Police Sweep Up Hundreds of Illegal Guns a Year Off Pasadena Streets

Published : Thursday, January 9, 2020 | 6:20 AM

Former Police Chief Phillip Sanchez displayed this assault rifle (.223/5.556 cal.) for media as an example of the kind of firepower Pasadena police encounter. This weapon was taken by his officers during an April 30, 2015 arrest near Old Pasadena. Image: Pasadena Police

Pasadena Now has learned that the Pasadena Police Department took nearly 500 guns off the streets in the past two years.

All told 237 guns were taken off the streets in 2018 and 225 in 2019 according to documents supplied by the department.

“This is a significant number of guns taken off of the streets and will continue to have direct impact on the reduction of gun violence in Pasadena and the surrounding communities,” said Pasadena Police Chief John Perez.

“All of these guns have been either recovered directly from individual suspects who’s likely intent was to cause harm, were turned in by the owner due to a safety concern, or were recklessly left accessible to members of the public and were reported to police by concerned individuals who found the gun.”

According to the documents in 2018, 19 of the weapons were found by members of the public or police officers, 146 were collected as evidence and an additional 82 were turned into the police for safekeeping.

According to Department spokesman Lt. William Grisafe, about 70 percent of the weapons are handguns, 30 percent are rifles.

March and April, 2019 were extremely busy as police recovered 28 weapons in each of the two months.

Only seven weapons were recovered in August.

Handguns abound. This loaded .40 subcompact handgun was collected after a suspect near Old Pasadena fled and threw it into bushes. Image: Pasadena Police

Grisafe said the department used to do gun buybacks where civilians would turn in their weapons for gift certificates or gift cards donated by merchants. However, the merchants stopped offering the gift certificates.

The department has long sought to take guns off the streets.

In 2013, 135 weapons were turned in at a gun buyback outside of the Pasadena Police Department headquarters.

In January 2018, officers recovered 18 weapons, including a .45 colt revolver and two AK-47 automatic weapons, with bayonets attached.

Two days later, Pasadena police air unit PD?1 responded to the area of 800 N. Raymond Ave. to assist officers who were chasing subjects who fled during a traffic stop. The aircrew set a containment in the area and all 5 subjects were located within the perimeter. A firearm was also located and taken as evidence.

“Taking over 500 guns off the streets of Pasadena over the past two years is a huge success for the Pasadena Police Department and our community,” said Councilmember John Kennedy, who leads the City Council’s Public Safety Committee. “Because of the work PPD has done, our children and neighborhoods are safer, and yet the access to legal or illegal guns seemingly is still too easy. I believe I can safely say that the City Council as a whole applauds the difficult work of our men and women in blue.”

In 2019, 15 guns were found, 90 weapons were collected into evidence and 120 weapons were turned over to the police for safekeeping.

In January of that year, 24 weapons were taken off the streets including seven weapons on January 16. In August, 29 police took custody of 29 weapons, including two Smith & Wesson MP9 Shield handguns with laser sighting.

In October, police took custody of 12 firearms including one found after police responded to calls of a white vehicle speeding recklessly near Fair Oaks Avenue and Washington Boulevard with a male riding on the hood. While checking the area, officers located an intoxicated person in the intersection of Sunset Avenue and Pepper Street bleeding from his head and hand. Police discovered the victim was carrying a loaded handgun that was stolen in 2011. After being treated for injuries the man was arrested for possessing the stolen firearm.

“No matter how the guns were taken off of the streets, any guns removed will decrease potential gun violence for both community members and law enforcement officers,” Perez said.

If you have a weapon you wish to turn over to the department call (626) 744-4241.




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