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Flier About Stabbings a Hoax, Police Say

June 01, 2002|From a Times Staff Writer

A flier distributed in North Hollywood that warns of criminals approaching pedestrians and randomly stabbing them is a hoax, the Los Angeles Police Department said Friday.

"It's not true," said Sgt. Bill Martin of the LAPD's North Hollywood Division. "But we have an idea who is doing this, and that person has been trying to cause anti-police sentiment within the community."

Martin said he was unsure what charges, if any, could be brought if the author of the flier is identified.

The handout, printed in large letters with "NoHo Crime Alert!," has been found on car windshields in the central section of North Hollywood near Magnolia and Lankershim boulevards.

The fliers warn that "Walking after dark has become risky due to the random stabbing of individuals walking alone."

They also caution people to "beware of any vehicle that stops suddenly whose occupants approach mumbling or requesting help with directions," warning that they will "attack ... without provocation."

Police say they are particularly upset by the handout's language, calling it inflammatory and pointing out that it lists the LAPD North Hollywood Division and Senior Lead Officer Nancy Reaves as contacts.

Martin said the police also object to the use of the Neighborhood Watch logo, which falsely implies the flier may be authentic.

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