SOUTH LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Authorities were searching for a burglary suspect inside a fumigated apartment complex in the Vermont Harbor neighborhood of South Los Angeles Monday.
According to Los Angeles police, at 7:25 a.m. officers were dispatched to a report of a burglary at an apartment complex in the 4000 block of South Vermont Avenue that was being fumigated. Workers arrived at the complex Monday to remove the tenting — which had been in place over the weekend — to discover a man coming out through a slit in the tent. When he saw the crew, he ran back into the building, but dropped a bag in the process. The bag contained jewelry, police said.
A Los Angeles Fire Department hazmat team was then called to the scene. The fire department confirmed it was providing support to police.
As of 2 p.m., LAPD SWAT was still searching the building for the suspect using special breathing rigs, according to KNX 1070 reporter Pete Demetriou. There are about 21 apartments in the complex. Police did not believe that there is a medical issue, however, because most of the gases have dissipated from over the weekend.
The captain on the scene told KCAL9/CBS2’s Jeff Nguyen Monday evening that the work had been slow because they could not bring in police dogs. That’s because the chemicals that are used for the fumigation process are too dangerous.
Vermont Avenue was shut down in both directions at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. The public was asked to avoid the area.