In Death Wish 2, Los Angeles in portrayed as the crime ridden West Cost counterpart of New York City. Crime is on the rise and murders, muggings and burglaries are all increasing. Pollution in the city is also terrible. Paul Kersey moved to Los Angeles after he met Geri Nichols in Chicago and decided to move his architect business out there. One day, he, Geri and his daughter were out at a street fair when members of Nirvana's Gang robbed Paul and later using his wallet broke into his house raping and killing his main, kidnapping and later killing his daughter and knocking Paul unconscious. Paul, although told by the police to leave the matter alone finds he can't let them get away with it and goes after them. As he starts picking off members of the gang, the LAPD recruit the help of Lt. Frank Ochoa who had dealt with Paul Kersey's vigilantism in New York in 1974. Eventually, Lt. Ochoa is killed by the leader of the gang and Paul continues his pursuit of him. Los Angeles, although not portrayed quite as bad as New York in Death Wish, still seems to be a crime ridden expanse of concrete and gangs. While New York has a problem with muggers due to it's tight corners and alleyways, Los Angeles has a problem with gangs due to it's expansive stretches of poor urban neighborhoods. Paul later kills Nirvana and Geri leaves him after she realizes that he is responsible for the vigilante killings. It is assumed that Paul leaves Los Angeles soon after to avoid police capture.
In Death Wish 4: The Crackdown Los Angeles is portrayed as a much more prosperous and less crime ridden place than in Death Wish 2. Although street crime is down, organized and drug related crime is through the roof. Two drug cartels, Ed Zacharias's Cartel and the Romero Brothers Cartel control most of the city's drug operations and the use of crack and cocaine is increasing beyond controllable levels. Paul is dating journalist Karen Sheldon and has taken a liking to her daughter Erica. After Erica dies of a drug overdose provided by local dealers, Paul kills the dealer that provided it to her. This causes suspicion between the two cartels but it is soon dismissed as just a random killing. Paul is recruited by the Fake Nathan White who claims to what Paul to help him take down the drug cartels but in reality is secretly a drug lord himself wanting to use Paul's skills so he can be the top drug lord in the city. After bringing both cartels to their knees and killing their leaders, Paul is betrayed by the Fake Nathan White and goes after him. After an intense shootout at a roller rink and the Fake Nathan White kills Karen, Paul blows the Fake Nathan White up and leaves the city before the police can stop him. In Death Wish 4: The Crackdown the city is shown to be very much improved from it's poor state earlier in the 1980's because of the cleaner air and lower street crime. But organized crime has caused for the city to be a drug hotspot. During the crack epidemic of the 1980's, Los Angeles along with New York were the two worst cities effected and Death Wish 4: The Crackdown more or less serves as a reminder of what happens when you mess with drugs.