The son of a 74-year-old man killed in a Chatsworth carjacking said Friday that his family wants to do more than hold a memorial service for the victim.
So following a service today for Naghi Ghoraishy--who was fatally shot March 15 in an apparent struggle for his 1989 Mercedes-Benz--police and government representatives will host a forum on how residents can protect themselves against carjacking.
"It was a family thought, that we should fight back and do something," said Sam Ghoraishy, who helped organize the forum. He is one of three grown children of Naghi Ghoraishy.
"Are we going to leave the city for the crooks or are we going to do something about it?"
Police have reported at least six armed carjackings in Los Angeles this month, including one Thursday in Van Nuys.
In the latest takeover, a 14-year-old Northridge boy fleeing from a grocery store robbery hijacked a car at a railroad crossing and died after crashing the stolen car into a power pole. The Los Angeles County coroner's office identified the dead boy as Alberto Guerrero.
He was with three other youths who, police say, were trying to steal money and beer from a store at the corner of Roscoe Boulevard and Louise Avenue. The store owner was stabbed in the hand and neck during the robbery, police said.
Earlier this month in Canoga Park, another 14-year-old boy allegedly pushed an elderly woman from a car into the street after stealing the vehicle. The woman suffered a broken hip, jaw and nose from the fall.
Although authorities have no accurate statistics on carjackings in the city--the tally is lumped in with all car thefts--police say the hijacks seem to be on the rise.
Growing publicity surrounding the crime has prompted legislation to stiffen criminal penalties.
State Senate Bill 60, co-authored by Sens. Robert Presley (D-Riverside) and Quentin L. Kopp (I-San Francisco), would extend prison sentences for those convicted of carjacking and make them ineligible for probation.
Sam Ghoraishy said he supports the proposal, which will be among the topics discussed following the 10 a.m. memorial service at St. John Eudes Church in Chatsworth.
"Somehow, we have to make the streets safer," he said.
The Los Angeles Police Department said Friday they are still trying to find out who killed Naghi Ghoraishy. He had stopped for gas when he was confronted by the armed bandit, who shot him in the head.
"The investigation is proceeding, but we have no arrests yet," Detective Terry Richardson said.
Ghoraishy moved to the United States from Iran in 1977. His son said he was retired from the import-export business he started after arriving in California.
"He would make friends anywhere he went and would mingle with any age group," his son said.
Times staff writer Jim Herron Zamora contributed to this story.