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Police Arrest 8 in Betting Crackdown

November 01, 1987

Vice investigators arrested eight people suspected of being members of a Pacoima off-track betting ring that was taking in $100,000 a month in bets, Los Angeles police said Saturday.

Police refused to disclose names of the suspects, including that of the alleged ringleader, because of a continuing investigation, Officer Joseph Penrod said. They were arrested on suspicion of bookmaking and released on $500 bail.

The vice officers made the arrests in raids on seven locations Friday evening in Pacoima, Sylmar, Lakeview Terrace and Oxnard, Penrod said. One of the areas searched was a Pacoima storefront that was masquerading as a domino-playing parlor; the others were houses, he said.

Investigators seized written records of horse-race betting transactions, Penrod said. The ring operated for at least a year, taking many small bets ranging from $2 to $20, he said. Police consider it the largest illegal race-track betting organization in the northeast San Fernando Valley, he said.

Several bettors present during the raids were not arrested, police said.

Despite a scramble to destroy betting records, police recovered all of the important papers, save for a sheet that one suspect ate, Penrod said.

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