Tag: Woodland Hills

Double-Murder Suicide In Family Dispute

April 9, 2024 ·

The LAPD are investigating a double-murder suicide that transpired in Woodland Hills. Photo by Anis Rahman via Unsplash.

WOODLAND HILLS—On Tuesday, April 9, the Los Angeles Police Department Topanga Division announced that on April 8, around 7:35 a.m., officers responded to the 6200 block of Variel Avenue for a radio call of a homicide investigation. Operations Valley Bureau (OVB) homicide detectives were notified and responded to the scene learning of two related incidents that transpired following the homicide on Variel Avenue.

The LAPD reported that the first incident involved two young children being found on the 405 Freeway near Howard Hughes Parkway. The second incident involved a single vehicle fatal traffic collision in Redondo Beach.

Detectives worked in collaboration with the California Highway Patrol (CHP), the Redondo Beach Police Department, and the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office to determine if the incidents were related and discovered that the victim, Jaelen Chaney, 29, and the suspect, Danielle Johnson, 34, resided together with her two young children, aged eight months old and nine years old, in a residence in the 6200 block of Variel Avenue.

On April 8, around 3:40 a.m., Chaney and Johnson became involved in a verbal altercation that escalated into Johnson becoming violent, stabbing Chaney, who succumbed to his injuries at the scene. A knife with biological evidence was later recovered from the scene, where Johnson fled with her two children in a dark-colored Porsche SUV.

Around 4:30 a.m., the dark-colored SUV was spotted driving on the 405 Freeway when the two children were expelled from the vehicle while it was moving. The nine-year-old child sustained moderate injuries from the fall and was transported to a local hospital. The eight-month-old child sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at scene.

Around 5 a.m., Johnson drove her vehicle at a speed in excess of 100 miles per hour in Redondo Beach near the intersection of Vincent Street and the Pacific Coast Highway and collided with a tree. Johnson did not survive the crash and was the sole occupant of the vehicle.

These events transpired before LAPD personnel were notified of the crime. Around 7:35 a.m., neighbors on Variel Avenue spotted the front door open, which prompted them to check on the well-being of the residents. It was at that time Chaney was discovered dead inside the apartment. After a thorough investigation and collaboration with the above agencies, homicide detectives determined that the incidents were all related and no further threat to the community.

Anyone with additional details is asked to contact Operations Valley Bureau Homicide Detectives at (818) 374-9550. During non-business hours, or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247). Anyone wanting to remain anonymous should call the LA Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477) or go directly to www.lacrimestoppers.org.

By Trevor

Local Charter School Wins Decathlon

March 27, 2024 ·

WOODLAND HILLS—On Sunday, March 24, El Camino Charter High School, also known as “ECR” or “Elco” located at 5440 Valley Circle Boulevard in the Woodland Hills district of San Fernando Valley won the California Academic Decathlon in Santa Clara, California.

According to the school website, 54 California schools competed in the areas of math, science, literature, art, music, social science, economics, essay writing, interviewing, speech, comprehension, and humanity.

ECR students competing earned a total of 50,781.20 out of 60,000 available points, earned 48 individual medals earning both state and super quiz titles. 

This is not the first win for El Camino High. ECR students won the Decathlon last year earning their place in the National Finals in Frisco, Texas, and took home the 2023 Division I Champion title. The Woodland Hills charter school has achieved the right to compete nationally three times in the last five years.  

In addition, this win marks El Camino’s 14th state title which is more than any other school in the state of California.

Elco students will now represent the state of California as they move forward to compete at the national level in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on April 25-27. According to the U.S. Decathlon website, online national competitions for small, medium, and large schools are also open to qualified teams from each participating state.

According to U.S. News and World Report, El Camino Real Charter High School is ranked 3,645 in the nation.

Canyon News reached out to El Camino Real Charter High School for a statement but did not hear back in time for print.

By Sharon

Armed Burglary, Shooting At Woodland Hills Best Western

February 13, 2024 ·

WOODLAND HILLS—On Friday, February 9, at approximately 11:00 p.m. the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Topanga Division officers responded to a call of shots fired at the Best Western motel located at 21830 Ventura Boulevard.

Officers arriving at the scene discovered a male victim suffering from gunshot wounds in one of the rooms.

Reports indicate that the male was in the room with an unidentified female when a second male in his 40’s is let into the room by the female. The second male can be heard shouting at the first male who is now the victim, demanding he turn over his property to him. The victim is shot, and both the suspect, and the female leave the premises together in an unknown vehicle.

