Highland Park

Highland Park Clerk Killed Trying to Stop Shoplifters

For the past few months, their father worked as a clerk at Tony's market in Highland park a few days a week.

NBC Universal, Inc.

Less than a week after a store owner was killed while trying to stop shoplifters in LA’s fashion district, it has happened again.

This time, last night and in Highland Park, and the teens are still at large.

Steven Reyes, 69, was about to get off work last night when he saw a group of teens trying to steal some beer. 

Police say one of those teens struck him in the head with a scooter. He did not survive.

“He definitely loved what he did as far as staying busy and providing for the family as much as he could,” Nelle Reyes, the victim’s daughter, said. 

Even at nearly 70 years old, Reyes' daughters say he was always working.

For the past few months, their father worked as a clerk at Tony's market in Highland Park a few days a week.


Get Los Angeles's latest local news on crime, entertainment, weather, schools, COVID, cost of living and more. Here's your go-to source for today's LA news.

Same-day burglaries in Playa Vista leave homeowners nervous

Orange County families running out of options as Diaper Bank runs out of money

“He enjoyed things like his lottery scratchers, he loved playing pool and he was just an overall great dude,” Kaycie Reyes, the victim’s daughter, said. 

Thursday evening just before seven, Reyes noticed a group of four teens, 15 to 18 years old stealing beer, T-shirts and a few other items.

Police say Reyes went after them, and just outside the store on Figueroa, one of the teens went after Reyes.

“Next thing you know they take the electric scooter and hit him multiple times in the head, causing him to fall on the ground bleeding from head,” Nelle Reyes said.

The teens ran off leaving Reyes lifeless on the sidewalk.

Paramedics tried to save him, but he died later at the hospital.

“It has really hit hard because we came here, we work hard -- even me growing up as a nurse trying to take care of my own community. I feel like the community just backstabbed me,” Nelle Reyes said.

Their father, who immigrated from the Philippines 40 years ago to give his family a better life, had his own life so violently taken away.

This at a time, a new chapter was just beginning for him.

“The one biggest regret I have - I have a five month year old son, his first grandchild that he's never met -- and will never have an opportunity to meet,” Kaycie Reyes said. 

“I forgive you for whoever you are who did it  -- I don't know if you're in the right mind set or my dad caught you at a bad time but my dad was a good guy - and I hope you know that,” Nelle Reyes said. 

The store owner says there is very clear security footage of the teens in the store. Two boys and two girls .They have turned over that footage to detectives.

Contact Us