TVNewser FishbowlDC AgencySpy TVSpy LostRemote PRNewser SocialTimes AllFacebook 10,000 Words GalleyCat UnBeige MediaJobsDaily

@LAScanner on His Popular Twitter Account

If you aren’t following @LAScanner on Twitter, you’re missing out on one of the most informative (and at times scary) sources of local news on the Internet.

The mysterious person behind the account was recently interviewed by José Martinez of OnCentral:

The person behind the popular @LAScanner Twitter account won’t tell you much about himself, although a phone conversation confirms that he’s, indeed, a “himself.”

Here’s what we know: He was born and raised in Los Angeles and resides “in the 323.” In 1988, when he picked up a scanner for the first time, he was a teenager.

And that’s about it – because that’s all he’ll tell us.

“Part of the fun of doing @LAScanner is the anonymity,” he said. “I like that part. Part of it’s the mystery and part of it is the fact that I can do it without people forming an opinion of me based off anything besides my tweets.”

A scanner is a radio receiver that can pick up radio frequencies, frequencies like the ones the LAPD uses to communicate. Using a scanner he bought about eight years ago, @LAScanner tunes in to about 30 of these LAPD frequencies and listens in to the thousands of calls that come in every day.

Then he takes the best ones and tweets them out.

“SOUTH LA: 3 shots fired car-to-car Hickory & 110th Street. #wattsisalivewithlead,” he tweeted on the night of May 28.

That same day: “SOUTH LA: Drunk dude @ 101st St. & Broadway rocking the old Mercedes w/ blue & yellow Calif. plates. LAPD enroute. #drunkisdrunk.”

If you ever want to know how much crime occurs on a nightly basis in Los Angeles, just scroll through the timeline of @LAScanner. It will blow your mind.

Mediabistro Course

Travel Writing

Travel WritingStarting September 23, learn how to turn your travel stories into published essays and articles! Taught by a former Vanity Fair staff writer, James Sturz will teach you how to report, interview, and find sources, discover story ideas and pitch them successfully, and understand what travel editors look for in a story. Register now!