Police are now considering both suspects in what has become an armed robbery. The victim was taken to an area hospital for treatment of gunshot wounds.

No further information is known at this time. Canyon News reached out to Best Western and the LAPD Public Information Officer for the case but have not heard back from the management from the motel.

LASD officer Drake Madison from the Media Relations Department responded with the following information on the case.

“On 02/09/24, at 10:00 p.m., a single victim shooting occurred on the 21800 block of Ventura Boulevard.  The male victim and a female Black suspect were inside a room at the location.  The female Black suspect stepped outside.  Suspect #2 (male Black, 40-45 years) entered the room, armed with a gun, and demanded property from the victim.  An altercation ensued and Suspect #2 fired at the victim, striking him. Both suspects fled from the location in a vehicle.  Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics responded and transported the victim to a local hospital in stable condition.  It is unknown if the incident is gang related.” 


By Sharon

Luxury Retirement Village Coming To Woodland Hills

January 10, 2024 ·

WOODLAND HILLS—On January 9, the California Investment Group (CIG) announced the purchase of 19 acres in Woodland Hills for an upscale retirement village. CoStar News first reported that CIG along with some other investors purchased the property at 23388 Mulholland Drive on the border of Calabasas for $30 million, which works out to be approximately $1.58 million per acre.

The land was purchased from a local motion picture and television fund. According to the CIG website, there is undeveloped land that a non-profit has owned since 1941 that sits just south of the upcoming retirement village and hospital for the entertainment industry in the southwest corner of San Fernando Valley.

Poolside With Pineapple

An affiliate of the Westlake Village-based developer contacted the appropriate parties to invest in the development with the California Investment Group.

The plans include penthouses, villas, and apartments with options of one to three bedrooms with either underground or attached-garage parking.

The luxury homes are part of a Life Plan Community for seniors that will be built on top of a restaurant with outdoor seating. The units will be gray and brown.

According to the announcement written by Dana Bartholomew of CIG, the retirement village will offer a gourmet restaurant, athletic courts, movie theater, wine bar, fitness room, learning center, medical suites, walking trails, a rooftop lounge, pool and spa.

By Sharon

Several Woodland Hills Businesses Vandalized

January 8, 2024 ·

WOODLAND HILLS—The Los Angeles Police Department are currently investigating a string of businesses that were vandalized in the Woodland Hills region.

Video captured a man tossing a rock at one business. The glass was not shattered as a result of the object being thrown. The LAPD are investigating the incident as a potential hate crime after receiving two other reports on Saturday, January 7 on the 20900 block of Victory Boulevard.

According to CBS Los Angeles, one business owner indicated several other businesses were targeted, all Jewish owned that had damage to their establishments with windows being shattered because of object that were thrown at them. Messages written on the businesses included “Pay Up” or “Glory.” One of the businesses damaged was a dance studio.

The LAPD have not reported any arrests or additional details on a suspect or suspects in any of the incidents.

By Trevor

Woodland Hills Dog Survives Coyote Attack

September 11, 2023 ·

WOODLAND HILLS—On Tuesday, September 5, at around 11:30 a.m., a resident reported a coyote entering her yard and attacking her small dog.

A woman who goes by, “Nancy,” told CBS Los Angeles that a coyote climbed a 20-foot fence and picked up her dog, Matcha by the neck.  Nancy’s surveillance camera alerted her to the backyard where she encountered the animal trying to scale the fence with Matcha in her mouth.

Nancy saved the dog by screaming and making a loud noise.  The coyote dropped Matcha and left the yard.  Matcha suffered a puncture wound to the neck. The footage released shows Matcha wearing a cone, but barking.

According to the city of Yorba Linda, California Coyote Awareness and Reporting page on their website, this is the time of year for coyote attacks stating:

“Coyotes generally hunt between sunset and sunrise, but may be seen at any hour of the day. Coyotes are most frequently seen and heard during mating season (January-March) and when juveniles start leaving the family pack (September-November). While rarely a danger to humans, coyotes will display defensive behaviors if threatened or cornered. If you do encounter a coyote that behaves aggressively, you have probably gotten too close to its prey or its family, so increase the distance between you and the coyote.”

By Sharon

Ehssan Darabian Reported Missing From Woodland Hills

July 3, 2023 ·

WOODLAND HILLS—Officers with the Los Angeles Police Department’s Topanga Area are seeking the public’s help in finding a man reported missing in Woodland Hills.

