LAPD Senior Lead Officer Dave Cordova told residents that burglaries in the neighborhood are down 50% compared to this time last year. Personal thefts are also down 50 percent, thanks to recent rains which literally seem to dampen criminal activity, explained Cordova
“We see that whenever it rains, we see that crime slows down. In summertime, crime usually heats up,” said Cordova. “I know these are numbers, but behind every number there’s a victim and we use these numbers to deploy resources throughout the division.”
Cordova reminded residents of the boundaries of Wilshire Division and his Basic Car Area 7A17 and reviewed how the police classify crimes: a robbery occurs when someone takes something from you; a burglary is when someone enters your home or vehicle to steal something.
Cordova answered several questions residents had about crimes they have read about on the social media site Nextdoor.com.
“It’s a good source of information but it’s not always accurate,” said Cordova. “If you have questions, call me, I will be happy to tell you what I know.” Cordova can be reached on his cell phone at 213-793-0650, or by email: [email protected].
Cordova introduced Detective DeAnn Larkin, who supervises the burglary table at Wilshire Division and who, along with three other officers, reviews every burglary report that comes through the division. She spoke about the challenges of solving burglary crimes. Larkin explained that 98 precent of the time the police don’t know who committed the crimes. She said criminals rarely leave evidence like fingerprints so there’s nothing police can follow up on and victims may not hear back from the department.
Larkin said criminals work fast and they often work in a team effort. Even when the police are able to catch criminals on video, they are often unable to identify criminals. She told the group that Barneys New York department store at the Grove has been burglarized three times in the year, despite great security and alarm systems. Most recently, the store was burglarized on Monday morning at 4 am, when criminals knew, from listening to police scanners, that most units were outside the immediate area. Larkin explained the criminals were in and out in 60 seconds. Even though the criminals were caught in the act by private security, they were able to get away on foot and the police have no idea who committed the crime, with very few leads.
When asked about personal safety, Larkin said “generally, burglars are burglars and robbers are robbers,” said Larkin. “Burglars generally don’t want to contact people, they want to get in and out of your house with your property or in and out of your car with your property and never see you.”
“And, most of the time when they see you, they run off, most of the the time,” interjected Cordova. “Right,” added Larkin. “They don’t want to get involved in anything that steps up their level of crime because that means more time in prison when they do go to court.” But she added that residents should be cautious. “You don’t want to test that theory.”
Peter Gorelick, HPHOA Security Chair, Neighborhood Watch Committee said the main purpose of the evening’s meeting was to get neighbors together and support the network of block captains so neighbors can watch out for each other. Both Cordova and Larkin said it’s much better for residents to put resources into preventing crimes by using alarms, locking doors, changing your routine, making sure security cameras are visible and working and support the neighborhood’s security patrol program by signing up with a security company. Currently, just half the residents are signed up with the security services.
Representatives from ADT and SSA were also on hand to offer suggestions to residents. Mike Ball from ADT said their response time was six minutes because they have a dedicated car in the neighborhood. SSA co-founder Terry Seagraves said his company is always in the neighborhood conducting patrol service. They do not monitor alarms but will respond to calls from the alarm companies. More information on how to contact these companies can be found the security page of the HOA’s website.
This story was updated on March 21, 2019 to correct the spelling of Detective DeAnn Larkin and identification of Mike Ball from ADT Security.