Beverly Hills evacuated after suspected break-in of the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office

An entire neighborhood in Beverly Hills was evacuated after police responded to a suspected break-in at the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office, who are currently working on the case of Michael Jackson’s will. After the break-in and police searching, the suspect in the case flagged down a Los Angeles Police Officer who led to a series of foot chases that culminated with the SWAT team storming the back of the apartment complex where the suspect was. The SWAT standoff concluded around 5:45 p.m. local time with no injuries as the suspect was taken into custody and all residents able to return to their homes.

Police initially received a call at 5:30 p.m. about a suspicious white van blocking police traffic on Las Virgenes Drive and Robertson Boulevard, reported the Los Angeles Times. After the truck was reported blocked, the LAPD set up a roadblock at The Post Road, closing La Cienega between Sunset Boulevard and Robertson, as well as Robertson and Sunset. An hours-long standoff ensued after a police SWAT team arrived in the area in order to apprehend the driver of the van, who had refused to cooperate with authorities despite being cuffed. The driver reportedly brought the car to a complete stop in the middle of La Cienega and instructed the police to wait on him.

The man, 56-year-old Malcolm Hardin Phillips, is a former employee of the Los Angeles County Coroner. He has been working as an adviser to attorney John Branca and former manager John McClain, who are managing executors of Michael Jackson’s estate, serving as a liaison in the King of Pop’s will. Phillips has been scheduled to meet with the judge in connection with the case in late June, when he will present an amended will, the original will, and an authority statement. “He might have come to the wrong location,” Phillips told ABC News.

After the attempted break-in at the coroner’s office, Phillips was released and he tried to go home, but police commanded that he remain at the scene. He did as ordered and at 9:15 p.m. Phillips called police to report that he was wanted and the chase that followed. At approximately 10:35 p.m., Phillips surrendered and was taken into custody and then immediately booked into the Beverly Hills Police Department.

Speaking with ABC News, Branca and McClain expressed their gratitude toward the authorities for ending the situation with no injuries. “[It’s] very satisfying to know that people showed up and came up with the solutions,” Branca said. The police said that there were no serious injuries to officers or residents and credited the efforts of officers in the area for saving lives.


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