Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

Hancock Park Block Captain Helped Curtail Burglary


Ever wonder how that dragnet operation that locked-down the neighborhood last week all came down?

When a watchful homeowner alerted the private security firm, SSA, of suspicious activity on her block of S. Rimpau, the security firm responded immediately and interrupted a burglary in progress.  Soon after, the LAPD arrived and set up a perimeter that resulted in the arrest of four individuals who attempted to burglarize homes in Hancock Park.

“LAPD, SSA and Hancock Park residents all worked together to make that happen, “said Cindy Chvatal Keane, president of the homeowner’s association in Hancock Park.  “Our Hancock Park Block Captain/Neighborhood Watch system allowed us to alert the residents in real time about what was happening, throughout the day. It works.”

The block captain network is invaluable, explained Jerry Shaw, President, SSA Security Group. “We have more eyes and ears looking for suspicious activity.”

In this case, the block captain on Rimpau called and emailed everyone on her block to alert them about the burglary attempt and told them to stay indoors until the police advised it was safe. Marlborough School was under lock down as a precaution for more than two hours as the police searched for suspects who had fled on foot and were hiding in the neighborhood.

Even though crime rates in the city are lower than they have been in the past, there has been an increase in the number of property crimes in the last two years in Hancock Park. According to SSA, there were 12 burglaries in Hancock from December 1 through January 11, 2013.

hpgoogleimage“Most of these are “knock, knock” burglaries,” said Shaw. The criminals knock on the door and if there’s no answer, they walk around the outside of the house looking for a way to enter.

“That’s what happened on Friday. One of our clients noticed a car driving up and down the streets with four people getting in and out and called us,” said Shaw, whose company is staffed by off-duty police officers. “While one car responded to our client, another car saw the suspect car parked in a driveway and three guys carrying items out of the house and it all started with a call from our client who noticed something suspicious.”

“We have 72 residential blocks in Hancock Park covered by 63 Block Captains, (some people cover adjacent blocks as well as their own). We encourage everyone to know their neighbors, know their block captain, and have a meeting once a year,” said Chvatal Keane.

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Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard is the publisher of the Larchmont Buzz. Patty lives with her family in Fremont Place. She has been active in neighborhood issues since moving here in 1989. Her pictorial history, "Larchmont" for Arcadia Press is available at Chevalier's Books.

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