Ah, it wouldn't be the holidays in L.A. without the man cracking down on two-bit peddlers of exquisite, Chinese-made "Louie Futon" pleather goods.
Seeming a little Grinch-like, L.A. City Controller Wendy Greuel on Wednesday trumpeted the seizure of $4 million worth of
fake crap your mom buys counterfeit goods, along with the arrests of 10 suspects.
Whoa. Hawaii Five-0 ain't got nothin' on Greuel. (Why is our City Controller doing cop work? We don't know).
Authorities called it "Operation Chimney Sweep," and it was conducted just in time to prevent some of you last-minute lame-asses from grabbing that fake Kate Spade.
Cops took pirated movies, illicit CDs, and fake apparel off the street.
"People who make counterfeit goods are stealing, plain and simple, its the same as picking someone's pocket or shoplifting,'' Greuel said. "We lose more than 100,000 jobs and billions of dollars to our economy each year because of these crimes."
Really, Wendy? Our tia Maria was really going to pay four figures for that LV bag now?
Anyway, Greuel's office says the LAPD and county sheriff's department have taken $305 million worth of counterfeit crap off the streets since 2004.
City Attorney Carmen Trutanich says that's a good thing, even if it means it's harder to find Louie Futon:
"Counterfeiters are often involved in other, more dangerous illicit activities," he said. "Few realize that the money a consumer pays for a counterfeit product may very well be financing even more serious criminal activities -- like gang crime."
Okay, Carmen. That's one argument we can use to dissuade our tia from getting some of her gifts from sidewalk vendors near Santee Alley.
Update: Greuel's spokesman, Ben Golembek, told the Weekly "a majority" of the counterfeit busts "were downtown."
"Some were in or around Santee Alley," he said.
And there you have it, holiday shoppers (as if you didn't already know): This has been a public service announcement. Get your cheap, fake last-minute gifts near Santee Alley.