The Los Angeles Police Department is conducting an ongoing investigation of a robbery that took place at the Verizon Wireless store on Ventura Boulevard Thursday around noon, LAPD Media Relations Officer S. Madera said. Although no official lockdown was declared, the Upper School shut its gates and followed emergency procedures for 40 minutes when the suspect ran towards a Ralphs market on the corner of Coldwater Canyon Avenue and Ventura.
The Los Angeles Police Department closed Ventura from Coldwater Canyon to Goodland Avenue sometime between 11 a.m. and 12 p.m., LAPD Sergeant A. Kreitzman said.
The Upper School reopened its gates at approximately 2 p.m., according to an email from President Rick Commons to faculty and staff.
Once a potential suspect was taken into custody, detectives arrived on scene to beging conducting a robbery investigation, Kreitzman said. ABC7 Eyewitness News’s twitter confirmed the search for the suspect had ended and the street had been reopened at 2:15 p.m.
When she noticed the helicopter circling above campus and students were returning to campus reporting that police were in the area, Assistant to the Head of Upper School Michelle Bracken phoned Directory of Security Jim Crawford and they decided to close the school gates instead of go into formal lockdown mode to keep students from leaving campus.
A fire alarm was accidentally set off around the same time unrelated to the incident, Bracken said, which confused many students who thought it was an actual lockdown drill.
Although the two have different sounds, many students went into lockdown in classrooms concluding that the two incidents were related. Others, who started towards the field in standard fire drill procedure, were ushered back into the lounge and standard lockdown procedure was followed, she said.
Students taking the AP Latin exam in Seaver had to stop testing temporarily, Director of Student Affairs Jordan Church said. However, once he found out that there was no fire and that the security team hadn’t instituted formal lockdown mode but were just keeping students on campus, they resumed testing. Church said that an incident report noting that the exam had been disrupted would be sent to the College Board along with the tests.
“I am happy to report that everyone is safe and students were noticeably responsive and cooperative in following our protocols,” Commons said in the email.