Ehssan Darabian, 38, was last seen on Wednesday, June 28, around 10 a.m. He was on foot in the region of the 20600 block of Ventura Boulevard.

Darabian is described as a male, standing 6 feet and 1 inch tall, and weighing 285 pounds. He is bald and clean-shaven and has brown eyes. He was last seen wearing a white shirt, blue jeans, and black shoes. 

Ehssan Darabian, provided by the Los Angeles Police Department.

“Ehssan’s mental condition is poor,” said the Los Angeles Police Department in a statement.

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Ehssan Darabian is asked to contact Los Angeles Police Department Missing Persons Unit at 213-996-1800. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247). 

Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS(800-222-8477). Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers by texting 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most Keypads) with a cell phone. All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.” Tipsters may go to LAPDOnline.org, click on “webtips” and follow the prompts.

By Paige Strickland

Police Chase Ends With Motorcyclist In Custody

May 19, 2023 ·

WOODLAND HILLS—A suspect is in custody after a nearly hour-long police pursuit involving a motorcycle on the evening of Thursday, May 18. The chase began after the suspect was reportedly armed with a gun on their balcony near Chaminade College Preparatory High School on the 2300 block of Windom Street and Melba Avenue. The school was not in session, but after-school activities were canceled and students were evacuated.

According to police, they made contact and attempted to secure a containment zone, but the suspect pointed the gun at them and subsequently drove away on a motorcycle. At times, the suspect adhered to traffic laws, stopping at stop signs and red lights, despite driving at speeds of up to 70 miles per hour on residential streets in the West Hills and Woodland Hills area. 

Police tried multiple times to approach the motorcyclist on foot, proceeding with caution in the event that the motorcyclist was carrying firearms. Each time the motorcyclist sped off before they could make contact. The suspect was apprehended once they returned to the residence on Windom Street, closed in by several police officers. 

According to police, the suspect suffers from mental illness and did not respond to efforts to negotiate. 

By Paige Strickland

Woodland Hills To Open New Homeless Family Shelter

May 18, 2023 ·

WOODLAND HILLS—On Monday, May 15, Ken Craft, founder of Hope the Mission, announced the opening of The Woodlands, a new homeless shelter for families. On their website, Hope the Mission, invites the public to sign up to attend the open house that is to occupy the old 818 hotel across from the William Howard Taft Charter School.

“Our mission is to prevent, reduce and eliminate poverty, hunger, and homelessness. We do this by offering immediate assistance and long-term solutions,” reads a statement from the Hope for Mission website.

“You don’t want to miss out on the chance to see our newest family shelter – The Woodlands. This 100-unit, 400-bed facility will provide sanctuary to families experiencing homelessness. We are proud of all the work that has been put into this facility and the hope it will provide for thousands. We invite you to our Open House where you can see for yourself how we are going to positively impact our community!”

The Open House will be held on Saturday, May 27, from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. All who attend are asked to sign up ahead of time on the Hope the Mission website.

“As we prepare to officially open the Woodlands in two weeks, we need help putting beds together and unpacking dressers and nightstands. Please join us this Saturday, May 20th, starting at 9 a.m. to get the rooms ready for families experiencing homelessness! We need to put together 300 beds! The address is 20157 Ventura Blvd., Woodland Hills! Come be part of the solution to addressing homelessness in our community!,” said Ken Craft on his Facebook page.

Hope the Mission was formerly known as Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission.

By Sharon

Coyote Enters Woodland Hills Home Through Doggie Door

May 8, 2023 ·

WOODLAND HILLS—On May 5, at approximately 4 a.m., a wild coyote entered the home of Mia Shoshan. The family, who was asleep at the time were awakened by the commotion when the coyote spooked the cat.

According to reports, the cat was walking on top of the dining room chairs and hissing at the coyote. 

Shoshan first told KTLA News that her brother was home at the time and came face-to-face with the coyote captured on surveillance video. The coyote made a quick exit out the same pet door.

Canyon News reached out to Shoshan via messenger, but did not hear back in time for print.

Coyote sightings are not rare in Woodland Hills. On May 29, 2022, a coyote entered the home of Julie Levine via a pet door. Levine told reporters the coyote was only inside for about three minutes.

A coyote was euthanized after attacking a two year old.

On December 3, 2022, a toddler was attacked by a coyote on the front lawn of their Woodland Hills home. NBC4 first reported that Ariel Eliyahou heard her daughter’s distressed cries and thought the child must have fallen and hurt herself. The coyote had knocked the little girl down and was attempting to drag her away by the leg when the father of the child pulled up, grabbed the little girl, and scared off the coyote.

