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December 27, 2012 | By Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times
A one-day gun buyback event in Los Angeles on Wednesday gathered 2,037 firearms, including 75 assault weapons and two rocket launchers, officials said. The total was nearly 400 more weapons than were collected in a similar buyback earlier this year. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said the collection at two locations was so successful that the city ran out of money for supermarket gift cards and got a private donation through the city controller to bolster the pot. The gun buyback was moved up from its usual Mother's Day date in response to the massacre Dec. 14 that claimed the lives of 26 people, including 20 students, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
February 3, 2010 | By Jack Leonard
A retired Los Angeles County judge who ordered that a lawyer be paid in $10 gift cards from a women's fashion store as part of a legal settlement was censured Tuesday and barred from presiding over court cases. The Commission on Judicial Performance accused Brett C. Klein of showing bias, abusing his authority and "grandstanding to the press" in a class-action lawsuit that he briefly presided over last year. The lawsuit accused a clothing store chain of violating privacy laws by asking for personal identification information when customers used credit cards to make purchases.
August 1, 2010 | By Andrea Chang, Los Angeles Times
When 14-year-old Bethany Mota gets back from the mall, she eagerly models her latest finds for friends and family. And for tens of thousands more on YouTube. The rising high school sophomore from Los Banos, Calif., is a "hauler," a term for tech-savvy young fashionistas who show off their purchases, or hauls, in homemade videos that they post online. Bethany started hauling about a year ago and now has more than 48,000 YouTube subscribers who tune in to watch her show off her favorite back-to-school outfits ("you don't want to wear heels and stuff, obviously")
January 31, 2014 | By Samantha Schaefer
A former security guard at a Lakers practice facility pleaded no contest Friday to stealing three of the team's championship rings and hundreds of dollars of gift cards, the L.A. County district attorney's office said. Mejía Eddie Monterroso, 23, entered his plea to grand theft of personal property and was sentenced to 180 days in county jail and three years' probation. He was also ordered to pay almost $14,000 in restitution. Prosecutors said Monterroso stole the property while he worked the night shift between Oct. 24 and Dec. 5, 2013.
December 29, 2004
The longest lines at the mall during last week's pre-Christmas shopping crunch didn't feature people hauling merchandise but rather waiting to exchange one form of currency -- American dollars -- for another -- those nifty store cards. Some malls even set up kiosks where you could get cards redeemable for everything from manicures to meals. Once considered the cop-out gift of a lazy shopper, gift cards moved ahead of clothing this year as the most popular present.
December 20, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu
The swamped malls, crowded parking lots and frantic delivery companies say it all: Christmas crunch time is here for the two-thirds of Americans who still haven't finished their holiday shopping. That's 132 million people trying to figure out last-minute gifts, according to a holiday poll conducted by Consumer Reports from Dec. 10 to 17. Of the respondents, 14% have yet to start shopping. And 17 million people - 9% of the total - will still be scrambling on Christmas Eve. So far, the average American has spent $340 on presents.
January 10, 2009 | Times Wire Reports
Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon was indicted on charges that the Democrat accepted illegal gifts as mayor and City Council president, including travel, fur coats and gift cards intended for the poor that she allegedly used for a holiday shopping spree. A grand jury indicted Dixon on 12 counts, including four of perjury and two of theft over $500. She was also charged with theft under $500, fraudulent misappropriation by a fiduciary and misconduct in office. State prosecutors, who have been investigating City Hall corruption for nearly three years, said Dixon received holiday gift cards that were to be distributed to needy families, but which she used instead to buy an Xbox, PlayStation 2, camcorder, clothes and other merchandise.
June 18, 2013 | By Jean Merl
A gun buyback event held over the weekend in East Los Angeles yielded 152 weapons, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said this week. The cache of weapons exchanged for gift cards to Target or Ralphs included several assault rifles as well as handguns, shotguns and standard riles, the department said. The event was held Saturday at Belvedere Park, one of several such sessions that encourage residents to turn in guns, no questions asked, in exchange for gift cards or in some cases cash.
April 23, 2013 | By Kate Mather
Los Angeles officials on Tuesday revealed details of the city's upcoming gun buyback day, the first held after similar events in December yielded record numbers for some area municipalities. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Police Chief Charlie Beck announced that residents can anonymously turn in firearms May 4 and receive up to $100 of Ralph's gift cards for handguns, shotguns and rifles, and up to $200 for assault weapons. Authorities will collect weapons at four locations from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. that day: The Los Angeles Fire Department Academy, 1700 Stadium Way; a South L.A. park-and-ride parking lot, 1300 West Pacific Coast Highway; the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, 7900 South Western Avenue; and the Van Nuys Masonic Temple, 14750 Sherman Way. Though the event is usually held in the spring, the December shooting at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school prompted officials across Southern California to host buyback days at the end of the year.
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