Venice Bids Farewell to a Citizen Crime Stopper

The LAPD says goodbye to "Boston Donna," who worked to keep her beach community safe for 40 years

Donna Chaet showed up at her farewell barbecue Monday in a nightgown because that's usually what she was wearing when she'd meet up with the police she had called to a scene.

And she called a lot.

"I call them for everything. People go, 'Well you're not going to catch them.' They look at it that way. I'm just the opposite. I call them for everything," said Chaet.

The citizen crime fighter has been known in Venice for 40 years as "Boston Donna" (pronounced in true Beantown-fashion as "Bawston Dawna").

"You have to look out for yourself and your neighbors. Write down license plates," said Chaet.

But "Boston Donna" is throwing in the towel. Tired, she says, of fighting crime and city hall.

She's moving back east and the cops who have learned to love her are sending her off in the most fitting way they could think of -- by feeding her -- just as she has done for them for decades.

On holidays, Chaet would invite officers to her apartment for a home-cooked meal.

An officer may not have wanted to be on the other end of the line for one of Chaet's 3 a.m. calls, but they always wanted to be in line for one of her holiday dinners.

Still, "Boston Donna" would have much preferred the shadows to the limelight, but she is living proof that a difference can be made.

"Help the cops, because they can't solve anything or catch anybody if you don't help them. You have to be a good witness. Stop being afraid," said Chaet.

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