SAN PEDRO, Calif. – Feb. 13, 2024 – Officers with the Los Angeles Port Police Crime Unit today arrested three individuals in connection with multiple occurrences of stolen bronze plaques throughout the Harbor Area and greater Los Angeles. The subjects were arrested during a traffic stop in Southwest Los Angeles.
The stolen property at the Port of Los Angeles includes the American Merchant Marine Veterans Memorial and International Warehouse and Longshore Union “Bloody Thursday” Memorial along Harbor Boulevard in San Pedro, as well as the Japanese Fishing Village Memorial on Terminal Island.
“The heartless theft of these plaques was an insult to the memories of families who built this region through the fishing industry, who moved goods as part of the ILWU, and who protected our country during the war as Merchant Marine sailors,” said Councilmember Tim McOsker. “It was an affront to our entire community, and today the Harbor Area and the great people who shaped our history and culture are on the path to justice. 
“I was told that when the suspects were arrested today, they also had stolen bronze cemetery markers in their possession,” McOsker added. “This criminal act brazenly disrespected and violated our community with no bounds. I’m grateful to the Port of Los Angeles, the Port Police, and their partners for their hard work in finding the suspects responsible who put their own selfish interests over our community.”
“This disturbing series of thefts has had a significant emotional toll on members of our community whose loved ones were memorialized both in the maritime and fishing industry,” said Los Angeles Port Police Chief Tom Gazsi. “Additionally, we have found evidence linking the suspects to thefts of grave markers of community members that were lovingly interned at cemeteries in the region.
“Some of these are memorial plaques that date back more than a century,” Gazsi added. “These dear souls shall never be forgotten.”
Gazsi said Port Police and detectives worked tirelessly reviewing evidence, witness statements and other leads which resulted in the arrest of the three individuals.
Anyone with further information is asked to contact Los Angeles Port Police Detectives at (310) 732-3500.
The Los Angeles Port Police force is a specialized law enforcement agency that operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week to protect the Port of Los Angeles from threats whether by land, sea, air or cyberspace. Comprised of more than 300 sworn officers and civilian personnel, the force’s jurisdiction spans 7,500 acres along 43 miles of waterfront.