged at a nearby intersection.

April 16, 2023

Olivares’ death has not stopped street takeovers from continuing in Compton. Since January, the Sheriff’s Department said it had already responded to 166 takeover incidents in the city.

Takeovers took place Saturday night at Long Beach Boulevard and Rosecrans Avenue, and at Central and Rosecrans avenues, along with “numerous others,” said Capt. Terrence Bell of the Sheriff’s Department.

The takeovers involved hundreds of participants and left the Sheriff’s Department scrambling, said Bell, who called Compton the “mecca of street takeovers.” Last year, the Sheriff’s Department said it responded to 498 separate takeovers.

Bell said Saturday’s illegal takeovers moved from intersection to intersection as deputies tried to clear the streets and an ampm convenience store was burglarized and vandalized.

“The looting is not going to happen again. We’re not going to have it again,” Bell said.

I worked my way to the front of the throng for a closer view, jumping back on a couple of occasions as the cars drifted close.

Dec. 29, 2022

Bell said that he had redeployed certain deputies to work weekends and had received additional resources from throughout the county to help “combat this problem.”

“You’re going to see enforcement all over the weekend,” he said. “We’re not going to tolerate any more street takeovers.”


Street takeovers have skyrocketed in Los Angeles since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the first six months of 2021, there were 500 reported takeovers, according to data from the Los Angeles Police Department. In 2022, the LAPD reported 705 takeovers.