Coyotes are most prevalent in their mating season from February-March. Many of the sightings in residential areas in California have been from January through May.

The California Fish and Wildlife Department advise it is illegal to relocate a coyote.  A special permit is required when coyotes become an endangerment to those in residential areas. If a wildlife conflict occurs in an urban environment, Wildlife California encourages residents to dial 911.

By Sharon

Alon Inditzky Identified As Deceased Pilot In Plane Crash

May 2, 2023 ·

Airplane flying near the Beautiful Canadian Mountain Nature Landscape. Adventure Composite. Cloudy Sunset Sky. Background from near Squamish and Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

BEL AIR—The pilot who was found dead in an airplane that crashed on a hillside above a home at 3045 Beverly Glen Circle on Saturday, April 29, has been identified as 38-year-old Alon Inditzky of Woodland Hills. 

According to the National Transportation Safety Board, Inditzky was flying the small, single-engine Cessna C172 from Bermuda Dunes in Palm Springs to Camarillo when he made a last-minute decision to land at Van Nuys airport. Radar contact was lost about a minute or so later, Elliot Simpson, NTSB’s senior aviation accident investigator told KTLA5. 

By 8:09 p.m., Air Traffic Control notified the Los Angeles Fire Department that they lost radar contact with Inditzky’s plane and asked LAFD to search a foggy, “large swath of mountainous territory near Stone Canyon Road and Mulholland Drive.” By 11:20 p.m., the wreckage was located on a steep hillside and Inditsky’s remains were found at the scene. 

“No other persons were believed aboard,” said Brian Humphrey, spokesperson for the LAFD. 

There was no mayday signal or signs of distress before the crash, the NTSB noted. 

The preliminary investigation is expected to take 2 weeks and will include investigations into Inditzky’s qualifications, his recent history, his training, as well as the aircraft itself and its maintenance history. 

The wreckage still remained on the hillside as of Monday, May 1, KTLA 5 reported.

By Lacy

American General To Layoff 163 In Woodland Hills

March 13, 2023 ·

Woodland Hills

WOODLAND HILLS—On March 8, new reports were released that 500 individuals throughout Southern California are facing layoffs including workers in Woodland Hills. 

According to a report by the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN),  the American General Life Insurance Company, at 21650 Oxnard Street in Woodland Hills, expects to cut 163 employees from their workforce by May 1, 2023.

Canyon News spoke to an employee at American General Life Insurance Company who did not know of the layoffs but promised to follow-up with answers.

WARN reports are generally used for companies that employ 100 employees or more. The American General Life Insurance Company specializes in term life insurance. Reports indicate that the office on Oxnard Street will be closing, but there has not been confirmation of this by American General.

Canyon News sent an email inquiry to the Employment Development Department regarding the WARN report to find out more information.

EDD responded to Canyon News confirming the layoffs of American General’s Woodland Hills employees.

A graph from EDD shows unemployment claims from January 2020 through January 2023. The end product reveals $187,284,424,349 total unemployment claims have been paid in the last three years.

EDD Graph

By Sharon

Large Tree Crushes Over A Dozen Cars

January 16, 2023 ·

WOODLAND HILLS—A large tree that was designated as a landmark in Woodland Hills fell crushing over a dozen cars parked in a shopping center located on the 23000 block of Mulholland Drive on Saturday, January 14. 

The tree was referred to as “The Old Oak” and was reported to be approximately a few hundred years old. 

Some people were inside their vehicles when the tree fell to the ground. A bystander helped two people escape from one vehicle, while two others freed themselves from another. No one was seriously injured during the incident.

A clean-up crew arrived on Sunday, January 15, to clear off debris and other remnants of the oak tree.

It is currently unknown what caused the tree to topple over. 

By Christianne

Car Crash Leaves 3 People Injured

December 24, 2022 ·


WOODLAND HILLS—Three people were injured in a car crash on Wednesday, December 22, at around 8 a.m. in the 21400 block of West Ventura Boulevard. 

Among those injured was a 35 year-old woman, a 57 year-old man, and a 66 year-old woman. The elderly man and woman were seriously injured and were transported to a nearby hospital for treatment.

The crash resulted in a vehicle fire which was extinguished by Los Angeles Fire Department personnel. There is currently an investigation regarding what led up to the accident by officials. 

By Christianne