Crews take steps to secure graffiti-scarred Los Angeles towers left unfinished by developer

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LOS ANGELES — City crews on Friday took an initial step toward securing an unfinished complex of downtown Los Angeles high-rise towers that have been vandalized with graffiti and used for dangerous social media stunts after the developer ran out of money.

Workers began removing scaffolding protecting a temporary walkway that officials say said has helped helped trespassers enter the property.

“They were able to hide inside the walkway area and tunnel their way in by tearing holes in the fence,” police Sgt. Gordon Helper said.

The next step will be to install a better fence at the project, which is drawing significant police resources and where city leaders fear someone will die, especially after social media videos showed people BASE jumping — parachuting from the towers.

“We can’t have anybody getting hurt here or injuring themselves or even a fatality,” Helper said. “We don’t want that to happen here.”

The towers were going to house a hotel and luxury condominiums, but the project stalled in 2019 when the Beijing-based developer ran out of money, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The extent of tagging and vandalism began drawing attention in recent weeks, becoming a civic embarrassment in a high-profile area that includes Crypto.com Arena — home of major sports teams and events such as the Grammys — as well as the Los Angeles Convention Center and the L.A. Live dining and events complex.

City Councilmember Kevin de León, who represents the area, has said a developer is needed to complete construction. He told a recent council meeting that by conservative estimates it would take $500 million to buy the property and $1.5 billion to complete it.

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