Calif. man arrested 3 times in a day, repeatedly released due to COVID-19 restrictions

City and county law enforcement statewide have heard complaints about the new mandate requiring $0 bail for some offenses in order to reduce jail populations


Los Angeles Times

GLENDORA, Calif. — A Glendora man was arrested three times over the course of 12 hours on Wednesday -- including for allegedly leading officers on a pursuit -- and was only given citations and released each time due to the statewide zero-bail policy amid the coronavirus outbreak, according to officials.

The Glendora Police Department said Friday on Facebook that 24-year-old Dijon Landrum from Monterey Park racked up three citations between 8:28 a.m. and 8:50 p.m. on Wednesday after three incidents in the city located about 23 miles east of Los Angeles.

"We want to thank all of the citizens that helped with this investigation, particularly those that called when they noticed something suspicious," police said.

According to police, the first incident happened around 8:28 a.m. when officers responding to a call of a man who was attempting to break into a vehicle on the 1400 block of South Grand Avenue.

When officers arrived at the scene, they contacted Landrum, who was attempting to drive away in a stolen vehicle from the East Los Angeles area. In addition to driving a stolen vehicle, police said the 24-year-old had stolen property and narcotics with him.

"Landrum was arrested," police said. "Due to the California Zero-Bail Policy, he was issued a citation and released."

One hour after Landrum was released, officers received a call around 2:20 p.m. of an unknown man carrying a box and walking through the front yards of homes.

"It appeared that the male was placing items in this box as he was walking through the properties," police said.

When officers arrived on the scene, they encountered Landrum for the second time, reportedly with a box of stolen property. He was issued a second citation and released.

Several hours later around 8:50 p.m., officers received a call of a vehicle that had been stolen out of a parking lot on the 1300 block of South Grand Avenue.

Officers tracked the vehicle and located it heading along the westbound 100 freeway in La Puente, with assistance from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office and California Highway Patrol.

A pursuit eventually ended in Pasadena, where Landrum was once again arrested, this time for allegedly being in possession of a stolen vehicle and for evading officers.

"Due to the California Zero-Bail Policy, Landrum was released with his third citation of the day," police said.

The zero-cash bail emergency mandate in California, which has lead to reduced prison populations to reduce the spread of COVID-19, is continuing to be a challenge for law enforcement as alleged criminals are released back into the public, according to FOX11.

Last weekend, a man in Chino Hills was arrested four times over the course of two days for allegedly trespassing on the same property, only to be released due to the zero cash bail policy.

Cindy Bachman, the Public Information Officer for the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department, said Saturday there have been complaints from the community about the new mandate.

"We hear from people and they're disappointed that someone can commit a crime and they go to jail, we go through the whole process with them and book them for the crime because there is probable cause to do that, and then because of this order, they're released," Bachman told FOX11. "People are disappointed, they're angry, but this is an order. We have to follow it, but we don't have to be happy about it."

As the coronavirus pandemic has worsened, concern shifted to crowded prisons in some communities, where inmates not only live in close proximity to one another, but share laundries, baths and communal eating areas.

The United States has 2.3 million inmates in about 5,000 jails and prisons across the country -- believed to be the largest prison population in the world. According to the Bureau of Justice, nearly 200,000 people 55 and older are behind bars.

Officials in California, for instance, responded by releasing thousands of non-violent inmates to open up space in facilities to prevent the spread of the virus.

Orange County, Calif., District Attorney Todd Spitzer told Fox & Friends Weekend on Saturday he was "outraged" after the state ordered the release of seven high-risk sex offenders from the county's jails over concerns they could contract coronavirus.

"We've all been told that during the pandemic we needed to release people early, you know, with less than 30 days on their sentence and things like that because of the underlying health pandemic and the fact that we needed to exercise social distancing within the custodial facilities," he said Saturday. "However, as you know, in the United States today there is a social justice agenda to end bail for those who are incarcerated and this has gone too far."

There are 13 exceptions for the zero-cash bail emergency mandate for serious offenses, but child abuse is not one of them.

As of mid-April, over 16,000 inmates had been released nationwide, due to the virus.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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